Let’s imagine you read a rave for Blood Diva over in Persephone Magazine or on Opera Candy or on Bookmuse. And you decided you must have that book NOW! And then you went to Amazon and noticed some more good reviews and saw it only cost $3.99 for an ebook — less than what you pay for a latte. And the paperback was a mere $13.49; plus Amazon told you that if you signed up for a credit card you could “gift” the whole thing to yourself and still have money to burn.
And you almost bought it, but then you stopped yourself because Amazon so isn’t you. You want to support real independent bookstores that sell actual books — the kind you can have and hold, and lend (without special permissions).
So the next day you went to look for Blood Diva at your local book emporium. It wasn’t on the shelves, and when you asked the clerk if she could order it for you, she didn’t close up the shop, let down her hair, take off her glasses and have sexytimes with you like Dorothy Malone totally did with Humphrey Bogart in The Big Sleep (and this is only one of the reasons you love bookstores). She rolled her eyes at you, not in a good way, and told you “no dice.”
And you felt weird, and it hit you, “Oh my God, Blood Diva is one of those books! The kind that don’t have a for realz publisher. And there’s no filter, and those people are destroying books as we know them and Harper Collins is good even though Rupert Murdoch owns it, and Hachette is good even though it’s a humongous conglomerate, but Jeff Bezos is trying to take over the world and kill literature with his army of the
You are one of those voracious, but discerning readers who wants books you can show off on your many shelves, the kind great intellects like Stephen Colbert or Oprah are always touting. All your books are NPR-approved so you can talk about them without fear of being laughed at. Not only don’t you care for reading on a screen, you don’t care for the whole idea of one giant online bookstore that eats up neighborhood retail. And beyond that, you want to make sure you don’t accidentally buy a book that is terrible — or one you will be embarrassed to own.
Calm down. Blood Diva isn’t terrible. At least those aforementioned reviewers in respectable publications didn’t think so.They are the filters. It is a little smutty in places, but for Christ sakes it’s about Marie Duplessis — a woman who was famous for living fast, dying young and renting out her body.
And contrary to what you might have heard, self-published writers aren’t the zombie-minions of Amazonia and they don’t hate your bookstore.
I’d love to see the paperback in shops. But I’m not known and not coming through a known publisher, so bookstores aren’t going to stock my book. Shelf space is just too valuable. It’s a print-on-demand book, which makes it a little more expensive to manufacture, and the mark-up for retailers a bit less than they’d like. That’s why you’re getting the fish-eye when you try to order it. But they can get it for you, and if the store has an online shop, you could order it that way and bypass the judgement that you live in fear of.
(Hint: If you search the website of your favorite independent non-Amazon bookstore and can’t find the paperback, try searching with the ISBN 9781496027511.)
Now, here’s the dirty secret: I will only get about the quarter the royalty if you buy the print version anywhere other than Amazon, and you are more likely to pay a couple of bucks more. But if you want to support your local indie bookstore, I’ll be happy that you bought the book wherever you bought the book. In fact, you can even get the ebook through the online part of some brick and mortar stores, and Amazon won’t make a dime. The stores partner with Kobo. You can’t read Kobo books on a Kindle or a Nook, but you can on some other devices, and I hear tell they make fine e-reading machines.
And remember, the fun part about the ebook is you can get it right now, and no one has to know.
If by chance you are an independent bookseller (the non-virtual kind) anywhere within say a 2.5 hour range by car from New York City, and you read one of those glowing reviews and would love to stock Blood Diva, I would be thrilled to personally deliver some copies to you for you to sell on consignment. I understand that getting my book onto your shelves is great advertising for me. Write me if you are interested.
And here’s that scene from The Big Sleep, which you’ve been jonesing for since I mentioned it: