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.



Monday, March 3, 2014

Co-workers, too--Not a Good Audience

I've posted before about how friends and family, with a few exceptions, seem to have an automatic expectation that they should get their books for free. Really. I've found that to be very true. Again, there were a few exceptions, but those exceptions were very few, indeed.

No, I've experienced first hand that most of my friends and relatives have zero intention to actually buy a book I wrote. And btw, I would like to say thanks to those few friends and relatives who were quick to give their support by actually buying a book or two.

But I forgot to include one other group. Co-workers. Surprisingly, they too seem to have an automatic expectation that they deserve to get books for free. At least my co-workers do. Again, there's a couple exceptions, and I would like to thank them as well. But for the most part, when I tell my co-workers about my books, they usually say they'll buy them, but they don't. Yeah, a couple of them did, but that's like two out of over forty. And these are teachers, mind you.

I can think of a couple who actually did purchase a copy one one of my books. And of the other forty who said they would, well, they didn't. Several have expressed their dismay that I would even expect them to buy a copy, that instead, I should be forthcoming in my desire to give each and every one of them a free copy of not just one, but both of my published books.

And I do have that desire to give away a copy or two for free, and I have done that. But an author, especially a new author, can't give away free copies to all of his/her friends, relatives, and co-workers! It isn't something that should be done either. I don't know about other publishers, but as an author, I get only one free book from my publishers. I do have the ability to give away an unlimited number of PDF copies, but that's it. But how does that help?

I know authors give away books to reviewers in the hope of getting an honest review that, hopefully, will be a good review and promote sales. But that's a business decision. And that is par for the course. But when it comes to friends, family, and co-workers, it comes to a point where it's just not worth it. Buy a book, for goodness sake. eBooks are only five bucks, or less, and print books only ten bucks more. What's the big deal, if you're only buying one? You can't afford that? But when an author is giving them away, the total amount exceeds 50 books, depending on how many friends, family, and co-workers you have. It could even be as many as a hundred. You do the math. It is not good business. Not at all.

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