Book releases and beasties…more in-depth news of the day

I’m going to try hard not to let so much time pass between updates!

Publishing news:

This being the lesser and more routine news after the thrilling headline I just posted… :-)

The Longer the Fall is now “in stock” and immediately available on Amazon in hardcover, paperback and Kindle editions. Links to each are on the book detail page on BLUM’s website. I uploaded the “Search Inside This Book” file to Amazon but that will take a few days to appear–meanwhile, you can read an excerpt on the BLUM detail page (and you can “sample” it on Smashwords, too). It will appear in Barnes & Noble’s e-store in about six weeks and on Kobo in about two, I think. It hasn’t been shipped to Apple yet, but their turnaround is very fast. I’m still waiting for the sample copies to make sure the covers are printing okay, but they’ve both been shipped. I uploaded the finished version to BLUM’s annex on Lulu.com, where you can buy a paperback or ebook edition for the same price as Amazon’s editions. I uploaded The Longer the Fall to Google Books, as well, where it is still “processing.” (I think Google’s real motto is, “Don’t be hasty.”)

As far as Sony goes, I’m no longer sure whether BLUM’s titles were ever shipped to Sony by Smashwords or not. The information from Smashwords is conflicting and Sony has apparently been giving Smashwords a very hard time. I have not received any response from Sony to my last attempt to apply as an independent vendor for their ebook store. But I had to send in the application about three times before I finally got a reply the last time (and then the reply boiled down to, “get lost.”)

I had been playing telephone tag with the contact person at Borders’ corporate office in Michigan, in an effort to discover why BLUM’s first title, Mortal Touch, was the only book listed on Border.com when all our titles have the same distribution parameters with Lightning Source. I’d gotten sidetracked in those calls, but I tried again yesterday and reached the representative–who instantly recognized my name! (Yeesh, I’m not getting to be a pest or anything, am I? I wonder if By Light Unseen Media’s name is on some blacklist at Sony! 8-( )

Anyway, the answer to the Borders dilemma turns out to be…that the rest of BLUM’s titles aren’t listed in Baker & Taylor’s catalog! They’re supposed to be. I have a signed, formal distribution agreement with Lightning Source that includes Baker & Taylor. Baker & Taylor has a reputation among small publishers that…well, “notorious for…” could be used many times in describing their business dealings with vendors. They’re locked up tight, you have to be a registered customer to even find out if a title is in their catalog. I did try calling Baker & Taylor about ten days ago and they didn’t even answer the number given on their website as the one to check whether an item is in their inventory. I can’t enroll as a vendor with them independently as long as I’m working with Lightning Source. I tried, because membership in IBPA includes a discount on Baker & Taylor’s hefty account fees. But Baker & Taylor told me I couldn’t sign up with them as long as I was printing through Lightning Source.

Just to reiterate, Borders requires that titles be available through Baker & Taylor to be sold on Borders.com or carried in stores. That’s why I wanted to get into Baker & Taylor, because so many bookstores will only order from them.

I thanked the Borders representative, who was very pleasant, and called my rep at Lightning Source. Would you believe that not even Lightning Source has a way of checking Baker & Taylor’s catalog?!? However, she is going to send the information on the non-listed titles to Lightning Source’s distribution department and see if they can figure out why Baker & Taylor isn’t listing those titles, and hopefully correct it. She said, however, that they have no control over what Baker & Taylor chooses to list, they can only send them the information.

Meanwhile, all of BLUM’s titles will be part of Borders’ ebook store, because they’re partnering with Kobo for that, and we’re in Kobo! So, you’ll be able to buy BLUM’s titles as ebooks from Borders but not as bound books as long as we’re not listed by Baker & Taylor!

Let’s hope we can convince Baker & Taylor that they’re extremely short-sighted to be snubbing titles that have been reviewed by PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (3 of them) and LIBRARY JOURNAL (2 now and counting)!!!!!

In other news, I was very relieved and pleased that Dad’s first band concert of the season was NOT cancelled last night and went very well. The Common was mobbed with people, the band played wonderfully (they get better every year) and I had nice chats with Dad on the break and after the concert. A line of storms came through in the afternoon, but as often happens, we only got a little rain while other spots in the state got clobbered, and the sun had come out by the time the concert started. I took Pig with me and spent the whole concert reading a full manuscript from my backlogged queue.

The garden is really gathering momentum–only the potatoes are still on the verge, everything else is up and growing like mad. I have a slight moral conundrum with the soon-to-be-greenhouse, though. It’s inhabited, and the critter is resisting the strong hints that it’s time to move.

It’s a woodchuck, which I knew lived under the screen house. He had a burrow entrance under the front of the structure, but after the roof was broken by a large fallen branch some winters ago, and leaking water rotted out some of the floor, the woodchuck made two burrow entrances inside the screen house. I knew about one, I didn’t realize there were two until I cleared out all the junk. I swept all the earth and stones and so on back into the burrows–and the woodchuck tossed them out again. Rinse, repeat…and today, the burrows have both been rather aggressively cleaned out. They look bigger than ever, so…we’ve got a little tussle of wills going on here.

This is worrisome, because my plans for the new floor in there are fairly serious. I’m going to fill in the rotted areas and the burrows with sand, put down heavy plastic sheeting, then put down a whole new floor of plywood, and probably put a tarp over the plywood, to help keep it from getting wet and rotting. It’s a greenhouse, not a living space, so it can be rustic–but I want it fairly solid. The sides will all have firmly tacked plastic sheeting down to ground level. I hope that the woodchuck can get out via that front burrow and he just doesn’t want to. But if he can’t…I hate to think the he’ll be trapped when I put in the new floor, and die in the burrow. It’s cruel, and he’ll stink up the greenhouse (another reason I don’t want to try, say, used kitty litter down the holes). Even worse, what if he’s a she and has babies in there? I’ve never seen more than one at a time, but it looks like a big burrow.

So, I’m unhappily considering all this. On Wednesday I tried using the hose and spray nozzle to clean the roof and it was 100% successful. Today, for the first time, I saw what the structure will be like in full sun with the clean roof, and it’s perfect. This will be a splendid greenhouse! I’m not going to change my plans because of a woodchuck! But either he needs another entrance to his burrow, or he’s got to move.

That’s the trouble with Nature! So darned uncooperative! *wry look* And yes, I know woodchucks are edible, heh. If I could catch him, I wouldn’t have this problem!

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5 Responses to Book releases and beasties…more in-depth news of the day

  1. paganpaul says:

    Another congrats on the success that finally comes out on The Longer the Fall. I’ll keep an eye on Kobo! :-)

    I hope things with the greenhouse and the woodchuck work themselves out. Must be annoying and unnerving knowing it is living there and perhaps a whole family does too when you have plans for the property…

  2. sarajlarson says:

    Can you lure him/her out into a humane trap and relocate him/her?

  3. Gwaetgar says:

    Thanks!

    I share my house and my half acre with a LOT of non-domesticated beasties, and the neighborhood includes deer, coyotes, possum, raccoons and foxes that I’ve seen (all but the coyotes in my yard). The woodchuck has been here for years, but he’s had several different burrows. He’s just going to have to move!

  4. Gwaetgar says:

    I don’t know if I can trap him. It’s illegal to relocate wildlife unless it’s actively menacing people, and my woodchuck is definitely harmless. I scared him silly late one dusk going to the compost pile–man, can they run! :-) I would feel better if I could trap him, fill in the burrows and put down the flooring, and then let him loose, but I don’t want to wait all summer. I don’t mind if he lives under the greenhouse. He just can’t use those entrances anymore. He used to live in a burrow across the yard but he abandoned that when he got under the screen house. A big tree had come down and sheltered the old burrow and I finally cut up the tree and cleared it away, which is probably why the woodchuck abandoned that location.

  5. paganpaul says:

    *grin* I will look forward to posts how you and the woodchuck do battle over the property. *grin* (thinking of silly cartoons all of a sudden!)