Archive for the ‘Voices From The Herd’ Category

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The Willy Wonka Theorem

January 10, 2012

Time to face facts.  Doubt It Publishing cemented the publishing house with Voices From The Herd: An Anthology For Buffalo, NY.  Despite the time involved, anthologies are an easy project to attract local writers.  The project was a colossal success and the proceeds that the book has earned for The Just Buffalo Literary Center will resonate for years to come.

Lightning struck twice when heretofore unknown Mark McElligott sent his manuscript along for Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind, which was easily one of the funniest books I’ve read in fifteen years.  While Mark (and the contents of his book) aren’t exactly family friendly, we found a niche for his talent and his book continues to entertain while finding a new audience.

The open reading submission for 2011 was less than satisfactory.  I’m slightly saddened to announce that there won’t be any Doubt It Publishing Author Of The Year this year because, truth be told, I put all of my eggs in two or three baskets.  Not one, but three promising manuscripts passed my desk that held promise.  One had potential but it wasn’t polished enough.  Another had stellar character development but the author’s needs and requests were unreasonable.  The final project was perfect but the person behind the collection couldn’t commit.

I’ve spent the last ten years interviewing writers to find out what works and what doesn’t.  What behaviors succeed, what personality traits work and which ones don’t.  In the same sense, I’ve spent a lifetime learning what it means to run a successful publishing business.  Many schools in the music business open their doors to anyone willing to collect a paycheck and find themselves on the verge of bankruptcy within a few years.  Other ventures weed out new creative endeavors after a short time and turn to subsidy publishing, choosing only to publish and copyright their own work.

Doubt It Publishing is an ideal.  A publishing house that was built to foster new, subversive and talented Buffalo authors and save them from the pitfalls and aggravations that I’ve gone through for the last ten years.  This won’t be a vanity house and it won’t be a catch-all for any author coming down the pike.  It has to be an imprint that welcomes those of you promising enough to make the cut who are willing to put as much work into promoting your book as you did writing it.

2012 is a wash.  The Doubt It Publishing docket for this year has failed.  So we grow, evolve and adapt.  Here’s the decision moving forward: The Call For Submissions will be year round from here on out.  As the Publisher and Editor In Chief, I will no longer depend on any one writer or any one manuscript.  There will no longer be a six month reading period.  If you have a promising work and you want to publish and promote it next year, I want to work with you.  The business model remains.  I’m still looking for one book to work with, but I’m swinging the submission gates wide open.

Tell me what you’ve been working on, Buffalo.  You’ve got all year to do it, and every year from here on out.

Please send your sample chapters, query letters or entire manuscripts to: bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com

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Commence Mockery in 3, 2…

March 31, 2011

Starting tomorrow, I’ll be embarking on a three month promotional junket for Mockery, what may be my final essay collection.  After a short break to allow ample time to focus on Mark McElligott’s Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind, we’re taking our act on the road to Alfred, Rochester and parts unknown.  I feel strangely peaceful about the upcoming launch and subsequent events.  Two interviews hit Buffalo this week with Metro Source Lancaster and the Lancaster, Depew, Cheektowaga and Clarence Bees.  To read Jennifer Lysiak’s interview,

 

click here: http://www.metrowny.com/news/900-442-Waters_releases_ninth_book_April_1.html

 

For an excerpt of Jolene Zanghi’s interview,

click here:  http://www.clarencebee.com/news/2011-03-30/Lifestyles/Making_a_Mockery_of_pop_culture_human_behavior.html

 

The full Bee interview will be available in four weeks.  In the mean time, you can pick it up on stands throughout Western New York.  Night Life magazine is also running some additional press about the impending launch this week.  A big thank you goes out to Jennifer and Jolene for taking the time to sit down with me at Dee’s to talk about the book, the promotional events and what I’ve got planned for the future.

Tomorrow is the official launch for the book at Dee’s Firehouse on 4628 Broadway in Depew at 7 p.m. with special musical guests One Hot Minute.  If you’ve been to a reading before, then you know how wacky and unpredictable each one can be compared to the next.  If you haven’t, then I look forward to winning the rest of you over.  I’m going to try to read something different at every event so that if you come to more than one you’ll be appropriately entertained.  In addition to having a limited amount of First Edition copies on deck for sale ($15), these are the other books I’ll have on hand:

-If They Can’t Take A Joke (HC) $20

-Breathing Room Volume I and II (Trade Paperback) $15 each

Voices From The Herd: An Anthology For Buffalo, NY (Trade Paperback) $13

 

I plan on stocking Slapstick & Superego at other upcoming events but I wanted to make sure I had a decent stockpile of Mockery to start off with.

Throughout April I’ll be contacting more of the local press and setting up more radio interviews on the FM dial.  Please help me to make this launch (and the subsequent readings) events to remember.  The turnout we’re expecting so far sounds excellent. As we transition from my book to Mark’s, I hope that you’ll give him the same level of attendance and laughter that you’d give me.  For those of you willing to take a chance on a new author, you’ll find Mark’s collection to be every bit as funny as anything I could come up with.

Thanks for all your support and encouragement over the years.  A huge thanks goes to Dee, Kathy and the rest of the madding crew at Dee’s Firehouse for making tomorrow’s launch such an easy venue to schedule and for buying multiple copies of the new book in one fell swoop.  Thanks are also in order to Brian Platter (Six Shot Studios) for the great promotional flier and to One Hot Minute for performing tomorrow night.  There are some great shows lined up for the spring and summer.  I can’t wait to see you there!

 

Sincerely,

Tom Waters

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Voices From The Herd Reading Booked For Monday, December 6th@Desiderio’s!

November 9, 2010
     I’m overjoyed to announce that the writers, poets and talents behind Voices From The Herd: An Anthology For Buffalo, NY will be reading and signing copies of the book at Desiderio’s On Broadway (5827 Broadway Avenue on the corner of Broadway and Bowen) on the dinner theater stage on Monday, December 6th at 6:30 p.m.  We realize that the holiday season is a busy time for everyone, which is why we planned the event early in the month before things get too hectic.
     This is a great opportunity to enjoy a wonderful evening of free entertainment in a fine dining atmosphere, support local arts, contribute to a great cause, buy a reasonably priced book for Buffalo readers and expatriates and help out the Just Buffalo Literary Center all in the same night!  Copies of the book will be available for sale ($13) throughout the event, but supplies will be limited.  We strongly encourage you to buy a copy ahead of time through lulu.com.  Royalties are sent out directly and quarterly to Just Buffalo and so far the book has raised almost $300 for the organization. 
I’ll be recording the event for podcast inclusion for my show on thinktwiceradio.com and we’ll announce attending artists as the date approaches.  In the four years that I’ve lived in Lancaster, Desiderio’s has become a second home to me in addition to my first choice for all of my book launches.  Desiderio’s has earned a reputation for excellence at multiple locations for their exceptional food, personalized service, comfortable atmosphere and unique entertainment.       
In addition to the Voices From The Herd live reading, they’re launching ‘My Three Angels’, a play by Sam and Bella Spewak from Dec.4th through January 30th. It’s the story of three convicts who come to the aid of a good family in need. Call early to book a reservation at 683-7767. Dinner/show packages range from $36-46 depending on your entree. Thurs, Fri, Saturday dinner is 6 p.m. (Show is 8 p.m.). Sunday Dinner is 5 p.m. and Show is 7 p.m.
Desiderio’s has also announced Tom Sartori’s Holiday Caberet on December 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th. Ring in the holidays with a Buffalo native who became a singer, songwriter and recording artist who went on to play all over the country. Tom returns to Buffalo in December to perform the songs of the season with many of the Holiday Tunes you’ve come to love over the years. You’ll definitely leave Desiderio’s with the Joy of the season in your heart.
I truly can’t wait for the Voices From The Herd event on the 6th.  In a season of giving, we’re looking forward to giving you great entertainment while we all give something back to the Just Buffalo Literary Center.
Happy Holidays (in advance),
Tom Waters
Co-Editor

Voices From The Herd

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Mockery Alert

October 21, 2010

Wandering away momentarily from the Buffalo Arts Council scandal, I’d like to talk about my next book.  Code named ‘Mockery’, I’m planning on throwing a curve ball right past home base.  So to speak.

With three years of new material in the can and nine books (including the Voices From The Herd anthology), I’m in no hurry to release or promote something new.  Unless it’s something special. 

The idea hit me like a ton of bricks and after doing a million promotions, in-store appearances and readings over the last ten years, it was time for a change.  I thought about what I enjoyed reading, what made sense and honestly (after both Breathing Rooms), how the content naturally fit.  It’s time for a book devoted to what I do best: comedy.

Over the course of a weekend, I took about 300 pages of essays and picked out my favorites.  The lean, mean beasts of the pack.  Out of all of the available material, I harvested 130 choice pages of concentrated hilarity and lined them up to mirror the pacing, timing and structure of a standup comedy routine, with light laughs and superficial material at the beginning leading in to the crux of my angst and closing out with a strong, steady finish that brings it all back around. 

I’m a slow learner.  We’ve been over this.  But personally, as a reader, I’ve always enjoyed reading essay collections that top out at around 130 pages.  I love Andy Rooney, but he runs too long for his own good.  The funniest book I’ve ever read (or in all likelihood, will ever read) is Steve Martin’s Pure Drivel, which closes out at 130 tight, well constructed pages.  It’s high time to follow the path that Hemingway and Fitzgerald carved out.  Less is more, and economy of line packs more of a wallop than a whopper of a book in weight.

The material I’ve chosen has a flow that’s refreshing compared to my previous collections.  I’m very excited, and it’s been a long time since I’ve gotten worked up over my own work.  With a new direction and a vastly evolved battle plan, I’ve got a fresh start.  I’ll be hammering out a lower price point, too, which will attract a larger base of readers.

Slapstick & Superego was a beautiful project and a great book, and I’m proud of the material, the appearance and the layout.  I jumped ship on the promotions though simply because I was exhausted from promoting.  With Mockery, I feel energized because everything feels new again, so Slapstick will get the readings and signings it deserved right alongside Mockery

I’m proud to note that graphic designer Evangeline Barbour is heading up the cover design and interior of the book.  We’ve got a very specific look for this book that appeal to my vintage graphic novel sensibilities.  Fan favorite Mike Hilliard (better known as Intentionally Bald Mike) will be penning the intro.  I’m also in the midst of discussions with web/graphic designer Brian Platter (Six Shot Studios) for a brand new web site due out before or at the same time as the book launch that wows, informs and titillates.

            The sad news is that you’re just going to have to be patient for the new book, as I’m taking my time with this one.  Tentatively slated for a spring of ’11 release, I’m going to make sure this baby is perfect before we deliver it to the rest of the world.  Trust me when I say it’ll be worth the wait.  Throw your preconceived expectations out the window and strap yourself in for a reading experience that’ll make you laugh yourself into a brain aneurysm.  I’m not even kidding.         

Stay tuned,

Tom Waters

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Voices From The Herd Reading Booked For Friday, November 5th! Mark Your Calendars!

October 5, 2010

Hey all,
     Justine and Cindy have booked a reading on Friday, November 5th at 7:30 p.m. at Spot Coffee on the corner of Delaware and Chippewa for the first of many promotions for Voices From The Herd.  If you are a contributor and you would like to read and/or attend, please JOIN the discussion on the official group page and state your intentions.  They’ve asked me to message all of you so that we can reach as many members as possible.  If you aren’t a contributor and you’re interested in attending so that you can support Just Buffalo and the project by buying a copy of the book and having it signed by the contributors, please join the discussion on the group page and let us know about that, too.   We’d like to have a ballpark idea of how many copies to bring to Spot so that we don’t sell out before we meet demand.
     And finally, if anyone is willing to loan PA equipment for the event, we’re looking for a microphone, a mic stand and some speakers/equalizers for the event.  Please remember that this is a non-profit publicity junket, so any help would be appreciated. 
     Thank you in advance for your interest in Voices From The Herd and we hope to see you there!
Tom Waters
Co-Editor

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