Orna Ross Writes: Normally our news posts are about services or events that help you. This week, we’re calling on your help for an outstanding contributor to the indie author movement.
I've never met Jim Giammatteo in person (except on Skype) but through the wonders of the Internet, I've had the pleasure of working with him, almost since the foundation of the Alliance of Independent Authors. He has become a valued colleague and a dear friend — we even share a birthday.
Together with Victoria Strauss, Mick Rooney and David Gaughran, Jim is one of the people who put action behind the concern so many of us have about the shadow side of the indie author revolution: services that exist purely to rip off authors.
In true indie spirit, Jim got stuck into highlighting the good, the bad and the ugly in our industry and spreading the word. Our members and regular readers of this blog know just how useful is the work he has done for us at ALLi. He has been tireless in his pursuit of the facts that expose poor author services, in his praise of those that do a good job and in giving advice and trusted guidance.
He is the author of our Choosing A Self-Publishing Service (as well as his own range of highly successful thrillers) and his work is always meticulous. Jim doesn't shy away from the nitty-gritty of numbers that bring most authors out in a rash.
His posts on the Self-Publishing Advice Blog are keenly followed because he can tell you, for example, precisely how Apple iBooks compares to Amazon KDP. Or exactly why it's better to use Createspace to reach Amazon stories and Ingram spark for extended distribution, and why for best results, you shouldn't choose one over the other, but do both.
And he can quote precise figures and facts that expose poor services and companies like those run by Authors Solutions and others.
Jim Is Ill
Jim cannot do this work right now. He recently had a heart attack, quickly followed by a second attack. And then, while being cared for in hospital, he suffered a stroke which has severely affected his speech and the use of his hands.
You can imagine how immensely distressing this is for Jim and his family. He is still in hospital, unable to talk, or use a keyboard – both vital to his work.
He is in TIRR hospital and his wife, Mikki, a woman of enormous courage and strength, stays with him there. He's now stable but the strokes were critical and they are hoping they can get his right hand to type and also trying to get his neck strong to hold his head up. Since he can't yet swallow, he has a feed peg placed.
“We go day by day,” says Mikki, who has asked for messages of encouragement/ memories / what Jim's work has meant to you.. anything than might give him a lift that she can pass on.
Here are two tributes, you can add yours below in the comment box:
This blog’s commissioning editor, Debbie Young, who also works closely with Jim says: “What Jim's input means to me: wise, thoughtful input from a man of enormous integrity and fairness, huge attention to detail and a generosity of spirit, coupled with modesty and humility (I love that his preferred profile photo shows him with one his beloved animals, rather than any pretentious authorly posturing!) It's like having a wise, respected and kindly favourite uncle on the team.”
Smashwords Founder, Mark Coker, says: “Jim, I'm so sorry to hear about your stroke but glad to hear you're hanging in there. I've been thinking about you every day. I hope you realize there are a lot of us out here sending you positive thoughts and prayers for a full and speedy recovery so you can get back to work shining the bright light for indie authors. I've really enjoyed working with you these past couple years and reading your words of advice. You're a voice of balance, reason, clarity and calm in an industry so fraught with misinformation and confusion. Take care my friend.”
How can you help?
Please visit this Facebook Page to make a donation toward Jim’s expenses (he lives in the US where medical care does not come free). Donations will also help his family purchase a wheelchair-accessible van – and also send him a get well message. Jim has given us all so much; please give a little to him now, in his time of need, if you can.
And please add your tributes to Jim and his work, or any memories or stories you’d like to share with Mikki to pass onto him, below.
Finally, you can help share this message with this easy ready-made tweet:ALLi's Watchdog, Jim Giammatteo, who has helped so many indie authors so much, now needs and deserves your help #AuthorALLi Click To Tweet