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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

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Be honest about why you’re writing.
“Be honest about why you’re writing.”

Top priority for any writer is to have editors who can fix your
grammatical mistakes and help you hone the work as a whole.  Online
companies are offering these services and more in response to the
publication industry’s belt-tightening to maximize profits. Stuart
Horwitz founded one such company, Book Architecture, and was kind
enough to chat with the Mass Media. 


On your website it says you were inspired to start Book
Architecture by an astrologer.  Is that true? 


Well…Yes and no. That’s the quickie bio version. The longer story
is that I was working on a novel, a thinly-fictionalized
autobiography, as many novels are. I was really not happy with it,
and at the same time I was doing a lot of reading in the areas of
narratology, or literary structure, and I realized that’s where my
strength lay. Once I committed to helping other people, everything
started falling into place. 

When you’re working on someone’s book do you find yourself
getting emotionally attached to it? So if the book were to succeed
or fail you’d feel it? 


I think that the definitions of failure and success are varied. If
it’s done really, really well, to the best of everyone’s ability, I
believe that’s a success. With the world turning a great deal
towards self-publishing and e-books, I think writers need to stop
thinking about trying to get discovered, like in the old days when
movie stars worked in malt shops. Instead, they should be thinking
about trying to partner with an agent, trying to partner with a
publisher.  If those partnerships don’t seem available, there are
many ways to get your book out there. […] Success to me is a book
being done to everybody’s best ability. There comes a time when we
all have to push ourselves to get to that point. My favorite books
are where we’ve all mutually pushed ourselves.


Do you support self-publication or not? 

It’s happening, whether I support it or not. I think the music
business is probably about 15 years ahead of the publishing
industry. For a band to be a success you don’t necessarily have to
sit around and wait for someone to say, “You’re good.” You just
need to be good. You need to build a following, you need to record,
you need to do shows, you need to sell CDs, you need to work the
internet and social media, and then you might get picked up by a
major label. You might not need to get picked up by a major label.
I feel like that’s where publishing is going. It’s really a matter
of how hard you want to work as opposed to whether or not you got
lucky. At the same time, the books still need to be really good,
there’s no getting around that. 

One of the services offered on your website is
ghostwriting—ghostwriting is generally seen as something that
compromises the integrity of a work as a whole. What would you say
to the opponents of ghostwriting?


Well, ghostwriting is a strange term, I’m not really sure there is
such a thing as ghostwriting. I’ve written books with people, in
which those people haven’t written a word, which would be the
definition of ghostwriting, right? At the same time it’s their
thoughts, their ideas, and it’s their experience. So, I don’t know
if it’s fair to say that I somehow cheapened the process by being
the person who wrote it down. […] I’ve never ghostwritten in the
sense of writing something and then having someone else put their
name on it. It’s really just being on their team as their

Do you have any tips for aspiring authors? 


My overall tip is to be honest about why you’re writing what you’re
writing. Most people are writing to heal their past, to get back at
someone who has wronged them in some way.  It can be very subtle.
They could be writing science fiction, they could be projecting
themselves into some very far out characters, but it’s still
basically to settle some score.  In those books it’s much harder to
get anywhere, or to communicate with other people.  I would say
heal yourself outside of writing.  That way, when you get to
writing, you’ll be able to write something that other people will
enjoy as well. 


For an entire list of services available and contact information go
to www.Book