Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ron Riekki - 2010


That's right! I met Ron Riekki! Don't you wish you had?

I started off my weekend a little early, on Thursday, when I attended my usual Thursday night positivity group. Lately we've been spending a lot of time on entrepreneurship and things like the Four Hour Work Week, and along that vein, one of the guys gave a presentation on how to get your book published and sold. There are so many options nowadays that anyone who wants to get published can be, and I don't even mean the pay-to-publish places (many of which are scams).

Next came Friday. I was planning on going to a mixer with some new friends and just socialize, but then I got wind of a much more interesting event down closer to Orlando, so I checked that out, and met a few smart and interesting people. I learned a lot about the differences of how men and women think and approach dating. It was a heck of a drive, but I got to spend the time I was there in educational conversations.

Then Saturday I met an up-and-coming author named Ron Riekki (pronounced like "Ricky"). He wrote a book called "U. P." and it's about the people of the upper peninsula of Michigan, which is where he's from. He gave a talk to my new writer's group about how he's achieving success. He's got a bunch of irons in the fire, works his butt off, and somehow he got the attention of Sean Penn and Hilary Swank, who are turning his book into a movie. He was kind enough to tell us how he did it, and how we could do it too. Ron Riekki was very against the idea of "self-publishing", which I think he meant employing pay-to-publish houses, aka vanity-press. He says he was constantly asked by people whom he wanted to interview with if his book was self-published or not, and told just as often that very few media outlets will publicize self-published authors.

I can kind of see the point; anyone can get published if they pay, and no one wants dreck getting media attention. Since most people who pay to publish don't have much in the way of quality - else they'd be able to get published the traditional way - it's really a black mark against you because few people want to give you a chance. If 99% of self-published books are crap, chances are yours is too. (Not that traditionally published books are much better, but at least there someone else thought it was good enough to print.)

So you're wondering if I got a copy of Ron Riekki's book U.P. and read it... No and no. I picked it up, leafed through it a little, tried reading a couple excerpts, but I didn't like the way the words were on the page, I had a hard time reading more than a sentence or two, and I detested his cover (it ironically looked like it was self-published). It sounded a little bit interesting from the way he described it, like it was a good cultural reference for that area, but the tale is rather dark and dreary and I'm not into negativism any more. (Frex, I won't watch the new BSG any more because of how much negativity is in it. (Good thing I already saw the whole series while I enjoyed that kind of thing!)) Maybe U. P. is really great, but I just get the feeling that it's one of those things that proves that success is more about who you know and how well-known you are than it is about quality.

After listening to Ron's rambling story and absorbing the impressive lessons he had to teach - thank you, Ron Riekki - I then went downtown to the beach, where they had a free concert and fireworks! I went down there to meet some new friends, who didn't stay very long, but I wanted to see the fireworks. Someone else sat down with me and we chatted it up good until the fireworks finally went off. I was impressed: I was expecting just a basic show, but the town spent a pretty penny for that 15 minute fireworks display.

I also discovered an interesting new place there on the beach next to the Bandshell. It's technically a bar, but it feels a lot like a large living room, so it's nice and comfortable. I'll be going back.

And today I'm just relaxing, catching up on Burn Notice. Seems I missed the first 7 episodes of Season 1! Hey, nobody tell Bruce Campbell I missed episodes now that he's got a serious job!

Have a good Sunday, and buy something from one of these links!


Further articles you'll find interesting or helpful:
"The The Impotence of Proofreading," by TAYLOR MALI
 Arizona you evil state you


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