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.
I was excited to wake this morning and get an early review of my book Leaving Cleveland on GoodReads from London, England:
The author is a highly respected and accomplished professional photographer and I went to High School with him. The book is based on a fictitious character but it feels as if many of Steve’s life experiences are used to make this novel feel as real as a biography.
The story is about a naive and mostly innocent boy maturing through the daily grind of trying to establish himself in a time when everyone was seeking a better life.
Besides my personal associations with Cleveland and NYC, his struggles as a young man are something we can all relate to. Life is never predictable and these life lessons, hard-earned, can not be taught in school! One must be brave and take risks, make a few stupid mistakes and decisions and of course, be lucky or resilient to survive it all.
Begleiter’s book is hard to put down, feels real and often surprises, delights and intrigues one. The value of personal relationships and discipline, integrity and values are woven into his decision-making process. You feel as if you are in the room discussing the merits or not of his choices.
The mystique of fame is a key theme. There are those we meet who are simply superbly talented and often completely crazed, making this a tale that many would benefit from. How a kid from Cleveland handles the insanity.
Some of us had to leave Cleveland, not easy but one must seek their path in life. Where you come from is a big part of who you are and what you become. The people, friends, family and acquaintances in your life that influenced you, trusted you, loved you and gave you a change which changed your life forever. Leaving Cleveland is that journey of life.
Budd Margolis 5 stars ( out of 5)
According to my publisher, Bookbaby to book as a hardback and paperback can be purchased on April 12,2023. Preorder will begin March 1st. 2023. If you can not wait until then order an E-Book today at :
After 10 years, my book Leaving Cleveland is off to the publishers Boulder Point Publishing LLC. I can’t express the joy and relief I feel of accomplishing one of my life goals. As I had state almost 10 years ago, it was a story I had to tell that has been gnawing at me for a long time. I am so grateful for all the support from family and friends to create this book.
What’s next? I wait from the publisher to get back the revised cover for approval. Then I will receive the book and check for any changes that need to be made. Once that is all complete the book will be printed in hardback; paperback and digital for e-books and sold around the world wherever you can buy books.
I am going to make this short and open a bottle of champaign but please subscribe so you can receive the latest update, be entered into giveaways and excerpts from this book.
I wanted to share my exciting news that my book Leaving Cleveland is off the final Proof Reader. What does that mean? It is the first step to publishing my book. If there aren’t any major issues I should get the copy back mid January and will send the corrected manuscript and art work/cover to the printer.
Of course there are many potential setbacks to delay the final printing but as it stands the final book should be printed and out in the market by March. I wanted to give a big should out to Saudamini Siegrist for doing the final edit and really making this book shine. Fortunately I have a patient nature and it really helped moving this project along. It always takes longer than you think but my mantra has has always been ” make this the best possible book regardless of the time it takes to complete.”
The First Step to Publishing a Book:
Leaving Cleveland Proofreading
Congratulations on taking the first step on your publishing journey. Our editing team is now working on your supplied files. If we have any questions we’ll contact you. Otherwise we’ll send you an email in 10-12 business days alerting you that your editing project is complete and that your edited files are available for download in your BookBaby account
As I had mentioned in the past book cover is not final and once the proof reading is complete I will send my art work to professional designers to create the book cover and design the book. My next post will be the actual book cover. So please subscribe and share.
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.