Two podcasts and an invitation to judge

By on June 29th, 2013
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I was interviewed about The Kickstarter Letters as part of the summer podcast at WordPlaySounds. I read the first letter from my collection. Play it here.

My publisher, Jason Pettus of CCLaP, interviewed me about many topics including Death by Zamboni, A Greater Monster, The Kickstarter Letters, the Chicago lit scene, self-publishing, and more. You can hear it here.

Also, I have been invited to be a finalist judge for the Chicago Writer’s Association Book of the Year writing contest.


Podcast mania

By on June 29th, 2013
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The Kickstarter LettersJust a brief post today to call out two podcasts. I was interviewed for about 15 minutes about The Kickstarter Letters as part of the summer podcast at WordPlaySounds. I’m the first one in the session, and I read the first letter from my collection. Sounds quite nice, I think. Play it here. This interview was arranged for me by Lori Hettler, the publicist for the Chicago Center for Literature & Photography (CCLaP). Thank you, Lori!

My publisher, Jason Pettus of CCLaP, also had an hour long rambling conversation with me that covered bits about Death by Zamboni, A Greater Monster, The Kickstarter Letters, the Chicago lit scene, self-publishing, and more. You can hear it here.

Oh, here’s a tidbit of news, which was quite a pleasant surprise. I received an email from a Board Member of the Chicago Writer’s Association. (Check out their blog here: http://windycitywriters.com/) They have an annual Book of the Year writing contest, and she invited me to be a finalist judge of the competition. She said that she reached out to me because she had read A Greater Monster and thought it was “pretty awesome” and “such a good read!”

If you’d like to pick up the beautiful hardback edition of The Kickstarter Letters, it’s available at bit.ly/THEKICK. Or the ebook is “pay what you want” at the same location. Lastly, if any of you would like to follow me on Facebook, the page is facebook.com/DavidDavidKatzman. I primarily post pictures of street art and pop surrealists that interest me.


The Kickstarter Letters

By on October 27th, 2012
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The Kickstarter Letters by David David Katzman

This week I launched my third book on Kickstarter. This one is a truly collaborative effort with Jason Pettus, owner and editor-in-chief of the Chicago Center for Literature & Photography (CCLaP) and Mike Wilgus, designer extraordinaire.

I launched A Greater Monster with a Kickstarter project that can still be viewed here: http://kck.st/daviddavid As a reward for all my contributors, I wrote each person a stream-of-consciousness email or a handwritten letter (at higher contribution levels) inspired by their name or a suggestion they wishes to make. I wrote 125 letters, and I spent anywhere from one to four hours on each one. So, roughly 300 hours of work! It was quite a task, but it was enjoyable as well.

I came up with the idea to select the fifty most interesting and unusual letters and publish them as a collection. Jason loved the idea and wanted to release it through CCLaP. What made me so excited about this is that Jason hand binds each hardback edition. All of Jason’s author’s books are beautifully handmade.

Mike was my book designer and cover artist for A Greater Monster. He came onboard to do the amazing cover art and 20 interior illustrations, four in color and 16 in black & white. I’m so happy with how the book came out. And I believe the letters will be entertaining even for those who don’t know me at all.

For my Kickstarter project, we shot a rather amusing video. Please take a look. I would much appreciate shares, Likes, and if you do find it intriguing, your support, of course.

http://bit.ly/KICKLETTERS


Oh sweet rejection!

By on April 30th, 2011
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Dear David,
Thank you again for the opportunity to consider A Greater Monster and for your interest in [PRESS]. I apologize a thousand times for the time it has taken for us to respond to your query. We received more than the usual number of manuscripts during this period, had less than the usual amount of publication slots available, and our team of volunteer readers decreased due to personal problems; therefore, we have been incredibly behind in our reading, and, again, I apologize.

At this moment, we are going to pass on further consideration of your manuscript; your project was among the last few we were holding onto from the open submission period, and that is because it is a great fit for [PRESS]. Our readers praised it for gorgeous graphics, material resistance and interplay with the plot, its questioning of the human as master/center of time, space, reason, and language, and its exquisiteness and brutality at the level of the sentence. Incredible sentences verging on poetry. Existence at the realm of the nano, the infinitesimal, the letter, the typographic shift-. We passed on it because of our current lack of publication slots, but please send us more material, either during our next open submission period or during one of our blind-judged contests. Thank you again, and I hope you find a publisher quickly for this extraordinary work.

Sincerely,
[NAME]
Acquisitions Editor
[PRESS]

The above email arrived in my inbox Friday. What a wonderful rejection! The editor also kindly offered, in a subsequent email, to provide me with a more eloquent promotional quote (such as for the back cover or the interior), when my book is published. And she also recommended a couple presses I could contact and use her name as a reference. However…I’m back to my old conundrum: Is it worth it? What will these small presses do for me that I can’t do for myself? And if I self-publish, I will always maintain the rights to my own writing. Of the three presses she recommended, only one of them seems to have their act together online. And when I check their books on Amazon…only a few reviews for each one. The author still has to hustle for professional reviews, press coverage, distribution (getting it carried), marketing, etc. And the reward is 10% per book of the cover price…as opposed to 40% – 100% depending on whether you sell it directly, online or through a bookstore. If I’m going to work my butt off, shouldn’t it be for myself?

The other big minus, of course, is more waiting. Even if I get lucky quickly, my book would likely not be available until late 2012. Depends on how long their queue is. If I self-publish, I can release the book later this year, hopefully late summer. I’ve had a long enough gestation period; I want this thing out of me!

The biggest plus of finding a publisher, of course is that I get more credibility and reputation being published by someone else. So, theoretically, that means I can get publishers to take a more serious look at future query letters. But is it really worth it?

Right now, I’m leaning toward no.