Here, There and Everywhere

Posts tagged ‘publisher’

Story of Buddha’s Wife

BuddhasWifeThe publisher told me that Kindle versions of my novel Buddha’s Wife is on sale for a week, starting today.

Here is the direct link: BUDDHA’S WIFE Here’s the Amazon description:

Buddha’s Wife is a novel about compassion, inspiration and forgiveness. Thousands of books, texts and stories have followed Siddhartha’s teachings and his path to becoming The Buddha, but little has been written about his wife Yasodhara, their child Rahula or their relatives, until now. Yasodhara was the first woman in Siddhartha’s life, but not the last to follow in his footsteps. Why did he call his son “a hindrance” and believe women were a trap of desire and attachment “not fit to follow or understand my teachings”? How did Yasodhara and the nuns fight for equal treatment and rights? How could The Buddha have such compassion for others, yet be so scared of intimacy, emotion and love?

SCREENPLAY:

For the film version, we have the script, two well-known actresses attached, as well as a wonderful director. If anyone knows a producer, production company or investor interested in helping to bring this story to the screen (a contemporary drama in the screenplay version), please get in touch.

Jumping With Joy

The Last Conception

I am honored to have my novel The Last Conception accepted for publication by Melange Books.

The contract was just signed, sealed and delivered (I’m yours).

Expected date of publication is April/May of 2014.

images-1

The Last Conception is the story of an engaging embryologist (Savarna) in Silicon Valley, her decision to try to have a child with her girlfriend and her conservative East Indian American parents, who tell her that she is the last in line of a great spiritual lineage and she MUST have a baby to carry on the bloodline. In the process of trying to conceive, Savarna and her partner begin to question the necessity of biology or lineage within her parents’ beliefs, as they are embedded ever more deeply into the mystery of conception. Threads of Dan Brown (DaVinci Code), Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (Sister of My Heart) and The L Word (TV series) flavor this colorful tale of love, conflict and commitment.

Sleeping Giant of Publishing

Why LinkedIn is a Sleeping Giant of Publishing
by Josh Sternberg. 18 February, 2013.
Digiday

Let’s say you were to construct the ideal business publisher from scratch. It would have a strong tech platform that doesn’t slow down because of too many users or ads. It would foster direct connections. It would also have writers who were the most influential people in their industries. It would be digitally native. And it wouldn’t be overly reliant on ads.

Now look at LinkedIn. Back to the ideal business publisher. Now back to LinkedIn.

2

Over the last four months, LinkedIn, always living in the shadow of the sexier social platforms, has quietly built out a publishing platform. It is now a publisher in its own right, under former Fortune editor Dan Roth, with LinkedIn Today feeding aggregated articles from more than 1 million publications to LinkedIn’s 200 million users based on their preferences. It complemented that with an original publishing effort around “influencers,” recruiting a who’s who of business like Richard Branson, T. Boone Pickens and Ari Emanuel, and about 250 others.

“We went out to find the top people in various industries, folks who, universally, people wanted to know about and drove business conversation,” Roth said. “The internal frame was, if we put on the world’s best conference, who would you want? The idea you can ask top minds in business to share or reveal something about themselves in an authentic way, it’s important for us.”

The combination could become extremely powerful. LinkedIn already gets about 46 million unique visitors per month, per ComScore. Compare that to a Bloomberg Businessweek with a print circulation of about 1 million and about 6.7 million visitors per month. LinkedIn isn’t about to win Pulitizers, but its content is bound to expand. The hard part of a platform is the tech infrastructure, which LinkedIn has in place. How many publications wouldn’t kill for LinkedIn’s revenue model? Half of its $972 million in revenues for 2012 came from its recruiting services, which is one of its revenue streams. Selling ads and subscriptions are the other two.

The Influencer effort began back in October 2012 with the goal to go beyond matching stories with people and instead offer its users a window into the minds of business people at the top of their industries. For the Influencer platform, LinkedIn, for the first time, brought the “follow” option to the platform. LinkedIn also created its own CMS for this. Writers have their own login to the CMS and can see who their followers are, what industries they’re in, what seniority level.

The concept of a social network having a blogging platform isn’t entirely new or unique. Consider Tumblr or WordPress, even. Both platforms have social components to them. This platform is a move away from that notion, or even the “digital Rolodex” moniker.

When people post content on Twitter or Facebook, it’s usually flight-of-fancy information. In part, that’s because the ADD style of those social networks focuses on the stream of a feed. LinkedIn Influencers, instead, is an actual platform. The bigger issue, though, is how and why people use the different social networks. As Roth put it, “You’re not on LinkedIn at 3 a.m.” Translation: no drunken rants on LinkedIn.

The other benefit, Roth sees, is that there’s no anonymity on LinkedIn. Everyone’s writing — the “Influencer” and anyone who comments — is tied back to a professional reputation. If you make a comment, your employer, employees, future employers can see what you’re sharing. People are thinking hard about what kind of comments they’re making, so you see little, if any, trolling — a coup for a blogging platform.

And the posts do well. Take a look at Richard Branson’s most recent post about “Where I Work: surrounded by people (and swimming in tea).” It was shared 600 times on Twitter, 2,500 times on Facebook and 8,300 times on LinkedIn. Then there are the more than 2,000 comments. Roth said that some posts have crossed the million view mark, and the site has seen an eight-fold traffic increase to LinkedIn Today over the last year.

The underlying implication, however, is that LinkedIn wants its users to stay and get content they can’t get anywhere else. Through a business lens, this makes sense as the more often and longer people stay, LinkedIn can serve more job opportunities — which is where the company makes half of its revenue — and get advertisers to pony up more money on ads targeted at LinkedIn’s user.

This is all part of a broader plan for LinkedIn. In the last year, it redesigned company pages and introduced targeted status updates as ways to drive what it calls “engagement” — shares and comments.

LinkedIn has also discussed introducing a sponsored content unit where companies pay to deliver content to its followers, though a spokesperson said this not related to Influencer content. In its fourth-quarter earnings call, CEO Jeff Weiner said last month it began a test: “working with some very large-scale enterprises, some blue chip marketers, folks like GE and Xerox, the Economist, BlackBerry. They are taking repositories of content that they’ve built up over time — white papers, expertise, customs-related practices — and they are now able to serve that content at a status update and target specific followers of theirs on LinkedIn.”

Roth said that LinkedIn is seeing high engagement around the posts precisely because people understand the value they can get by being seen as a productive member of a conversation started by a popular and influential person. And while LinkedIn can play a numbers game in the engagement arena — if there are 200 million users, even if only 1 percent are active, articles could get viewed 2 million times — Roth says that there’s no such thing as guaranteed engagement.

Read entire article and more at Digiday.

As Rich As J. K. Rowling.

If I got paid for every rejection I’ve received from past queries I’ve sent to magazines, newspapers, journals and book publishers, I’d be as rich as J. K. Rowling.

When I started taking writing seriously (again) about twenty-five years ago, I sent out a column to the local weekly magazine and had a nice reply saying they would like to print it. I was ecstatic and literally jumped up and hit my head on the door frame. Luckily, for my head, I was able to eventually contain myself and start on the next project. “Hell,” I thought, “If getting published is this easy I’ll be a successful writer in a few months.”

Reality soon set in and I received at least fifty rejection slips in a row. Most were quasi-sincere apologies. “Please excuse this form letter, but we get so many submissions it is not possible to personally reply to them all. Your submission has been carefully reviewed. Our decision to not use it at this time is based on numerous factors and is no reflection on your writing.” Some were more personal, yet just as maddening.

“Thank you for thinking of us. We liked your story, but it wasn’t quite right for our focus.”

“The focus of your idea was well done, but the writing lacked clarity.”

“Your presentation of the material is very good, but we recently did a similar piece.”

“You are a gifted writer. Good luck.”

“You write well, but your book doesn’t fit our plans. You may want to try a smaller publisher who specializes in your genre.”

“We appreciate your finely written story, but we are a small publisher and have to be very selective. You may want to consider a larger, more diverse publishing company.”

Within months I had gone from the ecstasy of my first published piece to a continuous stream of rejections. I became a manic-depressive insomniac who was willing to walk on hot burning coals to have my writing accepted, let alone occasionally paid for.

Slowly, year after year, as my writing improved and my ability to ascertain which markets were more appropriate for my nonfiction and fiction, I began to make the great leap forward having only ninety-eight out of a hundred queries rejected instead of the previous hundred and ninety-nine out of two-hundred! My odds were increasing by one to two-percent annually. At that rate I would soon have a hundred percent success by the time I was one thousand years old!

A transforming and sanity-saving moment occurred while writing late one night, when I realized that I had to write because I LOVE writing MORE than getting what I write published. This attitudinal shift turned me away from the self-defeating behavior of a masochist scribe, into a peaceful warrior who writes for the joy of the creative process.

Yes, it is always a thrill when someone accepts something I have written, but luckily I was graced with the insight that I AM a writer, whether others acknowledge that fact or not and the more I practice, the better it gets. Rejection letters come and go, but I no longer take them to heart. I wouldn’t shy away from a six-figure advance for my next best seller, but I don’t live my life waiting for it to happen.

If you can’t live without writing, then write. Write every day, as if your life depended on it. Write, write and rewrite. Be open to constructive editing and commentary from others, but never disregard what you want to say and how you want to say it.

Writing for publication is like preparing a good meal. Even if what you cook is meticulously prepared it may not suit someone else’s tastes. Keep trying new recipes and spices. Sooner or later someone will savor the dish you’ve concocted and you’ll get to enjoy the main course of a writing life and the delicious dessert of publication and pay.

Tag Cloud