Thursday, July 17, 2014


This is still another reposting of an entry recently appearing on the Plum Tree Books page on Facebook.

I know that all of the other artists who take part in the discussions on the Plum Tree Books page share with me a common bane. After putting in hours, days, weeks, years to create one of our artworks, we are then faced with the unevadable need to put in many more hours, days, weeks, (gasp, years?) to PROMOTE our work. And given that, for most of us, our promotional budgets are at or near zero, we have to get very creative in our use of the cost-free promotional tools available to us to get our work out there into the hands, eyes, ears of our audiences.

Ultimately, it comes down to this:  to succeed as an independent artist in this day and age, you must be just as creative and innovative in promoting your art as you were in creating that art in the first place.

For many of us, this means we have to develop not just business-oriented skills, but also new artistic skills -- artistry that has little or nothing to do with our original artistic passions, but which must be honed solely in the service of promoting our foundational works.

For me, this means (among other things) creating videos to promote my audiobooks: videos which could be thought of as advertisements, but which stand as works of art unto themselves. I’ve had to get adept at pulling together public domain or creative commons images, giving them a “Ken-Burns-like” pan and zoom treatment to heighten visual interest, sometimes adding a soundtrack that I compose and perform myself, and then marrying all of that together with my original work of art: an excerpt or entire track from one of my audiobooks.

This body of promotional work has now become a YouTube channel in and of itself*. Here’s my latest offering (completed just a few hours ago!), a video created to promote my new audiobook, CLASSIC TALES OF HOPE AND COURAGE -- but hopefully it stands as a worthwhile work of art on its own -- THE WAR PRAYER by Mark Twain...

*You can find (and subscribe to) my YouTube channel here:


This is another reposting of an entry recently appearing on the Plum Tree Books page on Facebook

Join me for a moment in consideration of two wildly divergent literary genres: magical realism (in honor of the very-recently-deceased Gabriel García Márquez) and political science (in stark realization of this Second Guilded Age in which most of us find ourselves). Quite different, no? In fact, we could think of them as almost polar opposites: one sitting out on the extreme, fantastical edges of modern fiction, and the other found firmly and conservatively planted in the potentially drier (perhaps sleep-inducing?) regions of NONfiction.

How does one person, one narrator, approach the creation of audiobooks based upon writings in these two opposing styles? Well, many don't even try. Either by their own choice or by typecasting imposed by others, they stick to a single area, like children's books or mystery/thrillers. But, for whatever reason, my personal constitution always seems to make me a sucker for a challenge.

Rather than bloviate any further in print on this topic, I'll simply let you hear one example of my work from each genre, and let your ears and your sensibilities do their own "contrast and compare" of the two.

The first is from the opening lines of one of my favorite audiobooks, which I completed early last year for the brilliant authors of magical-realism, Amy Krout-Horn and Gabriel Horn: their novel, TRANSCENDENCE.

And the second is an excerpt from a very important work of modern political science, one which focuses on the all-encompassingly-important topic of campaign finance reform (a topic that SHOULD *transcend* political ideologies): Lawrence Lessig’s, ONE WAY FORWARD.