Local lawyer John Stanley was recognized recently by Lawyers’ Weekly as one of North Carolina’s best attorneys. He’s also written one of the best books to come from the Tarheel state in a long time: Mickey Price: Journey to Oblivion. Its an action-adventure for readers 7-13 about kids in space (and on the moon) that’s a compelling read for all ages. John Stanley’s only problem: Mickey Price is only his first great book. 
Like Nero fiddling as Rome burned, book publishers still seem to be in denial about their collapsing empire. Rather than retaining and expanding their customer pool by identifying and promoting talented new voices, the commercial publishing industry now devotes even more resources to established writers. The odds of a first-time author — even ones such as John Stanley with a great manuscript in hand — landing a contract are almost impossibly long. 
Luckily, the industry’s disinterest in new authors doesn’t matter anymore.   Thanks to new self-publishing companies like CreateSpace and Lulu, which offer distribution online and through traditional bookstores, anyone and everyone can effectively get their written work into the marketplace. (Youtube, of course, has been doing the same thing for those who work with video rather than the written word.)   All talented new authors need is for readers like us to give their work a look. The more success self-publishers like John Stanley have, the more likely the big presses will figure out a way to focus on “new” rather than just “tried and true”…or the more it won’t matter whether they do or not. 
Whatever happens to the publishing industry, I urge you to give John’s book a look at And feel free to provide info on other talented self-published works in the comment section below.