Amazon, Small Press, & Independent Booksellers

Last week at Naropa’s LitFare I had a chance to learn about publishing from two insiders: Allan Kornblum of Coffee House Press and Peter Conners from BOA Editions. Much of what they talked about came as a surprise to me. I didn’t know that bookstores sent back unsold copies for a full refund (plus a processing fee charged to the publisher!)

Conners broke down the numbers from the the small press’ point of view. Basically after the distrubutor (both Coffee House Press and BOA Editions are distruted by Consortium Book Sales & Distrubution) and the bookstore take their cut not as much as I would have thought is left over for the publisher. And of course, much much less is left over for the writer. But none of that surprised me.

What did surprise me was that Amazon pays […]

Naropa LitFare 2006

This weekend Naropa hosted another publishing fair. Similar to last year’sSmall Press & Journal Fair but with more different speakers and free beer from New Belgium Brewery.

Last night Allan Kornblum, publisher at Coffee House Press and Peter Conners fiction editor for BOA Editions spoke about small press publishing and offered some insight to how the industry works from their perspective.

Kornblum has years of experience and knowledge. He began by giving a brief history of censorship (going all the way back to Socrates drinking hemlock) and talking about the current environment. He stressed the responsibility publishers have to print books that in some small way will change the world.

Peter Conners spoke about the internet and how BOA Editions uses blogs to promote books and on-line […]

Hanging with the D.L.

Yesterday I went to see H.H. Dalai Lama in Denver. This is the second time I’ve seen him. The first was at Central Park in NYC.

The place was packed. Leaving Boulder we caught all the traffic. I joked with Doris, What if all these people are going to see the Dalai Lama, too? ? And guess what? They were!

The vibe was different than NYC, maybe provincial is the word I’m looking for. Most people were wearing their Sunday best and it had a very churchy feel to it. When I say churchy what I mean is that sort of bourgeoisie way many Americans divide themselves along racial and class lines every Sunday.

But what the man had to say was cool. He was very funny. […]

More Rejections

I’m always excited to get a SASE back from on of the journals I’ve submitted to. It’s not just about the chance of actually being accepted, it’s about being part of the writing community ?. This is when I pay my dues and it feels good because I’m positive it will pay off later.

I have received two more replies from journals, but for the first time both had something hand-written on the rejection slip. The rejection from AGNI was signed by someone whose name I can’t make out. And someone from The Missouri Review wrote in blue inkThank you for sending your story. ?

I’m not quite sure what the hand-writing means. I’ve never gotten responses like this before. I’m taking it as a good sign.

working on a ranch in colorado

That’s what I’m doing now. It’s also what my great-great-grandfather did when he was young man (during the earlier part of the 20th century). The work is not easy but it’s outside and that’s nice. And it’s fun to say. I’ve been mending fences and digging ditches. Last week I helped clear a dozen or so trees from a plot of land for a new house. Hard, hard work.

But if I can make enough money now, I won’t have to work during the winter break and I can write the rest of my novel. I’ve come to the conclusion that what I need to work on is Act II. I have a vague idea what it will concern but I’m not sure how to tell.

This class I’m taking with Keith Abbott promises to be very helpful in […]

Got to get published (continued)

I got back my first rejection from the summer. At this time the editors at Playboy Magazine are not able to use my story. But they wish me luck on getting it published elsewhere. Thanks Hef.

And I sent out seven more submissions today:

AGNI BOMB Quarterly West The Gettysburg Review Tin House Zoetrope: All-Story Black Warrior Review

The Black Warrior Review was a fiction contest with a $15 reading fee. I’ve been avoiding paying reading fees. Isn’t that the opposite of what’s supposed to be happening? But my money also gets me a year subscription, which usually costs $16.

This morning I added these submissions to my account at Writer’s […]