The Rave Verdict for The Jury

0298 Goldberg ecover The Jury Series Bruce Grossman at Bookgasm has given THE JURY SERIES a rave review. Here's an excerpt:

This four-book collection, THE JURY SERIES, is straight-up men’s adventure material. Don’t expect complex plots; these were all about body counts and vengeance, and there is plenty of both to go around.  Originally credited to Ian Ludlow, they were actually Goldberg in disguise — a mild-mannered college student testing out his writing muscle.[…] Goldberg holds nothing back in this one, that’s for sure. Bodies pile up real quickly, proving Macklin is not one to screw with. This collection recharged my love for the genre.

Thanks so much, Bruce!


The Tired Procedural

Ken Levine reveals on his blog today the tired formula behind  most of today’s procedural crime dramas. Here’s an excerpt:

[The hero] must have some supernatural power. He or she can read minds, has an amazing photographic memory, can remember every lunch he/she ever had, is a math whiz, or the most common – can see Fairy Tale characters. 

But with this gift must come a curse. They must be tortured emotionally. They must have a dark past. Their wife/sibling/child/imaginary friend has been killed and they’re still haunted by it. 

They’re only helping the police solve crimes as a way to better get in touch with resolving the unsolved circumstances of their dark past. The killer is still out there!  But only week one and the season finale.  Otherwise, it’s business as usual.  Solving crimes and tossing off zingers…


For the rest, check out his blog.

The Mail I Get

Here are some genuine emails that I have received over the last few weeks regarding my MONK books. I've removed the names of the authors to save them embarrassment. 

Email #1.

Can I write books for "Monk", too? I think a second perspective would be appreciated by the fans. Please let me know who to contact at your publishing company.

Email #2.

Would it be okay with you if I write MONK books if I go to a different publisher in a diferent country? Please email me ASAP at your convenience.

Email #3.

 what happened to Mr. Monk's wedding ring in the photo on the cover of  the new novel, Mr Monk and the Couch? This needs to be corrected right away.

Email #4.

You need to write some Monk books from Sharona's perspective set before Natalie showed up because she's a bitch. If you won't do it soon, I will have to stop buying your books..


The Mail I Get

Apparently, as an author, I have an obligation to society to be a creative writing instructor and agent at large for anyone who has written a book. Here's an excerpt from an email I got today:

[…]I haven't been able to get my novel published.  Several notable editors and agents who have seen it were, in their rejections, very complimentary about the writing quality, the plot, etc., etc.  Maybe this was just professional courtesy, though it felt authentic.   I think they just didn't see massive commercial potential, or a referral from a big name.

I do think it's a good book and should be published. And I wonder what you think.

XYZ  is an off-off-beat detective novel. That is, I think it's off-beat in unusual ways, and "on beat" as well.  I hope you'll read it, send me your thoughts on it and, if you really love it or greatly respect it, volunteer an effective connection that could get it published or filmed. 

The manuscript of the novel is attached.

Keep in mind, this lady is a complete stranger. Here's how I replied:

Thank you for your note and your kind words. I'm afraid I just don't have time to read your book and give you comments. I have a novel due on Nov. 1, and I just signed a 12-book deal with Amazon that requires me to deliver a book-a-month. Yes, you read right, a book-a-month. I also do not feel comfortable reading books-in-progress by people who a) aren't close friends or family or b) students of mine in a class, so I have deleted your manuscript unread. I hope you understand.  

She did not. She fired back a one-line response.

It's not a book in progress. It's complete.

So I wrote her back:

Yes, I understand that. What I mean is, it's not a galley of a book that's about to be published. It's an unsold manuscript…and you want a critique, which I don't have the time to do. Nor is it my practice to read unpublished manuscripts sent to me by strangers.

Again, she still didn't get it. She replied:

That's not really what I was after. I don't need a critique.  But never mind. Thanks anyway.

No, that's exactly what she was after. In fact, she wanted that and more. She wanted me to stop what I am doing to read a book from a total stranger, evaluate it, and then pass it along to all the contacts I've made in publishing and film.

I've certainly done that before…the difference is, it's been for family, friends, or students of mine. People that I know, that I have a relationship with, personally or professionally. But who is this woman to me? Nobody.

It just astonishes me how incredibly presumptuous some people can be.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have a manuscript to send to Stephen King that I'd like him read, give me his opinion on, and then send to his editor and his contacts at Dreamworks. We've never met, but that doesn't matter. He owes me. I've read some of his books.

More Word from The Dead

Ron Hogan at Reader's Entertainment has written a great background piece on THE DEAD MAN series and our new deal with Amazon. Here's an excerpt:

“Ultimately, we are the ones responsible for maintaining the consistency of the franchise and turning in great books to Thomas & Mercer,” Goldberg explains; each book is commissioned on a work-for-hire basis, with the authors receiving an advance and splitting royalties with the series’ creators. Although Thomas & Mercer will be paying a lower royalty rate than the 70 percent Goldberg and Rabkin earned while self-publishing, the deal is still “much better than what we would get from a traditional publishing contract,” he says. “In addition, we are going to move a lot more units than we would thanks to Amazon’s marketing and promotional savvy on their own platform.” 

That’s welcome news for Goldberg, who attributes much of the “great” sales for Face of Evil to a guest post he wrote for Amazon’s Kindle blog in which he described how the series was connected to his love of classic “men’s adventure” novels that flourished when the paperback market was in its heyday. “The other books [in the series] were doing fine, but not spectacularly well,” he admits. “Nowhere near what we saw as their potential, based on the amazing critical response and reader reviews we’ve been getting.”

When Amazon’s audiobook division, Brilliance Audio, began negotiating at the beginning of the summer with Goldberg and Rabkin about audio versions of the series, Thomas & Mercer quickly became involved as well. “They instantly understood what we were hoping to accomplish with the series,” Goldberg says. “They saw the potential in it and, like us, were frustrated that it hadn’t been tapped yet.”


The Mail I Get

How not to solicit a review:

The digital galley proofs of my new biothriller XYZ are now ready for review. […]I am not requesting a complete review, just one to three sentences giving your general opinion of the novel. You probably won't need to read the entire book, just enough of it to to form some general impressions. Of course, if you prefer reading it all the way through in order to write a more complete review, please do.

Dated Angels

My favorite jab at the new Charlie's Angels came from the New York Times:

ABC has marketed the remake with the slogan “These are not your mother’s Angels.” And that is certainly true — they are your grandmother’s Angels, throwbacks to an era when there was something contrary and cute about a woman with flowing hair and a lethal karate chop.


I'm always trying to juggle my family and work committments to figure out the best, and most productive, use of my time. Unfortunately, writing a post for my blog always ends up at the bottom of the list. It's not like I don't have things to say about television, publishing, or the writing process…or pet peeves to vent about, publishing scams to rant about or ridiculous emails to ridicule. My "For the Blog" file on my hard-drive is full of emails, links and tidbits. But between my deadlines, business meetings, and family obligations, I just haven't had the time to pay much attenton to this blog. I don't know how my friends Ken Levine and Bill Crider manage to post new material every day…  

IAMTW Suspends Dues for 2012

Gse_multipart38023 These are tough financial times…and writers, particularly those in the tie-in field, are hurting. 

We want to do our small part to help out.

The International Association of Media Tie-in Writers is suspending annual dues for current and new members effective immediately and on through 2012…dues will be re-instated on January 1, 2013.

That doesn’t mean we’ll be shutting down and riding out the economic storm…quite the opposite. 

We’ll continue to introduce our members to tie-in editors and licensing execs with our quarterly mailing of member credits and contact info…we’ll continue to put out TIED-IN, our newsletter about tie-in writing…we’ll continue to give out the Scribe awards for excellence in media tie-in writing…and we’ll continue to moderate our highly popular private discussion board for media tie-in professionals.

And over the next month or two, we will also be renovating our website, freshening up our Facebook presence, and adding an audio category to our Scribe Awards.

We hope this will not only help our current members but also draw some new professional tie-in writers into the fold.