Category Archives: Publishing

William Langewiesche: This Is the Golden Age of Nonfiction

In an interview published this morning in the San Francisco Chronicle Magazine, the acclaimed Bay Area authorjournalist and correspondent for Vanity Fair says right now is the golden age of nonfiction. “This is where the real writing is going on,” he tells writer Dorsey Kindler. “There are very few good novels being written. But there is quite a bit of good nonfiction being written. It’s where the boundaries are being pushed.”

Read the complete interview with William Langewiesche by clicking here:

Ed Robertson

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Filed under Entries by Ed Robertson, In the News, Nonficition, Publishing, Writing

Author shows how popular TV can inform as well as entertain

My friend Herbie J Pilato, whose book Bewitched Forever is one of the best in the genre, has two new books out this month: The Bionic Book: The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman Reconstructed, a comprehensive behind-the-scenes history of those two iconic shows (just in time for the new Bionic Woman series on NBC) and Life Story: The Book of Life Goes On, an insightful look at Life Goes On, the first prime time network series to portray issues of adolescence, family values, diversity, prejudice, and physical and mental disabilities in a honest, realistic way. One of the things I love about Herbie’s work is that he takes the discussion of network television to a whole new level. Besides giving us a sense of the time in which shows like Bewitched and the Bionic shows were originally made, they also explore the various social issues that are reflected in these and other popular television shows.“The Bionic and Life Goes On books both expand upon the theme of my previous TV tomes: prejudice,” Herbie explains. “As Samantha was a witch in a mortal world, Steve Austin and Jaime Sommers felt isolated from society as well: they were half-human, half-machine. And Corky and Jesse on Life Goes On were also outside the ‘norm’ of society’s standards. Corky had Down syndrome and Jesse was first diagnosed as HIV-positive and then with full-blown AIDS.The TV themes thread that run through all of my books also have to do with strong family ties, a solid work ethic and true inner power, however we may name it: confidence, compassion, grace, joy and, of course, love. All of those things are stronger than Samantha’s twitch or any number of Steve and Jaime’s various special powers.”Television can inform as well as entertain. That’s not only the key message behind all of Herbie’s titles (his other books include

The Kung Fu Book of Caine), it’s also the focus of his TV and Self-Esteem Seminars, a lecture series he offers to schools, colleges and community and business organizations across the country. It’s a program that strives to bridge the gap between popular culture and academia. “Popular television programs,” says Herbie, “are an untapped resource for education – beyond PBS and The Learning Channel.” Shows like Bewitched, I Love Lucy, All in the Family, Star Trek, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and others can all “teach us to look beyond our differences and to concentrate on what makes us the same.”We talked to Herbie about his books, his seminars and much, much more on last week’s edition of Talking Television with Dave White. If you missed the conversation, click on the link and listen to the archive. You’ll never think of television quite the same again.

Ed Robertson

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Publishing Ordeals

The business of publishing a book is not an easy one but one you can be proud of if you learn to do it yourself. Today more and more writers are publishing their own work and succeeding at it. It helps them to know what it takes to produce, publish and promote.

For the last six months I’ve been preparing my next book for publication. It takes time not only because I have to invest in it financially but the details like editing and formatting takes time. I’m not rushing to get my book on the market until it’s perfect (or at least I’ll try) there are always little typos and minor mistakes that you find after the book is published. For some reason you read it so many time that you don’t really see the all the errors, that’s why this time I’m taking breaks in between revisions in order to relax my mind and then right back to the manuscript and keep cleaning it up.

I’ve been able, through various social networks, to find a lot of professionals who facilitate the necessary services needed to produce a high quality book and promotional materials. Since I handle all the marketing as well I’ll be providing the resources on my marketing site, Guerrilla Marketers’s Cafe, to those interested. The site will be going through a transformation in the next 4-6 months, so please check on it and visit it regularly to find out what we’ll have to offer.

In the meantime is time to get back to revising the manuscript and making it the best I can for my readers.

Next time you pick a book on your hands think of the many hours, days, months and years that took to get it to that level and into print so that you could enjoy it for a few days. Be kind to your books and when you are done either rate it high enough to add it to your bookshelves or pass it on to someone who could truly appreciate it.

Curl up in bed with a book, I do every night.

Happy reading.

Clary Lopez, author
Simplicity – Richness of Life

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Writers’ Characters Build Character

From Linda’s Opinion & Pondering Page:

There was a time when the notion of offering Character Education in our schools was opposed because so many people believed core ethical values, forming the foundation of an individual’s character, were developed in the home. I think we’re all leaning the same way on that now. We’ve realized the full responsibility and importance of developing good character can not be left to question. The school system has taken on a huge role in grooming the pillars of character; trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship, but I’ve learned through personal experience that a single library book, filled with life lessons, has the opportunity to influence and live closer to an individual, no matter the age, locale, ethnicity, or economic status, than a structured learning environment. Of course, that’s assuming “Johnny or Bonnie can read,” which is another issue to be discussed at a later date. Don’t get me wrong. I thoroughly enjoyed school; secondary, college, as well as, post grad work, but I can honestly say I learned more about life and how to continually groom who I wanted to be and became through the independent books I’ve toted around and read than any class I ever attended. Although I never ran away to join the circus like Toby did, situations characters found themselves in, be it a fictional or a nonfiction write, were puzzles to solve. How the characters involved handled precarious situations were lessons learned whether I chose to adopt or dismiss their methods. Not all lessons are the “do’s” in life. Ralph Waldo Emerson had lots to say about character, but the statement that sticks with me and probably the one most remembered by others is “What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matter compared to what lies within us.” And what character lies within us is grown and developed by those we come to know in reality or fiction while experiencing our gift of life. I feel a huge responsibility toward my readership when developing characters because I recognize people change when they read. Although I have authored numerous articles, short stories and a novel, I have this need to ping back and forth, between writer and educator. I’ve often wondered if abandoning educator would make me a better writer, but I’m not sure it’s possible to stifle the teacher in me. The call to educate might be too great. Someone once wrote “Character is what you are in the dark.” I believe that too. Honesty should happen whether anyone is watching or not. Values that denote individuals of good character have been roughed up over the years, some even abandoned, so it seems people have to be encouraged to differentiate between what’s good and what’s bad. But writing has definitely changed; evolved in many ways and not always in the best direction in my opinion. On occasion, I read a book where the lead character champions less than honest, less than kind, less than respectful, less than good all around and can still be perceived as coming out on top, based on new and lacking standards. I find that troublesome because those who are teetering or easily influenced, especially a young mind whose character is still developing, may adopt the darker dispositions of life because they have been glorified or celebrated in a published work. When I build my characters, it becomes a requisite for me to leave the light on for everyone who picks up a Bergman-Althouse story. Is that wrong? Is it limiting? Or, is it responsible writing? Or does it even matter?

Linda Bergman-Althouse

author of “Save Them All

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Calling All Authors

Hi, all…

I hope everyone’s having a great weekend.

Wanted to let you all know that I will be the guest on the Tuesday, Oct. 2 edition of Calling All Authors, a weekly radio show for authors, writers and readers in general that is heard exclusively on Global Talk Hosted by Valerie Connelly, Calling All Authors discusses issues and concerns that affect books and their creation from beginning to end. The conversation is always lively, interesting and entertaining. I hope you’ll tune in.

Calling All Authors airs Tuesday at 5pm ET, 2pm PT on Global Talk Valerie and I will talking about the career of James Garner, and again I hope you’ll join us.

Ed Robertson

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To Self-Publish or Not To Self-Publish

The debate still rages on the viability of self-publishing through POD (print-on-demand) outfits.

I recently weighed in on the topic.  Also of special note to those who have used iUniverse specifically, I discuss a fellow author who provides wonderful, in depth reviews of iUniverse titles and recently featured my novel, The Thief Maker. 

See Below:


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Some more kind words about Thirty Years of The Rockford Files

My thanks to Steven Thompson for this review:

and to Blogging Authors for this review, which was picked up by a number of sites, including USA Today:

Ed Robertson

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