Want Books?

TL;DR summary: for the next couple of months, if you want one of my books in paperback and don’t like shopping on the ‘Zon, buying direct from me will be the only way to get them. WHICH YOU CAN DO! Just contact me by email or through the site contact form. Or come to Indy Pop Con where I’ll be in June, or visit Printers Row in Chicago the same weekend (my books will be there but not me) or…well, you get the idea.

Anyway. I digress. Onward to the rest of the post.

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I’ve gone to a bit of trouble to make sure my books exist as real, “ink-on-paper pages wrapped in nice, pretty paperback covers” BOOKS. Books with real publisher logos on them and everything. Ones you could order from bookstores.

Well. Until recently. But not at the moment.

At the time of this post, my only paperback printer/distributor/retailer is Amazon.com. That’s a temporary situation, but one I felt you dear readers should know, just in case you might be looking to purchase a book or four from your local independent bookstore in the near future.

Beginning this summer, Ingramspark will become my primary book printer, and Ingram LightningSource will be responsible for distributing my paperbacks to print book markets.

So. There’s a switchover process. Changes are coming down the road, and that means bumps in the road. So. In the meantime…

Why start with one company and move to another? Well, now. There’s a story.

(of course there’s a story.)

Back when I was getting started in this writing & publishing gig, I seriously doubted  any humans outside my immediate friends & family circle would want Real Live Paperbacks of my stories. It was simpler (by FAR) to let Amazon handle print distribution to book retailers as well as the orders made through their site.

I mean, it wasn’t like people were hammering down the doors of their local retailers to get my books, nor was I retailing books myself. Easier just to have one-stop setup for al things book. So that’s the path I took. Least-resistance routing.

Welp, on the meandering road of life, I’ve come ’round to the same intersection again, and this time, I’m going down the road not-yet traveled.

Simpler never meant better. It didn’t even mean cheaper. It definitely didn’t mean superior quality control. So, for those reasons and more,  I’m maintaining an Amazon print account for Amazon sales only (should any more Amazon orders of my books ever occur) and moving all other paperback ordering and brick&mortar distribution needs to another company: Ingramspark Lightning Source (No, I do not know why they have such an unwieldy moniker. I can understand why they go by LSI in most situations.)

Now. A disclaimer. DO NOT IMAGINE THIS CHANGE MEANS MY BOOKS HAVE SUDDENLY BECOME POPULAR AND/OR LOTS OF PEOPLE ARE CLAMORING TO BUY THEM. That would be inaccurate. Wildly inaccurate.

Wrong, even.

I’m investing the time & money in this setup with Ingramspark because things have changed a LOT in the 5 years since I first did a print edition–both on my side, and the publishing side. Ingramspark always had a lot more to offer than Amazon, I’m at a point where I can handle that more-ness, and Ingramspark now offers me an incentive to make the jump.

They used to charge an arm & a leg to set up a title for printing & distribution. Now it’s down to $50 a title AND they credit back that $50 if  you order sufficient number of copies. In 2014 I couldn’t imagine selling 50 books. Now? Now that’s doable. Books don’t go bad like fruit, after all. I’ll go through 50 copies eventually. I won’t sell ’em fast, but I am regularly selling at conventions now & have my own Square account so mail-order is possible. (hint. hint.)

Ingramspark also offers a better selection of  bindings and formats for Print On Demand clients than Amazon’s printing service does too. HARDCOVERS, anyone? Staple-bound chapbooks for novelettes or samples? Duplex covered paperbacks that have that extra style? For me, format options inspire content creativity.

Plus they’re set up to honor sales tax exemption for resellers and retailers…like, say, me.  That balances out a slight increase in printing costs. And based on the delightfully transparent printing process, I expect to be getting a more predictable print quality too. (Fingers crossed, candles lit and all that. Testimonials from others are positive.)

Wrapping up, I have a good quantity of books on hand now, and I have the technology to make them yours, but ordering them anywhere but Amazon will not be happening for a undetermined time.

I’ll keep the world updated.

Until later.fullsizeoutput_149b.jpeg

Today’s Passing Thought

A little poem about writing for a gray, cold December evening

I am resolved. I WILL make WIP progress today.
Despite the cat’s best efforts to drive me up a wall by howling at high volume any time I begin to concentrate.
Despite body aches & toothache & headache.
Even tho’ it’s night now & I spent the whole day playing with other things.
Gonna write.
Gonna.
Write.

After dinner.
I promise.

Hold me to it, people. Ask for evidence. Demand snippets. Whatever.

Accountability is a real motivator.

Okay. Well. Y’know, carry on.

Doing Author Things

I know you’re all dying to know my plans for the year. Here this the summary:  I’m going to attend a bunch of conventions! Mostly in the Midwest, but a few further afield.

The spring schedule got full quickly:

  • CapriCon 38 Wheeling IL February 15-18. Attending as an author. Panels & reading confirmed.
  • Deep Dish Science Fiction Reading: Thursday March 1 at Volumes BookCafe. I’m penciled in, I’ll share more details as soon I get them.
  • ConCoction Cleveland OH March 9-11 Attending as an author. Panels & reading confirmed.
  • C2E2 Chicago IL April 6-8. I’ll be there Friday & Sunday, possibly part of Saturday as well. Doing what? not sure yet. My pro application is being processed. If that doesn’t get accepted, I’ll still go, just as a fan.
  • Nebula Awards Conference Pittsburgh PA May 17-20. No, I’m still not a member of SFWA. This one’s all about learning & professional development. And the Nebula  Awards ceremony of course.

I wanted to do MiniCon and/or WisCon too…but neither of those is in the scheduling cards this year. Family first, finances second, timing third. I can’t make it work.

At some point in the next week I must decide WHAT AM I GOING TO READ AT THESE READINGS?  I need multiple 5-7 min excerpts from either published works or works-in-progress. At 130 words per minute, that’s about 900-1000 words each.  Suggestions welcomed. First chapters are the default, but from panels & classes I’ve taken, I  would be better off pulling other scenes I can voice better.

Why do I have to decide so soon? So I can practice. Not because I’m nervous, no.  I am the weird introvert who is infinitely more comfortable standing up in front of groups than talking face-to-face. I have to practice because once upon a time I did competitive public speaking, and I was drilled to never EVER stand up unprepared. Dramatic Interpretation (Duo) and Original Oratory both required me to memorize 5-8 minutes worth of words. Reading should be a comparative cakewalk once I work through the material a few times.

ANYway. More author stuff. After my packed spring comes summer.

I’m aiming to attend GenCon in Indianapolis IN  August 2-5 as a pro or a vendor, and I WILL be back at DragonCon in Atlanta GA again this year. That’s August 29-September 4. I’ll be working in the Armory for certain and hopefully doing panels and selling books too.

I could possibly fit in one more summer convention. Not sure what, where or when. Or if, frankly.  Budgetary concerns come into play. And time. And brainspace.

There are family visit plans in the squishy-maybe stages, I’m still ambivalent about aiming for some fall conventions. Might or might not do WindyCon again.  I’m open to other ideas. (although as you all know, I am all about asking for suggestions and then ignoring them) plus I am dying to get out to NY to visit the fabulous Camp Little Notch someday and autumn might be a beautiful time for that…

I dunno. That’s a long way off. I have February through April planned. That’s a big step for me. One scary leap at a time.

In other author things:

My cozy-mystery-with-family-ghost manuscript is moving along well, working title Ghost Town. (don’t get attached to it. That will NOT be its final title, just like “Carl Finally Gets Some Action” became Turning The Work) It’s well behind schedule but progress is steady in its tortoise-like way.

Heartwood is in revision and shaping up nicely. Also behind schedule, but I would rather be late & good than early but unpolished.

And that is that.