Posts Tagged ‘ny’

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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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Something Borrowed, Something New

October 21, 2011

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

To say that the last four years have been interesting would be an understatement.  Fate has guided my career as a writer in directions I could never fathom.  After making more money on two poetry books than I expected (which is why I published them myself), I decided to found my own publishing company (Doubt It Publishing).  After that (with the help of co-editor’s Cindy Mantai and Alycia Ripley), we released Voices From The Herd, a non-profit anthology about Buffalo with all of the proceeds being deposited directly to The Just Buffalo Literary Center.  After that, it seemed like a natural step to publish one new author a year, so fate guided my hand again and introduced me to Mark McElligott, a 50 year old cartoonist whose writing was among the funniest I’ve ever read.  Around the same time, I wrote my autobiography (which isn’t coming out until next year).

What has all of this taught me after ten years of freelancing, writing, marketing and publishing?  To follow your hunches and stay out of your comfort zone.  I had a stray thought a few weeks ago to delve into the history of Rushford, NY.  As half a native (spending my summers there as a child and taking two weeks in the off season for the past ten years), I’ve always loved it there and part of my heart will always belong there.  While I despise history books as a genre and prefer biographies and autobiographies, Rushford is the one subject that I’d be willing to sink my teeth into.

So here’s the web site for it.  This was built out of a hope that some of you will find it and find yourselves willing to loan or email me documents, memoirs or heretofore unseen information about the history of Rushford.  When I used to conduct print interviews for Artvoice, I preferred to research my subject backwards and forwards before I even started typing; Rushford won’t be any different.  Research on the town has already begun, but this is a new genre for me and a much larger topic than a single artist, so any help I can get would be greatly appreciated.

I’m astonished to find that there isn’t much in the way of books in print, web sites or archived data about Rushford.  In Buffalo you can throw a rock and find three books about Niagara Falls, The Appalachian Trail or The Adirondaks.  It’s sad that there aren’t many books in print about such a beautiful man-made place and that alone solidified my decision to start writing this book.  I’ve got a three year window to research and write it.  I’d like to give the history of the area the justice it deserves.

Here’s where you come in.  If you have any out of print books in your possession, newspaper clippings, maps, old photos of the town or oral history about Rushford (that you can back up), please email me at your earliest convenience at:

bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com

This is a very long term project with a lot of hard work ahead for me.  Unlike the autobiography, there won’t be any play by plays, teasers or behind the scenes spoilers before the book is released.  If you live in Rushford, know something about Rushford that no one else knows or if there’s something about the town that you find important to its legacy, please email me.  You have my full attention.

Sincerely,
Tom Waters

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