iUniverse blog welcomes back guest blogger and Kirkus Reviews Top 25 Indie Books author of 2012, David Perlstein.
“The pressure to sell experienced by traditional publishing can distort a writer’s integrity. I don’t suggest that every publisher in New York always seeks to amp up titillation to move books. But agents and editors face bottom-line pressures, as do working writers. If a vapid story with vapid characters written in vapid prose has an audience, its author will find a home. Conversely, if agents and editors fear that a well-written book won’t find an audience, they’re not likely to offer a contract.
What’s a writer to do? Distribution via print-on-demand or downloading offers welcome opportunities to maintain control. But it also demands responsibility. An independently published book is just as real as one published traditionally. The process does not excuse a writer from producing anything other than his or her best.
I work with an outstanding fiction teacher/coach from Palo Alto, Tom Parker. Tom wants me to find an agent and a publisher, to become widely known. But first and foremost, he demands the integrity of a good story well told.
Does a devotion to artisanship render a book incapable of entertaining readers? I think not. I wrote Slick! and San Café, geopolitical satires set in the Persian Gulf and Central America respectively, to be accessible, funny, sometimes heart-rending and always thought-provoking. I confess that my protagonist, Bobby Gatling, a retired U.S. Army Special Forces officer, has little in common with James Bond or Jack Reacher. Bobby is twice divorced and estranged from his adult son. He has a master’s degree in Russian history. He’d rather write articles for scholarly journals than pursue contract security work. And he only found out he was Jewish when he was forty.
Overt sex? I’ve passed. It would only get in the way of my stories. Super-human powers? Bobby may be tough, but he’s slowing down. And he walks with a limp thanks to an unusual circumstance in Northern Iraq. Have I put myself behind the eight ball? I have no problem writing for readers with a good measure of intelligence. Every reader who enjoys one of my books fulfills me as a writer.
Granted, my writing may never make much money. But I’ll leave behind books I can be proud of just as I’m proud of my children. You can put a price on a book. You can’t put a price on integrity.”
iUniverse thanks David for his wonderful contribution to the iUniverse blog and wishes him every success in his writing now and in the future.
Guest blogger David Perlstein Bibliography
David is the author of two nonfiction books:
Solo Success: 100 Tips for Becoming a $100,000-a-Year Freelancer (Crown Publishing, New York)
God’s Others: Non-Israelites’ Encounters With God in the Hebrew Bible (iUniverse).
Also David has self-published two novels through iUniverse
Find out more about David and his books at http://davidperlstein.com.
See the full Kirkus Review of ‘Slick ‘at http://bit.ly/UIg6uR