My first bad SAD JINGO review

December 12, 2012 7 comments

Surprised it took this long to get a bad review, but here is the first one at last. Kudos to the book blogger site BigAl’s Books and Pals for stick-to-it-iveness, by the way. I sent them an electronic file of the book some months ago and figured I didn’t make the grade, but no, they actually did review it, for which I am grateful. Unfortunately, the reviewer greatly disliked the book, but them’s the breaks.

There has been a bit of posting of bad reviews by writers going around, as a way to ridicule and belittle the reviewers, and get even. None of that here. I disagree with some of the points the reviewer made, but to me it’s kind of like sex. I’ve been looked at with utter loathing by some women, and yet have also managed to marry the most wonderful woman I have ever known. So sometimes — most times? — the minds, they just don’t meet.


SAD JINGO update: Print-on-demand, a nice Goodreads review

December 8, 2012 Leave a comment

Kudos to my publisher Delabarre for navigating for the first time the Byzantine labyrinth of publishing a print-on-demand title, with my own SAD JINGO, through Lightning Source. Evidently the process is arcane and non-intuitive enough that publisher and author were both unsure when exactly the book would appear on and, or at what price, as Delabarre filed the paperwork some weeks ago. At last, this past Thursday December 6, the book appeared on Amazon with a $9.99 price tag, and the next day on with a 3% discount, at $9.64.

Some observations:

  • As seems to usually be the case when using Lightning Source, rather than Amazon’s own Createspace, the book first appeared as “temporarily out of stock” on Amazon, but that lasted only one day. That did not occur on The advantage of going with Lightning Source is that it is now available through special order at any bookstore that gets books through the distributor Ingram.
  • On Amazon, it’s a bit hard to get both versions — POD and Kindle — on the same page. You get one or the other. It has two different book numbers. I’m not sure what that means.  On, both editions appear on the same search page.

And humble thanks to a kind reviewer on Goodreads, who came across my book through being followed by my publisher on Twitter.  Aniko Carmean, author of STOLEN CLIMATES, had these nice things to say. My heartfelt thanks to all those who know me or are related to me and have given their compliments, but there is something special about a piece of one’s writing being appreciated by a stranger.

SAD JINGO update: some local e-newspaper coverage

September 1, 2012 3 comments

A nice mention in a local on-line news venue of my book and that of another local author.

Interesting that the reporter made the mistake of assuming that ebook = self-publishing. I’ve added a comment explaining JINGO is not self-published, and the reporter said the story ought to be fixed in coming versions tailored to other neighborhoods in the area.

Forbes: Publishing Is Broken, We’re Drowning In Indie Books – And That’s A Good Thing – Forbes

August 16, 2012 Leave a comment

Thanks Dean Wesley Smith for the hat tip. Great, great article.


Down Bellycut Way: Is there anything scarier than stand-up?

August 13, 2012 Leave a comment

Scary hecklers.

That was the genesis of “Down Bellycut Way,” a story now appearing at Yellow Mama, and with a nice illustration by Paul “Deadeye” Dick.

Illustration by Paul “Deadeye” Dick

For some subconscious reason, I find myself writing about comics now and then, though I am not nor could ever be one. I guess the idea of standing in front of people and talking — no, being — the show is so terrifying that it is pretty easy to come up with a horror story based on heckling. Long ago I published a story called “Stage Fright” in the late, lamented Blue Murder Magazine about a deranged stand-up comic with a gift for mimicry who took out the frustrations of his lack of success on a grieving mother by telephoning her when she was drunk late at night, in her dead daughter’s voice. A very unpleasant story.

This new one also should give the creeps, I hope.  Very ably edited (and improved; I am grateful) by YM editor Cindy Rosmus, who also has a bang-up short story collection of her own just out as an ebook, Death Takes a Snowday. Highly recoommended.

Digital stigma: It’s often hard to get an ebook reviewed

August 6, 2012 Leave a comment

I’ve approached a number of book blogs and websites asking that they review SAD JINGO. It turns out that some of the plum ones, such as Bookslut, do not review purely digital books, as a matter of policy, and will only review books submitted by publishers rather than the authors themselves.

I understand that completely, and imagine I would have the same policy were I a book review site (though there is just a tinge, the merest smidgen, of irony in the phenomenon of an online book review site refusing to review purely electronically published books, unless the books are also available in ye olde corporeal ink + paper + binding form; alas, it’s a buyer’s market, so to speak, and us indie/micro-published writers can’t very well sniff at web sites and say we refuse to be reviewed by anything but printed and bound book reviews).

The fact is there are too many books out there by self-published, unedited, non-professionals that the decision to let actual physical publishing do at least a little of the curatorial job of the critic seems reasonable. Not to mention practical. Perhaps even necessary.

It does make it hard, though, for sad folks like JINGO.

So once JINGO is available via print-on-demand, I will urge my publisher to submit copies to folks like Bookslut, The Millions, and others. Even though I can’t read them on real, professional ink and paper.

Categories: Writing

New story online at Underground Voices: “Top Shelf”

August 1, 2012 4 comments

A short short of mine is up at the online zine Underground Voices. It’s called “Top Shelf.”

This was one I wrote very quickly after dithering with a longer version for some months. One morning, a scene popped into mind, a fragment of it, and forty minutes or so later I had this version as is, more or less.

Original had the main ingredient of the story found by a boy in a field and hidden in his room and talking to him in his mind. Then he brings it for show and tell at school. Couldn’t make that version work somehow. Also was distracted by reading somewhere online (do too much of that sometimes, methinks) that “boy finds something in a field” was a cliche to be avoided.

Anyhoo, thanks to the kind folks at Underground Voices for accepting the story.