In August, 2012 the culmination of three years of work, and a thousand different twists and turns, finally took place.  That is when my debut Graphic Novel, The Stereotypical Freaks was published in paper format. I’ve gone through two publishers, an agent, four illustrators and hundreds of re-writes to get the book out into the marketplace. It’s a happy ending to a story that seemed like it would never end, because in November 2012, I even had the eBook format out on all the major online retail stores.

Without going over the whole process from start to finish, the one thing that never changed or wavered was my feeling that the story I had written was a strong one with a great cast of characters.Many times that is what kept me going, this feeling that no matter what, I was going to get this book published because I believed so much in the story and its ability to leave an impression on whoever reads it. So, as a piece of advice, I would tell any aspiring writer to get to the point with your story where you feel is great, the best thing you’ve ever done and then revise it and then keep revising it until you get to the point where you feel that your story can make a true impact on the reader. You have to have that undying feeling that your story will be the best thing out there and don’t let anyone tell you any different. That’s not to say to be un-receptive to advice, just know deep down that your story is the best thing you’ve ever done and you will not stop until it gets the attention of a publisher or agent who feel the same way as you do.

With the advent of e-book publishing, the barriers have broken down and when you feel comfortable enough to release your book, you will have a world of options available. Believe me, it is a great and exciting time to be a writer!  The journey can be a long one (see paragraph one) but it will be worth it if you assemble a team that shares your feeling about your story¦ don’t settle for anything less. Believe in it, don’t compromise or sell yourself short and work as hard as you can and you can realize your literary and publishing dreams.

Howard Shapiro

HOWARD SHAPIRO lives in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife and two sons. The Controller for the Pittsburgh-based Visual Effects firm, Animal Inc., he has also written four children’s books and The Stereotypical Freaks is his debut Graphic Novel. His 2008 book, Hockey Player for Life, has been the #1 downloaded children’s hockey e-book on Amazon’s Kindle chart since its arrival as an e-book in November of 2011. His, Hockey Days book was the only book featured in the December 2007 Sporting News Annual Gift Guide as a Best Buy Gift for Children. To learn more about Howard, visit