Showing posts from February, 2014

Ye Olde Book Tour... how does it work again?

This post started life as an email to a friend who was getting ready for his first bookstore signing and had some questions. Unfortunately, I had my phone on silent all day for a journalism conference, and I missed it. My apologies to my friend for the laaaaate reply. Then I realized this might be useful to other new authors. His question was about bookstore signings, and how they work. And my answer is an unsatisfying "it depends." • There's the traditional model. For major chain bookstores, and a large number of independents, it's the preferred choice. The bookstore orders copies of your books in advance from Ingram (sometimes Baker & Taylor, but they really like Ingram). They have the books on hand for your signing, and you show up with a pen. The readers buy the book from them. Eventually they pay the distributor and your publisher, and your publisher pays you your regular royalty. This model is the time-tested standard, but it has some problems. If you&

Mr. Romantic

HIM: *pokes head up into office* I'm about to go to work. ME: Uh huh. HIM: What? ME: Remember about two hours ago, when I said there was inventory to be done? And you conveniently vanished? HIM: *grins* Well. ME: Yeeeeah. There's still inventory to be done. And it has to be done before the convention next weekend. HIM: We can do it this weekend. ME: Oh yeah? When? HIM: Tomorrow, before I go to work. ME: I'm at the journalism conference tomorrow. HIM: Oh yeah. Well, Sunday then. ME: *stares* HIM: What? ME: Really? HIM: ... What? ME: You forgot. HIM: What are we doing Sunday? ME: You really forgot. HIM: What did I forget? ME: Uh uh. I'm not bailing you out. You just sit there and remember. HIM: ...Are we going on a date? ME: Remember when we decided that we would go on a date every month and take turns as to who planned the date? And remember a month ago, when we realized that Valentine's Day was on a Friday when you're working, and we thought

In which I argue with a dinosaur...

To be fair, I wasn't intending to fire the St. Louis Science Center. Instead, all my friends are fired. The science center showed Back to the Future in the IMAX theater tonight, and I had no idea it was happening. I would totally have ditched my lame "writing and doing taxes" plans for that, and made an evening of it with the boy. Of course, I usually receive press releases from SLSC, and follow their Twitter... so it's a tad surprising I missed this. Still, it's a lot more fun to blame my friends on Twitter... forgetting who might be listening. @edonald: @slsc is showing Back to the Future tonight, and none of you TOLD ME! You're all fired. @slsc: It's usually pretty hard to to fire a T.rex. Hard to find a replacement. # extinct @edonald: Fair point. I try never to argue with a T.rex anyway. # yessir @slsc: Good conclusion. # foodchain The T.rex is listening...

All right, what's he up to?

I know, this blog has turned into "bizarre things my kid says," but it's that or subjecting you to endless ruminations about car troubles and writer's block. ME: Hey, spawn. Put away the clean dishes before you go to bed. BOY: Okay Mom. Thank you. ME: ... For what? BOY: Supporting me. ME: Wha? BOY: You feed me and give me clothes and a place to live and stuff. You support me. That's awesome. ME: Okay, what do you want? BOY: Nothing. I was thinking about that today, that if I was on my own I'd have to pay for all that stuff. That would be really expensive. So thank you. ME: ... Seriously, what do you want? BOY: Seriously, nothing. You give me all that stuff just for being your son. ME: Ooooookay. You're welcome. Put away the dishes. BOY: Okay. *hugs me* He is totally up to something. Battening hatches.

Smith Co.

BOY: How much are you paying me to do our walk? ME: As I have said in the past, the amount you are compensated is calculated by the extent of the job times the quality of the work performed minus the amount of mouth I get in assigning it. And there was some serious mouth. BOY: I was joking. ME: Uh huh. BOY: You should know that Smith Co. rates have gone up twenty percent due to repeated snowpocalypses. ME: I decline. MAN: Inflation ain't that bad, kid. BOY: I shall speak to my agent about this. ME: Go ahead. Your agent is Jimmy. BOY: My agent is Mr. Snuffles the teddy bear. ME: *quakes in boots* BOY: Fine. Jimmy, you're hired. ME: Besides, all my friends agree I should charge you a shovel tax for the use of my shovel. BOY: A shovel tax? How much? ME: Katie Yates says fifty percent. BOY: Fifty percent? Smith Co. will not do business with Donald Inc. under these conditions! ME: There is no Smith Co. According to Jimmy, I am the CEO of Donald-Smith-Gillentine In

Not sure where he got this smart mouth...

BOY: I need to get a job. ME: Liking that whole "earning money" thing, are you? BOY: Do you know any places that hire fifteen-year-olds? MAN: McDonald's. ME: I think food service is illegal until sixteen. What about the YMCA? BOY: I could work in the skate center when I'm fifteen-and-a-half with a parent's permission. ME: That could possibly be arranged, with bribery. MAN: Fifteen-and-a-half... that's... ME: Summer. BOY: A summer job. ME: The question is, how do you intend to transport yourself to and from work? Does the bike trail go out that far? BOY: No. *frowns* ME: The bus? BOY: Can you drive me? ME: Well. I think we'd have to arrange some kind of compensation. We are not a taxi service. BOY: *sigh* MAN: Soda. ME: What? MAN: He buys me a soda, I'll drive him to work. ME: Man, you're cheap. I'd demand actual cash. BOY: How about the honor of my presence in your lives? ALL: ... ADULTS: BWAHAHAHAHAHA!