Kim Weiss Publishing Services

Inside publishing – a bird’s eye view

April 21, 2010 at 6:57 am


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Publish Me Now: Doing the author limbo dance

April 20, 2010 at 9:49 am

It took me the whole ride to work  and ten minutes of staring at my icon-cluttered computer screen to come up with my next blog report about getting published. Writing from lack-of-news land, publishing limbo, the (icky) not knowing what to expect place.

It’s day twenty since I turned my nearly completed book manuscript in to a literary agency. Only twenty days. That’s not very long, right? I did get immediate acknowledgment of my ‘script’s receipt from the agent with a disclaimer about his backlog of work, so all is where it’s supposed to be.

Isn’t it?

Twenty days is five lifetimes for a butterfly but who’s counting. The question is: what would I tell my clients about the waiting part of getting their book published?  What do I tell my authors at HCI about the waiting times in their book cycles — the waiting for it to become a book– the waiting for it to garner sales — the agony of the unknown.

Agony of the unknown. That’s it.  What do I or anyone in my position do when the process is out of our hands? Usually, for a published author, I say, “write something new.” (Easy for me to say!) Don’t fritter away energy by worrying (repeat last message in parenthesis). Start or keep building your platform. Make “somethingness” out of the nothingness.

In  my case, I’m feeling faithful, practicing premature loyalty to the agent that is reviewing my book. I might tell someone else to make submissions to multiple agencies in this stage, but I’m opting to stay focused on this one.

Create. Create. Create. Whatever the situation is, whether waiting in the wings for SOMETHING to happen, channel the energy that might foolishly drain into the worry pool into something new. I blog, I sing, I learn new technology magic online. I clip my bird’s toenails and plan summer vacations that may or may not come to be.

Once again, I’m rolling over and exposing my vulnerable belly as an author-in-waiting. Right now, I am the same as you. All is equal in the purgatory of book publishing. Even for an insider. Well, maybe it’s a LITTLE less equal, but trust me, inside this body, it feels the same.

Wishing you a publishing contract. Wishing me a publishing contract and many bestselling days ahead.

Are you in the same situation? Let me hear from you. Need coaching during your process? Distract me! I’m here


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Rashi, Book Lover (p.s. he says “they taste great!”)

April 17, 2010 at 9:05 am


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Inside the head of a day-dreaming publishing insider – from supermarkets to book superstores

April 15, 2010 at 10:04 am

I was driving along on US1 aka Federal Highway this morning as I do most days avoiding the treacherous interstate traffic. Once again, I’d add seven minutes to my commute rather than erase them from my age because of stress. I may be late getting to my coveted publishing post, but I get to live longer. Wise choice, I’d say.

Looking at the usual scenery my attention was drawn to a Pet Supermarket in Boca Raton that I’d never noticed before. Hmmm. I thought about whether or not it was conveniently located for me as a new option for my bird seed and cat litter supplies and decided, not. I was, however, momentarily fixated on the word “supermarket.”

su*per*market: n. a large self-service retail market that sells food and household goods.

When did grocery stores become markets and at what point did they get super-sized?

Apparently, it all happened in the 1930’s, precisely in 1931 (according to and stores became supermarkets officially in 1933. said: “Until the 1930’s we shopped at small neighborhood grocers, butchers, and bakers.”

And, how do we define, grocer? (source

gro·cer (grō’sər)
n.  One that sells foodstuffs and various household supplies.
[Middle English, wholesaler, from Anglo-Norman grosser, from Medieval Latin grossārius, grocerius, from Late Latin grossus, thick.]

Back to The original word, grossarius, meant “wholesaler”, i.e. someone selling on a large scale, as opposed to a small-scale retailer, rather like someone selling by the gross rather than by the item.

Gradually smaller grocery stores disappeared, unable to match the low prices of supermarkets.

Sound familiar? I know that the book publishing business has moved its focus away from the swallowing up of  independent book stores by massive chains to more existential matters caused by the virtual technology boom,  but I couldn’t help noticing the pattern.

Even mom and pop health food stores lose their ground when titans like Whole Foods come to town.  We’re losing our neighborhoods and thankfully, some people are spending energy on stopping if not slowing down this trend. We’re seeing more green markets pop up in the ‘hoods and being encouraged to buy local. Will it catch on? With this economy? I certainly hope so. I personally support my local grocers and stay out of that mega-health food chain for everything but my cat food. Sorry, I just can’t find it anywhere else.

Maybe the same will happen with book stores? Unless reading on kindles and nooks completely replace bound books, perhaps smaller stores will return to our downtowns and strip shopping malls. Wouldn’t that be nice.

I started this post thinking I would share how my 86-year-old mother goes to the food store to do her “marketing.” As a marketing/pr person by trade, I always found that funny.  I shop, she markets.

Somehow, running into the Pet Supermarket stimulated a whole kettle of fish I didn’t know was swimming around in my morning drive brain.  Anyway, I’m always interested in what you think and today, what about the super-sizing of America. Isn’t it enough already?

I say, it is.

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Getting a starred (*) book review in Publishers Weekly – How great is that?

April 14, 2010 at 9:56 am

So, an HCI title, Gourmet Meals in Crappy Little Kitchens got not just any kind of review in this week’s Publishers Weekly magazine –it got a STARRED review!

How great is that? I’m not entirely sure but it did evoke a phone call from a very happy and teary-eyed editor – the one who found and worked on the book.  I heard a few “yahoos” from down the hall. And, I’m sitting by the phone waiting for the big guns media to call. I’m sure that’ll happen any time now. …okay….I’m waiting!

Here’s the PW review. We’re proud to share it and doubly proud to publish this wonderful book.  Chef Jennifer Schaertl’s another one of those rising stars that HCI is so famous for launching. (remember us when, ok Jen?)

Enjoy the review and the recipe that follows:

Gourmet Meal Crap Kitchen

tstar.gifGourmet Meals in Crappy Little Kitchens

Jennifer Schaertl. HCI, $18.95 paper (288p) ISBN 9780757313653
Those accustomed (or resigned) to cooking in tight quarters will appreciate chef Schaertl’s guide to getting the best meal out of a less-than-ideal space. Paring kitchen equipment down to its bare essentials, Schaertl shows readers how she manages to prepare mouthwatering dishes like Tahitian-Style Corn and Crab Soup, roasted poblano cole slaw, Rum-Infused Caramelized Pork Chops and Goat Cheese Souffles in her 300-square-foot Brooklyn apartment. Though her space is cramped, her style isn’t; readers will be salivating over her Bread Pudding with Bourbon Crème Anglaise, Bloody Mary Relish, Moroccan Lamb Chops and smoky chicken soup, all presented with a game sense of humor. But while the equipment list is usually short, the steps and ingredients for dishes like gumbo, Seafood Risotto, and Mushroom Tamales aren’t; many will require some advance planning. Rounded out with all manner of kitchen tips and ingenious shortcuts (cut a corner out of a plastic freezer bag to pipe out sweet potato gnocchi), as well as a list of space-hogging items you don’t need (“CLK Saboteurs”), this is a terrific compilation of doable dishes that should resonate with cooks, whether they’ve got space issues or just want to streamline their process. (Apr.)
And a yummy recipe:

My Big Fat Greek Salad

The colorful fresh veggies in this recipe make the presentation beautiful on its own, and its mixture of flavors and textures makes it impressive for the most discerning guests.

Serves 8

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon minced anchovy (1 or 2)

1/4 cup fresh oregano

1/4 cup sherry vinegar

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt, to taste

Black pepper, to taste

1/4 cup diced English cucumber

2 Roma tomatoes, diced

1/4 cup diced red onion

1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives

3 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese, plus extra for garnish

1 cup thinly sliced romaine lettuce (use your bread knife to make thin slices from a head of romaine)

4 slices sourdough bread, toasted

  1. In your blender, pulse the mustard, anchovy, and oregano until mixed. Add the sherry vinegar and pulse until well combined. While blending at medium speed, drizzle in the olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the cucumber, tomato, onion, olives, feta cheese, and romaine with 1/2 cup of the dressing. Taste the salad to see if it needs more dressing, salt, or pepper.
  3. Mound the salad in a large serving bowl. Cut the toasted bread into wedges, tuck the wedges around, and garnish it with more crumbled feta. For individual portions, hold the toasted bread wedge in the center of each small plate, and pile the salad high around it. This makes each plate look like a sailboat. You could also serve individual salad portions in margarita or martini glasses with the toast jutting out like a sail.
  4. Store the leftover dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can toss the leftover salad as well as the dressing with some pasta for a great Greek pasta salad.

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