Selling Shovels to the Miners

This post is a compilation of some of the publishing and self-publishing resources I’ve found helpful. But before we get into that, let me begin with a cautionary tale. During the California Gold Rush, few prospectors actually struck it rich. Most of the money was made by people who sold shovels (and blue jeans, tents, pickaxes, etc.) to the prospectors. The prospectors were willing to risk everything for the opportunity to get rich…

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Plan D

I started college in the fall of 1969 as an engineering student at Cornell University. Most of the people in my life saw this as a threshold experience, a first substantive step toward a career as a NASA engineer. I wasn’t so sure. As it turned out, 1969 was a threshold year, but not in the way I’d expected. Instead of taking that next step toward NASA, I ventured out of my familiar…

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Publishing 101

Traditional, Self-Published, or Hybrid? One of the topics I’ll be writing about here is publishing, and within that field, book publishing. Consider this to be a broad overview — the 30,000’ view — of the basic options. I’ll drill down into each of these areas in future posts. If you have a book you are writing or have written, one of the most important decisions to make is whether to seek out a…

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The best laid plans …

What do we do when our best laid plans go awry? I’m in the process of finding out. In the run-up to closing my psychotherapy practiced, I had a clear plan for how I would spend my time in “retirement.” I’ve had a taste of doing workshops in distant cities, and I wanted more of that. I would apply to conferences around the world, and several times a year present what I’d gleaned…

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Freewriting

In high school, I was taught to write using the following method: 1) determine your topic and the main points you want to make, 2) outline the steps needed to make those points, 3) research the subject so you can prove those points, 4) flesh out the outline, and 5) revise and edit as needed. Although most of the time this method worked for school papers, it always came at a cost. I was…

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New Directions

First, thanks to those of you who subscribed to my new Transformations Press email list. (If you’re not subscribed, you can sign up here: http://subscribepage.io/transformationspress) Now, a quick question, one similar to what I often asked therapy clients the first time we meet: What brings you here? I intend the Transformations Press email list and the corresponding Facebook page to cover writing, photography, art, and self-publishing, and I have my own ideas of…

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Two Roads Diverged…

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both….” I suspect Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” is still taught in high schools, and that it still both puzzles and inspires its readers. I encountered the poem as a junior or senior, when the roads before me seemed not just dual, but nearly infinite. The poem resonated then, and it resonates even now because we are still, daily,…

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Time Machine

When I was a boy, one of my favorite books was H.G. Wells’ 1895 novel The Time Machine, in which an inventor from the present journeys to the far-distant future to find a world inhabited by a divided humanity, with the child-like Eloi dwelling on the surface and the Morlocks underground. It would be years before I would understand the novel’s commentary on class structure, but even at 10 or 11, I found…

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Caption Contest(s)

Since 2005, The New Yorker magazine has been running a caption contest. Every week, they post one of their iconic cartoons with no caption. They invite readers to submit caption ideas, then select the top three and allow readers to vote for the final caption. Some of my Street People pictures, it turns out, have a similar potential. How do I know this? Lately, I’ve been posting images from my Street People books on…

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$ SAVE $ SAVE $ SAVE

We interrupt this broadcast for the following special announcement For the next few days, I’m discounting the eBook version of Street People: Invisible New York Made Visible to $0.99.* Yes folks, $0.99! You, too, can be the proud owner of this strikingly illustrated account of 1970s New York City street life for just one cent less than a dollar! That’s $5 off the regular price of the eBook (still a bargain at $5.99)…

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Covered

When it comes to people, it’s usually bad form to metaphorically “judge a book by its cover.” But in the realm of actual books, it’s the norm. As I believe it should be. An effective book cover signals many aspects of the book itself: the professionalism of the author and publisher, the genre, and the essence of what’s inside. The cover accomplishes all this through title and subtitle, typographical choices, imagery, background colors…

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Take a Walk on the Wild Side

In 1974, a year out of college, I landed in Manhattan. Five years later, I left. From the vantage point of my current age, 71, five years seems like a fleeting interval. But looking back, I see that these particular five were among the most formative in my life. While I worked an assortment of jobs, I roamed the streets with two cameras, a tape recorder, and a notebook, capturing what I saw…

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Pivots

Over the years, I’ve pivoted many times. Maybe you have, too. Most likely something in your life, large or small, reflected the new you. You remodeled your house. You grew a beard — or shaved one off. When your kids went off to college, you moved to a new locale. In the fifteen years I’ve been writing it, this blog / list has reflected my own life pivots. Fasten your seatbelts. It’s about to…

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Maison Cristina: a novel

A man of words. A deeply wounded woman. Will the story they tell together end in tragedy or redemption? As some of you may know, for the past few years I’ve been publishing the novels and story collections of my writing mentor, Eugene K. Garber. Today, October 30, 2021, Gene’s long-awaited seventh book, Maison Cristina, is live. To find out more about Gene’s work, visit his website at eugenegarber.com or his Amazon book…

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Work/Life Imbalance, Part II

Step 2. Assess the Situation In two previous posts (here and here), I laid out the basic theory of the Art of Balance system. But theory is of no use without practice. This is the second of a series of posts that steps through the six stages of recovering and maintaining balance through the example of a common UnBalancer: Work/Life Imbalance Balancer takes a time out. To minimize further damage, Balancer stops what we’re doing…

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Work/Life Imbalance, Part I

In my last two posts, I laid out the basic theory of the Art of Balance system. But theory is of no use without practice. In the next several posts, let’s step through the six stages of recovering and maintaining balance through the example of a common UnBalancer. Work/Life Imbalance 1. Detect. Balancer notices when we’re starting to tip or have gone down for the count. Let’s say that recently, there’s been a…

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How to Triumph Over the Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune, Part II

In the last post, I talked about the six steps people go through as they work through a significant life issue: Detect, Assess, Plan, Restore, Integrate, Monitor/Maintain. Think of these steps as the plot of the Battle for Balance story, an epic struggle in the age-old tradition of the Hero’s Journey. Hero’s Journey stories, whether they are mythological epics like the Odyssey or contemporary ones like Star Wars, all have a similar structure.…

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How to Triumph Over the Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune

To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them?  – Hamlet,  Act III, Scene I In my work with clients over the past two decades, I’ve learned a thing or three about how to help people “take arms” against whatever “sea of troubles”…

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Art of Balance Basic Training: Your Gift!

And now (drum roll) . . . The Art of Balance Basic Training course is live, and your enrollment in it is free! Thanks for hanging in with me, loyal readers. If you’ve watched the YouTube videos, you’ve already seen part of the course, but now you can get lifetime access at no cost. You can sign up here: Art of Balance Basic Training: Stay Sane in an Insane WorldArt of Balance Basic…

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What Brings You Here Today?

One of the classic questions therapists are taught to ask clients, when they show up for their first session, is “What brings you here today?” I’ve asked this question thousands of time over the course of my career, and not only during first sessions. This question is useful any time during the coaching or counseling process because it prompts people to check in with themselves and see how to use the session to…

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