A Visual Guide To Publishing*

*Traditional publishing, that is.

Author Nathan Bransford has posted a clever visual timeline of a writer’s experience in writing and publishing a book. It’s funny and accurate, though he left off the parts at the end where you don’t get any promotion for your book and it probably falls out of print before your next one is ready for release. Or the part where they don’t pick up your next one because they blew their budget for this quarter on Snooki’s new magnum opus.

Also, it’s amazing how many of these steps disappear if you publish as an indie, and how much more quickly your book is available even if you do the necessary things you ought to do, like making sure it’s properly edited…

The Publishing Process in GIF Form

DOC WILDE AND THE CHARIOTS OF THE FROGS Added To Doc Wilde Kickstarter

“The Astonishing Adventures of Doc Wilde” Kickstarter project is kicking butt, at 146% of its initial goal with a week still to go. It encompasses the first three Doc Wilde novels, all to be published by year’s end. It allows people to get involved with the series, and with me (the author),  early and to contribute donations to help make the books (which will be fully illustrated by maestro artist Gary Chaloner) as awesome as possible. In return, they can get copies of the books, posters, signed sketches by the artist, all sorts of goodies. The reward levels range from the paltry $5 to the epic $400, and you actually get something at every level.

Previously, I’d announced the first three Doc Wilde novels would be released this year, to be followed by two more next year. Then I added the Dark Avenger Option that allows supporters to add the fourth book, Doc Wilde and The Daughter of Darkness to their rewards package at a special rate.

Now, several supporters have asked me what I have planned for the fifth book, and if there’s any way to add it as well, to round out the pentalogy as it were.

So, with eight days left and me still hoping to get as close to my ideal goal of 200% as possible…why not?

In the fifth book, Doc Wilde and The Chariots of the Frogs, the Frogs of Doom return to our world on a much more epic scale, ready to turn back the tide of warm-blooded evolution once and for all with armies of batrachian monstrosities, dark amphibious magics, and the eldritch power of their dark god. Also really wanting to eat the Wildes, who got in their way last time.

And, yes, supporters can add the book to their rewards if they like by adding this new option:

(NEW) THE MONSTRO FROG OPTION

You can now get the fifth Doc Wilde novel, Doc Wilde and The Chariots of the Frogs, as part of your Kickstarter package, at a special rate. Add $5 to your pledge and you get the ebook; add $13 and you get the ebook and the trade paperback; add $20 and you get both plus a bookplate for the paperback signed by both Gary and me. (For international orders, an additional $10 will be needed to cover shipping on the paperback).

As special thanks for their high level of support, supporters at SERIAL DAREDEVIL level and higher who add the trade paperback for $20 will have it upgraded to a numbered limited edition to match those already in their rewards package.

(As with the Dark Avenger Option, if you choose to do this, just add the appropriate amount to your pledge without changing your chosen reward level; I’ll be sending out a survey after the Kickstarter ends that will allow you to specify which options you’ve pledged for.)

Click the image below for all the information about the Kickstarter:

Looking for Adventure? GO WILDE!!!

Tim On The Radio: Talking With PULPED! About Doc Wilde, Indie Publishing, & Kickstarter…

Last week, I was interviewed by Pro Se publisher Tommy Hancock for the Pulped! podcast (which, as you might imagine, is all about pulp fiction). We discussed the relaunch of the Doc Wilde series, the Kickstarter I’m currently running to help with that (which ends April 28th), self publishing vs. traditional publishing, and other pulpy things. While my radio face is only slightly better than my internet face, I think the interview came out pretty well, and you can hear it at:

Tim Byrd Gets Pulped!

DOC WILDE AND THE DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS Added To Doc Wilde Kickstarter

The Doc Wilde Adventures Kickstarter project encompasses the first three Doc Wilde novels, all of which will be published by year’s end. It allows people to get involved with the series, and with me (the author),  early and to contribute donations to help make the books (which will be fully illustrated by maestro artist Gary Chaloner) as awesome as possible. In return, they can get copies of the books, posters, signed sketches by the artist, all sorts of goodies.

After the first week, we hit our $3,000 goal. But that goal was the minimum amount needed for the project to actually succeed on Kickstarter, not a maximum needed to produce the books. The project is still live (through April 28th) and people can still come join the party and go Wilde.

To celebrate our success, I’ve added an option that all supporters who pledge at least $5 (that’s the lowest reward level, getting you one of the books as an ebook and a thank you in the acknowledgments) can take advantage of.

THE DARK AVENGER OPTION
You can now get the fourth Doc Wilde novel as part of your Kickstarter package, at a special rate. Add $5 to your pledge and you get the ebook; add $13 and you get the ebook and the trade paperback; add $20 and you get both plus a bookplate signed by both Gary and me. (For international orders, an additional $10 will be needed to cover shipping on the paperback).

The book will be released in the first half of 2013.

And what is the fourth book?

Doc Wilde and The Daughter of Darkness

In which something terrible happens to Doc, and the kids go looking for an ally of their family’s from years past, a rather dark character with a tendency to laugh while he shoots people. He’s not home, but his just as shadowy and violent teen daughter is…

Here’s how the book begins: Continue reading

Internet Killed The Literary Stars (Or Did It?)

There’s a lot of grumpiness these days about books, book selling, book publishing, the “proper” format of books, Amazon’s assault on books by publishing and selling lots and lots of books, and how nobody reads books no more.

Did you know that if you’re reading my blog on a screen of some type, it’s not literature (and you’re probably a subliterate ignoramus who DOES. NOT. LOVE. BOOKS.), but if I print it out on paper it is suddenly transformed and worthwhile? Apparently that’s the case.

Yep. Lots going on. I’ve written about it a bit before (like when I posted about the “Ebook Apocalypse“), and I’m active on the battlefield as an author who used to be with one of the Big 6 publishers but has now gone entirely independent (see my “Astonishing Adventures of Doc Wilde” Kickstarter project, live until April 28th, 2012, please take a look and help a strugglin’ wordsmith out).

Are things really all that bad? Or are they just different? Could they even be better?

I saw some reports recently that indicate that the doom and gloom may be uncalled for. Continue reading

Wilde Success! (But The Adventure Continues…)

Looking for Adventure? GO WILDE!!!

YAHOO! Today, one week after it began, the Doc Wilde Adventures Kickstarter project hit (and passed) its $3,000 goal!

But that doesn’t mean it’s over. The goal was our minimum target we needed to hit in order for the Kickstarter to succeed; had we not reached it, the project would have failed and no funding would have occurred. But now, the sky is the limit. People can continue to jump on board and contribute, and the more funds we get, the better we can make these books.

Thank you to all our great friends who have given their support to the project thus far! And a special call-out to the guys at Inveterate Media Junkies, who’ve been featuring the Doc Wilde Kickstarter on their site all week and who also made a big pledge that brought us to goal!

To celebrate today’s success, I’d like to dedicate the following tune to all our supporters…

The Astonishing Adventures Of Doc Wilde Kickstarter Is Now LIVE!!!

Click The Pic To Go To Kickstarter!

And, we’re flyin‘…

The Doc Wilde Kickstarter has officially begun:

The Astonishing Adventures of Doc Wilde

I invite you to click the link above and take a look at the cool rewards we came up with for each pledge level. Watch the amazing video, in which I seem subtly unable to wear a shirt correctly and show, once and for all, that, videogenically speaking, I have a great face for literature.

Kickstarter is a system created to make it possible for people all over the world to help creators fund cool projects; in exchange, the supporters get cool stuff and opportunities to interact in assorted ways with the creators. The creator posts a funding goal, and if the goal is met then the project succeeds and the pledge money goes to the creator. But if the goal is not met, the project fails and no money is exchanged. It’s an all-or-nothing system.

I’ve set the project goal at $3,000, basically a grand each for the three novels the Kickstarter is meant to launch. But please understand that this is a minimum goal; once it’s met, the project is a success, but people can still join in (and hopefully will) at any point during the time the project is active. The more the merrier, and the more funds we raise the  easier it will be to produce not only these first three volumes but more books in the series.

The project will run until Saturday, April 28th, at midnight PST.

If you plan to pledge, please do it as early as you’re able. Launching strong is very important for a project because many possible supporters look for projects to support with a high probability of success. If the project is already well on its way to hitting its funding target early, that’s a good sign it will succeed.

If you pledge, we sincerely thank you. Welcome to the pulpy, perilous world of Doc Wilde and his amazing family!

The Big Reveal: The New Cover Art For DOC WILDE AND THE FROGS OF DOOM!!!

 

With just under twenty-four hours before the Doc Wilde Kickstarter project goes live (and I have to tell you, I keep feeling like clicking that launch button early), I’ve decided to go ahead and let you see the great new cover Gary Chaloner has designed for the new, much-improved edition of the first novel.

It incorporates elements from his original mock-up, but does so much more…these are the Wildes I’ve always seen in my head.

One Essential Way You Can Help Your Favorite Writers…

Writer Dougie Brimson has a post up on the importance of online reader reviews for writers:

As a professional writer of ebooks, whenever I release something new onto the market the promotion of that book falls not to the publisher as it used to, but to me as the author. As a consequence the normal routine is to bombard media outlets, social media, related websites and blogs in the hope that someone will help by providing some publicity.

This, as you can imagine, is an extremely important part of the publishing process because at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how good a book might be if no one knows about it no one will buy it! But this work can consume an extraordinary amount of time and whilst it can be fabulous fun, it can also prove to be both frustrating and soul destroying.

However, after a certain amount of time you have to get back to the actual process of writing which means that you have to let your latest stand on its merits and fend for itself. It’s at this point that all authors hope that their readers will kick in and take up the task of spreading the word on their behalf. Fundamental to that is the review.

Trust me, as a promotional tool online reviews really do work which is why all authors ask, plead and even beg their readers to post them. It isn’t that we want you to boost our self-esteem (nice though that is!) it’s because the simple truth of the matter is that nothing sells books like word of mouth and these days, that primarily means what readers have to say on the online outlets.

All this is very true. Even simply clicking the LIKE button on a book’s page on Amazon helps a bit, but reviews are essential. Even if a writer is published through a big publisher, that doesn’t mean their books are getting decent promotion, or any promotion at all (most often they’re not).

This is also a wonderful way to reward an author if you enjoy a book you didn’t actually buy, whether it’s checked out of the library, bought used, borrowed from a friend, or even pirated off the internet. They didn’t make anything off your read, but you may help sell a few more books for them, and that’s a pretty nice way of giving back.

You don’t even have to write a lengthy review. Just give it a star rating, write a few lines about what you thought of the book, and click LIKE if, indeed, you liked it.

Also, if you really like a book or an author, you may consider “rounding up” when you rate them, i.e if you figure the book is a 4.5 star book, give it the 5 star rating rather than the 4 star. This will help offset the people out there who will give a book 1 star because it has dirty words in it, or because Amazon sent them a damaged copy, or because it has characters whose politics don’t coincide with theirs, or who read a certain type of book and score it badly for being that type of book. You see these kind of reviews all the time: “I’m sure this is an excellent mystery, and it’s incredibly well-written with engaging characters. But I don’t like mysteries, so I’m giving it only 2 stars…”

I’m not asking you to misrepresent yourself. Just err on the side of kindness. That is someone’s baby you’re talking about…

Are Big Publishers Doing Their Jobs?

Writer Jami Gold has a provocative post on her blog about the fact that big publishers, often seen as the “gatekeepers” of literary quality, are more and more willing to allow books to appear under their auspices without proper quality control. “Who cares about quality writing anymore?” she asks, and uses as an example a current big release from Vintage Books which has been published in terrible need of a skilled editor’s guidance.

As she puts it in a comment below the post, “If publishers aren’t doing promotion or marketing, and now they aren’t doing editing and are ruining their reputation, what do they offer to writers that they can’t accomplish on their own?”

And there’s something to that.  Sloppy editing, celebrity books of hideous quality (contracted for ginormous amounts of money that could better be spent on worthy authors), ebooks released with major formatting errors, a tunnel vision mentality that leads them to release tons of the same ol’ same ol’ and not take risks…

Low or no advances. No promotional support. Lackluster editing. Fewer and fewer actual distribution channels and bookstores. And, of course, an institutionalized disdain for the authors, except those few who have become brand names.

If publishers are going to survive the Ebook Apocalypse, they really need to get their heads on straight and start thinking about what they can offer the folks who actually write their books, and how they can stay worthy of the trust that some people still have in them as gatekeepers. Because at the moment, they’re looking kinda bush league, while many capable self-publishers are looking more and more like the real deal.

ANNOUNCEMENT: The Third Doc Wilde Adventure Will Be…

In my post about this year’s Doc Wilde relaunch, I told you that Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom would be re-released in its deluxe improved edition in June, Doc Wilde and The Mad Skull would follow in August/September, and the third book, to be named later, would follow in November.

I’m ready to give you the third title…

Doc Wilde and The Dance of the Werewolf!!!

 I’d originally planned this to be the second book in the series, and wrote a chunk of it, but it was vetoed by my editor as “too scary.” And, indeed, it is a darker, bloodier tale than the first book (even considering Frogs of Doom’s Lovecraftian horrors), exactly as I intended it to be. I mean, it’s werewolves. It should be scary.

I wondered if I’d ever actually be allowed by Putnam to publish the book without toning down the scares and neutering it.

Well, now I get to write the book I want to write, and you get to read it.

How A Writer Can Easily Make His Own Book Covers

Lately I’ve been trumpeting what I call the “Ebook Apocalypse” and detailing why I think it’s great for readers, writers, even bookstores…basically everybody but big publishers (though they have it within their ability, if not mindset, to seize the day and benefit too). Indeed, as I was thrilled to announce a few days ago, I’m no longer publishing with Penguin/Putnam and will be relaunching my Doc Wilde adventure series on my own later this year.

I already have two self-published ebooks for sale (my folksy supernatural tale “Dead Folks” and my exploration of nature, civilization, and the ecological spirit “Wild Soul,” both just 99¢), and publishing them was easy. Authors can do this. They don’t need someone to do it for them. If you’re smart enough to write a book, you’re smart enough to publish it yourself. (But please, in the names of all the sweet muses, have your work properly edited. Don’t be one of those assholes who publishes sub-literate diarrhea just because you can.)

Even covers are easy (though I have seen established writers put up books with terrible covers though they should know better). Continue reading

Small Bookstores and the Ebook Apocalypse

When both the big bookstores in her community folded, author Ann Patchett stepped forward and opened her own small bookstore.

In a very charming appearance on The Colbert Report, Patchett offers proof of my argument that the apocalypse brought to the bookstore industry by ebooks and Amazon is actually favorable to small local bookstores. Where Borders fell and B&N stumbles, small stores can now take root and give good old fashioned service to their communities.

In time, they’ll incorporate infrastructure allowing them to infinitely expand their stock by selling ebooks on-site and actually printing books on demand (as with the Espresso Book Machine, which is pretty amazing).

I wrote at length about how ebooks and digital distribution are good for readers, writers, and booksellers here, and if you have any interest in the topic, please give it a read.

You can watch Patchett and Colbert here.

ANNOUNCEMENT: The Return of Doc Wilde!!!

In a young adult book market crowded with the depressing and the dour, Tim Byrd’s Doc Wilde swings in on a jungle vine to raise the flag high for adventure. Infused with pace, fun, and all the two-fisted action a reader could ask for, Wilde lovingly riffs on situations straight out of the old pulps, even while making them fresh for a new generation.
— Zack Stentz, screenwriter, ThorX-Men: First Class

In 2009, Penguin/Putnam released my book Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom, an adventure novel for all ages, my homage to the great pulp adventure stories of the thirties and forties. I conceived it as the first of a series, but Putnam waited to see how it was received before committing to more books.

The reviews were great, and the sales very good. As a result, Putnam asked for two more books. But, as regular readers of this blog know, I went through some rough times that delayed completion of the second book, and in the time since Frogs was released there has been a great deal of change in publishing. Thanks to digital distribution, the rapid rise of ebooks, and print on demand, the options for authors are much better than they used to be.

So, today, I’m excited to announce that Doc Wilde is going indy.

Written in fast-paced, intelligent prose laced with humor and literary allusions ranging from Dante to Dr. Seuss, the story has all of the fun of old-fashioned pulp adventures. A tale ‘terrifying and dark, of indescribable horrors and eldritch mysteries,’ this is sure to be Wilde-ly popular, and readers will anxiously await future installments.
                                                     —Kirkus Reviews

Putnam treated me well enough, but I was largely underwhelmed with my experiences with them. The  money was relatively lousy (and usually delivered months after it was contractually supposed to be), they did no promotion, and I thought they failed to take advantage of important opportunities. At no point did I get the idea that my input was valued, except insofar as delivering a printable text was concerned. And they allowed the hardback to sell through its print run and fall out of print before even scheduling a paperback printing, meaning the book’s effective shelf life and opportunity to find new readers was less than two years. In other words, I was treated like most authors are treated by the Big 6.

The thing is, I want to make a living at this, and unless the series really took wing, I was never going to do that under standard publishing terms. Everybody in publishing makes a good living, with benefits, except the folks who write the books. Going independent is a gamble, but honestly, if it doesn’t work, I’m not out much income, and if it does (and I expect it will) I’ll at least be able to keep the roof over my head.

So this is the year of Doc Wilde.

Doc Wilde and the Frogs of Doom is an adventure yarn in the old tradition. It gets that reading is an intellectual activity, and that an adventure, to be really good, has to engage the reader’s brain. I love a smart book!
—Daniel Pinkwater, author of The Neddiad and The Yggyssey

The fact that Putnam allowed Frogs to fall out of print turned out to be a great thing, because it allowed me to retrieve the rights and I can start the series anew, the way I want to. There were things I wanted to do with the books that I wasn’t getting to do with Putnam, and now I can.

One of those things is working with Gary Chaloner. As I’ve written before, well before I finished writing Frogs, I tried to find the perfect artist to depict the Wildes, and Gary was my choice. Not only was he a gifted graphic storyteller with a distinctive style, he was also a huge fan of pulp adventure and had an instinctive understanding (and love) of the material. Together we decided to produce lavishly illustrated books, and he put a lot of time into honing his designs to match my vision of the characters. (To see some of his early designs, go here.)

The Wildes à la Chaloner

When I signed with Putnam, they completely disregarded my wishes. The resulting book had a really nice cover, but I never got so much as an email consultation from the artist and I have a few minor issues with some of its details. There were no lovely illustrations inside. Instead, there were some goofy typographical effects that (I felt) distracted the reader and made the book look like it was meant solely for very young readers, rather than for young and old as I intended.

Well, Gary’s back on board, and we’re doing the books the way we originally envisioned.

Here’s the plan:

Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom will be released in its new edition in June, in both ebook and paper. It will offer my preferred edit of the novel, along with a new short Doc Wilde adventure, and (like future books) will have a new cover and be fully illustrated by maestro Gary Chaloner.

In the next few weeks, I’ll be putting together a Kickstarter project so folks can help us with the relaunch and get assorted boons ranging from being named in the acknowledgments to autographed limited editions and other exclusives.

Then, in August or September, the long-awaited second adventure will finally appear, Doc Wilde and The Mad Skull, in which the Wildes face a mind-blowing mystery and a truly bizarre villain. Doc Wilde and The Dance of the Werewolf, a dark tale featuring lycanthropes and witchcraft, will follow in November.

Had I remained with Putnam, by year’s end there would have possibly been a paperback of Frogs of Doom, and The Mad Skull might have seen print some time next year, though more likely it would have been in 2014. Doing things this way, you get the first three books by Christmas, with more to follow next year.

This is all very exciting for me. Going indy will allow me not only to produce nicer books, not only to make more money (at less cost to readers), but to have a more organic and personal relationship with fans. It’s a great time to be a writer.

Stay tuned for more news, including the details of the Kickstarter project…

A true delight…Tim Byrd has taken Doc Savage, added in a pinch of Robert E. Howard, a liberal dose of H.P. Lovecraft, and mixed it all together in a well done, enchanting pastiche of the pulps that will appeal to the adult audience as well as the young adult readers. It is an over the top at times, rip roaring adventure that returns us to the days of yesteryear and leaves us wanting more.
—Barry Hunter, The Baryon Review

(Note: At the time I post this, Putnam’s ebook version of Frogs of Doom is still available online. The wheels of publishing grind slowly, and they haven’t yet gotten around to removing it as they’re supposed to. If you’re interested in the book, I encourage you to wait for the new version later this year. It will be a much better edition, will cost you less, and I’ll benefit a lot more from the sale.)

A New Definition of Writing Success

More on the “ebook apocalypse” front, and the self-publishing revolution, this time from writer James Scott Bell.

Here’s a bit (link at the bottom):

We all know the traditional model is shrinking. Advances on new contracts are at historic lows. With physical shelf-space disappearing, print revenues are down. While digital income is up for the publishers, the slice of that pie given to authors remains stagnated at 25% of net (or roughly 17.5% of retail). And new writers are finding publishers increasingly risk averse regarding debut authors.

Still, many writers remain focused on [getting published]. It represents some sort of “validation” even though it could very well mean less income…and fewer readers.

But now a new model of writing success has appeared. Writers, for the first time since the troubadour era (when you could go out on your own and make up stories in song and take in some coin), have it within their power to get their writing out there without a middleman (the fancy term is “disintermediation”).

And further, unlike self-published authors of yore, they actually have a chance to make real dough. Every day we are hearing more accounts of self-published writers who are earning significant income as independents.

Yet income alone is not the main draw of this new model, which looks like this:

Freedom is the invaluable commodity here. To be able to write what you truly want to write, and know that you can get it into the marketplace, is tremendously liberating. It is, in fact, the engine of happiness for a writer. It’s exhilarating to write for yourself, see what you’ve written, fix it, and keep on writing—and be assured that it will have a place in the stream of commerce, for as long as you live.

From The Kill Zone: A New Definition of Writing Success

Book Biz

Some supplementary info for anyone who was interested in my “Ebook Apocalypse” post…

  • Since 2002, about 500 independent bookstores have gone out of business, nearly 20% of them.
  • Independent bookstores currently account for less than 10% of book sales.
  • When Borders folded they closed nearly 650 stores.
  • There are around 700 Barnes & Noble stores, all drastically reducing the number of  books they actually stock.
  • Barnes & Noble is projecting huge losses in revenue for 2012.
  • Amazon holds 75% of the market for printed books online.
  • Roughly 90% of all ebook sales go through Amazon (60%) and Barnes & Noble (30%).
  • Ebook sales on Amazon outnumber printed book sales by roughly 50% and the ratio is growing sharper all the time.
  • According to Publishers Weekly, publishing insiders predict that within five years  ebooks will account for half of all book sales.

Clearly there’s a lot of change going on, and as I wrote earlier, I think it’s good for readers, writers, and independent booksellers (who have a better chance of holding their own in local markets with the crumbling of the big chains). The changes may be more dire for big publishing concerns, however, as more writers realize they can make more money and better handle their own careers by publishing themselves and as book prices fall, bringing less money in to pay for fancy Manhattan office space. Their edge as necessary distributors gets slimmer with each drop in physical stock made by hundreds of  Barnes & Nobles stores, every bookshop that closes, and each ebook that sells.

Writers need to seriously consider self-publishing, focusing mainly on the digital market, with hard copy books as an additional option they make available. And, at least for the foreseeable future, they’re going to reach the vast majority of the available market by dealing with Amazon and B&N, though there is much to gain by working with independent bookstores on a personal level.

Jon Mertz: “Ebooks ARE a Game Changer”

Even as I was posting my post about the “ebook apocalypse”  just now, author Jon Mertz posted his own, about his experiences self-publishing versus his experiences publishing with big publishing companies. Here’s a bit:

I’ve been writing since 1994; I’ve been a traditionally published author since 2002. In the ten years I tried to play the game by New York’s rules, I’ve seen so much ridiculousness, it amazes me the publishing industry has lasted as long as it has. Midlist writers (that is to say those who are not gifted with million-dollar advances and groomed for the supposed bestseller lists) are treated like indentured servants: crummy advances that New York insists are “livable,” crappy royalty rates, contract clauses that are meant to provide steady income for the publisher not the writer, and an accounting system woefully behind-the-times and deliberately complicated so as to render auditing it both costly and intimidating for the average writer.In the year since I’ve been publishing as an indie, I’ve made more money than at any other point in my writing career. I’ve sold more books than at any other point in my writing career (over 20,000 copies of my Lawson adventures JUST on the Amazon US marketplace). And I’ve been able to engage and meet more fans than at any other point in my writing career. And I’m not even as succesful as other indie ebook authors – some of them are making thousands of dollars every single DAY.

Traditional publishing loves to claim that they do a ton of stuff for writers – hence the low pay and royalty rates.

It’s BS.

He breaks things down in good detail, and if you’re interested in these matters, you should check it out.

Ebooks ARE A Game Changer

Ebook Apocalypse!!!

The night is coming. The night that will never end.

Board the windows. Lock the doors and push our beautiful, heavy bookshelves against them. Hopefully we prepared enough, we stocked up on canned peas and sacks of potatoes and stacks of mass market paperbacks and hardbacks, some of them used and old and bound in cloth rather than shitty cheap crappy cardboard.

Outside, the wind howls like a cliched banshee scream.

They are coming, and we fear it will not matter how well we prepared, for they come on silent wings, their numbers are legion, and they don’t use doors, or windows. Like dire fairies of data they come through the walls, through the very air itself, at the speed of light.

And they want to eat. “BOOOOOOKS….” they moan. Because they want to eat our books, all our beautiful books.

The ebooks have escaped the labs. OH. MY. GOD. Continue reading

The Perfidy of Nostalgia… (A Warning Re: Doc Savage/The Shadow Reprints)

On the recently raised subject of Sanctum Books’ pulp reprints, Anthony Tollin of Sanctum recently released the following statement about their previous association with Nostalgia Ventures, and the unfortunate fallout of that association:

An open letter to the pulp community:

For those taking advantage of the discounted SHADOW and DOC SAVAGE volumes at Half-Price Books, please be aware that Nostalgia Ventures began remaindering these books last summer in direct violation of its sub-contract with me. Also, as of today (July 22, 2009), Nostalgia Ventures has still not paid royalties to either Condé Nast or me for any books it has sold since July 1st, 2008. (A semi-annual royalty payment was due back in February, and another six months of royalties are coming due in August.)

There is a very good reason why Nostalgia Ventures/Nostalgiatown is no longer co-publishing these books, and it involves a continuing series of contract violations.

And for anyone who may not be sympathetic because Condé Nast is a huge corporation, please be aware that Condé Nast has chosen to continue the oral agreement it had for decades with Walter Gibson, and is splitting its royalties for the SHADOW reprints with Walter’s family. This is an extremely rare and decent act that is quite unusual in the publishing world.

I think my SHADOW and DOC SAVAGE double-novel trade paperbacks are a great value at the $12.95 cover price. Obviously, the books are an even better value at discounted prices. However, please be aware that purchasing these books from either Half-Price Books or Nostalgiatown does nothing to encourage the continuation of these series. And since Nostalgia Ventures still hasn’t paid its contract-required royalties for any of the books it has sold during the past 12 1/2 months, the money from Nostalgia Ventures’ and Half-Price Books’ sales also hasn’t been continuing on to Walter Gibson’s family.

It’s not necessary to purchase THE SHADOW and DOC SAVAGE directly from Sanctum Books to support the ongoing publishing operation and encourage the continuation of these reprints. Bud Plant Comic Art, Adventure House, Mike Chomko, Vintage Library, Girasol, Edge Books, The Mysterious Bookshop and any comic specialty shop that orders its books from Diamond Comic Distributors all get their books either directly or indirectly through Sanctum Books (which continues to make its regular royalty payments to Condé Nast and would like to continue publishing these reprints for many more years).

Please feel free to forward this message on to other pulp-oriented email groups.

–Anthony Tollin, Sanctum Books