Wednesday, December 21, 2011

THE BITCH is coming! Promise...

Hi folks,

I know at least some of you are awaiting publication of my psychological thriller, THE BITCH, and I just wanted to give you an update on it.

The holdup is due entirely to the publisher, Eddie Vega. Lest you think I just threw Eddie under the bus, allow me to explain.

The whole problem is, Eddie's a perfectionist. Definitely a guy who's out of touch with modern life! Who in contemporary publishing does what this guy does! And, what is it he does, exactly?

Well, if you’ve read many ebooks, you’ve no doubt encountered a number of glitches in at least some of them. Paragraphs separated by space breaks, ala Lorrie Moore… but not on purpose as her work is. Those little wing-dings that mysteriously appear, such as the little blank boxes that sometimes show up. Paragraphs that aren’t indented. Spelling errors, punctuation mistakes, lines split mysteriously in places that don’t make sense. Dozens of other glitches.

Those who’ve published ebooks are well aware of them. The best publishers try to eliminate as many as possible. They appear because of the conversion programs available. What goes into the wood-chipper of a conversion program isn’t necessarily what comes out. While the best publishers do their best to clean up and eliminate conversion errors, there are some who could care less. Just slap it up on Amazon and fuggetaboutit. Some of these publishers just don’t give a damn. Slap it through the program and get it out there…

Not Eddie, nor Cort McMeel, the publishers of Bare Knuckles Press and Noir Nation International Crime Magazine. These guys are just plain anal. They have this ridiculous notion that what the buyer sees on his/her Kindle or Nook or other e-reader should be nothing less than perfect and that nothing on the page detract from the reading experience.

Here’s an encapsulated history of the editing of this book. First, I went through at least three major edits and rewrites of the entire manuscript under the guidance and tutelage of Cort and Eddie. Several dozen additional minor rewrites. This was before it was sent out for the ebook conversion process.

Eddie worked with the artists and technical wizards of the brilliant firm of Hurricanes and Butterflies in Prague, both for the cover and for the conversion to ebook format. He spent literally weeks just on the cover. Not to mention spending a boatload of money on it! This wasn’t some cover art from Jim Bob at the local graphic shop. He wanted the perfect cover. And got it, at least in my opinion. Oh—and that’s another thing. While most publishers I’ve worked with have been very gracious in soliciting my opinion about the cover on my books, not all do so. These guys really care that the author likes his cover.

For the past month, Eddie has had the three of us—him, Cort and me--going over and over the converted manuscript. Three times we’ve gone over and over a new version. Each time, we found and ferreted out conversion errors and my own errors.

Eddie and Cort have literally been working on manuscripts for BKP for 20-hour days, seven days a week. For months and months. They only publish books they’re passionate about and they’ve treated my manuscript with more respect and loving care than I’ve ever experienced with any other publisher, including several of the Big Six legacy publishers.

I’ve had to turn my phone off at night to get any sleep. Eddie is a vampire and if I didn’t turn off my phone, I’d be sure to get a call from him at three in the ayem. He often works through the night and I think he thinks the rest of us are doing the same.

The thing is, both Eddie and Cort feel this is a great book. And, they treat it with that kind of respect. Whether it is or not, I imagine readers will let us know. I’m very happy with it—especially after these guys helped me make it much “gooder” than it was when I submitted it to them.

I wish all my writer friends will get to experience a publishing experience akin to mine with Bare Knuckles Press with their own publishers! It’s the kind of experience that renews my faith in publishers—the kind that used to exist in larger numbers. Who aren’t concerned about the money first and foremost, but more in delivering what they feel to be worthwhile literature to the world.

So, I’m not throwing Eddie under the bus at all. Mostly, I love the respect and care he’s given my work, even if it gets the release date moved up some.

At this moment, we’re hoping it’ll be available in a day or so. In the meantime, I just wanted those of you who’ve been asking me when they can get a copy to know what’s going on. It’s all good.

I also wanted to share with you what some folks have said about THE BITCH in the blurbs they’ve generously given to me. As you can see by their names, these are people most of us know from their own, superb work. It means a lot to me what they had to say.


THE BITCH is the kind of raw crime fiction that’s right up my alley, like sandpaper for the brain. Edgerton has got the chops. Mad chops. Gonna make us all ashamed of our puny efforts one day.
 Anthony Neil Smith, bestselling author of All the Young Warriors, Choke on Your Lies, Psychomatic, Hogdoggin’, Yellow Medicine, The Drummer, To the Devil, My Regards, Devil Red (Hap and Leonard) and others.

The Bitch is a vicious barnstormer of a novel, a noir rollercoaster that won’t let you unbuckle until that final three-word smackdown. Les Edgerton is Eddie Bunker’s pulpy cousin and Eugene Izzi’s soul brother, and with a spiritual family like that, you can’t go wrong. Pick it up immediately.
Ray Banks, internationally bestselling author of Dead Money, Beast of Burden, The Big Blind. Saturday’s Child, Donkey Punch, No More Heroes and others.

Les Edgerton doesn’t pussyfoot around. He writes about real people drowning in desperation in THE BITCH. He’s got a story to tell you so get ready; it’s coming at you fast. Get ready…
 Linwood Barclay, international bestselling author of Never Look Away, Clouded Vision, The Last Resort, Fear the Worst, Too Close to Home, No Time for Goodbye, The Accident and others.

Les Edgerton’s brilliantly hardboiled THE BITCH is the tense and hard hitting story of Jake Bishop, a reformed ex-con whose dark past drags him back into a life of crime like an umbilical cord tied tight around his neck.
 Paul D. Brazill, author of 13 Shots of Noir.

I liked THE BITCH so much that I wanted to publish it. But we lost out and Bare Knuckles Press got a hell of a book. The Bitch is a dark crime fiction story that never once pulls a punch or ducks behind some bullshit like “happy endings” or “closure.” The Bitch isn’t afraid to stay dark until the very end.
 Brian Lindenmuth, editor/publisher of Snubnose Press and Spinetingler Magazine.

From its opening sentence to its last, THE BITCH is an engrossing journey into some very dark places. Les Edgerton writes like a poet with a mean streak, and his prose goes down easy and smooth like good liquor as it carves up your insides.
Henry Perez, author of Mourn the Living and Killing Red.

Imagine, if you will, Les Edgerton, Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler sipping straight whiskey while swapping lies in the back booth of the Linebacker bar as the “noir” legends welcome Edgerton into the brotherhood of broken dreams. With THE BITCH, Edgerton earns his way into this special literary brotherhood. No, The Bitch isn’t a wild woman, but prison slang for “ha-BITCH-ual criminal.” This is a taut tale of double-cross, death, diamonds and destruction as Jake Bishop fights to protect all he holds dear—his freedom, his pregnant wife, and his teen-age brother—by holding The Bitch at bay when trapped into one last job. Sam Spade and Phillip Marlowe could learn a thing or two from this hairdresser.
Bob Stewart, author of Remorse (Pinnacle) a True Crime Book of the Month selection, Hidden Evil, and others.

 Les Edgerton. I just read his newest hard-boiled effort, THE BITCH, and I realized I didn’t once breathe through the entire thing. Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but it is one of the most fun, dangerous, if not pyromaniac literary performances of the past year (word up is that parts of it are taken from Les’s own life. Holy crap, this guy shouldn’t be alive!). Like Les’s previous bestselling nonfiction effort on writing, HOOKED, this novel is a sure bet.
Vincent Zandri author of The Remains, The Innocent, Moonlight Falls and The Concrete Pearl.

Every crime novelist remembers how his breath was literally taken away when he first started to read the early novels of Elmore Leonard. Les Edgerton has used the time he served in prison well. Years from now many future crime writers will also remember discovering him. His first crime novel, but not his first published book, THE BITCH is a realistic crime noir kind of novel that reminds me of Unknown Man 89, La Brava, Stick, and The Killer Inside Me (Jim Thompson).
 Joseph Trigoboff, author of The Bone Orchard and The Shooting Gallery.

And then, there’s this!

Paul D. Brazill and Luca Veste both named THE BITCH on their lists of top novels of 2011.

It just doesn’t get any better than this. At least not for me! Watch this space for the announcement of its availability.

Blue skies,


Kent said...

Really looking forward to THE BITCH, and it's wonderful to hear the level is commitment Eddie and Cort have going on. That's what every e-publisher should be doing.

Les Edgerton said...

Thanks, Kent. I've never seen such commitment to perfection and it really gladdens the heart. It's great to be on their team.

Eddie told me today it's over at Amazon as of this morning and should appear today or tomorrow.

Kent said...

It's not listed yet, but I'm keeping an eye out.