This Saturday in LA

Wed 18 Feb 2015 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Posted by: Gavin

The Entropy of Bones This Saturday in LA at the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association Children’s Literacy Day we are very happy to note that Ayize Jama-Everett (The Entropy of Bones, Aug. 2015) will be a panelist on the We Need Diverse Books panel, along with Newbery Award winner Cynthia Kadohata (Kira-Kira) and Sherri Smith (author of the fabulous and weird Orleans). The moderator is debut novelist Stacey Lee (Under a Painted Sky).

Even better news: Fedex is right now delivering advance reading copies of The Entropy of Bones for attendees. Ayize’s novels are pretty fast-paced sf thrillers and this one kicks off hard with a young woman out for a run in the Northern California hills getting the drop on some people who expected to surprise her.

Here’s a taste:

Chapter One

Last time I’d been this deep in the Northern California hills I was a blood and bar tour in a monkey-shit brown Cutlass Royale with the Raj. Now I was on distance running from the Mansai, his boat, to wherever I would finally get tired. From Sausalito to Napa is only sixty or so miles if I hugged the San Pablo Bay, cut through the National Park and ran parallel to the 121, straight north. About a half a day’s run. Cut through the mountains and pick up the pace and I could make it to Calistoga in another three hours. From downtown wine country I’d find the nicest restaurant that would serve my sweaty gortexed ass and gorge myself on meals so large cooks would weep. The runs up were like moving landscape paintings done by masters; deep with nimbus clouds hiding in craggy sky-high mountains. Creeks hidden in deep green fern and ivies that spoke more than they ran.

Narayana Raj had taught me in the samurai style. You don’t focus on your enemy’s weakness, instead you make yourself invulnerable. My focus was to be internal. In combat discipline was all. But in the running of tens of miles, that discipline was frivolous. My only enemy was boredom and memory. Surrounded by such beauty, how could I not split my attention? Nestled in the California valleys I found quiet, if not peace.

I also found guns. Halfway between Napa and Calistoga, the chambering of a shotgun pulled my attention from the drum and bass dirge pulsing in my ear buds. The woods had just gone dark but my vision was clear enough to notice the discarded cigarette butts that formed a semi-circle behind one knotted Redwood. Rather than slowing down, I sped up and choke-held the red headed shotgun boy hiding behind the tree before he had time to situate himself, my ulna against his larynx, my palm against his carotid. He was muscular but untrained . Directly across from him was an older man, late thirties, dressed for warmth with one of those down jackets that barely made a sound when he moved. His almost fu-manchu moustache didn’t twitch when he pulled two Berettas on me. I faced my captive towards his partner.

“Wait . . .” Berettas said, more scared than he meant to sound.

Drop them. I commanded with my Voice. The gun went down hard. I used the Dragon claw, more a nerve slap than a punch, to turn the redhead’s carotid artery into a vein for a second. When he started seizing, I dropped him. To his credit, Beretta went for the kid rather than his weapons. I continued my run, mad that I’d missed a refrain from Kruder and Dorfmeister.
. . .

More HBS fun

Thu 19 Sep 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Posted by: Gavin

We had a ton of fun last Saturday at the Harvard Book Store Warehouse Weekend. Ok, so we only stayed one day, but, we were there the day the Fugu Truck was there. Total win!

There are three more weekends of it and man, I am tempted to go. We walked away with a box of books—and I think we got away lightly. And missed a ton of good books. Argh.

We were also gifted with some home brewed beer (4 different types!) from Thom Dunn, who we met this summer in at Clarion San Diego. That was a lovely surprise—the beer, not Thom. Thanks, Thom!

We were in between the lovely people at Ploughshares magazine and Cervena Barva Press, who were very kind. Of course anyone who compliments the kid is immediately a friend of ours. We had a lovely time, so, Boston area peeps: don’t miss out!

Saturday, September 21 and SundaySeptember 22 (10am–6pm)
Local Flavors: Food Truck Favorites and Epicurean Treats

Saturday, September 28 and SundaySeptember, 29 (10am–6pm)
Local Innovation: From Science Fiction to Science Fairs

Saturday, October 5 and Sunday, October 6 (10am–6pm)
Local Craft: Workshops, Zines, Indie Comics, and more

Oldest unpaid invoice 10-year anniversary is coming

Fri 6 Sep 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Posted by: Gavin

And since we are optimists we still hope it will be paid! This invoice, no. 145* is for all of …  $29.40. If I get it together I’ll post a scan of it as it is, er, fun (maybe only to me?) to see that it was supposed to be for $32.40, but 1 copy of Judith Berman’s Lord Stink chapbook was misbound. Oh, the thrill of it all!

Since the invoice was only for ~$30, we never bothered following up until 2008 when we tried to tidy up all our unpaid invoices. Most of them are/were for bookstores that take LCRW on consignment (argh, the paperwork!) and it was great to suddenly get all these tiny checks. Invoice no. 145 languished. However, it was not alone!

As you can see below in the pasted in info, this bookstore asked for “a standing order for 5 copies of our chapbooks and LCRW.” Yay! Now we could just ship out 5 copies each time we published a zine or chapbook. Pretty sweet. If said bookstore paid said invoices for zines, etc.

Instead this arrangement lasted exactly 1 issue of LCRW and 2 more chapbooks. Silly me. A couple more unpaid invoices later (unpaid balance: $74.40, ooh!) and we realized we should probably stop sending them stuff.

Come on chaps, pay a zinester!

This is one of the big reasons we love our book distributor, Consortium. They deal with all the shipping out and returns and invoices and credits and reinvoicing and shipping and all that and every day I am grateful I don’t have to do it.

We still send LCRW out to some stores that only pay every 2-3 years, but, hey, they pay. This store never did. But they do order our books from Consortium and from wholesalers.

So we sent them reminders in 2008, 2010, and 2012 (and maybe other times, but that’s what’s written on it), and then I realized that our little oldest unpaid invoice was going to turn 10 years old on September 16, 2013. I can hear it now, 10 more years! 10 more years!

Invoice  00145

September 16, 2003

Title                                                                Price        Quantity    Discount    Total
Foreigners and Other Familiar Faces    $5                 3                 40%        $9
Lord Stink                                                      $5                 1                 40%        $3
Rosetti Song                                                  $5                 3                 40%        $9
LCRW 12                                                        $4                 3                  40%        $5.40
Total                       $29.40

As of now you have a standing order for 5 copies of our chapbooks and LCRW.
Thanks for ordering our books from Ingram or directly from Pathway Book Service.

Invoice  00151
November 8, 2003

Title                        Price        Quantity    Discount    Total
LCRW 12                $5               5                     40%        $15
Total                       $15
Sorry—our new chapbooks have been delayed at the printer. We will get them to you as soon as we get them.

Invoice  00172
December 4, 2003

Title                                  Price        Quantity    Discount    Total
Bittersweet Creek            $5                 5                  40%
Other Cities                       $5                 5                  40%
Total                       $30

At last!

* Not all of invoices number 1 to 144 were paid. A few zine and bookstores closed without paying, c’est la vie. You publishes your zines and you takes your chances!

1/14/15, ETA: Added chapbook links and tidied up the post.

Unpaid invoices? $74.40
Amusement over the years? Priceless. Variable!


Tue 26 Feb 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

Hey, peeps, they are a-reading the new issue of LCRW.

Also, it is now in many shops. Indies bookshops who carry LCRW, listen up: We Love You! We appreciate your mad passions! You are It for us, now and forevers!

“Always happy to see a new issue of this occasional story outburst. I grope for a term to suggest the nature of the highly imaginative fiction here; “weird” will not do; “fabulist” is wrong; “odd” might fit, but I think I’ll settle on “strange”. Yes, these are strange stories, in which even experienced explorers of genre terrain may occasionally find themselves on uneven footing; there are few overworn trails here.”
—Lois Tilton, Locus Online

“The entire issue made me smile. I’m looking forward to the next issue, whenever it may come.”
Fantasy Literature

Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet is the kind of magazine that you want to read slowly. Read a story. Put the magazine down. Absorb what you have just read. Then, after a while, read another story. Repeat. After more than a year’s absence here is issue #28 with more of their very different stories.”
SF Revu


Tomorrow in Northampton

Thu 29 Nov 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | Posted by: Gavin

Did I ever post this? I’m on a panel tomorrow morning at our lovely local library (handy, I can pick up the 2 books I have on hold!) with Susan Stinson—whose Northampton novel, Spider in a Tree, we will publish next year, Nancy Felton, co-owner of one of our local bookshops, Broadside (who carry LCRW, yay!), and an amazing book artist, Daniel E. Kelms. Come on by!

The State of the Book in the Digital Age

Friday November 30, 2012
10:00 AM


What’s up with books these days? Books are ordered online, created on demand, and distributed in digital form to individuals and libraries. True SEO Professionals improve the search engine results that’s why people are able to find books more easily online. Sadly many bookstores have closed in recent years, and publishers have had to drastically downsize, retool or go out of business.How have individuals and businesses responded to this new environment? Are books giving a last gasp or being reinvented? An author, a book artist, a publisher and a bookstore owner will give their thoughts on the changing environment for books.


Susan Stinson is the author of three novels and a collection of poetry and lyric essays. Writer in Residence at Forbes Library, she is also an editor and writing coach.

Daniel E. Kelm is a book artist who enjoys expanding the concept of the book. In addition to creating his own projects he offers consultations, bindery services, and rental of his studio and equipment.

Gavin J. Grant is the publisher of Small Beer Press. He co-edits the zine Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet with his wife, Kelly Link, and runs an the independent press ebooksite,, with a friend.

Nancy Felton is a co-owner of Broadside Bookshop, where she has worked since 1980 in a variety of capacities, including children’s book buyer, sales clerk and bookkeeper. She has been an active member of NEIBA (New England Independent Booksellers Association) and Pioneer Valley Local First.

Come to Forbes Library on Friday, Nov. 30 at 10 am to hear these local book lovers talk about their own experiences, and give their visions of what books might look like in the future.There will be plenty of time for questions from the audience.

Contracts, contracts

Mon 9 Apr 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Posted by: Gavin

Interesting Salon article on Am*zon’s sponsorship of many literary non-profits. Are they buying love? They’re definitely trying. $25,000 is a helluva donation to anyone never mind a small organization trying to get by on sales or membership fees. (The Brooklyn Book Fest recently asked if we’d like Small Beer to be profiled on their new sponsored-by-Amazon OnePage and we said no. I love the Brooklyn Book Fest, but that’s not a great fit for us.)

Keep in mind that books are a halo product for Amazon. They would much rather be thought of as a bookstore than a Walmart wannabe.

This part of the Salon article was great to hear:

For the first time, the “Big Six” publishers — HarperCollins, Random House, Hachette, Simon & Schuster, Penguin and Macmillan — have refused to sign Amazon’s latest annual contract. The main sticking point is exorbitant increases in “co-op promotional fees” for e-books that the publishers see as an illegal gouge by another name. One person familiar with the details of the proposed 2012 contracts that Amazon has submitted to major New York publishers described them as “stupifyingly draconian.” In some cases, he said, Amazon has raised promotional fees by 30 times their 2011 cost. In saying no, the big publishers are following in the footsteps of the Independent Publishing Group, a major indie distributor representing dozens of small presses that refused Amazon’s increases earlier this winter and soon saw the “Buy” buttons on more than 4,000 of their titles promptly delinked.

I am still hopeful that Amazon will overreach and disappear. Not going to happen, but it makes the horrible headlines about what they are doing to who easier to deal with.

What really makes me unhappy is that high street shops may be pushed out of business and all of our shopping choices will become the same: big box chain stores or Amazon. Which is a crap choice given that most of Amazon’s workers work in warehouses—with goals I could not meet if I were working there—and Fedex and UPS (and warehouse robot suppliers) will be the only winners.

And here’s the Boston Globe being much cheerier, so yay for them.

Plaid Friday

Wed 23 Nov 2011 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Posted by: Gavin

What with holiday shipping deadlines approaching and all the fuss about Friday, I wanted to put in a word for a fun thing the folks at the Odyssey Books in South Hadley told us about when we did our Steampunk! event there a couple of weeks ago. Apparently this Friday is being relabeled from Black Friday to Plaid Friday!


Plaid Friday celebrates the diversity and creativity of independent businesses. Plaid Friday is the fun and enjoyable alternative to the big box store “Black Friday”, and is designed to promote both local and independently owned businesses during the holidays.”

And what are Odyssey Books doing?

“This year Pioneer Valley Local First members are volunteering a portion of their sales to CISA’s Emergency Farm Fund that offers loans to local farmers affected by Hurricane Irene.”

I always recommend going to an indie store—if possible—for your books. We have links to Powell’s on our site and our book pages have links to the Broadside Bookstore here in Northampton. Last year they came to us with the idea of having a Small Beer Press section in their store where we could keep all our titles, including all the backlist, in front of readers: how awesome is that?

Why do we bother fighting the tide of huge big box stores and online behemoths? Because they’re intent on being everything to everyone and shutting down all other voices.


I think so, yes. They’d like us to buy one of their machines and then read, listen, and watch everything we want on it. And of course buy everything (from books to washing machines) using it. Just jack me into the mainframe now, thanks.

Every time each of us buys anything we have a choice. Sometimes that’s too much to think about. Sometimes it’s worth thinking about once and making a decision. We print all our books in the US—or occasionally Canada—on 30% post-consumer recycled paper using one of a few smaller printing firms, often C-M Books or Thomson-Shore. It was an easy decision to print domestically as we can’t be sure of the treatment the workers receive nor the environmental standards the companies are kept to abroad. Also, if we want to keep decent jobs available here, it seems worth printing books here.

This Saturday in our hometown, Northampton, was “Bag Day”—a surprisingly fun event where the town distributes a paper shopping bag in the local newspaper (shout out to the Daily Hampshire Gazette*!) and then just about every store in town gives you 20% off one item (or many items . . .). The streets were heaving, there were even more street musicians than usual, people were out doing public art, there was street food, it’s great fun as well as getting people in to shop at the local stores and keep the downtown vibrant.

Sure, we all shop at bigger stores and shops in other towns but I buy books at Broadside so that in five years time they will still be there. It’s selfish as much as altruistic. (Broadside also have a frequent buyer card which gives you a 10% discount on everything.)

I hope you’ll consider doing the same. Thanks for your time.

* Any local reader want a free subscription? I have one available!

Buy local

Wed 26 Oct 2011 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

No, really. We’re hearing and reading about a number of bookshops that need people to think about where they put their buying monies if they’re going to be around for more than the next year or so.

If you want to be able to stop in and browse in your local bookshop—or go out and do some bookstore tourism—then put your money into a local bookstore. The gaping maws of the big boxes will still be there online or outside of town no matter what you do. All I’m asking is that if you order books online or in person, think local.

We sell our books through every channel: some of them I’m happier about dealing with than others. (If we took our books our of some channels there are some readers who would never hear about them at all. Darn it.) We link to Powell’s (a big indie) and the Broadside Bookshop—a local indie who approached us with the idea of showcasing our books so now you can get every single title we have in print, including all our backlist, there. You can even get your ebooks there. Yeah!

Secret book revealed

Fri 29 Jul 2011 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Posted by: Gavin

in Harvard Book Store newsletter!

“Fabulous local author Kelly Link (Magic for Beginners) has created a special edition book on Paige (our book-making robot) entitled I Don’t Know the Author or the Title But It’s Red And It Has 3 Zombie Stories In It. The hearts of booksellers and librarians everywhere will immediately be warmed by this title, but here’s a little note from Kelly that explains the unusual title choice:  “When you work at a bookshop, hopeful customers sometimes come up to the counter and say, “I don’t know the author or the title, but it’s red (green, blue, etc) and it has xxxxx in it.” (I’ve said it myself at least once or twice.) Anyway, for a couple of years, my husband Gavin and I have had a running joke about using this as the title of a collection. These three stories have appeared before, in other collections, but we were hoping that an all-zombie mini-book would make a good sampler for new readers. We designed the book and printed it in less than twenty-four hours. How amazing: to see your book made before your eyes! We’re now thinking about other projects for Paige M. Gutenborg.”  It’s a slim and gorgeous new book–and it’s currently only available at Harvard Book Store! Order your copy here.”

Independents Week: July 1–7

Wed 29 Jun 2011 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Posted by: Gavin

Celebrate Independents Week with independent businesses across the country—and around the world as the movement grows. Shopping at local independent businesses pays wages to people in your area—who can then afford to buy books: maybe even yours!

Check out the American Independent Business Alliance for more information. In celebration of Independents Week, visit your local bookshop—remember most books are still bought at brick and mortar bookshops. Even chosing to buy one or two more books per year locally will make a difference to the viability of your local bookstore.

We all shape our towns by choosing which stores to shop at: we hope you will choose your local indie bookshop!

If you don’t have a great local indie, then here are a few suggestions from our ever-expanding list of favorites (use to find more near you):

Starting in Massachusetts (since that’s where we are) in Boston there’s the Brookline Booksmith, Harvard Bookstore, Porter Square Books, the Brookline Village Children’s Bookshop. Farther out there’s Back Pages in Waltham and Storybook Cove in Hanover. In Western Mass., we like Broadside Books (Northampton), Odyssey Books (South Hadley), Amherst Books (Amherst), as well as the utterly unique Bookmill in Montague (converted from an old mill, and gorgeous).

Down south of us in New York City there are fantastic general and specialty bookshops including St. Mark’s Bookshop, McNally Jackson, Shakespeare & Co., Hue-Man Books & Cafe, and (especially irresistible with its cupcake cafe!) Books of Wonder, as well as the Drama Book Shop, Asia Store, Idlewild, and Kitchen Arts and Letters—and don’t miss Word and Greenlight in Brooklyn. Upstate we recommend the Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza and the Spotty Dog in Hudson—dear to our hearts as they also serve beer.
Since we’ve already run out of space on this page before we left the northeast (and what about RiverRun in Portsmouth, NH, or all those lovely shops in Vermont?) we obviously can’t list every bookshop we’ve enjoyed visiting here (even those above are heavily edited) so please add your favorite bookshops in the comments.

And if you’re in D.C. don’t miss Politics & Prose. Or Quail Ridge in Raleigh, N.C., Skylight in L.A., Powell’s (or Murder by the Book or Reading Frenzy) in the other Portland . . . you get the idea Keep it indie this week, and every week!

Originally published in A Working Writer’s Daily Planner 2011.

Make a bookstore pop up

Thu 28 Apr 2011 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Posted by: Gavin

Go on!

Waiting around for Borders to live, &c.

Thu 13 Jan 2011 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , , | Posted by: Gavin

Borders StoresBorders have about 3,500 copies of our books in stock. Hmm. Selfish wonderings: if they go under, will we get those books back? Will we get paid for the lovely numbers of Under the Poppy, Stories of Your Life, The Poison Eaters, and some backlist books such as Poppy Brite’s Second Line, they’ve been selling? I really hope they don’t close. I can’t imagine all those booksellers and so on being chucked out of work right now. Yes, ebooks are the future, but we need all kinds of bricks and mortar (or mall and strip mall) in the meantime to remind people that there are books out there to be read, not just shoes and gadgets and food court lunches.

So, we, along with all the other publishers who have shipped books to them, await the outcome of today’s meetings with baited breath!

Besides wondering about that we’ve been enjoying the lovely busyness of Weightless and adding new titles for the next season—Fall 2011! I’ve hardly wrapped my head around last year never mind this spring or summer—we have tons of new books to publish before Fall comes rolling around. But that’s the book biz, so we’re adding away. What are we adding? Some of the books are Super Sekrit (as in: we have no contracts yet) but others . . . ok, this isn’t the place for that.

But I did sign two contracts today: the first was a contract for Turkish rights for Couch. It will no doubt be an age until the book comes in, so something to look forward to. And the second was for the audio rights to Redemption in Indigo. Although that contract still needs to come back to me countersigned, so maybe those chickens should not yet be counted.

And we heard from the printer that the second printing of Ted Chiang’s Stories of Your Life and Others will ship at the end of the month—go Ted! It’s such a fabulous book and we are so happy to see it being picked up by a whole new generation of readers.

We haven’t managed to send Paradise Tales to the printer yet so it looks very doubtful that that will be out on time. Boo! Is it our most complicated book yet? (That anthology we’re doing later this year might give it a run for its money.) Geoff did let slip that he’s just finished a new novel. Not sure if we’ll get a peek at or not. Of course we want!

The latest LCRW (#26) received a couple of nice reviews recently on  SF Revu & Rise Reviews, although, come on, since when was LCRW (or Small Beer) noncommercial?

Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet is certainly a horse of a different color. I can’t think of where else I’d be able to read and assembly of stories so diverse. Though some were not to my particular taste, I applaud the editors for their fearless inclusion of some pieces that would otherwise not see the light of day simply due to their noncommercial nature. Any fan of speculative fiction, or simply good writing, will find something to like in LCRW.

Reviews of our new edition of Solitaire are popping up everywhere including Future Fire which has reminders that this is SF, not contemporary literature, “Questions concerning sexual equality and sexuality are not discussed and this invisibility is genuinely innovative and refreshing.” Can’t wait for the day when sexual equality and sexuality not being discussed is run of the mill rather than innovative.

What else? The Working Writer’s Daily Planner is our bestseller so far this year—that should last until the end of the month. It’s now $7.95.

And Paolo Bacigalupi’s Ship Breaker won the Printz Award. Wow. That guy is unstoppable! And now’s a good time to pimp last year’s most excellent winner, Going Bovine.

BTW, we’re giving away copies of Solitaire on both Library Thing and Goodreads. Of course, you or your friend may neeeed a copy for yourself, too.

We’ll send you a book if

Thu 11 Nov 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Posted by: Gavin

you post a pic of Under the Poppy in a Borders bookstore!

Reading, listen to Kathe, go see Karen

Wed 3 Nov 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , , | Posted by: Gavin

What up? Many things. Visitors, busyness, to and froings in the oncoming weeks. The permanence of change. Catch up, link dump, tab closer, recent reads and more:

A few books are appearing which you may enjoy: Ray Vukcevich‘s new collection Boarding Instructions is just out. Go get from Powells.

Also to get: Sarah Smith‘s first YA novel which is out this week: The Other Side of Dark. It’s about ghosts, treasure, and two teenagers and life, art, madness, love, and more and it’s set it this here fair city of Boston.

One of our great local-ish bookshops, Food for Thought in Amherst—one of those places that just makes you happy to walk into—is in a moneycrunch. If you did you next book buy here, it would be much appreciated. Biased suggestions for starting places: Under the Poppy, Stories of Your Life, What I Didn’t See, The Poison Eaters, Meeks. And, as of this writing, these books are all in stock: what an awesome place!

Another non-local fave bookshop is Subterranean in St. Louis and there’s a lovely little piece in the local student paper about it. They have signed copies in stock of a certain 1,000 page McSweeney’s brick as well as excellent Africa-supporting lit-shirts. It’s a lovely shop from which we walked away with a nice bagful of books. (via)

Really enjoyed the current issue of the Harvard Review. Got it because Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud has a story in it but there were a couple of excellent stories and essays as well as a good range of poetry in it.

Jay Baron Nicorvo has an excellent essay about re-roofing the family house with his two teenage brothers on Guernica.

Apex just published a special Arab/Muslim themed edition.

Chocolate: want. (Difficult to acquire as $$$ and in the UK.) Next time we do have $$$ to burn, maybe we will play fill-a-box-o-chocs here.

How does a book signed by Betty Ann Hull, Fred Pohl, and Gene Wolfe sound? Sounds good!

Thanks to Susan for this. Go read, but not while eating cake.

And Congratulations to Susan and to Niall: we love Strange Horizons and are both selfishly sad and very happy to hear about the transition.

Awards: John Kessel‘s story “The Invisible Empire” received an Ignotus Award, “Spain’s equivalent to the Hugo.” (via)

More on the World Fantasy Awards at some point soon. Mostly: yay!

Reviews. What?

Belletrista looks at What I Didn’t See and likes what they see, “Fowler’s stories are gripping and surprising, with multiple pleasures awaiting the reader.” The San Francisco Chronicle also published a good review: “Fowler understands how disappearances heighten suspense. And she’s equally skilled at weaving mystery from the unknown.”

Karen’s final reading of her mini-California tour is this Friday at 7 PM at Vroman’s in Pasadena.


One of our fave bloggers, The Rejectionist, read Under the Poppy and calls it a winner at

You can see Kathe read in Ann Arbor next Wednesday night at the Blackbird Theatre where there will be delightful and scary sexy puppets. Thanks to Scott Edelman (having more than either of us right now) you can also see her reading on the youtubes. More on those readings TK.

Great review also in the Ann Arbor Chronicle—and Kathe’s on WCBN Ann Arbor radio today at 4:30 PM—listen here.


A couple of readers discover Ted Chiang’s Stories of Your Life and Others for the first time. The sound of their heads exploding echoes through the intertubes. 1) Ed Park @ the LA Times [“patient but ruthless fascination with the limits of knowledge.”] 2) Dreams & Speculations 3) Stefan @ Fantasy Literature.

So why do we care so much where people buy books?

Thu 7 Oct 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

Well, here’s one reason we mull over now and then:

After various discounts and our excellent distro‘s cut, Small Beer Press usually receives 33.375% of the cover price when you buy a book from

So: should we cut the author’s royalty in half the way our contract says we can? (The way other publishers do for books we’ve sold them.)

On a paperback the author royalty would be 4-5%. ($0.64 – $0.80 on a $16 paperback.)

On a hardcover the author’s royalty would be 5-7.5%. ($1.20 – $1.80 on a $24 book.)

Sucks, doesn’t it?I don’t think we should do it but 33.375% doesn’t give us a hell of a lot of money to pay everyone else with. Ho hum, on with the show.

And, in the meantime: not so random Powell’s link!

West Coast Holmes

Fri 20 Aug 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Posted by: Gavin

If you’re in Portland (Monday, 8/23) or Seattle (Wed. 8/25) next week don’t miss the Meeks roadshow. Then, on Thursday the 26th Julia will be reading with our own Jedediah Berry at the Porter Square Bookshop in Cambridge (that place next to Cambridge, not that place in England). Fingers crossed I’ll see you at the Boston(ish) one!

Next month Julia will be reading with Karen Lord who is visiting from Barbados and will be at McNally Jackson and Greenlight Books as well as the Brookyln Book Festival—where she’s reading with N.K. Jemisin. October and November are busy with readings, too: check it out.

Yesterday, we shipped!

Thu 1 Jul 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Posted by: Gavin

We have good news: we have copies of Redemption in Indigo and Meeks! Which means that soon enough your local bookstore (and maybe some other retail outlets) will have them, too. Pre-orders (for which: thanks!—and more TK soon about that for Kathe Koja’s book…!) and more review copies have been shipped from the office. Consortium ship out books to stores, soooon. Of course, you can see both authors in New York (and other places!) over the next couple of months. Keep an eye out here (ouch) or see the handy dandy events thingy.

And, also, Ladies and Gents! All this week! Karen Lord has been blogging at one of the biggest bookshops in the universe: Powell’s Books in Portland, OR. Listening to stories. Making a book trailer. Cake! And today: Authenticity.

Ok, another tab to be opened: Edward Gauvin is at Kepler’s Books’s Well-Read Donkey this week writing about talking to himself and then getting to talk to everyone else about G.-O.C. now that A Life on Paper has been published and ways of reading Châteaureynaud.

Lastly, Kathe Koja on writing what you have to at Ramblings of a Tattooed Head.

Next: tea time and wondering if the tea lady will have any of those nice gingery biscuits left by the time she reaches this part of the office.

Indie Bookstore Week

Thu 1 Jul 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

Independents Week: July 1–7

Celebrate Independents Week with independent businesses across the country—and around the world as the movement grows. If you shop at local independent businesses your purchases help pay the wages of people in your area—who can then afford to buy books: maybe even your book! Check out the American Independent Business Alliance ( or for more info on this celebration that is becoming more popular each year.

In celebration of Independents Week we’re listing a few favorite bookshops (many more can be found on and on our website) from our homestate, Massachusetts. It will only take us 49 more years to cover the whole USA!

Boston has a few good bookshops scattered throughout the metropolitan area which makes for a fun day on the T to try to see them all. Start in Coolidge Corner with the Brookline Booksmith ( which features a busy reading series, a used book basement, and a staff of engaged and passionate readers. Brookline is also lucky enough to have a full-service kid’s store, the Children’s Book Shop ( Also worth a visit is Calamus, a GLBT bookstore (
Over the Charles River in Cambridge at the Harvard Book Store ( they also have a used book basement but their new additions don’t just include their well-stocked ground floor, they also have an On Demand book printer where thousands of out of print books are available—and you can print your book there, too! Harvard Square also boasts a lovely kid’s book store, Curious George & Friends (, Schoenhof’s Foreign Books (, as well as the one and only Grolier Poetry Bookshop ( Up Mass. Ave. is another fave, a newish general bookshop the Porter Square Bookshop ( and further out are Newtonville Books (Newtonville,, Jamaicaway Books and Gifts (Jamaica Plain,, Back Pages (Waltham,, and Cornerstone Books (Salem,
Out in central Massachusetts there are a cluster of great bookshops not coincidentally near Easthampton—the popularity of books and reading is a big reason why we’re here. Cherry Picked Books (101 Main St, Easthampton, MA) is a good old-fashioned used booksshop and is handy should you need a stack of holiday paperbacks. . . . Broadside Books (Northampton, like every indie bookshop can get any book within a day or two. Over the Connecticut River, in Amherst, Amherst Books (, Food For Thought Books (, and the Eric Carle Museum Bookshop ( cover all ages, political philosophies and budgets. The Odyssey  Book Shop (S. Hadley, has an impressive first First Editions Club for readers and collectors. The Montague Bookmill (Montague, is a favorite of everyone we know.
Out in the Berkshires, the Bookloft (Great Barrington, also has an On Demand machine which is so popular they have started a print on demand service, Troy Book Makers which nicely turns the publishing wheel back to the period when publishers were booksellers, now booksellers are publishers!

Round up

Mon 26 Apr 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , , , | Posted by: Gavin

Catch-up post about recent happenings with our books.

1) April: Alasdair Gray! At last! Nope. Now a June book due to a printer error. Sigh. You can see an excerpt on Scribd.

2) May:  Edward Gauvin (translator of A Life on Paper) was recently blogging on translations, Belgium, and more at the 3% blog. (Surely 3.5% by now?)

4) June: 2 starred reviews so far for Karen Lord’s Redemption in Indigo!

5) July: good news coming soon on Julia Holmes’s debut novel Meeks.

Ok, bored with numbering now. The Interstitial Arts Foundation has a call for papers for a new interstitial-sounding anthology:

What is Interfictions Zero? Interfictions Zero is an online virtual anthology, comprised of a Table of Contents listing seminal pieces of published interstitial writings (with live links to those texts where possible) and original essays about the focus pieces listed in the TOC. With the online publication of Interfictions Zero, the Interstitial Arts Foundation will begin to create a historical context for how interstitial writing affects the growth and development of literature over time.

There’s also an interesting addition to the ongoing conversation about translations at the IAF blog.

Poets & Writers spotlights one of Chicago’s many wonderful bookstores: Women & Children First.

I Heart Rachel MaddowDo you like Rachel Maddow? Essentials in Northampton has the shirt for you—in white or pink and 10% of all proceeds will be donated to support the Capital Campaign for the Northampton Survival Center.

Apparently the folks at Essentials aren’t having quite enough fun there so there’s this site, too: My Parents Made Me Wear This.

The NY Center for Indie Publishing their 6th Annual New York Round Table Writers’ Conference, May 1 (er, tomorrow!), 9AM- 7PM, where you can meet various people in publishing—including Kelly’s fabby agent Renee Zuckerbrot. Tickets are Members – $69.00/Non-Members – $89.00/Student – $20.00:

Please e-mail to reserve or confirm a spot today – we hope to see you all here on May 1st!

And that’s it for now. Maybe there’ll be more later. After all, what else is there to do on a spring afternoon but haunt the web and wait until the tick tick tick hits leaving time!

Cloud & Ashes: Tiptree Award winner!

Wed 17 Mar 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

We’re hugely excited to see that Greer Gilman‘s astounding novel Cloud & Ashes: Three Winter’s Tales is one of the winner of this year’s Tiptree Award. We love to put shiny stickers on our books and this particular sticker is a real fave. Also can’t wait to get our hands on a copy the other winner, the first two volumes of Fumi Yoshinaga’s manga, Ooku.

The awards (money! art! chocolate!) will be presented at Wiscon in Madison, WI, in May, and Greer (and perhaps some of her art) should be there to receive hers.

The Tiptree Award jury also announced an honor list (as well as honoring L. Timmel Duchamp’s Marq’ssan Cycle) of awesomeness:

  • Alice Sola Kim, “Beautiful White Bodies” (online at Strange Horizons 2009.12.07-14)
  • Vandana Singh, Distances (Aqueduct Press 2008)
  • Caitlin R. Kiernan, “Galapagos” (in Eclipse 3 edited by Jonathan Strahan, Night Shade Books 2009)
  • Jo Walton, Lifelode (NESFA Press 2009)
  • Maureen F. McHugh, “Useless Things” in Eclipse 3 edited by Jonathan Strahan (Night Shade Books 2009)
  • Paul Haines, “Wives” (in X6 edited by Keith Stevenson, coeur de lion 2009)

If you haven’t gotten your copy of Cloud & Ashes yet, Greer is part of a group signing (with Paul Tremblay, John Crowley, and more) at 1:30 PM at the Harvard Bookstore this Saturday as part of Vericon. Greer is reading at 4 PM and if you’re in the Boston area, this panel at 10 AM on Saturday is probably worth going to:

John Crowley, Greer Gilman, and Katherine Howe talk about how they craft cultures for the people who populate their stories.

Thursday: freebies, signed books, etc.

Tue 9 Mar 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , | Posted by: Gavin

PianerThis morning the Boston Globe includes our awesome event this Thursday at 6 at the Brookline Booksmith in their Three to See mini feature.

What’s not mentioned: there will be free stuff! Franciscan will provide the candy, there will be a tiny leetle bit of chocolate, and we will have Working Writer’s Daily Planners for all and sundry! (Well, say the first 100 people, if UPS delivers them on time.)

Also, if you’d like any books signed by Holly Black (The Poison Eaters, Tithe, Spiderwick), Kelly Link (Pretty Monsters, Magic for Beginners), and Cassandra Clare (City of Glass, City of Bones), use these links to pre-order them directly from the fab peeps at the Booksmith.

And, if you have questions for these writers (especially for the “lightning round”!) please email them

Hope to see you there—or at least to read one of your questions!

Hound update

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

Brian at BSC review hit the nail on the head in a review of Vincent McCaffrey’s Hound. The titular bookhound, Henry Sullivan, is a man alone has immersed in the world of books—a world the author is worried might be passing away (or at least in a state of rapid decline)—and Hound explores one reaction to the possibility of that passing. Perhaps the novel should have been subtitled “an investigation into the possible death of the book as a physical object,” but it doesn’t roll off the tongue.

If you missed Vince’s conversation-starting posts at Powell’s (get your cup of tea and biscuits/cookies ready) you can read them here. Here’s a reaction to the reading/panel on the future of the book at Mysterious Bookshop. I think Vince knows that the paper book won’t completely disappear but he is right to wonder and to agitate and to keep the conversation going on what the future will look like and who will make it.

And, yes, you can buy Hound as an ebook. Vincent might be worried about the death of the paper book, but we’re quite aware there is a growing percentage of readers who like to read our books on other substrates.

And in case you missed his readings (there’s one TK at the Odyssey in South Hadley in January, dorp by!) he was interviewed by The L Magazine and Jamaicaway Books:

Or, of course, just start reading Hound.

If it’s Thursday, must be Portsmouth

Thu 22 Oct 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

RiverRun Books is one of the most popular Twittering Bookstores and they love Hound — you can’t miss it, it’s right there on their front table — which is great as Vince is reading there tonight.

Vince is blogging all week at Powell’ and is part of a great book event in New York City on Sunday.

Paige M. Gutenborg

Tue 29 Sep 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Posted by: Gavin

Today we took a wander over the river to Cambridge to see the new instant book machine at the Harvard Book Store (which has been named the Gutenborg!). Various publishing luminaries were there including our own Greer Gilman—who described her post-Harvard Library job search as looking for an iPod job in a PC world . . .—and we listened to them try and persuade us that this is the future. Well, part of it. Being historically minded, the first book they printed was the Bay Psalm Book, which was the first book printed in English on this continent,  in 1640 in Cambridge, no less.

It was at once fun and anti-climatic as the machine ran off the book in the promised four minutes and . . . that was it. Other bookshops with these machines report that they do a bang-up business, more with local authors than with out of print books. After all, why buy some scanned copy of Sense and Sensibility for $8 when you can get a decently edited one for, er, maybe about the same. Hmm. Well, luckily the Harvard Book Store has a good used section downstairs.

Our books are available on Google Books (with various levels of access) who have a deal with the manufacturer On Demand Books so at some point our books will hopefully be part of the instantprint experience.

As with everyone else who came by to see the machine in action, we’ll wait and see what happens.

Earlier Entries in bookshops »