The Guys Who Spied for China Quarter Finalist in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Competition

Mar 29, 2010 - 6:26 am


DadPhotoSmall(Los Angeles) Minstrel’s Alley, an independent publishing and media group, has had its first release, The Guys Who Spied for China, by Gordon Basichis, selected as a quarter finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel competition.   The book was first released as a trade paperback and then as in E-Book through Kindle.

“We are quite pleased with The Guys Who Spied for China’s selection as a quarter finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards.,” said M.J. Hammond, publisher and president of Minstrel’s Alley.  “About five thousand books were submitted from around the world, and The Guys Who Spied for China is among the final 230 quarter finalists.”

Hammond described The Guys Who Spied for China as a roman a clef detailing the uncovering of Chinese Espionage Networks in California during the eighties and nineties.  The book is based on Basichis’ real life experiences uncovering Chinese Espionage Networks operating in the United States in the eighties and nineties.

“We are delighted but not really surprised by the novel’s reception,” said Hammond.  “This is a most unusual spy book as it breaks the mold for this genre.  It is quirky and authentic, with touches of dark humor.   Reviews, so far, have been very favorable.

Hammond noted that sales have been helped by the growing tensions between the United States and China.  She claims the recent CBS Sixty Minutes Segment on Chinese Espionage boosted sales.    She believes the novel gives the reader the feeling of what it’s like to be suddenly thrust into the world of espionage.

“You can’t be an independent publisher and give readers the same-old-same-old and expect it to sell.   Publishing independently is slow going and demands patience.   The good news is when most mid list books from mainstream publishers are on the remainder pile, and independently published book is still going strong.   These days, we are the Energizer Bunnies of the publishing industry.”

She said that in addition to Amazon and Barnes and Noble, Baker and Taylor and Ingram are now distributing the trade paperback.  Minstrel’s Alley will soon be extending the E-Book version to Apple’s iPad, the Sony Reader and Barnes and Noble’s Nook.

Gordon Basichis is the author of two previous books, “The Constant Travellers” and “Beautiful Bad Girl, The Vicki Morgan Story.”   He is the co-founder of Corra Group, a Los Angeles based company that conducts employment background checks and corporate research for companies throughout the United States and around the world.

M.J. Hammond is a former entertainment industry executive who founded Minstrel’s Alley to publish popular books not found in mainstream publishing.

Background: Minstrel’s Alley is a Los Angeles based independent publisher that seeks to bring adventure back into the publishing industry by publishing books that have popular appeal but with more complexity than the standard mainstream fare.   The new publishing group distributes its books through Amazon, Kindle, and assorted Internet outlets as well as through bookstores around the country.    You can view Minstrel’s Alley at www.minstrelsalley.com

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