94-Year-Old Traditional Author Experiences Self-Publishing Culture Shock

After successfully publishing two novels with major New York houses in the 1960s, author Ernest Frankel took a half-century break to do TV, only to wake up in the new world of self-publishing feeling as disoriented as Rip Van Winkle
By: Hither Lane Press
Ernest Frankel Re-Publishes Tongue of Fire for Today's Readers
Ernest Frankel Re-Publishes Tongue of Fire for Today's Readers
LOS ANGELES - Dec. 3, 2017 - PRLog -- Ret. Marine Colonel Ernest Frankel's first two novels, Band of Brothers (Macmillan, 1959), about the Marines in Korean, and Tongue of Fire (Dial Press, 1960), about the Senator Joseph McCarthy era in the 1950s, were both published the old-fashioned way – by traditional New York houses with all the frills. All Frankel had to do was write the books and the publishers were responsible for the rest of it. Soon after that, Frankel was wooed by Hollywood and spent the next many decades writing for television, working with CBS, ABC, NBC, independent production companies and the major studios, serving as creator, writer, executive story consultant, line producer, and executive producer on both series and movies-for-television. He was so immersed in the television industry that he barely noticed what was going on in book publishing industry. When he found out, it was a shock; just about everything had changed!

After retiring from TV, Frankel got back to novel writing and completed his third book, a heavily researched, 660-page historical "page-turner," Gateway to Everywhere, set in early 1900s Palm Springs. He sent it off to his former agent, expecting a repeat of his earlier publishing experiences. This time, while his former agent loved the book and even shopped it around, nobody would publish it: "Too long; won't sell," they said. When Frankel tried to get a new agent, the response was the same: "Impressive talent, but the author writes too long and at his age he doesn't have a career in front of him." This is pretty disheartening stuff for an author with at least two more well thought-out books inside.

Reluctantly, Frankel agreed to self-publish Gateway to Everywhere under his own imprint, Hither Lane Press, using Amazon's CreateSpace, Kindle, and IngramSpark. "What's hard about it is you're trying to do everything that the publisher once did for you." At first, he couldn't shake his nostalgia for the good old days. "I remember when publishers had salesmen who would go all over and talk to bookstores in every town and urge them to take a 100 books. It didn't make any difference to the bookstore because they could build a tower of books in the front window and if they didn't sell them, they could be shipped back to the warehouse. That certainly doesn't happen anymore."

"In the old days, I'd sell thousands of books and get a 100 letters," Frankel adds. "Now I sell a hundred books and I got one email from a friend who went into a bookstore in Japan and saw Gateway to Everywhere and bought it and read it on the plane home!" That Frankel enjoyed!  Nonetheless, Gateway has won three awards and got a rave review in the MidWest Book Review – so it's not like Frankel isn't getting any appreciation for his work. He is.

In fact, Frankel has discovered what most self-publishers eventually discover which is there's are some really good things about it. For one, the author is in control of the project. One of the pitfalls of traditional publishing, as Frankel so painfully found out, is that the publisher calls the shots. Back in 1960, Tongue of Fire was originally supposed to be published by Macmillan, but they backed out when Senator Joe McCarthy threatened to ruin them if they published Frankel's book. Frankel was devastated.  Dial Press came to the rescue and the book ended up doing well. The big reveal is, when you self-publish, you're in control and they can't stop you! That makes it all worth it! Just this year, Frankel decided to re-published Tongue of Fire adding a subtitle: The Story of an American Demagogue in order to make the political nature of the novel very clear. He even admits that he prefers the new, low-cost book cover design he got through a website called Fiverr.com over the original "dust jacked" done by Dial. Then there's the time factor. When you're 94 and you have more books inside you ― and you know the traditional publishing process can takes years ― self-publishing is a blessing.

Gateway to Everywhere by Ernest Frankel. ISBN: 9780692755266; Hither Lane Press, (2016) 660 pages. Available: Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and Kindle.

Tongue of Fire: The Story of an American Demagogue by Ernest Frankel, ISBN:

9780692898307; Hither Lane Press (2017) 500 pages. Available through Amazon.com and Kindle.

Ernest Frankel can be reached through his daughter, Elin Schwartz, at

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/HitherLanePress/

BookExcelleAwards http://bookexcellenceaward.com/honorees/product/gateway-to-everywhere-historical-2/

Elin Schwartz
Email:***@mac.com Email Verified
Tags:Self-publishing, Ernest Frankel, Traditional Publishing
Location:Los Angeles - California - United States
Account Email Address Verified     Account Phone Number Verified     Disclaimer     Report Abuse
Trending News
Most Viewed
Top Daily News

Most Viewed
Top Daily News
PTC News

Dec 03, 2017 News

Like PRLog?
Click to Share