That's how to say "thank you very much" in Hebrew. (Pronounced: toe-dah rah-bah). Or, spelled in Hebrew, that looks like this: תודה רבה
In Chapter 13 The New Jew, I wrote a little bit about the Hebrew language and how difficult it has been for me to learn! Not so for Gidon. He has a knack for languages. There doesn't seem to be any limit to the challenges that Gidon is willing to take on.
Right now, we have another challenge. Gidon and I decided, after hearing too many times from literary agents in New York, that there were either "too many books about the Holocaust" or that "the Holocaust is too depressing", to publish our book independently. I think it was a good decision given the alternative, which would be to curl up in a little ball and forget the book. That was not a choice Gidon and I were willing to make. But, as I outline on my editing website, independent publishing, when done right, is costly.
Gidon spent 85 years of his life living his story and I spent 3 years of mine writing and editing his book. I have discovered that the deck is very much stacked against writers who publish independently. Partly, I understand this. When the world of self-publishing opened up, a few years ago, the market was flooded with books of middling (and oftentimes, not even that) material. So independent publishing got a bad rap as being the place where bad material pretends it's a real book.
But since then, things have changed. Gidon and I decided that no, there are not "too many books about the Holocaust" - in fact, there aren't enough. We went, as Fleetwood Mac would say - our own way, in defiance. But the path of good intentions is paved with costs. In "traditional" publishing, trade reviews of books cost nothing - except the heft and influence of big publishing companies. In independent publishing, getting a trade review costs money. But it is these trade reviews that make the difference between a book being taken seriously - or not.
Gidon and I have to purchase our trade reviews, in Kirkus, The Blue Ink Review and the Clarion. These are the trade reviews that are scrutinized by, importantly to us, librarians. Public libraries are where we'd like to see The True Adventures of Gidon Lev. But it's a pay-to-play world.
Here's our ask: We are $200 short of having not only our trade reviews covered (there is no guarantee the review will be good, mind you!) AND the cost of reserving a professional studio to record our audiobook. Can you help us?
Any amount is appreciated, and we want to thank Vickie Sampson, our Academy-Award-winning sound editor, for mounting this fundraiser on Facebook.
$200. That's it. That's all that's between The True Adventures and a beautifully produced audiobook and some trade reviews that just might bring attention to the story of one of the last Holocaust survivors living today. Gidon and I hope to repay ourselves the cost of this book and maybe even - when the virus has abated - take ourselves out to dinner or enjoy a nice weekend somewhere. Our biggest goal though, is to have The True Adventures of Gidon Lev be a part of Holocaust education curriculums all over the world. That would be more rewarding than anything else. But - in the world of publishing, trade reviews are king. But for independent writers - they are not inexpensive. We can't be sure that the trade reviews for our book will be good but judging from the reviews we have received on Amazon and Goodreads, we are hopeful.
If you can help us today, with any small amount, we would be grateful. We are so close to our monetary goal. Our larger goal is still waiting in the wings. We shall have to see whether we can generate enough "buzz" around our book to really make a difference. That "buzz" relies on word of mouth and whether The True Adventures of Gidon Lev captures the spirit of Gidon and speaks to readers during this chaotic time. We hope it does.