My New Turkey Book—and the Mysteries of Self-publishing

Turkey and the Arab SpringI’m delighted to report that my new book, “Turkey and the Arab Spring: Leadership in the Middle East,” has gotten off to a very good start on Amazon. After ten days it now ranks # 1 on Amazon in the category of Middle East politics! For all that I owe my readers a huge thank you!

This is gratifying from another important perspective as well. As most of you know, I took the risk of self-publishing this one, after so many years of publishing with commercial NY publishers. I know many of you are interested in this phenomenon of self-publishing yourselves, which is certainly a fast-evolving field that has thrown traditional publishing concepts and practices totally off course.

So far I have mixed experience with it, and faced a considerable learning curve.

My first self-published book was in 2012, “Three Truths and a Lie” – my memoir about our son Luke, adopted from Korea at age one, and who died of crack cocaine at 21. It received very warm comments from many readers on Amazon, but has been very slow in sales and has received virtually no publicity.

The key problem, as many of you know, is getting reviewers to review the book. This is always a problem with any book but especially with self-published ones since many journals have, or have had, policies against reviewing them. But the field is changing fast and it can no longer be summed up as simply “vanity press.” So many serious writers are now experimenting with going indie. But even the greatest book in the world needs reviews if anybody is to know it’s out there.

So with this new book on Turkey I’m hoping that the fact my name is already reasonably well known in the field will override some reviewer reluctance. But that hope has yet to be demonstrated one way or the other—after all, the book has barely been out for two weeks. So far sales have come from a life-time list of friends and colleagues who have received word via various emails about the book’s publication.

I sincerely want to thank you all again for having expressed interest in this book—and for purchasing it. I hope you might even consider reviewing it in some medium or other, including reader reviews on the book’s Amazon page.

There’s much more to be said about Turkey itself at this juncture—a fast moving and dramatic situation. I’ll have much more to say about that, and other issues, in coming blogs.