lcrw 23 out!

Fri 13 Mar 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

LCRW 23. Celebrate!Maybe it was the Utne Reader, maybe it was something else, but we’re out of stock on the paper edition of LCRW 23! You can still buy the ebook at Fictionwise or Lulu (or a pdf from us) or there’s the swanky trade paperback at Lulu…! We printed a few less than before (hey, it’s a recession), but these went fast. Maybe we’ll go make more. For now subscriptions will get LCRW 22 or 24 as their first ish.

lcrw 23 updates

Fri 6 Mar 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | 1 Comment| Posted by: Gavin

March 11 update to update: Nice write up in Utne Daily blog:

The latest issue of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet (LCRW) fairly buzzes with vibrant, intelligent writing….

LCRW 23 cover by Kevin HuizengaAlex Wilson’s story, “A Wizard of Mapquest,” from LCRW 23 was a nominee (which maybe means finalist/honoree or something, or it was nominated by someone else?) for the 2nd Annual Micro Award.

We’ve added an option to buy the trade paperback of LCRW 23 from Lulu on that page.

And, at last, we’ve managed to upload LCRW 23 to Sorry: could not do it and needed a lot of help! Happily, it is easy to find, right there on the front page. Er, just below the big sign that says Fictionwise has just been acquired by Barnes & Noble. (Although if you go to, there’s no mention yet of Fictionwise.) Fictionwise delivers ebooks easily, cheaply, and well, and their customer and publisher interfaces have been very user-friendly, so we will hope it continues that way and congratulate Steve and Scott Pendergrast, the founders of Fictionwise, Inc., for having built the company so well and hope that they do indeed get to “run the Fictionwise websites as a separate business unit within Barnes & Noble.”

Text-to-speech on a per-title basis

Sun 1 Mar 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | 2 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

Happy to see PW reporting that Amazon backed down on the text-to-speech debacle. It’s not that the robotic voice reading a book aloud is a huge problem now, but letting it go now would create huge problems later when contextual reading widgets will allow text-to-speech to sound more human. (10 years? More like 5?):

In a surprising about-face, Amazon has decided to give publishers and authors the choice over whether or not to enable the Kindle 2’s text-to-speech function…. Despite protests from the Authors Guild, Amazon’s move came as a surprise since the company rarely reverses a policy once it is in place….

Amazon are the 800lb gorilla everyone in publishing deals with and they own so many parts of the book business that we have to be careful with every move they make. No doubt we are missing some of the ramifications of their actions right now….

Their market share isn’t that high, but it is enough that they can dictate terms—and they are not particularly kind. It’s a relief to see IndieBound getting more creative and useful, being able to link to individual titles should have been available years ago, but at least it’s available now.

More Kindle yech

Tue 10 Feb 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

So it looks like we may have to withdraw at least some of our titles from the Kindle as the Wall Street Journal reports:

Some publishers and agents expressed concern over a new, experimental feature that reads text aloud with a computer-generated voice.

“They don’t have the right to read a book out loud,” said Paul Aiken, executive director of the Authors Guild. “That’s an audio right, which is derivative under copyright law.”

An Amazon spokesman noted the text-reading feature depends on text-to-speech technology, and that listeners won’t confuse it with the audiobook experience. Amazon owns Audible, a leading audiobook provider.

We queried our contact at Amazon and he said:

The ability to read text aloud is very different from producing an audio version of a written work, so audio distribution rights are not required for any titles currently available as eBooks in the Kindle store.

But the difference is that the Kindle is specifically a reading device, so customers can buy the ebook—and get it read to them, which is a different product and right, an audiobook—whereas a computer is a multifunction device. We’re happy that computers have text-to-speech capabilities for visually impaired readers but this seems to be directly impinging on an author’s rights. Hmm.

Kindle King

Tue 10 Feb 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

The news that Stephen King has an exclusive story for the Kindle is 1) not surprising: the man cannot resist a new channel and 2) depressing as all get out. His poor core fans. If they don’t have a $359 object they can’t read it. Wonder exactly how fast it will be 1) torrented and 2) in print.

When did Amazon acquire the One Ring? Amazon take such a huge cut that having books there is almost a loss leader ad for our books in stores. (People still like to pick up and see what they’re buying—and our books are all printed on pretty pretty recycled paper.)

When talking heads say not to worry about bookstores/chain stores/distributors dying because Amazon will save us all, I think: ok, I can find a job that will actually pay me because if it’s all Amazon all the time, this job won’t.

LCRW on Lulu & what’s up with our ebooks

Thu 8 Jan 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

LCRW 23 by Gavin Grant (Book) in Literature & FictionLCRW 23 is now available in lovely trade paperback form (or as an ebook) from Lulu. It’s not available yet from Fictionwise and we’re not sure why. Will investigate and see if we can fix that.

Having these books on Fictionwise means that you can buy all our ebooks for the iPhone, iPod Touch, or any other ebook reader/smart phone/headchip you may have installed.

Ror those that are following these things, our ebooks sales in 2008 were just about 1% of our total sales—that includes all sales from Fictionwise, titles on the Kindle, and from our site. (Why, yes, we did sell some of those handy flash drives with all our books on them!)

Our ebook bestsellers were:

  1. Magic for Beginners
  2. The Baum Plan for Financial Independence
  3. The King’s Last Song
  4. Stranger Things Happen
  5. LCRW 22
  6. Mothers & Other Monsters

And by the time we’re there, we’re down to pretty low sales—and lots of our titles are grouped there, which is sort of great—backlist and so on selling—but the royalties, dur, what a lack of fun this year, but now we have a Better System in place, so if we survive the recession, it should be better, faster, sleeker, lighter of foot, etc.

Also, back to LCRW 23: the first review is up at SF Revu, “Combines literary quality and good storytelling very effectively. I highly recommend it.” And if you have a story in there, you now have a blurb you can use.

more online reading

Mon 8 Dec 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Two more annoyingly good blogs to add to the reader: Kassia Krozser’s Booksquare—for her talk about books, ebooks, killing imprints (although we just started one, so what do we know), and so on—and the 26th Story (you know, the one where all the words start with Z) which talked about an idea we’ve seen before and made us think we should do it: offering ebooks as cheap add-ons (or premiums?) to people who buy the lovely paper versions from us. So we’ll be doing that then.

So far the score here is:

  • Firings: 0 (there aren’t enough of us to fire anyone)
  • Federal Bailout: 0 (given a small, $7-8 billion temporary loan we’re quite sure we would survive well into next year).

recession prices and all our ebooks in one place

Wed 3 Dec 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | 1 Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Small Beer Press driveHey, we just dropped the prices on a bunch of books. If you have them already, yay! (They make good presents….) If that doesn’t work, don’t worry, next year we will publish Many Good Books.

2) All Our Base Can Belong To You. The Whole Small Beer Ebook Package: 20 books, the current LCRW, various podcasts and movies on a handy 2 GB flash drive all yours for $99.95.

Reign of the Ant King

Sat 9 Aug 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: jedediah

The Ant KingThe Ant King takes the throne and promptly showers gifts upon the people. Namely, free copies of The Ant King and Other Stories by Benjamin Rosenbaum.

This debut collection was officially released this week and now we send forth a free download. Inside you’ll find airships, gumballs, and the orange that rules the world. What you won’t find: DRM. So copy, share, remix, reuse, repeat.

The Ant King and Other Stories is available in several formats (PDF, HTML, RTF, and plain text), and is being distributed under a Creative Commons license (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0).

Mr. Rosenbaum is at Worldcon just now, and if you’re there, you can catch him today at a reading and a signing. For more about his collection, and for a link to the free download, proceed hither.

Creative Commons

LCRW 22 is there

Tue 20 May 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

And you can get it now. But not from us, yet.

lcrw 22 lulu-ishThe zine is at the printer—Paradise Copies here in Northampton who are in the middle of moving into a great new building and yet are managing to keep juggling all the jobs thrown at them.

However, if you want to read LCRW now, you can download it from Lulu—and soon on Fictionwise—or order the nice perfectbound version. Preview it here. (By the way, everything on Fictionwise is on sale).

We’ll be picking up the zine tomorrow then flying out at some godawful early time on Thursday to Wiscon where we’ll be celebrating Maureen F. McHugh and L. Timmel Duchamp, dancing, drinking, wandering the farmer’s market, and going to see some readings and even an occasional panel.

Subscribers will get their copies in June—after our Book Expo extravaganza. More on that sooner to it—jus, if you’re going, stop by our booth to get a key to many exclusive freebies from many cool presses!

Free Kessel Free

Tue 15 Apr 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Kessel, Baum PlanIt’s Tax Day here in the USA and in between the wailing, gnashing of teeth, and renting of garments and DVDs, we are celebrating the Publication Day of John Kessel‘s new collection, The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories.

How are we celebrating?

With John’s blessing we’re setting his book free into the world:

Today, April 15, 2008, is tax day in the USA and we all need cheering up. We’re celebrating at Small Beer Press by publishing John Kessel‘s first collection of short stories in ten years, The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories, as well as releasing it as a free download in a number of completely open formats—with, of course, no Digital Rights Management (DRM).

The Baum Plan includes Kessel’s Tiptree Award winning “Stories for Men” (gender inequality meet Fight Club . . . on the moon), “Pride and Prometheus,” a mashup of Frankenstein and Jane Austen, and “Powerless,” an amazing mix of pulp fictions, paranoia, and academia.

The Baum Plan is licensed under a Creative Commons (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 license allowing readers to share the stories with friends and generally have at them in any remixing/interpretation/Web 2.0 huddly-cuddly noncommercial manner.

The collection is provided in these formats: low-res PDF, HTML, RTF, and text file. We encourage any and all conversions into other formats. Read more, download, and or order the collection here.

Creative Commons: Some Rights Reserved

Read more

Kessel reviewers

Fri 7 Mar 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

We are running very low on galleys and won’t have copies of The Baum Plan for Financial Independence for a couple of weeks (see previous post). If any writer, blogger, etc. would like a PDF copy of the book for review, please either email or leave a request in the comments field.


Tue 27 Nov 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

We’ve uploaded a couple of books to Mobipocket—more will follow, although probably not too fast. Hey, when did we last move fast at anything?

Generation Loss | Endless Things | Stranger Things Happen

Fun to upload stuff to Mobipocket just as Amazon probably kills it with the Kindle . . . we’ll have Kindle editions of these books, too, at some point.

Later tonight: more!

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