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.



Thursday, May 7, 2015

Levels of Publishers

I've said I wanted to take a step up for my John Dunn historical novel. By that I mean a step up in publishers. Unofficially, I see publishers as being in five different levels.

Level 1 are The Big Six: These are the long standing traditional publishers who pretty much dominate the publishing world. They're run like big corporations and have tons of imprints, each one a significant publisher on its own. They publish pretty much every category, every kind of format, and represent the vast majority of books in any bookstore. They include Simon and Schuster, Penguin, Random House, Harper Collins, Hatchette, and MacMillan.

Level 2 are the large independent publishers who emulate the big six in many ways, meaning they too are run like corporations, publish pretty much every category, every kind of format, and represent the balance of books not published by the big six in the bookstores. These include Kensington, Knox Robinson, Prometheus, and Samhain, among others.

Level 3 are small independent publishers, and they are not run like corporations. They're more like family businesses with small staffs. These are the POD publishers, meaning they publish only eBooks and trade paperbacks, which are printed "on demand." The setback with these publishers is that buyers can't find their books in bookstores. Purchases have to be online, whether in the digital format or the printed book. Melange and Penumbra would fit into this category, but there are many more. In fact, I think most publishers nowadays would fit into this category.

Level 4 are the even smaller independent publishers, called ePublishers. ePublishers only publish eBooks, meaning they'll only publish and release digital copies of their entire book line. They are hoping for the future of publishing to be exclusively digital, as in PDF files, HTML, Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and all the other digital formats.

Level 5 are the ever-growing line of self-publishers, aka vanity publishers, aka subsidy publishers. These publishers are like predators. That's what Preditors and Editors would say. Thus the name Preditors and Editors. They prey on those authors who cannot get accepted by any of the above publishers. They offer a road to publication no matter how bad the writing might be. And since they offer no means of editing, the writing might be very bad indeed. These publishers include any publisher who charges the author, and those charges can be as much as several thousand dollars to publish a single book! They include PublishAmerica, Tate Publishing, and hundreds more.

So for John Dunn I'm hoping to go from Level 3 to Level 2. And who knows? Maybe one day I can reach level one. You just keep on trying. That's all. You only fail if you quit.

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