Mission: The Best Reading Experience

Recently, I learned that the edition of SAINT available on-line at Amazon contained formatting errors that diminished the quality experience I strive to achieve for every reader. In response, I have thoroughly reviewed SAINT's .mobi file, resolved formatting issues and added new features to enhance your reading experience.

New Features

  • Formatting refinements
  • Table of Contents
  • Improved chapter layouts
  • Titles

Thank you for your patience and enthusiasm for this novel. Please check out the newly improved SAINT (v1.1) at:

      Saint - Mark Bailey      

Dan Douma (1946-2010)

In a recent e-mail to customers, Jesse Douma of the The Writers Store in Los Angeles writes that his father, Dan Douma, co-founder of the The Writers' Computer Store, has died.  This is a loss to the writers' community everywhere. In 1982, Dan co-founded The Writers' Computer Store with Gabriele Meiringer as a resource for writers on Santa Monica Boulevard in West L.A. It became a thriving hub for writers and filmmakers, provided world-wide mail-order services, training and support, a writer-oriented newsletter and special events geared towards creative writers, principally Hollywood screenwriters, but novelists as well. The rest is history. With success they moved the store to Westwood Boulevard and changed the name to The Writers Store. Jesse will soon move The Writers Store again to a new location in Burbank.

Working Writers' Heroes

By 1982, Dan and Gabriele had witnessed the rapid adoption of the Atari 2600, Commodore 64, IBM 5100, Apple I, Apple II, IBM 5120, TRS-80, the IBM PC, Kaypro II, DEC Rainbow, and saw the personal computer's potential for transforming the writer's process. At that time, veteran and aspiring writers throughout Southern California were still using Smith-Coronas and Selectric II's late into the long writer's night. The clacking of long-throw keys, the impact of metal type hammering away at paper, and return bells filling the air on summer nights - Muzak of the creative life - were about to be replaced with muted keyboard clicks and the whir of hard-drives.

Just as Dan and Gabriele were getting the shelves stocked in their new Writer's Computer Store, the era of personal computers dawned for real. Apple, already light years ahead, was soon to introduce the Macintosh. Others followed. The staff and consultants at The Writers Store were always up to speed on the facts, features, and benefits of every hardware and software configuration.

The staff at the Writers Store have long been valued colleagues. When I lived in Los Angeles, I stopped by the store occasionally to see what new books and software were available. Dan, Gabriele, and Jesse have always been helpful. No return to L.A. is complete without checking in.


Variety 7 June 2010

Los Angeles Times 10 June 2010

Authors Are Bound to Publish

Literary Entrepreneurs

Self-publishing is leveling what has been a uneven field of competition for authors, for readers, and for book sellers.  Writers still write books on spec, but now they can manage rights, take responsibility for when and how their work is published, participate more fully as equal partners in their work's publication, connect more directly with readers, and be better literary citizens.

Book Publishing is Becoming Self-publishing

The Internet has made every individual a potential publisher. And technology is making every idea, story, and work of art marketable. Even the business side of the transaction is returning to a one-to-one exchange.

JA Konrath has six books in print and thirteen e-books available from Amazon. He has projected that he will earn up to $100,000 this year on sales of his e-books alone. Each sale is initiated by an interested reader who decides to download one of his novels to their Kindle, iPad, PC, Mac, iPhone, iTouch, Droid, or any other of an expanding universe of personal e-reading options. Amazon's online Kindle Store (or Apple's iBook and others) completes the transaction within seconds. No shipping. No waiting. From JA Konrath directly to Ima Reader wherever she is on the planet.

After iPad

There are thirty-nine e-readers on the market. Considering the quantum leap forward in quality of the user experience, it is tempting to rephrase that device snapshot to something more like: the Apple iPad and thirty-eight others.

The iPad provides an excellent, even transformational e-reading experience. It feels good cradled in your hands, on your lap or propped up against your thighs for those middle of the night reads. It has a high resolution color screen that is easy on eyes, especially aging eyes. It responds instantly, enthusiastically to any impulse. Turning the page is almost as satisfying as leafing pages in that 600-page Dickens anthology you've had since Lit 101. And you can look up words in the dictionary without getting up to go find it. Plug in some ear buds and you can even listen to the voice of your choice read your book to you.

The iPad will dash the ambitions of many early e-readers and the field will inevitably narrow to a select few devices. Sony and other quality device manufacturers will accept iPad's challenge and up their game. All for the better. Whatever makes the author's work available in a high integrity transaction, on an enjoyable-to-use device, and to more people is good.

Opportunity is Calling

When in your lifetime did obstacles to getting your work published actually diminish in number? If you have a good book, some appealing cover art, a compelling description and the ambition to grow your audience, now would be a good time to get out there and share your work.


The Rise of Self Publishing (NYT  26 April 2010)

Which e-readers will the iPad crush? (CNET, 1 April 2010)

Publish or Perish

Ken Auletta offers a short course on the agency business model and the ever-evolving history of publishing.  This article also includes a situational analysis about the stakes for authors, publishers, bookstores, and device makers in the current competition between the printed page and the panel of pixels known as the e-Reader (Kindle, iPad, Nook and others coming online). The writer, journalist and media critic at The New Yorker has been a keen observer of media trends.  His Three Blind Mice: How the TV Networks Lost Their Way put the failing big three television network model in stark context for us in 1991. Now, he has once again captured a dynamic period in media history on the page. His recent article, Publish or Perish Can the iPad topple the Kindle, and save the book business? (The New Yorker, 30 April 2010), is similarly timely and incisive. A 'must read' for authors, agents, publishers and readers.