Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My book is now available to the public.

As I promised readers of this blog (as well as myself) I will write shortly about the first reactions of those who within the last few days had the opportunity to read it.
I would like to thank to all who expressed their admiration... but as I wrote in the book, it happened to be that I was in the center of an interesting chain of events. There was no one else who wished to describe it—especially because most of those events have something to do with me.
Most of the people are going to the grave in the same religion which they were born.
Some people, however, choose to convert to a different faith. They believe that whatever they were taught was the truth is not worth continuing. They are either looking for change or are persuaded by missionaries.
Of course every, or almost every convert believes that his new religion is the only one and truth. Such is my belief. What my path to change was and why it led me to Judaism, my book describes in detail.
What are the first reactions then?
Overall very positive. The story was ‘written’ by the Great Stage Designer and if I or the other people described in this book made any positive choices, we don’t really know when it happened and how much of our free will was really involved in the process. It is a great but difficult topic. I discuss Bechira—freedom of choice—in my book in depth, and I will came back to it many times in the future I-H.
The book however has more aspects than story it describes. With Hashem’s help, I was able to describe the events in a manner that flows; it is not boring, and some people told me that it pulls them in (one can read it for hours without a pause).
With all this sweet feedback came also some criticism which I welcome even more than the compliments. I have learned that if I want to find out about myself I should listen what my enemies have to say about me. B-H, I have no enemies; the criticism came either from my friends or from people who began to know me from the book.
As it is known from my website www.anotherconvert.com , English is not my first language and I have used it for only one third of my life. I never had the opportunity to learn it in school, as I came to this country with a family of five; for most of the time I was this family breadwinner B-H.
I learned to read and later to write, however both my speech and my writing are far from perfection. All my texts need editing to be understandable. Likewise with my book, and I’m disappointed that some of the editing was not done to the perfection.
I asked my editor to fix what I wrote in a way that made it readable but retained my original style of writing. Is the bad impression of some readers coming from the fact that I asked the editor to keep it rough? I cannot judge; my knowledge of English does not allow me to evaluate it and until publication of this book I could not find anyone to help me with this.
What I can promise is that if the number of copies printed will be sold and there will be still demand for this book I will try to do better job in the future.
The other subject of dislike is the price of the book. I’m aware that a book of 300 pages could cost a few dollars less than mine. There are however several reasons for that (and greed is not one of them). First, I spent a lot of money to bring this story to the public.
I wrote it (except for two chapters) fourteen years ago. I tried two times to give it to publishers, but to no avail. Most of those years I made B-H enough money to self publish it without any harm to my family budget. But I was not too much in to it. In fact, I was even thinking to leave it until after a hundred and twenty.
Some events of the last two years led me to take this project out of drawer and get it published. It happened unfortunately at the time when I did not have the resources for this purpose. In fact, I have used, in part, credit to finance this project. It cost more than I expected.
Everyone who read this book admitted its uniqueness.
There are many biographies and many books about religion or philosophy. There are many books about historical and political evens which turned the paths of history (or individuals) in diametrically different directions. I don’t know however any other book combining all of it, and more.
This alone raises the market value of this book to the level where I feel safe to ask those few dollars more; it should pay for itself and other projects attached to it (for example,  gertzedek.com). Will people pay for it as much as I ask? I don’t know—but I know that people are paying more for less. Hashem should help.
This is enough for this week.
Matys Weiser

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