The Road to Straight Dope pt 4: Goin’ Indie

Posted: February 9, 2013 in Uncategorized
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It is almost here….

In the beginning of 2012, it was pretty rough for the kid. I lost my job and my girl all in the same week. Crazy right? So like any artist, I threw myself into my work, vowing complete Straight Dope. Hemmingway once said, “A writer is at his best when he is in love,” but this Missouri boy says, “A writer is at his/her most productive when he/she doesn’t have anything to do or anybody” LOL. After listening to the interviews and transcribing them, (which was no joke), writing spoken word pieces, and finding the right quotes to go along with each chapter, I was done.

It is a trip to look at your finished work and say, “Wow, it is done. I did it! I cannot believe I finished it.” I, LeRon L. Barton, young man from Southside Kansas City, child of Gisele and LeAndrew, brother of Brent, fan of the 49ers’ (yeah!), X-Men, and Snoop Dogg wrote a book. I was really proud of myself. So now all I had to do was get it out to folks.

I cannot tell you how many query letters I sent out to agents. Maybe 30 to 40. I mean I was on a mission. I’m thinking to myself, “This is a numbers game, somebody has got to like my shhhh right?” Well, what I found out quickly is that writing is a business, and the subject of addicts and drug selling isn’t the easiest sell. I mean I could have went with something cuddly like children or more women oriented (which there is nathan wrong with that), but I am an artist! I want to write what I want to write and create what I want to create (while I am on my artist soapbox, “All We Need Is Love,” a book about relationships, marriage, and dating is coming later this year. Yeah, I know….). The kicker came when I received some positive feed back from an agent that said something to the effect of, “You have a great idea, but publishing is a business (Really? Word? Tell me something I don’t know..) and in order for us to move forward, you would have to have a great social media presence in the thousands….” yada yada. So while I was pumped that an agent liked my idea, I sat back and thought. “So you want me to put in the leg work, build up my brand, get my book out, and then you will take it from there. Sign me to a crazy mediocre deal and thats that?” Okay look, (and I am ’bout to get real hood here, so buckle up) I am not a prostitute and you are not my pimp. You want me to do all the work and eat better than me? Sorry, Gisele didn’t raise no fool.

I thought about the deal and the possibility, but then realized that there are sooooo many cats going independent, grinding on their own, and making it, so I said  thanks, but no thanks. The kid is putting it out by himself. There is this thing, you might have heard of it called The Internet and I see people taking their power and destiny into their own hands and releasing their own stuff. I had planned on going this route if I didn’t hear from a agent in a certain period of time, but I said, “Why wait? Lets just do it now.” So I did.

The main reason why I created Mainline Publishing is to be able to release projects that I want to. Works that maybe controversial or out of the ordinary, thats what I want to put out. It was never about the grip, it was, is, and always will be about FREEDOM. The freedom to do what I want to. And the first project will be called Straight Dope: A 360 degree look into American drug culture. I am going to do what ever I can to make sure this project is a success. I am in it to win it! I told myself that I am going to put my all into this. I am going for broke, real talk.

You have no idea how much I think about how I can get Straight Dope out there. I am literally waking up with this on my mind. When I came back from my backpacking trip, my wonderful friend Alicia said, “LeRon, you are more serious.” And I was. All the bs had been cleared from my mind and I only had one goal, get this book off.

So here we are. Straight Dope is going to be released on February 27, 2013. And I am gonna do whatever I can to make sure you know about it. I am in a Denny’s on a Friday night typing this, so you know I am serious. Buckle up, cause it is gonna get ugly.



  1. morganmandel says:

    It may sound trite, but I’ve always heard you should write the book of your heart. That’s no matter what’s popular at the time. What’s wonderful these days is authors do have the power to publish and many are doing so. I wish you much success!!!

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