Do You Have to Choose Between ePublishing and Traditional Publishing?


There seems to be a bit of animosity toward literary agents or traditional publishing houses with some of my colleagues and ePublishing revolutionaries and I cannot figure out why.  There is no reason why both worlds cannot co-exist and learn from each other. I had the opportunity to talk to quite a few literary agents and editors the last few week (aka hundreds) and I found that there is quite a bit they have to offer. I also see an openness toward embracing ePublishing as a way to not only test-market new books but create additional revenue streams for authors.


Let’s put it this way.  As Jamie Raab from Grand Central Publishing told me, “Print books still make up 80% of the marketplace”.  She’s one of the houses that admits they are actively seeking to work with ePublished authors. And believe me, I’m as pro-ePublishing as they come. It just seems foolish to me to burn any bridges.  Even if you only want to focus on ePublishing for the rest of your life, why not think of pBooks as another ancillary right you can sell just like you would sell the film rights or the audio rights?


Do you need an agent to succeed? Meaning to make a living or a name for yourself in the business? No. But if you want to land a pBook deal with a major publisher then I cannot recommend anyone more highly enough. You simply must have a literary agent or a publishing attorney to cut the deal.


Publishers have their boiler point contracts, which by their nature, service them more than the author. So, you need someone who knows the business who can cut the kind of deal that will be in your favor, someone who’s got your back.


Look, if you absolutely don’t want a pBook deal, then that’s okay but this growing venomous outrage from pro-ePublished authors has got to stop. It services no one.  Both worlds can learn a lot from one another, as Carole DeSanti, VP of Viking Penguin told me, “We’re all going to be borrowing from each other as we invent our way into the new era. ”


eBooks the New Slushpile?

I recently interviewed over 80 editors about eBooks and guess what? I found that 70 out of the 80 are actively looking for eBooks to acquire. We’re talking about major editors here, not only small houses.  Have eBooks become the new slushpile? I can foresee a time in the near future when half of the books acquired by major houses were first test-marketed as eBooks by independently published authors or forward-thinking literary agents who proved there was a market for the books first before they even thought about pitching to editors.  The advantages of doing so, of course, are that then they will fetch a much higher price.  The disadvantage is that if you bomb and bomb big, it’s possible no editor will touch it.

What is the magic number of eBook sales before an editor is interested in looking at your project? I found an interesting mix of answers when I asked editors that same question everything from 1000 eBooks sold to 100,000 but the average editor said that if you sold at least 5000 eBooks, then they’d take a good look at you.  How do you reach that number and what other factors are they looking at?  We’ll talk about that more in future  posts.

Name My Book & Win $100 for Your Favorite Charity

For the last year-and-a-half, I have been having a heck of a time trying to think of the perfect title for my new book that wasn’t already taken and that was also available as a domain name.  My book is a nonfiction inspirational book. It is a collection of true stories about some of the most successful people of our time and the lowest point in their life, before they became successful and finally, how they came out of it.

Whether you’re like Chicken Soup for the Soul Co-Creator, Mark Victor Hansen (who is in the book) and lost everything and had to work for less than $3/hour cleaning out trains or comedian, Jeff Foxworthy (who is also in the book) and risked his good paying job to become a stand-up comedian only to have his car repossessed and his mother-in-law tell him he’d never make it, every successful person has that moment.

I want people to walk away after reading these people’s stories and know there is no excuse to not succeed. You can make it, no matter what.

But here’s the thing. I cannot find the right title. And some of the best ones I’ve thought of, I find have already been taken. I’m very instinctive. It’s got to feel right and I’ll know it, when I see it.

Help me name my book and if we choose your title, you will win a $100 prize that you can give to your favorite charity. You will also be in the acknowledgments of the book as well.

100% of the proceeds of this book will go to charity.

Facebook Comment below to participate. Before you make your suggestion below, check with Amazon and to make sure that it’s still available.

How You Met Your Soulmate Contest

I’m hosting a contest for the best soulmate connection story with a $100 prize. I want people to know that true love does exist.  To read my personal soulmate story click here.



Tell us how you knew without a doubt that you met “the one”? How did they prove to you their love beyond a doubt? Does your story sound like it belongs in a Nicholas Sparks novel?  Maybe it’s the story of how your grandparents met. Maybe your soulmate is your best friend or even your mother or brother. Tell us your true story below using the Facebook comment feature and you could win the $100 prize.

Straight, gay, transgender, old, young, male, female, English, Spanish, Turkish, we want it all.

How do we know if you have a powerful story? We’ll read each and every story below but get as many of your friends to like and comment on your story, then we’ll know it’s definitely worth taking a second look at.  Secondly, pour your heart out!

The deadline is: August 15, 2011 so get as many people as you can to like and comment on your story.

Can’t wait to read your soulmate story.  I can tell you first-hand, when you’ve met your soulmate, like I have, nothing’s better.


Jeff Rivera is the author of many love stories including FOREVER MY LADY (Grand Central Publishing) and the forthcoming graphic novel FOREVER MY BABY (Blue Water Prods).






I Need Your Help! We were Discriminated Against



We were told that if we did not stop holding hands we would be escorted out by security. This upset us terribly. I know Costa Rica is not America but they had to have rights and discrimination laws here, right?


When my partner, Geovanny told his friends on Facebook, immediately there was overwhelming support.  We rallied the support from a wonderful lesbian activist group who gathered over 200 people to demonstrate in front of the building.  But it went on, we filed a complaint with the courts and now, the case is at Costa Rica’s version of the Supreme Court. What happens here is very important and this is why I need your help.


No matter what your religious beliefs, discrimination is wrong.


It’s very important because the bar/casino is spreading lies saying that we were kissing and acting sexual with each other. (Which as you can see from the unedited video from Youtube is a complete lie) and they’ve drummed up two witnesses to say this (one of whom coincidentally happens to work at the Parliment. Payola?)  They say all this even though as you can see from the videos below none of it is true.


You can see the videos yourself here:



If we win this case, this could help change laws everywhere in Costa Rica forever.  No longer will gays, lesbians, straight couples, transgenered couples not be allowed to hold hands in public.  There will be equal rights at this casino and therefore will be a benchmark for this country and all of Central and perhaps South America.


What’s worse is if we lose this case, the Casino can come back and try to sue us! Imagine that.


I’m asking if you will please write a quick email to the supreme court below and tell them that you support us and that you will not stand for discrimination and will not visit Costa Rica, nor tell your friends or family to go to Costa Rica until there is true equality there for couples of all types.


Every single email matters. It takes just seconds to do. Whether you’re straight or gay or anywhere in between, whether you’re black or white or green, imagine if you were just trying to eat dinner with your partner and you were arrested for holding hands in the street. Does that sound right? This is the full and final decision and once the court rules on it, they never change the laws. That’s why it’s important that we win this case.


Simply copy and paste these emails and please remember to mention our Case Number #Exp 1149-81-0007-CO


Here is where you email:


Here’s an example of what you might say. It can be very short:


Dear Magistrate,

I am in full support of Geovanny Delgado Castro and Jeff Rivera. Discrimination should not be tolerated whether it is against gays, lesbians, blacks or Asians.  And furthermore, my family, my colleagues, my friends, and I do not plan on coming to Costa Rica until this issue is resolved in a fair and just way.  The WORLD is watching.  Please, make the right decision with their case: #Exp 1149-81-0007-CO





Coming Full Circle – Back to Self-Publishing (Again)

Now, here I am, 7 years later and so much has changed in the industry. Although the majority of aspiring authors still dream of landing an agent and getting published, there’s a huge movement of those who were rejected by the industry or are disgusted by the practices of the industry that they’ve decided to go independent. And since it’s now easier than ever to self-publish with the Kindles, Nooks and Kobos of the world, even major authors are taking those risks.

I’m about to do the same thing. I do have some books that are the perfect match for major or small publishers for example my graphic novel, Forever My Baby that is being published by Blue Water Productions.  But the majority of my novels, I will be self-publishing. Then, I can always sell the print rights to a major publisher later. To me, print rights are just another ancillary right like the film rights or the merchandising rights that you might want to sell.

Why wait to see if you’re going to get approved, validated, vetted?  Why wait for someone to say, “You’re good enough” or “go back and get a bigger platform” before you move forward with doing what you really want to do? In my case, my goal always was to tell the stories I’m passionate about, build my fanbase and market directly to them.

I don’t need a major publisher for that. I feel like they’ll be in the way.  I can get a freelance editor who has the skillset to edit my book that came from one of the major houses. I can get an agent or manager or someone like my friend, Dr. Ken Atchity from Story Merchant to go and sell the film, foreign rights etc when the time is right but otherwise, why bother?

I know first hand, that when you land a book deal with a major publisher, you have to do just as much marketing on your own as you do when you self-publish, so then why am I giving away 90% of my money? Doesn’t make sense.

I’m excited about this new opportunity and want to do more and more writing and more and more connecting with my fans.

There’s going to be some exciting books coming up that I’m very passionate about so hold on, we’re about to go on an amazing ride.


Changes in My Life

Forever My Baby NovelFriday, June 17, 2011

Isn’t it funny how things change in your life?  I guess if they always stayed the same then it’d get boring but for me change allows me to really focus on what I want. Is this what I want? Am I doing what really makes me happy?

I had one of those moments lately when I thought to myself, “hey, yeah, it’s great I’m interviewing a lot of celebrities, I’m rubbing elbows with the who’s who of publishing but is that what I want? Why am I doing all that?”

And I came to the conclusion that the main reason I am doing all of that is to afford myself the time and resources to do what I really want, to write my novels.  That’s what I’m most passionate about. I also love helping people succeed, making their path to publishing a little easier than mine was.  That’s why I do consultations and help people get ready for a literary agent, to independently publish, etc.

So then, I thought: “Wait a minute, I already have all the time and resources to write my novels. Why not just do it?”

In fact, we all do. I write the same amount of hours I did when I had a day job. We’re all given 24 hours a day. There are people like my friend, author Pat Tucker who is a mother, a full-time journalist and still manages to crank out literally a novel every 2 weeks. So, money and time can’t be used as an excuse.

Although I will do occasional interviews and articles with celebrities and power players of my choosing (like the upcoming article on Marc Anthony’s concert), and will consult with a few select clients I have on publishing, 90% of my energy is going to be focused on writing my novels in this phase in my life.

My next novel, coming up is a graphic novel called, Forever My Baby which is being published by Blue Water Productions and is being released on Monday, November 7, 2011.  It is the prequel to my first novel, Forever My Lady.  It’s a blast to write but oh, Lord what a lot of work!