About Me

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I am a self published author from Brooklyn, New York. I have been publishing my work since 2004 and currently have four titles on the market in print and ebook format. I write horror and fantasy fiction as well as books for young adult. I am also a playwright with stage productions in and around New York City. Visit my website at www.hobbcatpublishing.com

Wednesday, September 05, 2012


Hey all, So below is the link to one of my Scrbd stories. You can read it here or go to Scribd and see both tales. If you're on Scribd or thinking of joining, look me up and check out my work. I have two stories up there now so check them out. And while you're there, become a fan of my page! Look forward to hearing your feedback! Marc L Abbott Bulletproof Dad">


Hey all, So I have been away for awhile. I apologize for such an extended hiatus. I was extremely busy during the summer on many different projects. For those of you who came out to see Three Isn't A Couple, I hope you enjoyed the 6 shows featured in June and July. The cast and I had a blast and we enjoyed doing both the show and the Q&A afterwards. There are no planned performances of Three this fall but if that changes you will be the first to know. I was also involved in a small movie project based on my Dead Syndicate series. The film chronicles the main chartacter Clide after the end of book one. So if you haven't bought a copy of The Dead Syndicate yet, get it today. It's currently available through CreateSpace as well as my other titles. Etienne and The Stardust Express, my long awaited childrens book, is now on Kindle. After months and months of work, I was able to launch the book this summer. So if you have a Kindle Fire or the Kindle app for your IPad, get your copy for the kids in your life today! I have also started publishing short works on Scrbd. I wiull be posting a link to that site on here so that you have direct access to my stories and other works. And best of all, that work will be free to read!!! So if you haven't read any of my books, you will now have the chance to read some shorter and, at times, more personal works from me. It will be sometime before new video blogs come out. As I learn things, I will pass them on through that format this fall. So keep an eye out for those as well. Finally, I plan to have two new books out next year. With so much going on this year, I have had a hard time keeping up with them. But no worries, you won't have to wait too long. So there you have it, big things have been happening and more to come. Now that fall is nearly here, you will more updates and posts coming. Keep an eye out for the Scribd link and other goodies. See you soon! Marc L Abbott

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


It’s every writer’s worst nightmare. You spend months working on a book, you have everything together and you send it to print. Then someone comes to you with your book in hand, opens it up and says, "Ohoh, there’s an error here.”

You try to convince yourself that you can let it go and hope no one else sees it but it doesn’t go away. You have to go back and fix it. Your masterpiece is ruined because you missed that comma, misspelling or typo.

It has happened to all of us as writers. Even the big time writers, with major publishing houses behind them, from time to time, have errors in their books. It may not take away too much from the story but enough of them can become annoying to a more savvy reader.

It’s even more disheartening when you hire an editor to the job and, after paying for the job, you go to print and a reader says “I found several errors, you really need to get an editor.”

Newsflash people, editors make mistakes too. They sometimes miss things in a manuscript that, your English professor from college who bought your book, catches.

I have had this happen multiple times from four different editors. One of which was so bad I had to pull the book entirely. Granted the average person on the street who read my work may have found one or two obvious issues it was those who have experience in editing that found the big ones. What do you do? What’s the best route to take? Should you even bother getting an editor if this happens? Let’s discuss it.

First off, yes, you need an editor. Editor’s do more than just correct grammar and spelling. They provide valuable insight to your story, can help you shape it better with suggestions and ideas and make you revisit concepts that you may have thought were not important.

In my novel, The Dead Syndicate: Trial of the Archnemesis, the editor gave me great advice on how to start the book off. Although I liked what I had written for the prelude, the editor explained to me why it wouldn’t work. He suggested that I take the interludes in my book and mix them up so as to keep the story flowing better since the book was so heavy and rich with details. Of course, I didn’t need to take his advice but the fact that he gave it made me look at the book from a different angle. The angle turned out to be better than what I had originally written.

It’s always good to have someone that is not a friend, relative or teacher who can look at the story objectively. The three I just mentioned do come in handy in this process but I will get that later. For now, you want to get someone who doesn’t know you, the writer, and can take the work apart. Then put it back together to help you get the most out of your book.

Finding an editor these days isn’t as difficult as it used to be. Finding the RIGHT editor is. Many editors specialize in certain genres. For example, you wouldn’t want an editor who specializes in romance novels editing your science fiction novel about aliens taking over the world. They may be able to check for grammar but structure may be much more difficult because they’re not familiar with the genre you’re writing in. If you find an editor you want to work with, ask questions. Find out if they handle your kind of work.

Be sure to do your research when it comes to finding an editor online. As with many things on the web, there are some who are only out to take your money and will not do the kind of job you need. Read testimonials, ask questions and compare pricing. Make sure that you are getting quality work done for what you are paying for.


You want to find an editor that you can have a good rapport with. Also, you have to be flexible and be ready to take criticism. Remember, the editor is trying to help you, not hinder you.

Editors will give you suggestions on how to make your work stronger. Now this doesn’t necessarily mean that the suggestions they give are 100% correct. In the end, you decide what changes need to be made, but you shouldn’t dismiss them. Editors will give reasons why they feel something works and others don’t. Take time to read and compare their suggestions with what you have written.


I mentioned before about not having family, friends or teachers edit your work but I did say they would play a role later. This is when they play that role.

Editors are people. People make mistakes plain and simple. I have read books by authors who are published by big time publishing houses and found mistakes. Doesn’t mean that the editor is bad at what they do, things are missed sometimes. There are times though; you may get an editor that will fix the obvious but miss things like punctuation and, in some cases, grammar. When it comes to you proofreading your own work, you will miss these things too. This is when you enlist the help of the three I mentioned.

You should always get someone to proofread what the editor has done. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have had something edited and my wife, someone in my writing group and even my brother, have found mistakes.

Some readers are more particular than others. While many of us who read may not pick up on everything, there are quite a few people out there that will find every little thing. I recommend finding someone like an ex-editor or English teacher who can do a clean read of your work. If they find a hefty amount of mistakes in your edit, you should contact the editor immediately and let them know what has been found.
Don’t pay an editor until you are absolutely sure your work is clean. Once that check or credit card payment clears, it’s too late. You can go back and complain but it will prove futile in the end.

Friday, February 17, 2012


E Books have started to become the rave in literature. For a one time price a reader can download their favorite books, magazines and newspapers to their ereader device (Kindle, Nook, Sony, IPad) and enjoy reading their titles. The added bonus to having the ability to get their favorite book anywhere at any time is that they can carry as many as the device can hold at one time.

These devices are also changing things with self publishing. Now a writer can directly upload their books to the systems servers, set a price and start to bring in a return. But a question I often get from writers; Are publishing ebooks better than traditional publishing? Well, let’s compare the two.

I broke down the system of getting your book put together in another blog. With the exception of having to do a layout for your book, everything else still applies. You want your work to be at its cleanest so you cannot avoid those first steps. Having your work edited should always be a must and you do need to have a cover for you book to attract customers.

The major differences between traditional and ebooks is pricing and printing.

There are no printing costs with EBooks. You do not need to keep boxes of books in your home to sell, no print on demand necessary nor to you pay a storage fee for distribution. The technology now has the customer simply download the book to their device.

If you need to make changes to your work, you can simply switch your ebook to draft mode, fix your document and upload it back. Unlike traditional where you have to recall the book, fix the problem, redo the entire layout then reissue the book which costs.

There are no barcodes necessary for ebooks, another cost saver. With ebooks, all you do is assign a price to the book and you’re good to go. You can also change the price without having to fix the cover. Barcodes on books are found on the back cover and to change them requires a recall of the book, reissuance then back to print. If you go with a regular printer and order 100 books then decide to change the price, those books you have can’t be sold in a store.

As for pricing your ebooks, the same concept applies here as it applies to your print books; you make up the price. But there are some things you need to consider about that.

With print books, take into consideration your printing costs. You need to price your book good enough to offset that price as well as tax. This way you get a decent return in sales.

Also with print, the size and texture of your book should be considered. Paperback books are always cheaper because shipping costs for them are lower. Hardcover books are heavier and cost more to ship. They also don’t sell as well as paperbacks because they both more money for the consumer and aren’t as travel friendly.

Ebooks tend to be very consumer conscious. Many of them are under $10. Kindle even has books that start at $.99. Kindle has a deal that as long as you set the price of your book below $9.99 you get 70% of your sales. You can set the price higher but, like hardcover books, people will tend to gravitate to the more affordable end of the deal. You will find that many people will ask if your book is on Kindle or Nook as that’s the way they like to purchase and read their books.

Publishing through ebooks does not exclude the fact that you still need to market your work. Even if you price your work for cheap, you still need people to get out there and purchase the book. Making sure you market your book is very important.

Now while the ebook way is cheaper and cost effective in many ways, I wouldn’t suggest it be the only way. It’s difficult to promote books at fairs and conventions when you don’t have something to show. You can carry an ereader around with you and show off your book, but potential buyers like to have a product they can hold. Also, most reviewers and book clubs like sample copies and won’t go out of their way to download a book to read or pay for it to review it. Also, you cannot sign ebooks and the novelty of having something signed by the author will never fade away.

Ebooks, though, can be great ways for you to push other works you may want to print but feel don’t warrant the full book treatment as well. Short stories can be sold for a dollar, maybe you have a novella you want to just get out there for your fan base. You could even put a companion piece to a novel you have already written and give a code to your readers to read it in one of your books.

The choice will ultimately be yours in the end. Check out both options and see what fits your budget and, more importantly, your goals.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012


The premiere of A Fly on the Wall has begun. The film is now up on YouTube and Vimeo for you to watch and enjoy. See the introduction of the film by me before watching all three parts of the film. The film can be viewed on channel Hobbcat2012 on YouTube and The Cat Lab on Vimeo. And feel free to comment. Thank you.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012


Hello everyone. I wanted to announce that on February 8th I will be launching my film from 2001 A Fly on the Wall. Long before i started writing plays and books, I was writing screenplays. This film was my first venture in directing. The film was shot over the course of three weekends in the month of May of 2001. The film was intended to go out to festivals but because of it's length (49 minutes) it was deemed either too long or not long enough. The film has sat dormant until now.

The film had to be broken into three parts because of time constraints on both YouTube and Vimeo. You can watch all three parts on both sites.

I hope you enjoy this little gem and feel free to comment on it.

Look for the film February 8th on Hobbcat2012 on YouTube and The Cat Lab with Marc L Abbott on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012


“There is no such thing as writers block!”

I have heard this said loud and clear. The explanation that followed was just as absurd. “Writer’s block happens because the writer isn’t serious.”

Now, I’m here to tell you that writer’s block does exist. It can come a variation of things; fatigue, lack of motivation, sometimes you just get stuck. Look, writing is a job. Yes, it’s an art form too but its work.

Most of us writers don’t live off their writing. The vast majority of writers I have met have other day or night jobs. Physicians, teachers, professors, security guards and even newspaper reporters. We love to write, it’s our passion, and it’s what we love to do. But it does take up hours in the day to do and concentration to do it. For some of us words come easy, others need to be more focused.

I am the kind of writer who can write nearly anywhere except a quiet room. If it’s quiet, I go to sleep. If the tv is on, or I’m at work on my break, I can write like there is no tomorrow. Writing is my distraction from the everyday and it helps me get through it all. But there are times when a story will just stop in my head and I can’t go around the wall.

My newest novel, The Dead Syndicate, took me close to 18 years to complete. Of course in that time I published other works, but this was to be my opus and every time I got to a certain point in the book, I would draw a blank. I would have to put it down and work on something else until the juices started flowing again.

How do we get past writers block? I am a firm believer in putting something to the side until it speaks to you again and going with the flow. If you have another story in your head or even an idea for one, write it out. Put it to paper and get it out of the way. Sometimes that’s what’s blocking your flow. A fresh idea can always lead you back to a piece you’re stuck on.

Sharing Your Work In ProgressConsider joining a writers group if you’re not part of one already. My experiences with a writers group have helped me immensely. By taking about my work and reading it aloud, I get feedback from the others that normally wouldn’t have crossed my mind. It’s a great way to get rid of that writers block, get motivated and get those words flowing again.

Script Writing Writing your work in script form can help with both dialogue and structure. Think of a script as the skeleton. You can build conversations and create description without getting bogged down with a lot of detail. Then go back and overlay the story, filling in the gaps along the way.

When I wrote A Gamble of Faith the play, it never occurred to me to do a novel version of it. The idea came from a member of the audience who had seen the play several times. The request that I write the book version sent me back to the script with a fresh set of eyes. With all the dialogue in place, I simply wrote the novel around it, keeping much of the dialogue intact.

What does have to do with writers block? Despite the fact that the dialogue was there, creating a story around it took some doing. But in this case I could read ahead through the dialogue and regain my foothold on the story.

Go someplace outside your comfort zone: Every writer has a place where they write; coffee shop, home, library. Sometimes, getting away from these places and writing someplace else can stimulate the brain and help formulate new ideas. I make it a habit to always have two composition notebooks and a journal with me where ever I go. Ideas can come at anytime. So if I am at home and nothing is flowing, I may go out to the park or jump on the subway and head to the city and ideas will come to me. A change in scenery is always helpful.

Walking Away: Believe it or not, a great way to motivate yourself and to break that writers block is to walk away from the writing for awhile. I sometimes will play a video game or go for a walk just to get away from the piece I’m working on to clear my head. There are times I will walk away from a piece for months and work on something else until I find the inspiration I need to go back to the story. This is something I always do when I’m writing a play and have a lot of dialogue to write.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


This is the hardest part of being a self published author. I like to engage people, talk about my work, talk to people who have read my work and so on. But selling myself? Convincing people to buy my work? That’s another story all together.

As a self-published author, the work doesn’t end after you have written the book. Just because you have found a way to get your book on Amazon or Barnes and Noble website, it doesn’t mean that it will sell. Telling friends and family that you have published a book does not mean they’re going to go out and buy your book either. Besides, they are not your core audience. The people who read your genre of writing is your audience and that’s who you need to reach.

And even though you plan to attend that huge book fair near you, remember you are in competition with other writers. In some cases you may be up against big named writers so you have to step your game up. You need to make a business plan.

When you self publish a book, you are selling yourself to the public. You want them to read your novel but to get them to do that you have to get them to know you. So you have to get out there and sell yourself, right? But how? Here are some ways to get both you and your work out there.

WEBSITE: Build a website. You can either hire someone to do it or maintain your own. The website is your home base. It’s where you direct people to find out who you are, what kind of books you write, to get in touch with you and to sell through. Now when I say website I mean a site with multiple tabs and pages, not a single webpage with everything thrown on it. Not a blog page with multiple links to things. You have an opportunity on the site to offer people what you can’t in person such as discounts on books, contests where people can win copies of your book and sneak peeks like sample chapters of current or upcoming work. Make it inviting, easy to navigate and interesting. Be sure to update it regularly and keep your readers informed.

On my Hobbcat Website I have pages devoted to certain books, a library with links to my books as well as a photo gallery and media section with my reviews and interviews. People can easily track what’s going on with my work.

SOCIAL MEDIA and BLOGS: Social Media is another way to reach the masses. It’s free, it’s easy and the best way to reroute people to your website. The most important thing you should keep in mind is that your social media page should be kept separate from your personal media page. It’s always good to share your business information to friends and family but you want to keep business contacts and readers closer. They visit your page to be a part of your work. They don’t need to know about your family reunion in Vermont. Unless of course, you were selling books there.

On Facebook you should create a separate page for your company. Create a fan page for yourself and a group page that you can directly link friends and family to. Link your Facebook page to Twitter because when you update your status, Twitter is updated too. You don’t have to go back and forth. Use Linkedin for the more profession and business feel. Scribd is a popular site for writers you can also join as well.

Blogs are a great way to reach people who are interested in the same topics and dynamics you are. You can raise questions that attract both fans and other writers who may be able to help you in numerous ways. I like to use mine to pass on information to others and discuss my upcoming work. A blog can also inspire others and add to your fan base. That’s always good.

BOOK REVIEWS: You want to do this. Send your book to reviewers 6 months before the book is due to come out. You want to send it to reviewers no family and friends. They will not be a critical. You will want a write up done, especially if it’s a positive one. Taking a blurb from a positive review and putting on the book always helps.

You will also have to grow a thick skin which is not easy to do. Nowadays, thanks to the internet, people can go online and review your books who are not even book critics. They maybe avid readers of a genre you write in and if they feel strongly about what you do, they will voice it. Take into account you have to have a strong stomach for this sort of thing. Not everyone is going to like what you do. I have had some solid reviews come out about my work in the papers. But I had one online about a horror anthology I wrote that got a very mean review. I wasn’t prepared for it. In the review I was informed by the reader of errors in the book but they didn’t stop there. But the reader went on to not only bad mouth the work but bad mouth me. Naturally I pulled the book again and reworked it, but his review was seen by a lot of people and it cut me deep. I wasn’t sure what prompted such a mean review but I had to get over it if I was going to keep going. In the end, I needed that review because as a writer and, more importantly as a business man, I didn’t want my readers/customers unhappy.

INTERNET RADIO: There are so many book review radio shows out there. Blog Talk Radio is a large site that you can go through. I have been interviewed on at least four of them and soon after the interview I post them to my website for people to hear. These can be a great way for you to reach a mass audience. It’s free and the hosts are always looking for guests. Who knows, you could become a regular on one if the host likes you. You can also host your own. Talk about your work or talk about the genre you write in and have people call in. The more you put yourself out there the better.

PRESS KITS: Always have a press kit ready. You never know when a member of the press will pass by and you can give them a package. Put the essentials in there; Book launch announcement, post cards, business card, information about the book(s). In some cases you can even include a copy of one of your books. Get the press hungry for your work.

SAMPLE COPIES: This is the real tricky thing. We want to make money from our books; after all we are a business. But there will come times where you will have to give the product away to gain attention. Reviewers, book clubs, press and interviewers are usually the best people to give sample copies to. You will have to accept the fact that you will have to eat the money on this. But also use your judgment. For example, you may give a sample copy to the head of a book club but don’t give the entire club the book. The idea is so that they will go out and buy it. You may, if you are selling the book through your own website, want to offer them a bulk discount.

BOOK FAIRS: What you have to understand about book fairs is that it’s a double edged sword. Yes, you can sell books and yes, it’s a great place to network and be seen. But what you want to do is market yourself here. You need to reach out to the readers, talk with them and get to know them. You are on display here, not the books. The books are the bonus.

An example of this was at the Brooklyn Book Fair in 2007. I had unveiled my new book The Hooky Party. Unlike my first time going to a book fair with A Gamble of Faith I came prepared with postcards, a book review on poster board and a couple of friends willing to spend the day with me.

The book is a young adult novel so that was my target audience for the day. There were many young adults at the fair, most were with parents. So my friends would go over to the parents with the book and postcard, ask them did they remember when they were teenagers what it was like to be at a hooky party. The reactions to the question drew their attention to the book then to me. When the parents came over, I would just reminisce about the days when we were young then segue into the book. Meanwhile the teen is looking at the book and reading the back. They were so taken by what I was doing, boom, I’d make a sale. The fact that I was the author and willing to talk was the plus.

To the teens, meeting a ‘real author’ is the treat. So I would talk to them about school and trade stories and soon they wanted to know more about the Hooky Party so they bought the book. In that instance, I never really talked about the book but about me and why I wrote it. So they think there’s some secret in there they will learn so they bought it. At the end of the day, I went home with only three books left.

Book Fairs can be slow going and if you don’t have patience you may want to think twice before going. While you do want to make money that day, remember readers look for bargains and take little risk on new authors. So you have to sell them on you and why they should put money down for your book. My advice would be never to sell the book for cover price unless it’s already cheap. Meaning that if your book is $15, don’t sell it for $15 as an unknown author. No one will touch it. Shave off a couple of bucks. If you have more than one book, do a bundle pack. My books range in price but I will do a bundle if people are interested. If I have 2 books priced at $15 each, I will sell both for $25. I personally don’t charge for an autograph but some authors do. They will charge $12 for a book with the autograph, $10 without it. That’s completely up to you but I don’t do it.

My final word on book fairs is to do your homework about them. What do I mean?

The Brooklyn Book Fair is a book fair, meaning the only thing you will see being sold and displayed are books. I have been to book fairs where there are people selling music CD’s, jewelry, t-shirts, scented oils, food, none of which have anything to do with books. Some even invite street vendors selling popular book titles for dirt cheap which, of course, takes away all potential customers from you. Then, peppered throughout the fair, are actual authors trying to sell. In essence the fair is more of a flea market than a place to sell books. There is a 99.9% chance you will sell nothing at all and worse, draw no attention to yourself. That’s a complete waste of time and money. So you should always plan to visit the fairs first and plan to sell the following year. Get out and experience them.

CONVENTIONS: Always great for networking, not always a great place to sell unless it’s a genre convention like Comic Conventions or Fantasy Conventions if that is what you write. If you plan to sell at one of these, build a fan base before you do. People who are familiar with you, your blogs or your marketing will want to meet you and thus bring potential buyers of your work to you. But networking, making yourself seen and getting your name out here is what’s important.

You should attend a couple of conventions first so you can get an idea of their set up, what people sell and how you will fit in. Unlike a book fair, Conventions are filled with a host of other events like panels and signing by celebrities. There are also a wide range of vendors selling collectables and other paraphernalia.

As a self published author you cannot be a recluse. Nobody knows who you are if you don’t come out or people meet you. The best promotion is self promotion. Be seen, talk about what you do and get people interested in your work.

GRANT APPEARANCES: For book clubs, offer to come and meet with the club about the book and answer questions. Make yourself accessible.
In the end, it boils down to the amount of time, effort and money you feel you want to put into being a self published author. Not everyone is cut out for it, not everyone can afford it and not everyone wants to do what I have above.

Writers write, that’s what we do, end of story (no pun intended). For the majority of us, getting published is the goal but it can a long time to reach. I’m not saying that self publishing is the quick and easy way to get published, it’s not. But is an option you have available for you.