Friday, October 9, 2009

Guest Post: Gary Morgenstein author of Jesse's Girl

Gary Morgenstein, author of the book Jesse's Girl, stopped by to share with us a piece he wrote.


While racing out of the cave every morning in my loincloth and shaking the spear at the sky might’ve had some impact on getting published, the old-fashioned dictum of persistence prevailed. That, and opening my eyes to the new paradigm in publishing.

My first two novels were published through traditional houses. But a friend of mine, the best-selling author Maximillien de Lafayette, encouraged me to publish my latest thriller Jesse’s Girl, about a widowed father searching for his adopted teenage son who has run away from a drug treatment program to find his biological sister, through Amazon. I followed that with Loving Rabbi Thalia Kleinman, about a divorced man who falls in love with a beautiful woman rabbi.

I figured if it was good enough for President Obama (he choose Amazon rather than traditional publishers for his two books) then it was good enough for Gary Morgenstein.

What a pleasure it’s been. While I certainly think traditional publishing has a critical role to play, it’s wonderful that authors are not constrained through just one avenue anymore. Agent/editor/acquisition board, you are pursuing a very narrow path where one person can easily erect a roadblock to your art.

Once Amazon has accepted your book just like other publisher, they pay excellent royalties, the quality of their design is top-flight and by the way, they are the largest online store in the world. Not too shabby. Unlike bookstores, they won’t send your book back to the warehouse if it doesn’t sell after two weeks.

The greater challenge becomes promoting. The gap isn’t as great as it once was since most traditional publishers don’t market writers’ books anyway, only the top sellers, forcing authors to do their own guerrilla marketing and PR.

So you must promote promote promote. Target your audience and then target where they might go. The vast preponderance of books is bought online. Go to book bloggers. Figure out niche markets. For Jesse’s Girl, my building blocks beyond the general audience were parents and the addiction and adoption communities. I also retained Pump Up Your Book Promotions, run by Dorothy Thompson, who has been brilliant and extraordinarily helpful.

Be relentless, passionate, articulate. Rejection is a way of life to a writer and more people will brush you off then welcome you. But the most important thing you can do is get your work published. Traditional, Amazon, or e-books. You are the writer and you have to make sure that no one stands between you and your readers. That is the wonder of the new paradigm.

About the book:

The story opens as a jarring phone wakes lifelong Brooklynite and widowed father Teddy Mentor well after midnight. It's the Montana wilderness program saying that his 16-year-old adopted son has run away - and they haven't a clue where he's gone. Only two weeks ago, Jesse had been taken to the program by escorts to deal with substance abuse problems. Jeopardizing his flagging PR job in New York, Mentor rushes across the country to find Jesse, who is off on his own quest: to find Theresa, the sister he's never known. When Teddy finally discovers Jesse at a bus stop in Illinois, he is torn between sending him back or joining his son on a journey to find this girl in Kentucky. But he decides to go and they become embroiled in a grisly crime when Theresa's abusive husband Beau attacks her - Jesse stabs the big beast of a man, leaving him for dead.

About Gary:

In addition to Jesse’s Girl, Gary Morgenstein’s most recent novels, both available exclusively on, are the political baseball thriller Take Me Out to the Ballgame and the romantic triangle Loving Rabbi Thalia Kleinman. His chillingly prophetic play Ponzi Man played to sell-out crowds at a recent New York Fringe Festival. A PR consultant for Syfy Channel, he lives in Brooklyn, New York, with lots of books and rock and roll CDs.

You can visit him at or at


Kristi said...

This is another one of the books that I just got for review! Can't wait to hear what you think about it.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

He's got some good points about self-publishing. I do wonder if it's going to really level the playing field as far as getting new talent into readers' hands.

All posted at Win a Book, btw.

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