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Where realism and idealism meet Tony Brasunas, author of Double Happiness

Posts about writing and independent publishing

IT’S DONE: Cover, Title, Subtitle

Red, White & Blind (logo)

Many thanks for your thoughts, suggestions, and wisdom! Your votes for the book’s subtitle varied even more widely than those for the cover. Looking through the results, and talking to a range of people—including some of the Alpha and Beta Readers who read the full book—the first thing I realized was that I had to keep the subtitle short.

The second thing I realized was that I needed to combine both a tiny summary of the book and a brief focus on the book’s ultimately positive analysis about where our troubled media landscape is headed.

It was a bit like composing a haiku.

I couldn’t include censorship, propaganda, and disinformation in the subtitle. I couldn’t even have two of those buzzwords. I needed to choose one.

This first half of the subtitle came down to a dilemma between censorship and disinformation. Both concepts are central to the book’s premises and receive deep analysis. Your votes helped me to see that one of these words is more compelling to Americans in 2022 than the other. I believe I landed on the one with the widest interest: Disinformation.

Enlightenment vs Consciousness

Even tougher was composing the subtitle’s second half. How to summarize the positive paths I chart in the book—the reasons why I’m optimistic—in five words or less?

  • The New Enlightenment is the concept that ties the whole book together: We are living through the unfolding of a tumultuous age like the era that followed Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of the movable-type printing press in the 1400s. The internet and its unprecedented access to information is enabling universal human connection, revealing long-hidden aspects of reality, and dethroning entrenched arbiters of truth. This is a wild epoch taking us kicking and screaming into a brighter and more truthful future.
  • Media Consciousness is the state I urge all Americans to cultivate as we undergo this tumultuous time. If we can talk to people outside our echo chambers, if we can step outside our mental comfort zones, if we can follow a Balanced Media Diet, we can see through much of the censorship, propaganda, and disinformation. We can be part of the solution, and we can live wiser, fuller lives too. That’s how I see it.

Between these two central concepts of the book, the New Enlightenment is more all-encompassing, but I think it is ultimately too opaque an idea for people to comprehend prior to reading the book. The subtitles with this term received fewer votes than those proposing Media Consciousness, which many people liked.

And that was that.

After much consultation and contemplation, I landed on this cover, title, and subtitle. What do you think?

Red, White & Blind - front cover

I hope you like it as much as I do. I’m thrilled now to get this book into your hands and embark on this essential, modern conversation with you. How to be informed in a world full of deception?

This book is now with the publisher. The release date will be announced here very soon.

Thank you for all of your encouragement and assistance in helping me reach this point!

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Posted in Polls | Red, White & Blind | Writing
by Tony Brasunas on October 28, 2022

Big Announcement Coming Soon

I haven’t written much here in a while. Hey, that’s about to change!

I’ve been hard at work on a book on media distortion. I feel it’s some of the most important work of my life. I’ve been researching and writing with every spare minute over the past twelve months. My hope is that this work will be of use to you.

At the end of next week, I will unveil the book’s title and cover. I’m a bit nervous about it, to be honest, as I’ve been holding this name close to my chest for all these months. It will be the title of the book and the name of these emails going forward.

Beta Readers

The book is nearly done but here’s one final chance if you would like to help me write it! If you can read the manuscript in 3 weeks and point out any gaping holes in my analysis or my research, or flaws in the structure of the book, that would be amazing. You’ll get a sneak peek at the title, cover, logo, and publication date before anyone else, a mention in the Acknowledgements, and my eternal gratitude 🙂 The four Alpha Readers were heroic, brilliant, and extremely helpful!

My Thoughts

As for my thoughts (on covid, Ukraine, censorship, the California primary, science and the suppression thereof, the shooting in Uvalde, Amber Heard, Bill Gates, etc), that is all coming soon as well. Well, maybe not on every one of those topics. For now, I humbly recommend a Balanced Media Diet >

 

That’s it. More from me next week!

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Posted in Politics | Writing
by Tony Brasunas on June 1, 2022

7 Things To Do if You Publish Your Book Independently

If you want to publish a beautiful and popular book using the powerful publishing tools available to authors today, here are seven things you need to do to succeed.

(This is Part III of an Indie Pub Trilogy.  Part I is an overview of the pros and cons of independent and traditional publishing. Part II recounts my personal journey to publishing independently rather than via a literary agent.)

7-things-to-do-if-you-publish-independently
  1. Write a great book. First, and most importantly, before we talk about anything else, you need to write absolutely the best book you can. Pour your talent and your time into it. Stop reading this article, and go write your tour de force. Right now.Or right after reading this article. You do need to know a few more things.

    The truth is, despite any cynicism you might hear on the interwebs about uneducated readers, dwindling attention spans, or a glut of writers, this is a fabulous time to be a good writer. Both readership and book sales per reader are growing and will continue to grow. Good writing will rise above mediocre writing every time, and exquisite prose that sings like poetry will always rise to the top. Fabulous writing will also make everything about promoting your voice, getting your word out, and selling your book infinitely easier.

    Read, write, revise, repeat. It is the way, it will always be the way. We humans have been telling each other stories at least since there was fire. Storytelling is here to stay. Feel free to get really good at it.

  2. Promote now. That said, start promotion today. Many people told me this, but still I sort of dabbled and waited until I felt done with my book. I finally did start this blog and write occasional articles, but I could’ve and should’ve been doing a lot more via social media and via a newsletter.You don’t have to do everything; don’t get overwhelmed and then never start. See #6, “Focus on you,” below.

    But do something to promote your voice or your writing today, and keep it up. Then do something else. Here are some ideas: (more…)

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Posted in Independent Publishing | Writing
by Tony Brasunas on October 25, 2015

My Long Sweet Journey into Print
 (Part II)

After a long journey during which I considered many options, and not just the main two options we’re discussing here, I realized something: It was going to be hard. It was going to be a lot of work. And I was at a fork in the road.

(This is Part II of my Indie Publishing Trilogy of posts. See Part I  for the pros and cons of independent and traditional publishing. This post covers how I made my choice. Part III lists Seven Things You Need to Do if You Publish Your Book Independently.)

I knew it would be a lot of work either way I went — whether I sold the manuscript to a publishing house, or published my book independently. I was intimidated, but I was optimistic and determined as well. I decided, first, that while writing Double Happiness — during the years of rewrites and revisions — I would also approach literary agents in the hope of landing a publishing deal.

My Long Sweet Journey into Print

I was right. It was a lot of work. I ended up spending almost as much time writing query letters, synopses, proposals, and chapter summaries as I did revising the book. It turns out, you have to know a lot about the industry just to write a decent cover letter.

For all of my work, I did receive significant interest, and many agencies requested partials of my manuscript. Some agencies showed enthusiasm and requested the whole manuscript. Still, all eventually led to rejections.

After nearly a decade of work, as I was completing the final, final revision of Double Happiness, I leapt into exploring the independent route.

What I found was exhilarating and daunting. I still had so much to learn. But I was thrilled and, armed with a manuscript I knew was great, I felt ready to do it. I was ready to publish my book myself.

A Strange Coincidence

Coincidentally, just as I decided to go indie, I was approached by several literary agents who showed real interest. Two agencies went all the way and offered to sign me. It was mystifying. Did they want me now only because I wasn’t seeking them? Had my manuscript improved so much? Were they paying attention to me because I had started blogging?

I had my theories, but I really wasn’t sure. (more…)

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Posted in Double Happiness | Independent Publishing | Writing
by Tony Brasunas on July 28, 2015

Independent Publishing vs. Getting a Traditional Literary Agent
 (Part I)

Are you a writer interested in publishing your first book, your labor of love, your masterpiece, your tour de force? Or are you perhaps a writer who has published with a small or large private press and is curious now about independent publishing?

What once was called “self-publishing” with a dismissive sniff is now known as Independent Publishing and accounts for a rapidly growing share of books published and sold worldwide. There also certainly remain many advantages to getting a literary agent and selling a manuscript to a large corporate publishing house.

Independent Publishing vs Getting a Literary AgentThere’s a lot to explore on this topic. For the sake of brevity, I’m splitting this post into three parts, a “Trilogy of Posts,” if you will. In this first post, I will outline the advantages both of independent publishing and of going the traditional literary-agent route.

Let me know in the comments what I’ve missed.

(Update: I’ve now added Part II of this trilogy of posts, in which I explain which route I chose, and how it’s worked out. Update: And now Part III is done too: It lists Seven Things You Need To Do If You Publish Your Book Independently.)

 

Advantages of Independent Publishing

This is the new paradigm, the way to “own your content” immediately and forever. We can boil down the advantages of going indie to these three primary benefits: creative control, profit, and speed.

With creative control, you get to create the book you’ve envisioned, the masterpiece that inspired you from the start. No months or years of rejection from gatekeeper agents and condescending editors; no crucial paragraphs, pages, or chapters inexplicably removed by a squeamish or distracted junior editor in a shrinking editorial department; no changes to the book’s cover ordered at the last minute by a clueless faraway advertising department who doesn’t understand your book. You have the creative vision, you have the creative power, you have the creative control.

The profits you can potentially receive as an independent author outstrip what can be made under a traditional publishing contract. (more…)

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Posted in Double Happiness | Independent Publishing | Writing
by Tony Brasunas on June 30, 2015

How To Write an Amazon Review

Review Double Happiness in three quick easy steps:

  1. If you don’t already have the book, go get it at the Amazon Book Page.

      Download or Buy the Book >

     

  2. Go to the “Customer Reviews” page. You might have to log in or create a free account at Amazon.

    Go to the Customer Reviews Page >

     

  3. Leave a review and star rating. Write whatever you’d like. Two sentences are enough. Or write as much as you like. Tell others something that the book made you think about or feel.
    Leave a Customer Review

You’re done! Thank you. Your review will help more people find Double Happiness.

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Posted in Double Happiness | Writing
by Tony Brasunas on April 10, 2015