Monday, January 25, 2016

Re-Publishing Lancer - The Los Angeles Affair

After getting a small publisher for the second Lancer book, "Lancer; Hero of the West - The Los Angeles Affair" we never thought we'd have to republish ourselves. The Publisher didn't make it and went down faster than a Lancer target when shot. It happens to publishers every day which is why the publishing business is so troubled.

Either way, we are back to republishing the book via Create Space and Amazon. The good news is nothing has changed for you. You can still purchase the same book on-line, from Amazon dealers or from our own website. Again, nothing has changed. You can still order via Kindle as well. So there you have it.

There is one difference. We chose to go to a glossy cover for the physical book instead of the mat finish. Just a slight change but the rest is all good. If you see the book on Amazon you may see two versions. One says "unavailable" and is the retired version from the old publisher. There should be a button stating there is an updated version. By clicking this you will be taken to the current book. You will also see the same version probably pop up side by side, in which case you can order it directly without being re-directed.

The price is the same for Kindle 2.99 and prices vary from Amazon dealer to dealer. From our site ( the book is $15.00 which includes shipping and a signature if you want one. I usually include a laminated book mark as well. You can order it through our website.

On a sad note, my literary agent, Michael Hamilburg passed away in early January. He was a great man and helped me personally very much. He is being missed.

We're hoping to have the next Lancer book by the Fall. So many other projects going right now I'm a little behind on that, but the work has started. Spread the word;

Check out the Lancer Music video; and our short film "Radio Play," both on YouTube. Please comment on this blog, the videos and if you purchase a book on Amazon, please leave a review. It is very important for the Amazon rankings and leads to more sales, or, at least exposure.

Monday, January 11, 2016

A huge loss; Michael Hamilburg-Literary Agent

It comes with great sadness I learned of the passing of a dear friend and colleague who helped spur my literary career. Michael Hamilburg was 82 and passed away on January 1, 2016. I'll let the attached article at the bottom of the page by my good friend Mike Barnes, another former colleague, detail Hamilburg's life and achievements. And they were many.

I want to express my own friendship with Michael here. I first came into contact with him when I was looking for a book agent and sending out query letters several years ago. I found his name on a list of agents and decided to drop off my letter and samples to him. When I got off work from KNX 1070 News radio at 5AM, I stopped by his office on the way home. It did not exist. As it turns out the publication got the address wrong.

I immediately called and left a message and followed up with an URGENT Email telling him of this. He got back to me and also recognized my name since he was a faithful listener of the radio station and me, as it turned out. He thanked me for the misinformation of the publication and we soon set up a meeting at the Starbucks in Brentwood near his home. He loved to meet at that Starbucks since he worked out of his home office as many of us do these days.

We hit it off right away. He believed in my talent which was super refreshing. We were going to make it happen for me as an author. I had already been published by Schiffer Books in 2009 when "Fan Letters to a Stripper; A Patti Waggin Tale" came out. I wanted to break into other books though. I brought him a work of fiction with some new and innovative twists called "The Tattoo Murder." He liked it very much and began pitching it. He above all, liked the main character, John Potenza; a surfing police detective.

When, after several weeks, the word came down that no publisher was interested, it was a blow. He believed in the book but said there were so many real life stories out there like mine, publishers were more interested in Non-Fiction than Fiction in these cases. He encouraged me to find a story in the news I could sink my journalistic and news background into. One of his claims to fame was "Fatal Vision" which was a huge story.

Through a friend I came upon a story which seemed like it would work. This friend of mine's adopted son plotted to kill her, her husband and his little sister for what he believed to be an insurance policy. Turns out it wasn't a life insurance policy but a liability for business policy. He carried out his plans but failed to kill anyone. He and a neighbor boy ended up in jail until they were 21.

The story achieved national headlines settling in on the Morey Povich Show, but died there. So Mike and I took a look at it deeply but decided it wasn't going to sell. If the kid had even partially succeeded in the plot it probably would have interested a publisher. Fortunately, for my friend no one died and she recovered from her injuries.

Mike did pitch "Lancer; Hero of the West" but warned me no big publishers were buying Westerns and that proved to be true enough. My other books were not commercial enough either. However, recently I came up with an idea which fit the molds perfectly. I was excited but knew I could not proceed without selling the book first. Mike was ready based upon my enthusiastic emails stating in December;

"Happy New Year, Bob
Great work you're doing.

We were scheduled to get together at Starbucks this week.

I sent an email to nail down the date and got an email back from his wife, Susan, telling me of is passing. I was stunned. It was a hard blow. I had lost a real friend and a mentor. There are few people in this industry like Mike Hamilburg and it's too easy to say "he'll be missed." It is OUR Loss. A loss we can only recover from and move forward in the spirit he showed us. There should be a special page in the dictionary for the Michael Hamilburgs of the world. The heading would say "Integrity" and Mike's photo would be right there.

Article on Michael Hamilburg by Mike Barnes.