Brown River Queen cover art

Friday, December 2, 2011

I am NOT Self-Published

Blogging while angry is never a good idea.

So I've had my relaxing hot beverage and I've taken the requisite ten deep breaths and I've repeated my Mantra of Peace (Larry Curly, Larry Curly, Larry Moe, Larry Larry) once for every eye-poke in 'Disorder in the Court.'

Hey, you have your rituals, and I have mine.  Anyway.

Karen and I stopped in a certain bookstore during our lunch walk to see if they'd stocked All the Paths of Shadow yet.  After all, they are a bookstore.  All the Paths of Shadow is a book.  I'm a local author, and I've seen this very bookstore promote local authors.

We looked.  They did have a copy of The Markhat Files, another of my titles.  But still no copy of Paths of Shadow.

The helpful young man approached and asked if he could help us find anything.  Karen asked if they had any copies of All the Paths of Shadow.  The helpful young man tapped on his helpful computer for a moment before announcing that he couldn't get All the Paths of Shadow unless the author brought him copies, since that was a self-published title.

A self-published title.  That will certainly come as a bit of a shock to the people at Cool Well Press, who up until this very moment have been blissfully unaware that I own their publishing company.  After all, if I self-publish, and I publish through Cool Well Press, that means I own it, right?

Which means I want all those desk chairs.  And the PCs.  Bwahaha, mine, all mine!

Let me point out a couple of small errors in the helpful young man's statements.

All the Paths of Shadow is NOT a self-published title. Cool Well Press pays its authors.  I've never sent them a dime and they've certainly never asked for one.  Yes, Cool Well Press is a small relatively new press.  That makes it a small relatively new press, not a vanity house.

This was pointed out to the helpful young man, who shrugged and repeated his assertion that, even so, they would only deign to carry my book if I A) brought them free physical copies and B) paid for the shelf space.

In my opinion, that makes this bookstore a tad sleazy.  After all, isn't that the same tactic vanity houses employ? Asking the author to pay?

I won't be giving them any free books. I won't be paying them a cent for their precious shelf space.  They don't want me on their hallowed shelves, fine.  I'm not a huge fan of pretentious douchebags anyway.

But I do object to their toboggan-wearing sales clerks giving out false information.  I wonder how many of my friends and neighbors in this small town have gone into the store, asked for my books, and been told the same thing?

So, local bookstore owners, if you want to dismiss me as a genre hack, be my guest.  Your lack of support won't wreck me.  I won't trouble you again.  Ever.

But do not persist in telling the buying public Frank Tuttle is a vanity house victim.  It's untrue, it's unnecessary, and worst of all it's thoroughly unprofessional.

Larry Curly, Larry Curly, Larry Moe, Larry Larry...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Black Friday, Blue Monday, Chartreuse Tuesday

Back in the days of yore, when I was knee-high to a grasshopper and a bushel of dimes only cost a nickel, 'Black Friday' shopping injuries were things that only happened in distant, exotic lands such as Newark and even fabled Oklahoma City.

Last week's Black Friday resulted in a knife fight in our very own Walmart.  I am told that the combatants were locked in a bloody struggle over a discounted set of bedsheets.

Yes.  Bedhseets.  I have to wonder, what battle cry does one shout when charging into a life and death struggle over bedsheets?

Do you yell "Percale!" and then wade in, blade flashing?

Even if you know, don't tell me.  I've never felt very passionate about bedsheets, even if they are selling at a <gasp> fifteen percent discount.

The knife-wielding linen enthusiast will be enjoying the dubious holiday charms of the Lafayette County Detention Center, where I seriously doubt any of the guards dress as festive Christmas elves, at least while on duty.  There, the accused may ponder the error of her ways, and perhaps resolve to shop early at Dollar Tree next year (or in two to five, whichever the judge deems appropriate).

I do not partake in any sort of Black Friday shopping.  Face it, people, aside from a half-dozen strategically-advertised electronic gadgets, the stuff on the shelves is priced the same on Black Friday as it was Routine Thursday and as it will be on Just Another Saturday.  People line up at all hours for the same crap they could have ordered two weeks ago from Amazon without missing a single moment of sleep.

This is why, if I was a betting man, I'd put my money on the cockroaches versus the humans in any kind of long-term existence bet.  You don't see bugs camping out in parking lots because they might save a whole twelve cents on a set of cheap bedsheets.