Â Â Â The Girls of CincinnatiÂ Sometimes it pays to get out of bed in the morning. THIS morning, there it was, Amazon's "Look Inside This Book" feature for "The Girls of Cincinnati." The book was published not even a month ago by Amazon (through its createspace subsidiary) but it takes some time to get that sneak-peek feature up and running, but here it was and here it is, something of a thrill for a writer and maybe (hopefully) for a reader.
I don't mean to do any sucking-up, but I do so appreciate this quick, professional work. Where - reading and writing fans - would we be without Amazon?
Amazon came along just when writing and reading were dying. Book stores were closing and writers who were not Dan Brown had no shot.
Oh - yes, some call it Print on Demand. I don't. I call it Bypass Literature. This lets writers bypass the snobs who pay Hillary Clinton Eight Million Dollars for a "book" of nonsense. Some bad books get published POD but here's a secret - plenty bad books get published by so-called conventional publishers. Plenty good books get self-published, beginning with Walt Whitman.
The most famous small book of all time - Strunk and White's "Elements of Style" - was first self-published by William Strunk, Jr.
We will never know how many great books never got published due to the clubby, chummy, clueless world of (conventional) editors and publishers.
I seldom get past page 12 of their Genius of the Month.
John W. Cassell is self-published by Inkwater, and if it gets any better than Cassell, let me know.
Books (by conventional publishers) are not written anymore. They're marketed. They're packaged for sales like Viagra and serve the same purpose.
Why, you ask, would a novelist who produced an international bestselling novel - "Indecent Proposal" - go this bypass route? I could give a hundred reasons.
Mainly, though, I got fed up with editorial water-boarding.
Most editors, over there at those big-time publishing houses, operate through an agenda. You're in or you're out. I'd rather be out.
I finally accept the proposition that I know as much as they do, when it comes to writing - and they know who they are, or rather who they were, since so many conventional publishers are suddenly out of business, their editors out in the cold. Sorry to say this but I'll say it anyway - poetic justice. (Talk about rejection!) We who go it alone, we sing of ourselves as Whitman did. We tolerate no interference from middle parties whose judgments are pre-judged, arbitrary, prejudiced, small-minded and sometimes even corrupt.Â
If you can read Dan Brown from beginning to end, or if vampires are your game, "The Girls of Cincinnati" probably won't do it for you. But if you care for hot love, mixed with thrills and suspense, "Girls" may be the read you need. Personally, I think it is just as good as "Indecent Proposal," which sold about three million copies worldwide and was later turned into that Paramount movie starring Robert Redford and Demi Moore.
"The Girls Of Cincinnati" is the first novel I ever wrote and this includes all the innocence and all the missed chances and all the heartbreak of youth.
It's a Coming of Age saga, though I doubt that we ever come of age.
That's how writers are blessed. Every book is a new beginning. We're young again.
We ask that our readers join us in this great adventure, the greatest discovery of all - the discovery of ourselves.Â Â Â
Novelist Jack Engelhard is the author of "Indecent Proposal" and "The Bathsheba Deadline" and "The Days of the Bitter End." His latest novel, "The Girls of Cincinnati," is now available on Amazon. He can be reached at www.jackengelhard.com