Thursday, June 5, 2008

A Good Book Can Rise Above Publisher Bias

Here’s an inspiring story that should encourage all of us authors published by non-traditional publishers. I recently heard from Texas author Tony Eldridge, who published his action-adventure thriller, The Samson Effect, through iUniverse in 2007, that he has sold the film rights for the book to a major Los Angeles film producer. Interestingly, the film producer’s name is also Tony Eldridge.

Here’s what happened. Author Tony Eldridge had gotten some good pre-publication reviews for his book, which apparently resulted in producer Tony Eldridge getting some emails congratulating him on his soon-to-be-published novel. The producer, who hadn’t written a novel, did some research, discovered his namesake author, and requested a copy of the book. He got the book, couldn’t put it down, read it cover to cover in one evening and the next morning made a deal for the film rights.

Author Tony Eldridge is justifiably proud and excited about the film-rights sale. Producer Tony Eldridge is also pleased. He said, “Finding great material is what it’s all about. It’s like panning for gold. You just never know when you’re going to get lucky or where that nugget is going to come from.”Probably most of us don’t have the good fortune to share a name with a major Hollywood producer. So why should we be inspired and encouraged by this story?

Because it’s all about the book! The author’s name may have opened the door, but once inside the book spoke for itself. The producer bought the book because he thought it was a great book that would make a great movie. He didn’t care who published the book. He only cared about the book itself.

Author Tony Eldridge had some good luck in getting his book noticed. But if the book hadn’t been good, nothing would have come of it. Producer Tony Eldridge was open-minded enough to go ahead and read the book, even though it wasn’t published by a mainstream publisher. His reward was finding some great material.

I’m delighted to be able to pass on this story that reinforces a point that I’ve been making over and over on this blog: A good book is a good book regardless of how it’s published. Tony’s success can help all of us who don’t follow the traditional path to publishing hold our heads a bit higher.

Also—I read an excerpt of The Samson Effect on Tony’s website and found it well-written and engaging. You might want to check it out.

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