This blog was featured on 07/18/2017
Book Publishing Secrets: A Conversation with Mark Oristano

We’re talking to authors from all walks of life about their experiences in publishing their book.  Some have smooth paths, some rocky, but they all share a common goal – to see their name on the cover of their creation.  It’s interesting to read what path they decided to take to get there and my guests are here to tell everyone what he/she did in order to make it all happen so that other writers will learn a little something from the experience.

Today we are talking to Mark Oristano, author of the non-fiction book, Surgeon’s Story.  Oristano authored his first book, A Sportscaster’s Guide to Watching Football: Decoding America’s Favorite Game. A Sportcaster’s Guide offers inside tips about how to watch football, including stories from Oristano’s 30-year NFL career, a look at offense, defense and special teams, and cool things to say during the game to sound like a real fan. In 2016 Oristano finished his second book, Surgeon’s Story, a true story about a surgeon that takes readers inside the operating room during open heart surgery. His second book is described as a story of dedication, talent, training, caring, resilience, guts and love. In 1997, Mark began volunteering at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, working in the day surgery recovery room. It was at Children’s that Mark got to know Kristine Guleserian, MD, first to discuss baseball, and later, to learn about the physiology, biology, and mystery of the human heart. That friendship led to a joint book project, Surgeon’s Story, about Kristine’s life and career.

Thank you for your time in answering our questions, Mark. Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to write a book?

I’ve volunteered at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas for 20 years, and over that time I got to know pediatric heart surgeon Kristine Guleserian as a fascinating person and incredible surgeon. The more I learned about her, the more I decided she needed to have her story told.

Is this your first book?


Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?

Several New York houses were interested in Surgeon’s Story if it was written in Dr. Guleserian’s first-person voice. But she would not agree to that, thinking it too egotistical. So we self-published.

What lessons do you feel you learned about the publishing industry?

It’s dog eat dog.

If you had the chance to change something regarding how you got published, what would you change?

I’d love to have gotten a giant advance and had somebody else handle publicity. But…

Did you credit any person or organization with helping you get published?

Dr. Guleserian and all the people at Children’s Medical Center.

What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?

Don’t get it right, get it written.


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