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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Little Mayhem with Marcus Dino, Author of Diary of a Mad Gen Yer

Today, I have as my special guest Marcus Dino, author of Diary of a Mad Gen Y er. Please give him a nice Moonlighter welcome!

Pump Up Your Book Promotion

Why I Self Publish

by Marcus Dino

Author, Fifi: Anything Goes in the Double Os
and Diary of a Mad Gen Yer

When I first finished my manuscript for Fifi: Anything Goes in the Double Os back in 2003, at first, like perhaps any first time author, I decided to find a traditional publisher to publish my novel. I must have sent at least a hundred query letters and brief summaries of my book to numerous literary agents and publishers, both large and small. The fruits of my efforts, one rejection letter after another. Some of these people didn't even have the courtesy to send me a form letter that says 'You're rejected.' I guess they had so many manuscripts to 'reject' they didn't have the time. Face it for any first time author today getting published by a traditional publisher perhaps is equivalent to 'winning the lottery.' Unless the author is a celebrity, 'knows someone' in the publishing business, or is perhaps a graduate of small select number of 'MFA programs' which in my opinion proves nothing about an author's writing ability but is part of this ridiculous 'credentialed society' we currently live in (Hemingway who never attended college, would probably utter a large gregarious laugh when told about these MFA programs if he were alive today), a first time author is going to have a tough time getting his her book published by a traditional publisher.

So the only alternative is to self publish, Does self publishing have that 'vanity stigma' of only desperate authors pay to have their books published? It certainly does not, or at least in my opinion, not anymore.
Look at best selling books like Eragon, Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Christmas Box,and The Celestine Prophecy, all of which were originally self published.
When I went with Iuniverse and later on Airleaf to publish Fifi, the only thing I wanted to do was to get 'my book out there.' Yes you may have difficulty your books into large 'brick and mortar stores' like Borders and Barnes and Nobel because 'they don't take Print on Demand,' and yes you may not have your book reviewed by The New York Times because they don't review 'self published books' but you can't let things like that stop you. You need 'to get your book out there.' Who is going to read your manuscript stuck up in your dusty old attic or stuck in the hard drive of your laptop, your mother, your kids, your cat? Are you going to sacrifice perhaps five to ten years of your life sending thousands of query letters that will be eventually rejected and trying to network with everybody you know involved in publishing in the hopes they take a look at your manuscript? You can get your book in all the major online stores, you can get book reviewed by many well known online book reviewers and by numerous small and local newspapers like I did with Fifi. The main thing is to get your book out there for people to see it.

Think of self publishing as kind of a tryout, an analogy would be the kid with all that potential in the world given a tryout by a major league scout and he hits that 95 mph fastball over the center field wall. He then signs a lucrative major league contract. That's what a first time author should think when he or she self publishes, doing a 'tryout.' If you get a strong reader audience, if you build a respectable sales record, then perhaps you will sign that 'lucrative contract' and have your book republished with a big name publisher.

Self publishing also gives you the writer to write your book any way you wish, you get your book out in a matter of months as opposed to say a year or two with a traditional publisher, and finally you can have greater control over your royalty payments. The disadvantages with self publishing are obviously paying potentially a large fee to have your book published, constant editing or paying a professional editor to edit your books because realistically your self publisher is not concerned about quality, only that you paid them foe their services,and of course marketing. However the great majority of authors who have had their books traditionally published are also having to do their own marketing because traditional publishing houses have tight marketing budgets which they spend on their 'superstars.'

In summary I feel the benefits of self publishing outweigh the disadvantages. If you have little name recognition, want to get your book out to readers as quickly as possible, and want the freedom to write as you please and have total control over your book then I feel at least initially you should consider self publishing. I went the self publishing route with Fifi and more recently Diary of a Mad Gen Yer because I want to get my books out to the readers as soon as possible and as to as many readers as possible.

Marcus Dino has had an interesting professional career, first as an Aerospace engineer, next as a passionate math teacher teaching in urban Los Angeles which he currently still does, and finally, as a part time literary fiction author. It is Mr Dino’s being a die hard movie buff that led him to writing Diary of a Mad Gen Yer in addition to his first novel, Fifi, Anything goes in the Double Os, first published in 2003. Mr Dino is a graduate of Chapman University and he also has Masters Degrees in both Education and Electrical Engineering. Diary of a Mad Gen Yer and Fifi can be found at and Mr Dino’s personal website which includes numerous blogs, short stories, and poems involving his central character Fifi Larouche, which helped inspire him to write his anthology, Diary, can be found at

Thank you so much for joining us today, Marcus!

6 Moonbeams (comments):

Molly Daniels said...

Marcus, I'm distressed you pubbed with Airleaf! There's a complaint against them; email me at and I'll forward the info to you.

My first books were self-pubbed too, with iUniverse and AuthorHouse. Yes, it taught me the ropes of marketing, and what works and what doesn't, and has helped tremendously as my 3rd book was e-pubbed, and my editor is interested in my other work.

I've not been to your website yet; have you been picked up by a publisher? I'd be interested in your personal satisfaction with both iUniverse and AirLeaf.

Also, my son wants to major in Aerospace Engineering at Purdue next year. Any advice for him?
Hahaha...word verification is 'aerater':)

Margay Leah Justice said...

Molly, this could open a debate on the pros/cons of self-publishing. Unfortunately, there are so many people out there who are only too willing to take advantage of authors who decide to go this route.

Sheila Deeth said...

I guess I'm self-publishing some of my books while still sending others out to publishers. This was an interesting and encouraging article, but I'm guessing not having "a little name recognition" is a pretty big disadvantage. Still, the ride is fun and I keep telling myself the experience will be useful if I ever get a real book contract.

Sheila Deeth said...

I hope you don't mind. I got a Heartfelt Blogger Award and I'm sending it on to you 'cause I love your blog.

Molly Daniels said...

You're right Margay, and I've seen both sides of the arguement. If an author has the finances to self-pubb, it was a wonderful learning experience. But there are a LOT of naysayers out there, and I feel so blessed to finally have a contracted book.

Would I do it over? Absolutely. I think it helped me with my confidence, and getting the thick skin.

Carrie said...

Very Cool, thanks Sheila!!!

You Rock!!!!