As you can see it has been almost a year since I announced the completion of my fictional memoir ” Leaving Cleveland.” What am I up to? Well, as one literary agent expressed ” You are a good writer and this is a good story and we would be interested in representing you BUT……you are not famous, yet.” He was absolutely right. Not to be deterred, I decided to go the self-publishing route. I am have researching the best way and have learned a lot about self-publishing and publishing on demand. The more I have learned the clearer it became that for this book it is the best way. I have been in contact with BookBaby and have gotten all their info and costs. I will be also applying for a grant through the college I teach photography , Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design. They award grants to help their faculty complete projects they are working on. If I do receive the grant, the wheels will be in motion and I hope to have this book out by early fall, just in time for the holiday season.
If you have been following my posts you will also notice that I have changed the title to Leaving Cleveland. When you follow the upcoming posts and read the book will make more sense. So please sign up for notices of new posts and tell your friends. If you are new to this blog , you can read some of the entries, although I will be submitting more entries in each new post as I keep you up to date with my experience of self publishing. I have also made a slight change to the cover, let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions. See if you can guess what the story is about by the cover….My goal is to post once a week and as things start to getting closer to publishing date even more.
This is an excerpt from my final Kickstarter campaign update:
It is hard to believe this part of the journey is over but a new one begins. It is now time to promote the book, the best I can and if you would be so kind you can help.
You can tell your friends about the book , personally or through social media. Once you have read the book please reveiw the book on Amazon; GoodReads; Barnes and Noble and whereever you buy your books. If you know of any book clubs or are a part of one suggest this book for a reading.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or ideas. I will be in Cleveland Heights on April 27th at book signing at Mac’s Back Book Store click on thislink for the details. It will be fun and sort of home coming. I will post images from the event on Facebook or my blog www.leavingcleveland.blog
I suggest you subscribe to my blog for the latest updates. I will be doing a signing in couple weeks in Denver for the Society for Photo Educators, my first signing.
In May, I will be officially part of the Jewish Book Councilwhich means my book will be featured on their site and I will have a permanent Author page on their site. They recieve over 500,000 viewer a years and have a subscribtion of over 60,000 readers. There might even be an opportunity for me to book tour through them.
As I have said from the very beginning this would never have happened without your generous support. Thank you Thank you Thank you for helping me and, to be corny, make my dream come true.
I wanted to express my gratitude to all of you who have supported my project ” Leaving Cleveland” and give you an update before we move on to 2023. I also wanted to have you read the first page of the book.
Where the book stands: My generous sister-in-law, Saudamini Siegrist, who has her Phd in poetry from NYU, offered to edit the book one more time before I send it to the professional proof reader at Bookbaby. Knowing her incredibly sharp skill as an editor, I could not pass up her offer.
So I have been very patient and thankful for her generous support. As of today she is 50% finished with the edit, she is also busy working with the country of Nigera on a project and just finised having an orginal play she wrote perfomed in NYC.
I am hoping she will complete her edit in the next month. At that point I will send it off to the proof reader which takes about 10 to 14 days. When I get it back from the proof reader and make the necessary final changes it will then go off to the Book designer/printer. I will let you know when that happens and the date of publication, which I am still hoping to be March 14th. I will take as much time though to ” get it right” the first time, so as the saying goes ” It is publsihed when it is published.” I made that up, but you get the idea.
A scary moment with the money: Now that I have your attention, as some of know I have created an LLC Boulder Point Publishing and a separate bank account to be sure the money raise will be only used for the book, it is also easier for tax purposes. Well, I also needed a debit card so I could pay Bookbaby directly for the printing and promotion. I received the debit card from the bank, activated the card with a PIN and two days later all the money $5200 disappeared from the account, pretty scary. I called the Bank and they confirmed the account was hacked and the money taken. This happen on a Monday and by Friday the Bank had put my money back into the account, Phew!!!! They would not tell me what actually happened but I can live with that…
As we move forward, I wanted to wish all of you a safe, happy and healthy holiday season and New Year. I have a lot to be thankful for and your support is one my big highlights of 2022. Next year will be the publication of the book. I am so excited to “put it out there” and excited for you to read it. As promised here is the first page of the book, edited:)
As we move forward, I wanted to wish all of you a safe, happy and healthy holiday season and New Year. I have a lot to be thankful for and your support is one my big highlights of 2022. Next year will be the publication of the book. I am so excited to “put it out there” and excited for you to read it. As promised here is the first page of the book,
I wanted out of Cleveland. Immediately after college I moved to Toronto, hoping to land a job as a news photographer, only to be told by the Toronto Star that I needed six months residency in Canada before I could be hired. I should have known this. I headed back to the US, driving southeast on Route 403, my Toyota Corolla hugging Lake Ontario to Niagara Falls, en route to Boston where I had a friend, Robert, who said I could crash on his couch until I found work. I had $500 in my pocket.
I drove straight through, from Toronto to Boston, without stopping. When I arrived in Boston, I met up with Robert who was living in an apartment near Harvard Square with his girlfriend Ivey and Felix, a semi-domesticated feral cat I was warned to avoid.
I had known Robert since I was 14. He had long blond hair, crystal blue eyes, and a swimmer’s body. Soft-spoken, confident, introspective, girls swooned over him, including Ivey who had moved from Finland to the States to live with him. He was everything I wanted to be. My mother would call it goy envy. Still, as opposite as Robert and I were, we connected. We both loved jazz and eventually formed a trio with Robert on congas, our friend Alex on standup bass and me on alto sax. We would jam in Robert’s attic for hours, smoking pot and pretending it was the 50’s, and we were the Coltrane trio. Robert’s father, a lawyer, would sometimes tape record our sessions and wait till we came downstairs to tell us how wonderful we sounded. His hipness freaked me out.
I spent two weeks in Boston looking for work, sleeping on a mattress on the floor and avoiding Felix as best I could. Eventually I picked up some freelance photography work through the Associated Press, photographing “weather shots” while I waited to hear from a couple of newspapers about a staff position. It seemed there were no real jobs to be found. With my money running out, I took a job as a waiter in the Seafood district at the Yankee Lobster. I was feeling pretty low and thinking maybe I should head back to Ohio and work for my dad. He owned an outdoorsman store in East Cleveland, which never made any sense to me since he was not in the least interested in outdoor activities. He spent all of his days inside, working ten-hour days, seven days a week.
As in life writing a book has many hills and valleys. I was hoping to finish my book #Leaving Cleveland, last year but my editor and I parted ways, he is trying to finish his historical fictional novel and I felt he need to put all his attention to finishing his book, rather than putting my off for months.
Lucky for me, my sister in law has a doctorate in Poetry from NYU and is a big fan of my book, volunteered to do the final edit, and after two months it is complete….hooray!!!!! The next challenge is finding a literary agent that is the ” right fit” for my fictional memoir. I have been going through the website https://querytracker.net/literary_agents.php and have gotten a couple of nice rejections but still waiting to hear from others.
This may be bad luck but I did connect with an LA producer who is looking at the book. We had a good conversation and he feels the book may make a good film…I imagine I will have an answer from him by the end of the summer. Although, I would prefer for the book to be published first, if someone. like #Steven Spielberg wants to make a movie out of it I am not going to say NO! In truth I think this book would be a good fit for Speilberg being that it explores the effects of American children born to #holocaust survivors and how, even though they did not experience first hand the horrors of the concentration camps, their lives and choices are influenced by the trauma. Not to mention Steven Spielberg is a fellow Ohioan and has a great first name:)
Not to worry this book is not a downer to read…it is actually funny, quirky and a real ” page turner” I’ve been told. It is not formulaic and you will have to read till the end to ” find out” what Mark Cohen decides to do for the rest of life. Other comments from my group of “readers” about the book is that it really captures NYC in the 1980s. Little know fact from my agent in LA is that books set in a different era can cost up to 15million more to produce to create an accurate account of the time period. I don’t think the 1980’s will cost that much more…just need to find answering machines and a good costume designer…
Self publishing, my last resort….I will be giving it a year to find an agent/publisher before I consider self publishing…Not that self publishing is not a viable option. I believe in the book and feel it should be out there so I will do whatever it takes to bring it to the public. In the meantime I will be publishing excerpts, teasers….starting with my next post. So please sign up for blog to keep informed and get FREE excerpts from LEAVING CLEVELAND.
In the meantime stay well and please share this post. I promise to be posting once a week, not that I have some free time and am not writing a book….