Book Trailer For Madam President

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Problem with Print on Demand for Authors

Publishers love print on demand. They can hedge their bets now. Sure we will buy your book does not have the same import any more as the print runs really don't exist. So lets talk about this. Traditional publishing goes this way:  Good advance. Good print run. Books in the stores. That is traditional publishing. But technology morphed and suddenly a publisher no longer had to make a stand on a book. Doing a print run requires the publisher to say I think I will sell x amount of books and it lets the author know that books will be there for the stores, events, signings, whatever the author does he can rest assured the book will be behind him.

Now lets talk POD. Small advance. The publisher will print maybe a hundred books. Maybe 50. The technology is such that if there is a demand then a book will be printed. But there is a lag. So the author notices there are no books in the stores. Then you notice that the publisher is showing no books in stock. Now you have another event and the printer cannot get the books to the press because there are lots of presses using this technology and they have books in cue. So the author shows up a at his signing with no books.

The author does not do well with POD technology. The publisher cannot react to a surge because the printer has other jobs ahead. Worse there will be no surge because books are not out in the marketplace pinging around. Now you are over nighting books talking to harassed book sellers and publishers. It becomes publishing lite. The assumption the book will be there is gone. Books create energy. But if the books is not there then there is a vacuum. So the question is where do authors sell their books?

The truth is for the author the traditional is still better. It is the publishers job to produce the book and the authors job to sell the book. Both must do their jobs for a book to be profitable.

Al Capone and the 1933 Worlds Fair

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The 25th Amendment Would Not Have Removed Woodrow Wilson When Edith Took Over

A lot of talk of using the 25th amendment against Trump but the truth is that will be difficult.  It wouldn't have worked against Woodrow Wilson either. It wasn't passed until after Kennedy was assassinated but Woodrow Wilson is the closest we have to a Trump situation. Wilson had a stroke, was paralyzed and could barely put five sentences together. His wife, doctor, and Chief of Staff came up with a plan to hide him away and let Edith Wilson run the government. They pulled it off all the way to the end of his term and basically it was the best kept secret until recently.

But there was a movement to have Wilson step down and it is reminiscent of what might happen if the cabinet tries to remove Trump. The 25th amendment says basically the cabinet along with the vice president can vote to have the president removed if the president is incapacitated or unable to fulfill the duties of the presidency. When Wilson collapsed Secretary of State Lansing made a move to have him removed. He called the cabinet together and then demanded Secretary Tumulty and Dr. Grayson come and assert the President was incapacitated.
Secretary Tumulty said  no. He said "not while the President is flat on his back." And then Lansing asked Grayson if he would certify that the President was too sick to carry on the duties of President. Grayson shook his head and said absolutely not. And then Tumulty issued a warning that he would let the President know who was trying to remove him. The cabinet meeting ended with the full cabinet wishing the President a speedy recovery.  Lansing would later be fired and in no small part because Edith and the President never forgave him for his treachery.

It is not so simple to remove a sitting President....even when they are paralyzed and bedridden and their wife is running the country.

Madam President The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

What Happens When Your First Print Run Sells Out

You pop your cork on the champagne and raise your glass and then you freak. As an author you always want your books to sell. Then when it happens you go to the dark side of freaking out because people are running out of books. Recently my book Al Capone and the 1933 Worlds Fair A Capone and the 1933 Worlds Fair sold out the first print run. In publishing publishers try and guess at demand and it is hard to do. You can print too many or not enough.  Authors usually fret about books not selling and so you go from that to there is not enough books.

Print on demand technology has largely solved the problem of warehousing books but you still have to take a stand and print enough for the warehouses. The economics of publishing are such that anyone can publish a book. But to get books into the system you still need to have supply. Supply and demand is king and if there is no supply then you have a problem.

Many will say well that is a good problem to have. It is but you want the storm to continue and for that you need books and you want them as soon as possible. Books are due from the printer tomorrow. 

Al Capone and the 1933 Worlds Fair Still in stock

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The Motivation of the Las Vegas Shooter

Unfortunately Stephen Paddock is not that different from other American shooters. I just finished a first draft of a book, Shots Fired in Terminal 2 about the Ft Lauderdale airport shooting that I had the bad luck to be in. I studied twenty mass shootings in America and I looked for common factors in the shooters. This is what I found. They were male. Ninety nine percent white. Young adult to middle age. Middle class. And they had access to high powered weapons. And they were all insane to some degree. And their stated reasons for murdering people was not really important.

It is the pissed off white male syndrome. That is what I called it though I never put it in the book. From Sandy Hook to Columbine the psychopath was there waiting. The paranoid schizophrenic, the PTSD vet hearing voices telling him to kill, the manic depressive, the truly insane killer of children and the killer of people watching movies all are cousins of the severely mentally ill. By the time I was finished I realized there were two things that could be done to limit these shootings. One was to get rid of access to semiautomatic weapons and the other is to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.

If we did these two things and nothing else we would see a result. People who shoot people enmasse are insane. They just are. There is no rational. There is no motive. I saw it in every shooting that I studied. The men who committed these acts were simply nuts and it is not about the second amendment or handgun laws. What happens is the insane individual decides to kill people and they know that the best gun to do this is a semiautomatic. That is where it stops.

 Stephen Paddock just joined the white men's club of mass killers who have no motivation. Insane people don't need one.

Al Capone and the 1933 Worlds Fair

Monday, October 2, 2017

Being in a Mass Shooting

When I was going through the Ft Lauderdale airport with my wife and children we heard the gunshots that began Esteban Santiago's rampage that left five people dead and eight wounded. You never forget that moment when your adrenalin kicks in and you go to some primal fight or flight response that gets you running. You just cant believe it is happening but once you have gone through it you never view public venues the same. I never go into a crowd without thinking that a shooter could appear from anywhere.

And watching the video from Las Vegas you see the same disbelief then terror all over again. I watched the country singer Aldine run off stage and people are already criticizing him but the thing is once that cold fear hits you there is not much you can do. Your primal response is to try and survive and the only way you can do that really is to flee. Could he have said something like there is a shooter of course. But here is the thing you don't really think you just react and the overwhelming reaction is to run and get away from those bullets.

And there will be  the same responses by the gun lobby and everyone else. But listen to that video of automatic weapon fire. It goes on and on. I just finished Ken Burns Vietnam and that kind of sustained fire was common. But that was a war.

Al Capone and the 1933 Worlds Fair

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Adjunct Hell

Years ago during my writing career I dipped in and out of teaching like a drunk going back to the same run down bar. I was the aspiring writer coming into the purview of the full time professors. I usually got the crappy classes nobody wanted at eight AM and it was usually first year comp. I taught at a very prestigious expensive private school. Two of them in fact. When they had faculty meetings the room was full of adjuncts. In the middle sat the anointed full time professors, all five of them. The other twenty five teachers were adjuncts. This was at a school that charged 40K a year in tuition.

So I learned quickly there were two worlds. The hotdog money world of the adjuncts (2500-3500) a class and the tenured full time 70k+ world of the professors who generally didn't speak to the adjuncts. My brother is a full fledged professor and he told me many times that the adjuncts came and went so why get to know them. So you show up at a class with no fanfare at all. You were hired months before and then you never saw anyone again. You teach your guts out for a class or two and then you get in your car and drive home. That's it.

No collegian conversations. No going out with your colleagues over lunch. No dinners with the University President. You are on the outside, you are the lone ranger, the interloper, in fact you don't exist. The students call you professor  but they do not know the dirty secret .You are not really employed, you are a contract player who will probably not return.Hey what are you teaching next semester?  You demure. You don't know. If enrollment is down you wont be teaching anything. And then you just disappear. That's what happened with me. You just don't get another class.

So you get the word that your class was taken by a full time professor. You try and get another class but suddenly it is like you never taught at all. You are unemployed. So you do what any self respecting writer would sit down and write a book. And never look back.

Al Capone and the 1933 Worlds Fair

Friday, September 29, 2017

The Meaning of the Star Spangled Banner

Words take meanings. Songs take on lightning. Anthems speak for the dead. The Banner captures the flag at dawns light over Ft  Mchenry. It captures the fog and the darkness and Francis Scott Key on the rolling battleship. It captures the existence  of the land of the free and the home of the brave even after the shelling by the British. It captures the cold bloody footprints of Valley Forge and the crossing of the icy Potomac by Washington during the Revolution. Then it is the glare of the burning of Washington during the war of 1812 with the flag hidden and the government on the run.

It is the men who charged up San Juan Hill with Teddy Roosevelt and died before they took three steps. It is the men in the trenches of World War I rising up to fall inches from their trench and dying in a foreign land. It is the men who came home without legs and arms and the men who never came home in the Civil War. It is all the men and women black and white who died to abolish slavery.

And then it is the GI's hitting the beach at Normandy and dying in the surf. The men who had just come through a Great Depression and then died before they were twenty. It is the hundreds of thousands who perished in the morning light of D Day liberating Europe from the Nazis . It is the Vietnam vets who came back and kissed the tarmac after being prisoners of war for years. It is the graves at Arlington, the hollowed out eyes of Shiloh.

It is a willingness of the heart.
William Hazelgrove
Forging a President

Books by William Hazelgrove