Beware the Spider Hits Publishers Weekly

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Publishers Weekly, the bible of the publishing industry, included my new book, Beware the Spider, in its list of new titles from self-publishers in its July 2019 edition.

It’s just a small factual blurb, but it gets the title in front of more eyes, and that’s what it’s all about right now.

If you don’t have your copy yet, get an ebook or print version. If you’ve read it, please post a review.


Social Media Silence

One thought guided me during 15 years of Internet consulting work: If you don’t have anything useful to say, DON’T SAY ANYTHING.


Evidence of the wisdom of that often-ignored advice can be found across the landscape these days.

So the silence emanating from this Web site recently was intentional. I was working on a lot of things, but there was no progress to report … so I didn’t say anything.

I now have two announcements:

  1. I sent the edited and proofed manuscript of my Viet Nam memoir to the designer this week. has created covers and interior designs for more than 3,000 published works. I’m excited to see the design concepts they come up with for HOTEL CONSTELLATION: Notes from America’s Secret War in Laos. I should have them in two weeks, and I’ll be asking for input.
  2. I expect to release the self-published HOTEL CONSTELLATION on January 30, 2018, the 50th anniversary of the Tet Offensive in Viet Nam. My book isn’t about Tet, but Tet changed everything about the war in Indochina, and I think it’s appropriate.

Now that I’ve progressed to this point, I’ll be posting more frequently. Because I have something to say (at last).

Hemingway on Writing

This quotation from Ernest Hemingway’s interview with the Paris Review in its Spring 1958 issue struck a chord:

 It is hard enough to write books and stories without being asked to explain them as well.

Publication Decision: A Realization

Publishing a book requires taking thousands of tiny steps, bare-footed and blind-folded, over a rough blacktop road littered with tacks.

— Me, Today (expletives deleted)

Quote me on that.

Inching toward a go-no go decision on self-publishing the memoir of my two years in Southeast Asia during the Viet-Nam war.

Now I wonder, of course, if the title is right: HOTEL CONSTELLATION: Notes from America’s Secret War in Laos.


Fits for me, but I’ve already read it (dozens of times). Perhaps it doesn’t say enough to the potential reader. And does anyone know that Laos was part of the larger “Viet-Nam war”?

So maybe it should be: HOTEL CONSTELLATION: Notes from America’s Secret War in Laos and Viet-Nam.

That’s really long. I could shorten it to HOTEL CONSTELLATION: Notes from America’s Secret War in Laos and & Viet-Nam.

Shorter still would be HOTEL CONSTELLATION: Notes from America’s Secret War in Laos and & Viet-Nam.

That wouldn’t be totally accurate since it’s not an expose or pure history. And I liked the Hotel Constellation link, since I practically lived there. But maybe that’s too touristy.

Maybe call it “Secret War”? Nope, literally hundreds of Secret War titles on Amazon.

“Hidden War”? Far fewer Amazon titles, but still this is not just history.


Ah, well.

Also working on metadata, keywords, BISAC book categories , ISBNs (Got ’em but have to register), Library of Congress registration and copyright. Also need a cover designer, interior designer, converter, distributor …

Someone once said of publishing a book that it’s like walking on tacks. What a wise man.