where the writers are
The Gatekeepers Are Gone

Some stories we pen, despite being deeply felt and finely executed, end up too short to merit a book. What can we do with these children of a lesser god?  We can blog them to the ether, but the web's ephemeral state, its essential impermanence, nags at us. We’re writers; we want our quality work to have a shelf life longer than a google day. 

January a year ago, I posted a short blog on this site entitled “Requiem for Rayanna,” a son’s obituary for a mother who demonstrated a gift for listening to others. It struck a chord with quite a few readers (both here on Red Room and on a second website I post to). Their persistent enthusiasm prodded me to look for an inexpensive way to preserve the 3,000 word piece, and I found it at CreateSpace. At the cost of $45, a few hours of formatting, the constraints of a template cover, and a breakfast spent mulling over a more intuitive title, I transformed the blog into The Listener – a slim paperback available globally 24/7 via Amazon at a modest $6.95 cover price. I didn’t publish it to make money – I’ll be happy to recover the publishing cost. I wrote it because I sincerely believe what she taught me is worth sharing. Ironically, should it sell well, I will earn handsomely more per copy in royalties than I was paid by conventional publisher St. Martin’s. Email me if you want a blow-by-blow account of how I took the blog to book. I’d be happy to share it. I’m excited – occasionally exhilarated – at the multiplying options and opportunities we writers now enjoy. The gatekeepers are gone.