I’m Interviewed at Smashwords Blog, Iranian Publishers, and SYTYCD Auditions

I am way behind on blogging again, you guys, and again I’m sorry. It seems like for the past year book issues always seem to be popping up to keep me from blogging. I’m several dance reviews behind and I will try to catch up this week.

Anyway, today I am interviewed at Neil Crabtree’s excellent Smashwords blog! My sales have been so much stronger at Amazon – and I realize that’s probably because I’ve done so much promotion on the Kindle blogs, so I’m really trying to get the word out about my ebook’s being available at Smashwords and their distributees – iBookstore, Kobo, Nook, Sony, and Diesel – as well. So thank you, Neil!

Yesterday, I’d planned to blog about the Dance Times Square ballroom showcase and the Guggenheim’s preview of Ratmansky’s new Nutcracker for ABT, but one such aforementioned “book issue” popped up. I’d exhibited my novel with ForeWord Magazine’s small press collective at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October. (I was a finalist in ForeWord’s Book of the Year Award and they gave me a very good review in their online magazine. Frankfurt is the largest book trade fair in the world, where foreign rights are often negotiated.) Anyway, an Iranian publisher saw my book at Frankfurt, spoke to the ForeWord rep, and gave her his contact info to send along to me and the others whose books he was possibly interested in acquiring foreign rights to. Curious to see what kinds of books his company publishes, I went to look up the publisher on the internet, and couldn’t find anything. I called ForeWord and they had no further information but said the rep did meet with him and he expressed interest in several of their titles; he was legit.

I posted a query on a publishing website I belong to just asking if anyone had heard of the company, and no one had, but several people expressed disbelief that I would even consider sending my book to an Iranian publisher. People said: with 9/11 happening in the book, you shouldn’t send it to an Iranian publisher; there’s an embargo, you could get in serious trouble for entering into a business agreement with an Iranian company; the publisher couldn’t possibly be serious about acquiring American books with the censorship committee there; and – my favorite – oh my god, are you trying to get your name on Homeland Security’s “people of interest” list sending a package to Iran???

I knew about the embargo but am certainly not anywhere near any stage at which I’d be entering into any business agreement. The publisher just wants to see the book at this point. If I ever was at such a stage, I would definitely have an agent do that. As for the 9/11 stuff, I mean, I don’t know. I didn’t write about it in a political way at all. You just never know how someone from a completely different culture will view something you write. There are sexual connotations as well in the book – who knows; it’s not something I ever thought that much about before. The whole censorship thing made me interested though, and I spent yesterday doing a good deal of internet research on publishing in Iran, and there is supposedly a big backup because of all the books waiting to be inspected by the committee.

It’s all very interesting. This whole year has taught me so much about publishing, book-selling, book buying, publicity, marketing, advertising, trade shows, rights, agents, ebooks versus physical books, Amazon versus everyone else, self-publishing versus traditional publishing versus small presses versus foreign presses, bloggers versus professional critics, etc. etc. etc. – it’s all so much. But it’s really been one of the most educational years of my life I have to say.

Anyway, back to dance: I’m off to see a So You Think You Can Dance audition at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. At least I think I am. After I signed up, I received my verification tickets, which said that it didn’t guarantee a seat; it was first come first served. If it’s the type of thing where people are lining up for hours beforehand, I’m not getting in. But I figure I’ll give it a try since I’ve never been to an audition. Wish me luck :)

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