Bookselling

If you liked ARGO, The Man Who Fooled SAVAK is for you

 

If you liked ARGO, you will love The Man Who Fooled SAVAK, a similar story based on true events.

Order your copy at a special publisher’s discount price of $12.99, list is $15.99.

Just click on our Bookstore tab and then click on Fiction.

We decided to reprint this interview with Douglas Roberts about what inspired him to write such a book. The interview was  originally published June 19, 2011.

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Cover for The Man Who Fooled SAVAKWhen Doug Roberts approached us with his manuscript, The Man Who Fooled SAVAK, it was one of those stories that completely engrossed you where you couldn’t put it down until it was finished.

Inspired by true events in the early 1970s, The Man Who Fooled SAVAK captures what it is like to live in a dictatorship with secret police monitoring your every move – an atmosphere of fear that still pervades today in many countries in the Middle East.

What makes Doug’s book so appealing is that what he wrote today about events 40 years ago is still going on today in many parts of the Middle East. And all of these events are carefully woven into a love story that will make you fall in love all over again.

Q. The release of your book coincides rather well with Arab Spring.   When did you start writing it?

A. In the summer of 2008. A woman I’d met on line named Erica Murray was interested in Iran so I started writing to her about it.   I started doing some very preliminary research into the history and politics of Iran in 1971 in order to refresh my memory of things I had experienced when I was in Iran during that time.   The book was completely finished several months before the uprising in Tunisia.

Q. Even though that was 40 years ago, there are many common elements with what is happening across the Arab world.

A. Yes, especially the fear people experience when living under an autocratic regime is something I hope I have captured, and as the book proceeds, the breaking out of that fear.  Perhaps it will give people hope.  Just like in my book, the methods used by various dictatorial regimes to maintain control seem to be taken from a common playbook:  trample a free and independent press, keep the people fooled, use an iron fist to silence dissent, eliminate fair trials, use torture to extract confessions – the list goes on and on.

Q. But when you wrote the book, you weren’t thinking about that.

A. (laughs) True! I don’t have a crystal ball and the Arab Spring was as big a surprise to me as the rest of the world.

Q. Can I ask you about one of the characters in your book?  Was there really a Junior?

A. Yes there was.  I think Junior made the story possible to write.  We really did sell our liquor and cigarette rations to him.   I recently learned from a fellow who served in ARMISH/MAAG just before I arrived that Junior mostly dealt with the domestic workers, the Iranian nationals who worked at the bachelor quarters where we lived.

Q. I’d like to ask you about another character, Mihan Jazani.  She is a historical figure, the wife of the Bijan Jazani who founded one of Iran’s guerilla movements.   It appears that she’s a friend of yours on Facebook.

A. (Blushes)  Um, well yes…so it would appear.   (laughs)  Actually, Mihan Jazani doesn’t like Facebook and never uses it.  The Facebook account was set up for Mihan by her granddaughter, Aida.  Aida and I exchange messages occasionally.

Q. How were you able to remember so much about what happened then?  It was 40 years ago after all.

A. I was assisted in several ways.   I had some writings I had done about Iran when I was in journalism school at Kent State in 1972.  I had a large number of slides that I’d taken when I was there.  Those were crucial in reviving old memories.  A huge help was finding a 1977 map of Tehran on the (now defunct) Tehran American School website.  I was able to use the exact names of places, even street names.  The fellow I’d mentioned earlier who told me about Junior had sent me a copy of the ARMISH/MAAG directory, which was very useful.  Finally, talking to people I worked with at that time was extremely important, namely Heidi Eftekhar and Barry Silver, who are characters in the story.  I obviously couldn’t remember all events specifically, but I found I could generate them as needed by being very specific in my language.  I would take seeds of ideas and extrapolate and grow them into full blown events.   For example, a certain lecherous officer really did say to Heidi, “I think you’re a woman who needs a lot of loving.”   I took that and ran with it.  Last, but also important, the Internet was a valuable tool in researching the historical incidents in the book.

Q. So, where does the novel part come in?

A. Some of the human rights related events are novelized, but they’re very accurate in their portrayal of the times.  I’ll leave historians to figure all that out.   They will have their work cut out for them because I’ve spent a lot of effort weaving the story line into the history of those days.

Q. How close is your character Doug Roberts to the way you actually are?

A. That’s a really good question. (laughs) I had originally intended that Doug the character would be an extreme version of myself.   But after having read my book now over and over, I’ve come to see that what’s extreme are the circumstances he’s in.   Doug the character is a lot like I was back then: ok in the smarts department, and a little too cocky sometimes.  He’s not very romantic or knowledgeable about women, but does all right in spite of himself. (laughs)  There’s an element of male fantasy in the book I suppose. In the story, I have two charming female lunch companions in addition to Fari my Iranian girlfriend/fiancée.

Q. But you really were friends with Heidi Eftekhar your co-worker in the story.

A. I still am.  Heidi and I communicate regularly by email and her input on the book was immensely helpful.  Miss Farou is the fantasy.  She actually didn’t like me all that much. (laughs).

Q. I get the impression you had a lot of fun writing your book.

A. It was pretty trippy for me at times.  I would totally submerse myself in it.  For example, I had written the scene describing how I spent New Year’s Eve in Iran just a couple of weeks after New Year’s Eve in real life.  When someone asked me about how I’d spent my New Years, it shocked me as to how much effort I had to put into pulling up what I’d actually done versus what I’d just written.  That was a little scary.

Q. What do you think people will get out of your book?

A. I’m sure everyone will get a little something different, but what I’d like for people to take from it is that, like in the story, life may present you with some extreme circumstances.  When that happens, keep a level head and your wits about you.  Try to see beyond what appears to be happening on the surface.  There will always be some good things happening at any given moment. Try to focus on that.  To get through your ordeal it’s a good idea to engage all your friends to help you and your faith if you have that.  Most important of all:  never give up.

The Man Who Fooled SAVAK is available as an ebook on Amazon Kindle and in various ereader formats from Smashwords.com

Available in print Feb 2013

Preorder your copy at a special publisher’s discount price of $10.99 plus 4.99 shipping & handling – $15.98 or $5 off list price.
Send an email to info@outerbankspublishing.com with your name, address, phone number and email address.
List Price: $15.99
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
376 pages

Outer Banks Publishing Group
ISBN-13: 978-0982993125
ISBN-10: 0982993129
BISAC: Fiction / Espionage

Snapshots of a Successful Book Launch

Martin Brossman and Anora McGaha know how to launch a book. Over 50 people attended the event on Aug. 4 celebrating the launch of Social Media for Business, a comprehensive anthology focused on small business and the power of social media. More than 35 books were sold with some guests buying two and three copies. The launch was held at the Center for Excellence, a training and speaker center in North Raleigh, NC.

Social Media for Business is available on Amazon and fine bookstores everywhere.

For more information about Social Media for Business, visit the book web site.

Social Media Book Introduces Small Business to Successful Internet Marketing to Help Revive Economy

Social Media for Business, Martin Brossman, Anora McGahaRALEIGH, NC – Martin Brossman and Anora McGaha, co-authors of Social Media for Business, an Outer Banks Publishing Group book, held a “book launch”  on Thursday, August 4 at The Center for Excellence on Six Forks Road South in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Celebrating Mr. Brossman’s third social media book, and Ms. McGaha’s first book, the authors offered door prizes at the event including a social media consultation by Martin Brossman & Associates and a Kindle ebook reader. Catering for the event was by Catering by Design.

Mr. Brossman’s first book on social media, Brossman’s Social Media and Online Resource Directory for Business, had a North Carolina focus. Mr. Brossman said he received overwhelming feedback from his readers to produce a national, more comprehensive version that would cover the entire spectrum of social media and its use in business.

For Social Media for Business, Mr. Brossman partnered with Ms. McGaha, a social media manager and Internet researcher, to write and edit the book. They included chapters from twenty contributors to deepen the coverage and expertise, covering audio and video, mobile, Facebook and LinkedIn ads, articles, press releases in addition to dozens of other topics.

Social Media for Business includes a section on perspectives about social media and Internet marketing with a rich collection of articles; a large central section on the building blocks of social media and the Internet; and a substantial section on online marketing through social media. Visit the Social Media for Business web site for more information.

Social Media for Business is particularly valuable for the micro-business and solo professional, as well as small businesses with under 25 employees because it was written by micro-business and solo professionals who bring their own fresh experience and research,” said Ms. McGaha. “Readers will learn about building, establishing and maintaining a strong, genuine, appropriate multi-dimensional presence for their business on social media and other Internet channels.”

Mr. Brossman, who has been using and teaching LinkedIn since 2006, and is the leading trainer of social media and business success for small businesses in North Carolina, brings fascinating insight and perspectives to the book.
Social Media for Business!, Martin Brossman, Anora McGaha
Mr. Brossman’s second social media book, Linking Into Sales, was written with fellow LinkedIn expert and community builder Greg Hyer, to show readers how to use LinkedIn to increase sales.

“My personal and professional mission is to help individuals live lives so meaningful it moves them and others to tears,” Mr. Brossman said. “Extending out from that, it is to help micro-business thrive for a grassroots rebuilding of the American economy. This book sets out to give a solid and motivating push for small businesses to use social media and online marketing to be successful in business.”

The audience for Social Media for Business is both the newcomer to social media and online marketing, as well as the experienced practitioner. “Each reader will take out different insights based on their experience and needs,” said Ms. McGaha.

“I don’t think there is a single book on the market that covers so expertly every aspect of social media,” said Anthony S. Policastro, Publisher of Outer Banks Publishing Group. “And what makes this book so valuable is that the contributors provided honest and frank viewpoints on their particular expertise based on actual experience. It’s like being in a room with all of them and they are telling me the best practices and techniques to be successful using social media.”

Anora McGaha is a writer and author, with three years of experience in social media management and Internet research. Prior to that her career spanned twenty years in marketing communications and business analysis. She provides training and consulting on Internet publicity, social media and online marketing and is an associate with Martin Brossman & Associates and Carolina Web Consultants, Inc. For more information visit her Linkedin site.

Martin Brossman is a success coach, speaker, trainer, and author specializing in teaching social media and business success to accelerate growth for entrepreneurs and small businesses. He’s the founding director of Martin Brossman & Associates and collaborates with micro-business and solo-professionals in delivering the latest training and services. He is the author of three books on social media; travels and trains frequently; and is a powerful keynote speaker on dozens of relevant topics. An early user of LinkedIn, Brossman has built a meaningful and significant network of his own. For more information see his Linkedin site.

Photos of the event can be seen on the Social Media for Business Facebook page.

Social Media for Business is available directly from the printer at a discount of $16.50.  Use the discount code of “EJUCVT36″ at checkout to get a $6.45 discount off the list price for a sale price of $16.50. The book is also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other fine bookstores.

New Trend Emerging as Traditional Publishers go Digital

 

Congrats to Amanda Hocking for using a traditional publisher to further her writing career.  She did the right thing seeking out a traditional publisher and the reason is clear – she wants to be a writer – not a book marketer, editor, designer and distributor.

This is not a new trend – it has been happening for years.

The caveat here is her content.  She has the content that sells – when she writes, it sells.  She can afford to give away a large piece of her royalties so she can spend more time writing.

So should every self-published author seek out traditional publishers for their work.  Maybe, yes and maybe, no.  Some authors like JA Konrath took the reverse course – he went from traditional publishers to self-publishing because he could get a bigger piece of the publishing pie, especially on his traditionally-published books that went out of print. Even luminary Stephen King experimented with self-publishing a few years back.

A new trend is emerging as traditional publishers go digital.  Currently, a self-published author could get their work in front of more people as an eBook than a printed book.  This is still true, but as more and more traditional publishers go digital, they can offer both – significant eBook exposure as well as print book distribution.  They will take a larger piece of the pie, but if your work is selling well, it is worth going with a traditional publisher.

Here’s the Amanda Hocking story from The New York Times.

A Successful Self-Publishing Author Decides to Try the Traditional Route

By JULIE BOSMAN
Published: March 24, 2011

If any writer proved that modern self-publishing could be a pretty sweet deal, it was Amanda Hocking.

Amanda Hocking, who has self-published nine books.

In the past year Ms. Hocking, a 26-year-old from Minnesota, became an indie heroine in the literary world for publishing nine books that sold a total of more than one million copies, nearly all of them in e-book form, earning almost $2 million for her efforts.

But for Ms. Hocking, self-publishing has had its limits. On Thursday she announced that she had sold a four-book series to St. Martin’s Press, ending a frenzied weeklong auction that involved nearly every major publisher in the business, including Random House, Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins.

St. Martin’s, part of Macmillan, paid more than $2 million for the world English rights to the “Watersong” series, Ms. Hocking’s latest books in the young-adult paranormal genre. >more

A New Trend in Publishing is Emerging




As more and more authors turn to self-publishing, a new trend is emerging that may benefit publishers as well as authors.


Joe Konrath




Successful crime novelist Joe Konrath is probably the author who started this new trend and is the poster child of successful authors moving into the self-publishing realm.


According to an article in The Star-Telegram online written by Alex Pham of The Los Angeles Times,

“Joe Konrath can’t wait for his books to go out of print.


When that happens, the 40-year-old crime novelist plans to reclaim the copyrights from his publisher, Hyperion Books, and self-publish them on Amazon.com, Apple’s iBooks and other online outlets. That way he’ll be able to collect 70 percent of the sale price, compared with the 6 to 18 percent he receives from Hyperion.


As for future novels, Konrath plans to self-publish all of them in digital form without having to leave his house in Schaumburg, Ill.


‘I doubt I’ll ever have another traditional print deal,’ said the author of Whiskey Sour, Bloody Mary and other titles. ‘I can earn more money on my own.’”



Mr. Pham goes on to write, “It’s difficult to gauge just how many authors are dumping their publishing houses to self-publish online, though for now, the overall share remains small. But hardly a month goes by without a well-known writer taking the leap or declaring an intention to do so.”

However, Mr. Konrath is one of the exceptions to successful self-publishing because his fan base was primarily created by the marketing and distribution efforts of traditional publishing houses.

Does that mean an author needs to be published by a traditional publishing house to be successful later in self-publishing?

Not at all.


Mr. Konrath just stood up on his surf board and is about to catch one of  the largest new waves in publishing. He knows where his readers are and how to read them – online where most hang out.

As an aspiring or first-book author who is relatively unknown, you need to market your work to where people seek, read, recommend and review books – in social media: Facebook, Twitter, NING, Linkedin, Foursquare, Goodreads, and all the other social networking sites out there.

There is only one problem. By the time you learn how to effectively market your work on all the social media, you may be in an old-age home especially if you are not so computer savvy. Besides, when would you have time to write another book?

Most authors just want to write. They don’t want to wear six or seven hats and be the marketing guru, the sales superstar or the promotional genius.

This is where publishers can get their own surf board and ride the same wave as Mr. Konrath.  But some are just standing up on their boards, others are knelling and most don’t even see the social media wave.

Publishers can offer social networking services, electronic distribution and all the perks of traditional publishing to authors in digital and electronic form. This is a wave that is coming whether publishers like it or not so the best strategy is to make sure to have a surf board and to look out over the horizon. This publisher is certainly standing on his surf board poised to ride the next giant wave.

May the Best Titan Win!

Google’s entry into the highly competitive ebook market

Google ebooks venture

I am not surprised that Google will launch it’s own electronic book venture called Google Editions. After all, why were they scanning every book ever published into digital form?

The Wall Street Journal and numerous other major publications, blogs and websites reported that Google is now nearing the launch of its massive new ebook venture and they hope to launch this year.

Instead of building another boat to navigate the ebook waters, they are diving into the water and going with the flow. Google says its books will not be tied to one particular device like a Kindle or iPad, but their books will be accessible from any device with an Internet connection.

Google is not running against the current trying to sell their own reading device with its own ebook store. Instead, they are the current ready to sell books to any device, in any format as long as those devices have a connection to the Internet.

And they won’t have just one web site where you have to go to buy their books, they will have unlimited websites paying commissions to anyone who directs traffic to a Google Editions book using the same model as their Google ads.

And some observers think they may have a competitive advantage over the other Titans in the electronic book publishing market.

It will be interesting to see which Titan comes out on top: Amazon, Apple or Google.

Take a look at the video for more – Rex Crum talks with Amir Efrati of the Wall Street Journal about what Google’s entry means for the online book market.

So You Thought E-books were a passing fad?

From Twenty Four Times

Amazon Kindle: Partially Responsible for $1 Billion E-book Sales

by Manisha on November 12, 2010

Market research firm Forrester has estimated e-book sales to touch the 1 billion mark by end 2010 in US and to triple by 2015!

Although only 7% of the 4000 people surveyed by Forrester actually read e-books these few are probably the most important ones reading 41% of their books in the digital form and buying books by the heaps.

In what might be viewed as a pat on the back for Kindle, it has surfaced as the most popular e-reader (32%), followed by Apple iPhone, Sony e-reader and Dell notebook and finishing a close second to the ubiquitous laptop in the Forrester findings.

Doing 66% of their reading in the digital form, Kindle users have emerged as the most avid e-book patriots and as if on a cue Kindle has already announced the flipping of its revenue sharing agreement with its publishers which we covered right here for you.

The findings could be a wake-up call for the tentative publisher yet to decide on whether to go digital with his next publication-the writing seems clear on the wall though-and before paperback becomes old hat it’s time to cash in on the promising prospect of e-books as unveiled by Forrester.

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Barnes and Noble for Sale?

Image representing Barnes & Noble as depicted ...

Image via CrunchBase

When hardcover sales began to dwindle a few years ago, there was talk that Barnes and Noble would either sell or swallow up a major competitor.

The possibility of the sale of B&N comes as a surprise since they recently ramped up their digital book sales by opening an ebook store with more than a million titles and launching the ebook reader, The Nook, the most formidable competitor to the Kindle.

Have any idea who would buy B&N? I would not be surprised if it were Amazon. What do you think?

From Book Business magazine – Aug. 4, 2010



A “for sale” sign may soon be hanging in the window of bookstore giant Barnes & Noble Inc., the company announced today.

According to a press release issued this morning, Barnes & Noble’s Board of Directors “intends to evaluate strategic alternatives, including a possible sale of the company, in order to increase stockholder value. The Board came to this decision based on the price of Barnes & Noble shares in the marketplace, which the Board believes are now significantly undervalued.” >more

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Bookstores are no longer a guarantee of an author’s success

CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 18:  Author Dan Brown's ne...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Some interesting questions from a potential author -

Author: Do I have a better chance going the traditional route (agency, etc), than with Outer Banks Publishing, in order to get the book to the big screen?

Outer Banks: No. The content is what will get you there whether you self-publish, publish with a small publisher or large one. However, there are agents out there who specialize in film placement and they have connections in Hollywood and in the film industry if you can get one to represent you.

Author: Would my book make its way into the main stream bookstores if I went with Outer Banks?

Outer Banks: It would depend on sales and demand. Keep in mind a book is a product like any other product and if people love it, they will demand it and it will sell. People will ask for it in bookstores and the bookstores will have to keep it on their shelves.

Let’s say you landed a major publisher, one of the big 6 in New York. They would place two copies in all the major book stores given the state of book sales today. Two things could happen: it sells and the bookstore orders more copies or it sits there until the 90-day consignment period is over and the bookstore either discounts it or sends it back to the publisher.

With roughly 100,000 books in a given big box bookstore (Borders, Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million) how is your book going to stand out? Having your book in a bookstore does not guarantee sales or exposure anymore. Before the Internet and Amazon, bookstores were the only place to get books. Now most books in print as well as  ebooks are sold online.

The current book selling trend is this: ebooks are outselling printed books. Dan Brown‘s The Lost Symbol, presold more copies as an ebook than print titles.  Bookstores are ultimately forced to stock less.

But don’t fear, bookstores will always be around just like the printed book, but they may be a lot smaller. If they want to stay large, they will have to reinvent themselves, perhaps into a literary center where authors, writers, and readers can meet and have open discussions, debates or writing sessions.

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