Category Archives: TV


The Dangers of Telling “Truth” to “Power”

Since I was a journalist before I became a creative writer, my heart has always been fixed on the purpose of “telling truth to power.” That means that no matter how seemingly offensive or politically incorrect some words are, I must use them if they are true.

I have been criticized by authors, mainstream publishers and readers because of my adherence to this philosophy. Let’s face it. We live in a unique point in history when both sides of the political spectrum have their “sacred cows.”

To some on the Left, the proper use of English grammar rules can be a “political weapon of discrimination against people of color and the LBGQT community.”  To some of the Right, anybody who doesn’t speak English in public, or who wears “ethnic clothing,” becomes a suspected terrorist.

I want to give three examples of my work that would never be published in today’s mainstream press because the contents would offend some audience out there and thus would reduce sales.  Who cares if it’s historically accurate and/or the truth?  It’s the almighty dollar that matters.

You Can’t Use That Title!  It’s Offensive!

Here’s an exchange I had with a fellow historical fiction author.  I had approached her in a friendly attempt to have my novel Chinawoman’s Chance reviewed by her on her website.  I thought it would be appropriate because she was living in China, and this would help me widen my audience.

Right away, she refused, simply because of the title I used, which, to her, was completely offensive to readers.  I had to give her a brief history lesson as to why I would never change my title, and how my entire purpose for writing the Portia of the Pacific series was to expose the racism, sexism and prejudice that existed in the 1800s of the United State of America:

Hello A:

Respectfully, the title “Chinawoman” was used in the 1800s quite regularly, as well as “Chinaman.” In point of fact, the expression “Chinaman’s chance,” came from the practice of the railroad owners, like Leland Stanford, who would send the coolies out with explosives to blow-up the mountains to make tunnels for the trains to use. Until dynamite was invented by Alfred Nobel, they were regularly killed doing this dangerous act. Ergo, the racist term, which was used down through the years until it became a common expression for “having little or no hope.”

If my readers don’t appreciate the “facts” of discrimination and racism that existed in the United States in that period (which is one of the main purposes that I wrote my series), then they should never read my fiction at all. I use the latest research (I was a college professor for over 25 years) which shows the terms and denigrating treatment of the Chinese in vivid ways.

The narrator for my audio book is also of Chinese decent and she lived in San Francisco’s Chinatown, and she did not find the title offensive in the least. I used other terms that were constantly being used at the time, including chink, coolie, Yellow Peril, pagan idolaters, and demons. Chinawoman is the least offensive of the lot.

At any rate, I bought your book, and I am enjoying it. I will write a positive review, no doubt, unless your mystery takes a plunge for the worse.

Take care, and thanks for your opinions.


My next example comes from a novel I wrote that received quite favorable reviews from readers and from fellow authors.  However, some people were “offended” because of two reasons:  1.  I was writing as a Black narrator and I was white.  2.  I was “making light” of people with disabilities.

Freak Story: 1967-1969Everybody’s a Freak?  How Dare You Say That!

With the recent death of “new journalism” author, Tom Wolfe, I don’t pretend to be carrying his prestigious mantle.  However, since my novel was compared to Tom’s work by another prestigious author, Dr. Jacob M. Appel, I must explain that my work is an exploration into the 1960s and its range of emotional experiments into revolutionary thoughts and actions.

My “theme,” if you will, is that we are all freaks under the skin, and we are also subject to the same pressures to conform.  My little exploration does not translate well in these times of “political correctness” and “fake news,” however, and I will live with that.

The readers who can see through the defense mechanisms of the present “new journalism” will understand why we must all realize our “freakishness” in order to survive.

My final example is a novel I wrote quite some time ago.  Like my hero, Thomas Harris, I dared to make a serial killer somebody who had an existentially “noble purpose.”  We all know serial killers must be all bad, all the time.

Russian Wolves

You Can’t Show Children Being Killed!  Serial Killers Can’t Be Noble!

I based my thriller upon a real-life serial killer of the 1980s, Andrei Romanovich Chikatilo.  Like me, he was a teacher.  Like me, he came from a dysfunctional background.  Unlike me, he had a psychotic breakdown after seeing his family eaten by fellow “comrades” during the Ukraine’s worst winter on record.

This novel breaks a lot of commercial fiction’s taboos.  However, since most of the murderous descriptions are based on fact, I stand my ground.  The book was never published in the mainstream, but it does have, if you’ll excuse the expression, “cult following” by readers who enjoy historical thrillers.  The same goes for another, even earlier novel, I wrote called Sins of Darkness, about the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy in 1968.

In fact, SOD was so realistic, Sirhan Bishara Sirhan’s lawyer called me on the phone to ask about “the evidence I had found concerning Sirhan’s being hypnoprogrammed to kill.”  Such are the dangers of writing truth to power.  I enjoy it one hell of a lot.  I hope you do to.

What to Do After Your Book is Published

Post-Publication Book-Marketing Actions

Below is a checklist of things you can do after your book is published, and a suggested sequence
in which you can do them. This is not meant to be an all-inclusive or exact time line, but a general
guide to help you market your books more successfully. For more information on any topic contact

  • Continue to prospect for and contact buyers in non-bookstore markets
  • Update your website
  • Continue eCommerce activities
  • Monitor search-engine ranking (SEO)
  • Get active in APSS and your local chapter (
  • Continue social networking
  • Update your strategic marketing plan (
  • Compare actual results to budget quarterly
  • Obtain additional endorsements from readers and industry leaders (add to literature)
  • Contact other syndicated columnists
  • Contact magazines with long lead times
  • Plan more tradeshows and book fairs to attend (
  • Create new sales-promotional items
  • Send to niche and post-pub book reviewers
  • Apply to award competitions
  • Send books to post-publication reviewers
  • Rewrite and update your literature
  • Create podcasts
  • Participate in chat rooms, forums and discussion groups online
  • Direct marketing – snail mail and email
  • Build your “pitch pack”
  • Send a proposal package to retail distributors
  • Take media training (
  • Contact associations for cause marketing; membership premium (
  • Phone call follow-up media
  • Mail brochures/flyers to prospective buyers
  • Phone follow-up to all prospective customers
  • Conduct a mobile marketing campaign (Apps, texting, QR codes, etc)
  • Conduct virtual tours
  • Participate in book fairs and trade shows (BEA, ALA:
  • Sell foreign rights
  • Continue marketing on sites such as, etc.
  • Line, brand and author extensions
  • Prospect for corporate buyers on
  • Work your personal networking lists
  • Conduct retail-store events
  • Conduct virtual media tours
  • Blog regularly
  • Conduct library tours
  • Create contests and/or sweepstakes
  • Write a script to use in telephone marketing
  • Update your elevator pitch and voice-mail message
  • Start a regular newsletter
  • Create a package insert
  • Use creative sales-promotional items (
  • Purchase counter displays (
  • Back-of-the-room sales at speaking events
  • Update metadata for online retailers
  • Conduct seminars and webinars
  • Sell your books as premiums and ad specialties (
  • Have associations use your book as a fundraising item (
  • Write and present proposals for large-quantity sales (
  • Start and participate in affiliate programs
  • Support all distributors and wholesalers
  • Monitor your attitude
  • Change your strategies for life-cycle stages
  • Bundle various products
  • Market at local craft fairs and events
  • Appearances on more TV and radio shows
  • Start own fan club (Facebook or other)
  • Evaluate discounting strategies
  • Evaluate unit sales, revenue and profit relative to goals
  • Create new hooks as attention getters
  • Practice the 3Vs of media events (Verbal, Vocal, Visual)

  • Mystery Series Selected for Self-e Program

    Four Titles Accepted by Prestigious Library Journal Program


    9781943456604 DISAPPEARANCE_AT_MOUNT_SINAI 9781943456758  cover(2560)

    All of the books in the popular Detective Pat O’Malley Historical Steampunk Mystery Series have been accepted by the Library Journal for their Self-e Program.  The honor extends nationally, as all of the books will also be made available to readers in state libraries through Biblioboard.  Finally, these titles by Jim Musgrave will be a “featured selection” in the California State Module.

    If you’re an independent or self-published author, you can submit your book for consideration at their website.  It’s a great way to get new readers for your titles, as readers pass the word on books they enjoy to their friends and relatives.

    In addition, Musgrave, a retired English professor, will be serving as a Self-e Ambassador throughout San Diego County.  He will speak about his books and the program at local library branches in the county.

    “The number one challenge any author has is building an audience. Once they have an audience, they have an opportunity to grow their work professionally. Librarians can be a powerful marketing force for emerging authors, especially if they can promote the books without fear of success. The SELF-e approach to curation combined with simultaneous user-access will encourage books to be discovered and even go viral.”


    “Libraries are all about readers and writers connecting. Since so many of my new readers discover my books via their local libraries, it’s vital that all my books, whether traditionally published or self-published, be easily accessible to library patrons. This program helps librarians to better serve readers and authors to grow their audience, creating a perfect synergy of benefit to all book-lovers.”


    Time and Profit are on Your Side

    Greg Ioannou
             Greg Ioannou

    Today, I spoke with Greg Ioannou President at Publaunch, a startup company that hopes to roll-out its services in February or March of next year.  He is also Owner of Colborne Communications in Toronto, one of the largest publishing services providers in Canada, so when it comes to what authors really need out of the publishing process Greg is a “go to guy.”

    Besides getting a client referral from Greg (a scientist who wants to do a multimedia and interactive book about ancient alien spacecraft!), I was also learning about Greg’s new website.  My company will be part of Greg’s effort to give independent authors a “go to place” to get matched-up with all the quality publication services they need to get their titles produced to save time and make a profit.  Not only that, but Greg’s visionary enterprise will also give authors a way to get funding for their individual projects from readers and from other companies.

    “The author will, say, get funded from our crowd-funding section of the website, and then take that money and purchase all the quality printing, design and illustration, and marketing services to get their title out there.  The best part is that the author will collect 85% of the royalties from their product,” Greg explained in our conference call.

    Greg knew that my company had a similar structure of 85% royalties for our authors, so we were on the same page.  What we need today is a service like Greg’s Publaunch to supply the correct algorithms, which will allow authors to find the right editors, marketers and public relations people for their specific budgetary and (especially) quality needs at the push of a button.

    “We’ll be giving editors, illustrators, marketers and publishers like you a finder’s fee of 10% for referring someone to our crowdfunding section,” Greg explained.  “In return, we’ll be referring our authors to you for services you can provide.”

    After I explained my unique ability to develop ePub3 (interactive, enhanced eBooks), Greg said he had somebody in mind, and he would be personally referring this individual to me.  Once this becomes an online service, I can see Publaunch and EMRE Publishing taking off into the stratosphere of Indie Publishing expertise.

    Greg and I also agreed that we will always be completely honest with authors when it comes to their prospects for selling titles.  “We know that our crowd-funding component will allow the author to see what prospects are out there for the book to make money, so this will provide a good filter of reality for the new author.  We don’t want our clients to spend their life savings on some book that has no chance of turning a profit,” said Greg.

    The bar needs to be raised in terms of allowing independent authors to get the best and fastest services at prices they can afford.  But the most important feature of Publaunch, as it is at EMRE, is matching the right author with the right expert. There are no current providers like our two organizations, so get ready for a new age of publishing coming right to your mobile device next year.  If you provide editing, marketing or public relations services, then get in touch with Greg today.

    Mobile Myths that Contribute to the Misunderstanding of Internet Marketing Strategies

    Five Myths about Mobile


    Today, the majority of Internet purchases by consumers is made through their mobile devices.  However, many businesses confuse having their website converted for mobile access with having an application developed to sell products to the mobile consumer.  I wanted to touch on the five major myths about using online mobile websites to convert customers versus having your products sold through careful planning on a mobile application.

    Myth 1:  Mobile Websites are Less Expensive and More Productive than Mobile Apps.

    It is very true that a business spends much less making a website “mobile friendly.”  However, there is one major difference that must be taken into consideration.  With a tailored application, a business has the ability to directly communicate with customers and “push” an entire campaign to the consumer via the web app.  This cannot be done on a website.

    Myth 2:  The Cost of a Mobile App is too Great versus the Business ROI

    It is true that a business that has an entire mobile application developed from scratch can pay hundreds of thousands of dollars.  However, in this age of specialization, many companies, such as my own, are doing the “heavy development” first and then charging the business much less for a tailored app.  Therefore, in effect, it takes a business much less time to recoup the investment and get into the black.

    Myth 3:  A Mobile Website Works on All Devices and Doesn’t Need to be Submitted to App Stores

    The fact is that many so-called “mobile friendly” websites have problems with access by mobile devices and even with access by different web browsers.  Here’s a site that publishes mistakes made by developers of mobile websites.  On the other hand, if a business has a website developed properly and tailors a specialized application for direct sales to consumers and clients, then the best of both worlds can be had.  This is especially true if the app comes at a reduced price, such as the EMRE Publishing Embellisher™ Mobile Creation, Publication and Marketing App.

    Myth 4:  Consumers Feel “Trapped” inside a Mobile App

    I wrote a blog about this topic, as I believe it was a problem five years ago.  Today, however, apps are seen as a way to access the best deals.  As long as the business plans its app campaign with the best deals in mind for the consumer, then there should be no problem with the user feeling trapped inside a sales gimmick machine.

    Myth 5:  More Sales are made in the Store, so why have a Mobile Presence?

    Another misnomer, as the fact is that 75% of in-store customers are now using their mobile devices to check prices.  Also, as apps can notify the consumer about the latest deals, having both a mobile website and application can be the best way to cover all the business bases.

    To conclude, a progressive business should allow for all methods of communications and marketing to take place.  Developing the website presence for mobile devices, together with a thrifty application from which your customers can get the most value, will make your brand stand-out from the competition and provide your clientele with the latest communications possible.

    How Brooklyn 99 Characters Use the Embellisher eReader App


    Jake wants a way to talk to everybody privately.

    I’m tired of having to email each detective without keeping it on the down low.  I found this app online called the Embellisher, and it let me create messages on their cool app that could have video, music playlists, and other great stuff that can make my instructions to my peers pay-off with a big arrest.  They can even post what they like on their social websites like Facebook!  How awesome is that?


    Charles enjoys the way the eReader creates cookbooks.

    I’m kind of a geek, and I really like to create these new multimedia eBooks.  What better way to show-off my Ukrainian cuisine cookbook?  Readers can play it on their mobile devices, and the 99ers can see what a really great gourmet I am!  Heck, those computer nerds will soon put smell inside those darned eBooks!


    Gina discovers she can embed YouTube Videos of her dance routines.

    Amy sees how she can finally write that detective novel she always wanted to write.


    I have a great idea about a mystery I want to write!  I’ll use all the detectives at 99, but then I’ll change them into characters in a Steampunk Scifi eBook set in the 1860s.  This Embellisher ePub Studio is right inside the app, so I can even write it at work!  I’ll even take a fake name of a man, so I can sell it better.


    Rosa wants to write a book about zombies.

    I’ve always enjoyed horror, so what’s better than a multimedia eBook about zombies?  People have even called me one!  I can set it in San Diego where there are a lot of Hispanics, and this Embellisher system even lets me create coupons.  I can give my book away for free with a coupon code!  My name?  Amy has a good idea.  Keep it undercover.  If she can be Jim Musgrave, then I can be E. Z. Graves.

     Brooklyn99-Andre Braugher-Holt-Happy

    Captain Holt wants to give his husband a special music playlist.

    I really don’t know what to give Kevin for our anniversary.  Detective Peralta has that new Embellisher app.  I can do the tutorial and put an especially romantic playlist about our honeymoon in Venice, Italy, inside an eBook called the Family Love Time Capsule.  He’ll really enjoy it, I know, because I created it.  I’m such a refined artisan, he’ll never forget my gift!


    Brooklyn99-Terry Crews-Jeffords-Princess Castle Defeat


    Terry wants to write a new story inside Amy’s novel to make it more mysterious.

    Everybody at the 99 thinks all I do is work-out.  I saw that tutorial on inserting a “choose your own mystery” inside an eBook, and so I’m going to add my own plots inside Amy’s book.  I know she’ll thank me for it because I can be creative when I want to be!

    If you want to be the coolest precinct in your city, we can teach you how you can do it too.