Eljay's Books can find your out-of-print or hard to find favorites!

Eljay's Books now offers a book search function to our customers. We're always happy to ship out of town (and shipping is often no additional charge!) To get started, just click HERE.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The seven things I wish every customer knew

1) If you want a bookseller to find a book for you give them any or all of the following: The author, the title, the ISBN (a 10 or 13 digit number usually printed on the back or copyright page of the book). If you don't have one of those three things, it will be extremely hard to find your book (contrary to long standing myth, books can not be located solely by color.)

2) If a book is in a place you can get to it, it's for sale, even if it's the last one or located in a window display.

3) If you use books as a place to lean, set your purse, pad the charge slip you are signing, or set your beverage on a bookseller may burst into tears. Don't make the bookseller cry.

4) Booksellers thrive on conversations about books, and we learn a LOT from our customers. If you are browsing and you spot something you love, see if your bookseller has read it yet. Tell them why it is awesome.

5) There's an unwritten code among booksellers and librarians. We don't judge you by what you read. Just ask us for the books you want and let us help you read what you want to read. Believe me, we're a widely read bunch and you're not going to shock us with your reading choices.

6) If a store doesn't have the book or author you are looking for they most can likely order you a copy. When a shop doesn't have what you are looking for, give them a chance to compete with Amazon for your affection.

7) Booksellers do not get to read all day (we get this question a lot) and if we did it would indeed be really cool.

"She Makes Me Smile" Makes Me Smile and Then, Shiver a Bit

So the last time we chatted I mentioned a situation with a certain writer and a certain publisher. Today Mandy DeGeit's She Makes Me Smile went on sale on Amazon (in its original form) for 99 cents. GO BUY IT HERE!!!

It's a great short story! Short stories are so hard to write...in my opinion, much harder than long fiction. And this one's very short but it works really well; it's very tightly packed. It's also pretty disturbing (like short form fiction, pulling off a genuinely disturbing tale in today's jaded world is harder than it looks). I consider myself a fairly wimpy reader, and I squirmed a whole bunch...and kept right on reading. I can't really tell you what it's about or why it's so nice and creepy, there's really no way not to spoil it for the readers. All I can tell you it that I enjoyed it.

Mandy is using proceeds from this short story to hire a lawyer to help other writers regain control of their stories currently held by the unpleasant publisher. It's a noble and worthy cause, and I'm happy to support it. However, having read this story I now know that I can NEVER nap with this woman in the same room as I am.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Publishers To Watch Out For!

Full disclosure before I start this: I am a freelance editor and I also work for a publisher who focuses on zombie and horror fiction. None of that has anything to do with this, but I don't want anyone to think I am sneakily slamming the competition. I am openly slamming someone who happens to be in the same business as I am.

Now the details:

An author named Mandy DeGeit wrote a short story that was picked up by Undead Press, an imprint of Library of the Dead. There were some problems with the printed version of her short story, and now I will ask you to please CLICK HERE for an eloquent explanation straight from the author of what went wrong (and then, what went even wrong-er).

Having now read the author's explanation (you didn't read it? GO READ IT) of what happened, and the disturbing response from the publisher, you are probably pretty much where I am emotionally. The changes made by the editor are not only ethically questionable, the ones cited by DeGeit are poor editorial choices. Now I just found THIS which contains an interview with the editor (who, it turns out is not the same guy who put in the lurking errant apostrophe, so props to him...but who also has a kind of "sorry but I was just following orders" mentality I can't get behind)

There's nothing else to say that hasn't been said by others, notably Nelson W Pyles. (Go read his blog. Now.) But I do want to take a moment to remind my readers to be EXTREMELY careful when choosing a publisher, signing a contract, etc. Your words (and your money) are too valuable to be wasted on lousy editing or publishing.

I can now sleep soundly knowing that all four of my readers are aware of a horrible wrong that was done to a fellow book person. As GI Joe teaches us, knowing is half the battle. The other half, it seems, is apostrophe placement.