In launching our newest platform for AuthorHouse authors to interact, promote your work and talk about self-publishing, who better to turn to than our “Most-Published Author?” This author is the multi-talented, award-winning actor, screenwriter, playwright, music producer, singer and author of twelve books (and counting), Bruce Kimmel.
The overview from his first memoir, There’s Mel, There’s Woody, and There’s You, My Life in the Slow Lane, provides a fine introduction to “the foremost album producer of theatre music in the last twenty-five years.”
“Bruce Kimmel has managed to eke out a career in one form of show business or another for over forty years. A successful Grammy-nominated record producer, Kimmel began his show business journey as an actor, in a time when being a young up-and-coming thespian was fun, thrilling, and when anything seemed possible. It was a different world for a young actor in the 1970s, and Kimmel’s journey is paved with laughs, tears, success, and an amazing cast of players. At twenty-seven, he wrote, co-directed, and starred in a film that would become a major cult success, The First Nudie Musical. He did TV pilots, guest shots, series, plays. He met and worked with incredible people. It was the kind of time we will never see again.
“And then things changed. The nature of the business changed. And the path to dealing with those changes—getting older, trying to survive in an ever increasingly negative and cutthroat world—becomes a story of reinvention and rebirth. Through it all, Kimmel tells his tale with wit, candor, affection, and self-effacing honesty.”
Bruce kindly agreed to contribute The AuthorHouse Author’s Digest’s first guest blog and talk about his self-publishing experiences and his decade as an AuthorHouse author. We will be posting a series of blog articles revealing his thoughts on producing a polished manuscript and professional book design, getting the word out about your book and his decade with AuthorHouse.
In today’s post, Bruce explains the circumstances that led him to choose self-publishing and how his predictions for the book publishing industry back at the turn of the new century have since become reality.
By Bruce Kimmel
I have never regretted the decision to do print on demand and today there really is no stigma at all – everyone is doing it. I was glad to be there at the beginning and it’s been grand fun to watch it all grow and watch AuthorHouse eat up all the other little companies that didn’t do it as well.
It was back in December of 2001. I’d just finished my first novel, Benjamin Kritzer, a thinly veiled fiction of my growing up in a strange family in a magical city called Los Angeles back in the late 1950s. I was very proud of my baby. At the time, I was represented by the William Morris Agency as a writer. My screenwriting agent suggested I send the manuscript directly to their main literary person in their New York office, which I did.
After some weeks, she got back to me saying she’d really enjoyed the book but felt it was too “soft” for her to handle. I guessed “soft” meant it wasn’t Tom Clancy or Dan Brown or whatever, and, no, it wasn’t that. It was a humorous coming of age novel and back then such novels were not of interest to the major publishers.
I spoke to another agent – she asked me to send her the first two chapters. I said I would not do that, that it was a short book and needed to be read start to finish. She said she would not do that. She also told me that even if she would and even if she liked it, the process was a very long one: It would take her three months to read even the first two chapters; then, if she went with it, another six months to get it to publishers, who would then take however long in reading it, after which the odds were that they would most likely pass. But if any of them actually wanted it, then another year until it actually saw publication and then no guarantee they’d actually do anything to promote it. Well, like my hero, Benjamin Kritzer, I wanted to vomit on the ground.
I was a little depressed that my baby wasn’t going to be seeing the light of day anytime soon, and I was bemoaning that fact to the owner of a used bookstore that I frequented. He told me a friend of his had just published through a company called 1st Books and that the process had been easy and had only taken a few months. There was a downside, however – it was self-publishing, or the new form of self-publishing, print on demand.
I didn’t care about that part – I wanted the book out in the world so people could read it. And so I made the call. I got a wonderful man named Bruce Bunner on the phone and he told me the deal (which has never really changed in all these years) and how long it would take (about three months) and I said yes immediately. Yes, I knew there was a real stigma attached to self-publishing or print on demand, but I felt that the publishing industry was about to go through some major changes, just as the music industry was back then.
I was one of the first theatre music producers to see and predict what was happening with the Internet and the then just introduced iTunes. I predicted stores would be out of business within five years and I was right. And I saw it happening in the publishing world, that print on demand would ultimately be the wave of the future, because while it enabled anyone to publish anything, it also, for the first time ever, gave authors complete control and ownership of their work.
In tomorrow’s post, A Decade and a Dozen Books with AuthorHouse, Bruce talks about the growing pains of a newly published author and how 1st Books blossomed into AuthorHouse Publishing.
Please join the conversation by posting your comments and thoughts about self-publishing.
Bruce Kimmel’s AuthorHouse Bibliography:
The Benjamin Kritzer Trilogy
- There’s Mel, There’s Woody, and There’s You, My Life in the Slow Lane (April 2010)
- Album Produced By … (2012)
The Adriana Hoftstetter Mysteries
- Murder at Hollywood High (2007)
- Murder at the Grove (2008)
- Murder at the Hollywood Historical Society (2009)
- Murder at the Masquers (2011)
Other Works of Fiction