This sounds so official:
He calls himself a POD Person, though he is in no way affiliated with extraterrestrials or companies that produce sleek little electronic juke boxes. His name is Jesse Gordon, and he is only one of many up-and-coming independent authors working their way up the publishing ladder, one book at a time.
Hot on the heels of the recent POD (print-on-demand) explosion, Gordon has already made a name for himself in the online literary world, and has published more than 30 short stories in the last six years. His new novel, Stories from the Steel Garden (his third novel and fourth book to date), is poised to raise the bar in a field where one’s writing is only as good as one’s presentation.
From the book’s back cover:
“Richard Doroschenko is a diligent worker and a kind-hearted resident of the Steel Garden manufacturing campus. He is also a storyteller with the ability to frame people, places, and events in such a way that the dismal mediocrity of everyday life becomes something bearable. This novel chronicles Richard’s experiences during Earth’s Sol Union days, when humankind is caught in a decades long galactic war that threatens to extinguish the human spirit once and for all—but Richard has a unique point of view, and he soon learns that his storytelling ability is more than just make-believe…”
The premise may sound a bit formulaic, cliche, even, in a genre where fresh ideas are few and far between, but Gordon is convinced his latest effort will stand on its own, apart from his peers’. “I wanted to tell an alien-human war story without all of the more typical mechanisms you read in books or see in movies. Thoughtful, believable narrative over slick one-liners designed to move mindless action along. Character development over action-figure pitfalls. Steel Garden is about being alive, being human—it just happens to take place in a sci-fi setting.”
Despite Gordon’s optimistic outlook, it remains to be seen whether or not he can overcome the challenges of self-publishing—namely a lack of mainstream distribution, and a noticeable apathy towards the quality of POD books in general.
“I’m not going to let it get me down,” he says. “I’m something of a perfectionist. Stories from the Steel Garden, for me, had to look and feel like anything you’d find on a store shelf at Borders or Barnes & Noble. With print-on-demand, there’s a lot more pressure because in many cases you have to be the writer, editor, and publisher, but the finished product is definitely worth it—as long as you follow through. I feel I’ve done just that, both with the story and with the finished product.”
Stories from the Steel Garden is available now at your local book store.