Will iconic images recorded in the grooves of an ancient vase unite the Holy Land or rip it further apart?

THE VASE

A novel by Mark M. DeRobertis

Muhsin Muhabi is a Palestinian potter, descended from a long line of potters. His business is run from the same shop owned by his ancestors since the day his forebears moved to Nazareth. The region's conflict saw the death of his oldest son, and rogue terrorists are in the process of recruiting his youngest in their plot to assassinate the Pope and Israeli prime minister.

Professor Hiram Weiss is an art historian at Nazareth’s Bethel University. He is also a Shin Bet operative on special assignment. With the help of fellow agent, Captain Benny Mathias, he plans to destroy the gang responsible for the death of his wife and only child. He puts a bomb in the ancient vase he takes on loan from Muhsin’s Pottery Shop.

Mary Levin, the charming assistant to the director of Shin Bet, has lost a husband and most of her extended family to recurring wars and never-ending terrorism. She dedicates her life to the preservation of Israel, but to whom will she dedicate her heart - the brilliant professor from Bethel University - or the gallant captain who now leads Kidon?

Harvey Holmes, the Sherlock of Haunted Houses, is a Hollywood TV host whose reality show just flopped. When a Lebanese restaurant owner requests his ghost-hunting services, he believes the opportunity will resurrect his career. All he has to do is exorcise the ghosts that are haunting the restaurant. It happens to be located right across the street from Muhsin’s Pottery Shop.



Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sales Trickling In

Whatever I'm doing to promote my books, well, let's just say it isn't enough. Sales are at a trickle, and that will never do for any product in any market. It is mystifying to me how some books can be released and they are number one on the best seller's list from the get go. I suppose it has a lot to do with the publisher, and it's a very good reason to have a big six publisher as your publisher. Still, I'm glad to have a publisher at all, but because my publisher is not one of the big six, it means no reviews, no advance sales, and no listing on a best seller list.

But that doesn't mean it can't succeed. I've heard of books that weren't even published by any publisher, and still they managed to climb up the charts and even make the best seller list. Sure, sometimes it's an already established author who chose to self publish rather than be published by his/her big six publisher. They get a much higher royalty that way, as the big six publishers will get as much as 90% of the profits from their books. So for that reason I don't blame them. Still, the promotional efforts of the big six publishers do warrant that percentage of the profits. After all, 10% of something is better than 50% of next to nothing.

But there are other authors who have self published and went all-out with self promotion, and they've made it work. It was a lot of work, I know, but that's what it takes. As for my books? Let's just say I have to work a lot harder and do a better job at promoting them. I'm still hoping someone will review one of them again. I sure wish I thanked that guy who gave Killer of Killers that great review a year ago. Here's to hoping I'll get a second chance.

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