Self publishing. What a horrible sounding phrase. It brings up visions of self-produced CD’s, paint by number art, and all manner of “amateur” productions.
But yes, I joined the self-publishing revolution last month by joining SCRIBD and finally publishing my memoir BURNED. The manuscript was written back in 2005, and I sat on it for years. I considered seeking a publisher, had some lunch dates with lit agents in NYC back in 2006 when I was living in Brooklyn for a spell, but never quite felt the time was right to unleash BURNED upon good society.
I was rather surprised at myself that I finally DID release BURNED last month. I started making some noises about self-publishing the book, and one of my best tech-geek friend suggested SCRIBD. I always listen to this person, he has never steered me wrong, and so off to the races I went.
I just did an interview with Writer’s News Weekly concerning BURNED, and they asked me some hard questions about the book. A couple of days ago, I had submitted the book to Wordclay, as there are some readers who really want a paper edition of my book, and I would like to have copies of the book available for people to buy at my gigs! But Wordclay was understandably scared to death of my content, since it might be potentially libel or slander or other litigious terms. SCANDALOUS!
The legal staff at Wordclay has been very helpful to me, and pointed out several parts of BURNED that could present problems for me and the publisher of the book in the future. On some points, I agreed with them fully, and have already made some changes to minor characters who really added very little to the story. I have removed some last names, and basically tidied up a little bit.
However, there are some main characters that are essential to the story, such as a very famous 90s grunge band musician who was a member of one of the most notorious heroin-ridden Seattle bands ever, and this musician just spent a year on VH1’s “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew” show. Does anyone think this person has any reasonable expectation of privacy when it comes to his drug use? He’s making a living off of it on public television!
Writer’s News Weekly asked me what I hoped to accomplish with my book, and I’m gonna share that with you now – my hope is that addicts/alcoholics everywhere will draw strength and inspiration from my book. I hope young musicians read it, and realize there are some roads they do NOT want to go down. I hope readers everywhere get a kick out of all the crazy stuff that happened in my life. How many people do you know that have been near death 7 times, been in 6 bands, been married 5 times, been to 4 rehabs, 3 times in college, 2 meetings with God, and can pour it all into 1 book?
The final analysis for me is that BURNED is what it is. It’s a book about my life, unvarnished and raw. The book has had over 5800 reads here on SCRIBD in under one month. It has not been extensively edited and polished, and it was written during my time in Key West when I was really feeling the literary spirit of the town and spending a lot of time in Ernest Hemingway’s garden with my laptop and a thermos of coffee.
I spent an ENTIRE YEAR in Key West without having ONE drink.
So I wrote this book instead.
I really hope you enjoy it!
It was the title of this book that first caught my eye. After all, I’ve lived through the 80’s and 90’s, and I would consider myself a “rock guitarist” of sorts, despite the fact that I primarily play bass. Of course bass players are always infinitely cooler than guitar players, so my curiosity was piqued when I saw that a “rock guitarist” had written an entire book about his experience. Most of the “rock guitarists” that I have known in my lifetime would have a difficult time filling out a job application much less writing a short story, so I sat down expecting a mildly amusing, if not somewhat drab tale.
I also enjoy a quick and easy read, as evidenced by the ever-growing stack of
books and Sweetwater music catalogs that constantly adorn my private meditation chamber (the john, for those not in the know). Non-fiction is always preferred, as our current reality is growing ever stranger and more fascinating. And reality with a pinch of fantasy thrown in for good measure usually insures success.
A quick scan of the pages herein revealed that the contents of this book lie somewhere between a Bukowski novel and the lyrics of Prince’s Little Red
Corvette. As I pressed onward, a small voice in my head got louder and louder
until I could no longer ignore the question.
Why in the world would anyone want to read a story about Bobby Devito?
Sexual conquests and drug-a-logues notwithstanding, this is the tale of an atypical wannabe rockstar in the 80’s. I say atypical because typical “rock guitarists” do not generally write books nor attend colleges and have ‘A’ averages. The dichotomy of senor Devito is what separates him from the mainstream.
Forget about cookie-cutter American Idols. Back then, if you wanted to be the best, you had to LIVE THE DREAM. The only way to “get there” was to EARN it. Bobby Devito has paid his fair share of dues. Unfortunately, in this economy there is only enough room at the top for a few. But to concentrate on being the top dog is to miss the point of this book completely which is the enjoyment of the ride itself. Not everyone who survived those days has remained as unscathed as Devito, which leads to my next question:
If this book is true, how in the HELL does he remember all of this shit?
Maybe its because I grew up in the first “MTV” generation, but my memories of
the 70’s and 80’s always seem to appear juxtaposed as if in a string of music
videos, complete with the caption of artist, title, album and producer in the lower
left-hand corner. Each colorful episode in Devito’s book fits perfectly within this
mental scheme, and evokes dusty footage of big-haired icon Riki Rachtman
hosting Headbangers Ball whilst channel surfing for Madonna videos to provide a
much needed sexual outlet in the restricted cable access youth of the desolate
American south. But I digress.
For whatever reason, Devito has managed to recollect (or is it resurrect?) a
series of personal events that flow together like a collage of bandanas on the
mike stand of Steven Tyler. Endearing terminology like “pity blowjob” (where can
I get one of those!) and “strawberry shortcake on acid” leads me to believe that
although Devito was discharged from the navy, he was rapidly advancing ranks
within the KISS army.
Lastly, this book is about recovery. Recovery from what I’m not exactly sure, and
perhaps neither is Devito. But at least he has the generosity to share his tale with
the rest of us who may or may not be interested. There is a current trend in
polarization of religious and anti-religious zealots world-wide. Perhaps the
ghostly, grandfatherly intervention that spared his life from a near-fatal car wreck
simply reminds us that there is something out there beyond ourselves worth
investigating, and that things do happen for a divine purpose after all.
Not a bad concept for a “rock guitarist”.
in honor of WRITER WEDENSDAY on twitter, i am having a SALE on my book, get BURNED for only 99 cents!
I have submitted the book to The Grammy Awards and MUSICARES, and they are likely going to feature the book in their year end magazine that goes to the entire music industry!
This is great news, as I am donating 10% of the proceeds from the sales of “BURNED” back to MUSICARES so they can continue doing the work that they do with musicians who need help.
AND my book has been submitted to a very wonderful literary agent who is reading it now…and may be representing me and getting the book published as a “real” book. Yay!
If you are a twitter user and want to keep up with me day by day, just follow me @bobbydevito
All of the reader feedback I have been getting is extremely positive, and I am very grateful that my book is being enjoyed by so many people from all walks of life, not just fellow musicians.
I had several inquiries from international buyers outside the USA, who wanted to buy “BURNED” but could not do so via SCRIBD.com.
so, after much research and five revisions, i give you SMASHWORDS!
this new version of the book comes in Kindle, Sony eReader, PDF, RTF, Mobi, and several other digital formats - AND you can buy it from anywhere in the world!
and remember - 10% of the proceeds from my book will be going to MUSICARES, the Grammy Award foundation that helps musicians in need of recovery.
SMASHWORDS also allows you to preview a great deal more of the book than SCRIBD - so if you’d like to see MORE of the book before you buy, check it out.
same low, low price…only $4.99! so what are you waiting for? it’s the best ride in town for five bucks!
many thanks to JAMES VINCENT GRAPHIC DESIGN in the UK!
He did an amazing job with the cover at for my book, and has also done the page layout and converted the book to an easy on the eyes PDF file.
in other news, the book will be featured on the front page of the Proguitarshop.com website, and will soon be hitting AMAZON.com as an e-book
it is currently available thru SCRIBD.com, and you can buy it NOW at this link: