I’ve spent a great deal of time searching for the right publishing company to publish my book “Inside The Forbidden Outside”, the life of Jamie Cummings, when it’s finished. I had NO idea the amount of time it would take. If all I had to do was write the story, it would have been done 6 months ago.This  would also not even be a thought on a page were it not for the caring heart that beats inside Jamie; the love he has for his son, the help he has given other inmates, and the desire he has to help reach other people before they end up losing years of their life the way he has lost his.


People advised me to find a traditional publisher but it doesn’t take long to realize book publishing went the same way as music publishing since the internet gave people the power to take control of their own carers. As a musician, too much really good talent was overlooked if you didn’t have a connection with a  major record label. During the height of my music career when I was gigging 5-6 nights a week, putting food on the table for my kids, who had the time and money to work the business end, especially if you weren’t in LA or NY? I have stacks of songs written and performed during the 70’s and 80’s, but there was no internet. We passed out cassette tapes. Now musicians can record and promote themselves.

Now, to get a book deal with a major publishing company is nearly impossible unless you are already a proven name. They have lost a lot of money to self publishing. Publishing houses can’t afford to give up front money and you’re going to end up promoting yourself in most cases. They also own your work, can change it however they want and can even change the title.

Then came the internet and the birth of the ebook. Anyone can put out a book on the cheap, edit it themselves, publish a piece of crap, sell 10 copies to friends and call themselves an author. A lot of slick self publishing companies started that put out inferior products and also charge you for things you don’t need – but it sounds good.

I have looked at a lot of the companies and spoken to a lot of slick salesmen. If you have a book and don’t investigate their negative customer reviews it’s your own fault if you end up with a crappy looking book.

What has been harder for me is wanting a book publisher that also prints CDs to go on the inside back cover that will have selections of the beautiful, emotional, improvised piano music I’ve recorded that can also be found on many blog posts. It sets the mood for the book. It is the emotion of the story and they go together. It is unique. How many books do you purchase that has the background music to listen to already there on a music CD? More people are hearing my music than they did when I was gigging.



Now, after a long hiatus, another avenue of sales after it’s published, is to start gigging again. Go back to the piano bars and good restaurants, play music and sell books. Great advertising for the restaurant and good media promotion for myself. Most authors rely on the internet to sell. So will I. All social media and book sites, blogs, facebook, twitter, etc. and develop a mailing list.

I’m putting out the 2nd issue of my newsletter, in about a week, which is more than just about my book. You can  subscribe to the ITFO Newsletter  (Inside The Forbidden Outside) Those people on the list will have the option of getting the book for free and a downloadable version of the music as MP3’s, also for free – for a limited time, when it first comes out. All I ask for is a review, because reviews sell books. Money  buys attorneys.


I can not tell a lie. I have 2 chapters yet to write and I’m working on rewrites. No book gets published with rewriting it when a good editor gets their hands on it. I’ve put 1 1/2 years into this so far. There is no way it won’t be finished. It is one of the most satisfying things I’ve done. I need to make a trip to Tx to visit with Jamie, to take his son to visit and to clarify a few pieces of time. I am optimistic when I say at the end of the year for Holiday sales, but I am just guessing.

Those of you who have been with me and supported this blog about Jamie Cummings, you are just the greatest people. None of this would have been possible without you! . . .Blog posts and news about injustice in the world

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5 thoughts on “Catch Me If You Think You Can

  1. Sharron, I’ve been meaning to write to you. Did you get a copy of the new issue of the newsletter I started. I want to advertise books written about prison and I used yours in this issue. I used three different books – ones I’ve pushed on my blog before but I thought would be a good way to start. I want to find three more I can use for the next issue. I can’t remember who all have been added to the mailing list. Are you? If not, you can go to the top of my sight, to the last post (page) and that has the sign up form. If you didn’t get the second issue I can send it to you. It also went out to FB and Twitter. Fb used the cover of your book for the post there. Sometimes when I post a blog post to fb they will even chose a picture from my other blog that has absolutely nothing to do with the post. I contact them but they don’t respond. But your book did get exposure so it wasn’t a loss.

    I’m going to TX next week! I’ll be seeing Jamie that weekend. I’m trying to get a special 4 hour visit, but they only have 5 slots open for that, so it is like a lottery. The first 5 people who call at 8 am get them. It’s for people how have to travel over a certain amount of hours. If I don’t get it I will get the regular 2 hour visit. My daughter just sent new picture of their son. He has grown so much! I’ll be at my daughters for a week, then I will drive to NM ( right across the border from El Paso. for a week. I’ll be meeting up with old friends who just happen to be in TX, taking their RV around the country, so I might leave with them. They are going to the Grand Canyon and then I think, Nevada. I don’t know how long I’ll travel with them. My mother is still in a nursing home and I don’t know when she will be able to go home ( from her stroke) because I am her caregiver. This is why I have thrown this trip together because now is the only time I can leave. I decided to take a bus to TX. It seems less stressful than trying to get to Washington/ Baltimore (BMI) in rush hour traffic and high security and it’s a 5 1/2 hour round trip drive if there is no traffic. I can plug in my Nook and still blog and watch movies.


  2. It is a daunting experience getting your book published and promoting it. But, persistence pays off and it will get published and read. Looking forward to when it’s available!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes it scares me. I found a publishing co that also prints Cds for the the music. I’ve been thinking of going back to the piano bars, some classy restaurant -even one night a week when its done. I can sell the book with the CD and the club owner could use the book as advertisement for me.Maybe try to get some local media coverage. I quit doing gigs in 2003, but what the heck. I bought a great new keyboard last year. It was a gift to myself for staying alive. I’m just so tired of being sick and broke. Time to get back to work with my music. My brain thinks I’m 35. And BYE. I did get your book and read it again. Real books are so different than ebooks. I’m getting my next newsletter ready. I want to put one or two books in each one so I’ll be plugging yours this time around and blog. You have more than one. What would you like me to use?


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