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monday, november 30, 2009

The Garage Plan (Warehousing)

Let's see. 56 cartons each of which is 18 1/2' x 12 1/4' x 7' plus 4 cartons each of which is 12 5/8" x 9 3/8" x 12' is about equivalent to an area 6' x 4' x 3', I think. Hmm. My bedroom? Nope. The cellar at my son's store? Nope. My ex's cellar? Nope. His spare room? Yup. That's it! For the time being.

And that's how it is currently playing out. I'll warehouse Jolt: a rural noir with my ex -- for the time being.  (Luckily he has a sense of humor:)

Next is to have the labels printed and to figure out how to print them from the computer so they look more professional. Hmm again.

Anyway. The doorwoman where I sublet (also for the time being) liked the Jolt bookmarks I gave her. (This then leaves only another eight hundred or so for which to find homes.)

That said, it comes to my mind you might need a bookmark, too. If you do, let me know and I'll send you ten--but only if you promise to give away at least eight at the next dinner or pizza party to which you go.

The Jolt: a rural noir bookmarks are really quite nice and even if the takers never buy a copy of Jolt, at least they will have the ten hints for 'Understanding Nuclear Survival' listed on each for use now and if at any time there is a nuclear emergency near them.  

So  email me if you'd like some bookmarks. 

Also email me if you can come up with a closer estimate of necessary warehousing space in which to keep Jolt when it arrives. I need all the help I can get. And thanks.

RMR in Po-Town, Still truckin'

9:51 pm est          Comments

sunday, november 29, 2009

My Garage Plan
When I first considered going into the publishing business, I noted two styles I might use. The first one, which I never did name, was my preferred one. It involved hiring staff and buying services that included editing, design, printing, warehousing, distributing, and publicizing. The second I dubbed 'my garage plan'. This involved stopping farming out after the printing stage and then handling the rest myself. Well, myself with any minimal help I might scare up at a nominal fee. Which, as I mentioned in my last post, is where I now am. So let's take a look at the garage.

Yesterday I sent off the final payment for the printing of Jolt: a rural noir to BookMasters, Inc. (They should thank me for mentioning their name.) With the check I requested that the books be sent out immediately upon completion of the printing, if necessary COD for any difference in the final estimate and the final bill.

is to be ready December 11 so I am hopeful Alva Press will receive them by December 15 in time for the winter holidays. In that way, when school is closed and I have some flex time I can work on the publicity and distribution.

Then today I came up with the idea to approach the Lowell Thomas School of Journalism at Marist College here in Poughkeepsie to see if I might not be able to scare up a talented student to drum up reviewer interest.  And if I can't find one at Marist, I'll try finding one at Vassar College.

Oh, I suppose I could do it all myself, but wouldn't it be nice if I could find someone who knew what he or she was doing. Also, it would permit me to stop talking to myself and you, my silent audience, and start talking to someone with whom I could toss around ideas and build intellectual energy.

Meantime, I have to find the most efficient and least expensive means of mailing Jolt. Questions loom such as, in what should I send Jolt? A box? A bubble envelope? A padded one? And where can I purchase it most inexpensively?

And what about shipping labels? I think I need to have some printed up. Hmm. Maybe I had better have my printer repaired. And learn how to turn an address list into print for the labels.

Hopefully I will sell more than the twenty pre-publication orders I have received to date. That would make paying for the labels easier. And also help me to determine how many hours I might hire someone to help me in this venture.

RMR in Po-Town, From the Garage
12:48 am est          Comments

wednesday, november 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Impasse

Here I was all set for Alva Press, Inc., to list Jolt:a rural noir on the BookMasters Website and have them handle Jolt's warehousing and distribution at a flat monthly handling rate plus five-fifty per book for postage. And what happens? BookMasters decides their contract is with me not with my company and it asks for either my personal guarantee or "thousands of dollars" in deposit, at which point I'm out of there.

First of all, the 'thousands of dollars' deposit they'd like is more than I have at this time. As for the alternative, I am not about to offer my personal guarantee when the agreement is with my corporation. If you were the contracts person for IBM, would you give your personal guarantee or that of a contracts specialist for IBM?

I told them that I would be glad to sign the guarantee if they removed the word 'personal' and let me sign as the President of Alva Press, Inc. To this they replied that it would be fine if I signed as the President of Alva Press, Inc., but they couldn't remove the word 'personal' from before the guarantee. So I queried as to what the big deal might be that would cost 'thousands'? (The printing costs are already paid in full.)  

In response to this, I find they have some strange business practices. For instance, not only were they concerned that bookstores might return books they had ordered, but that these same bookstores might do it 'many months from now'. I don't get it. Why would a distributor permit a bookstore to return a book to them many months from now?

But I'm a writer and just learning the ropes of publishing.

So, as the fledgeling Alva Press, Inc., will be handling the warehousing and distribution of Jolt, I need your help.  You see I happen to know there are some one hundred of you who read this webpage on an average of twice per month and have been doing so for the past four months. And while, I'm not sure if it is the same one hundred every month, you're there, and I need you. So if you would like to help please:

1. Pass the
http://alvapressinc.com link to a friend or acquaintnace who is a fire fighter, mayor, or emergency medical services provider to give to people interested in learning more about nuclear survival at a practical level while enjoying an action-filled story of lovers, families, and a small mountain village's push for survival as they do so.

2. Email me the name of a book reviewer you know who might be willing to review Jolt: a rural noir        

3. Order a copy of Jolt: a rural noir now as it's printing will be complete on December 11, 2009, both in hard covered and Trade paperback.

But even with the impasse, what, pray tell, is there not to love about Thanksgiving? So do have a good one.

Roberta in Po-Town, Seeking a reason for her madness

10:01 pm est          Comments

thursday, november 19, 2009


Attending the American Speech, Hearing, and Language Association National Convention. Nothing to do with publishing. Or writing. But I need the Continuing Education Units to maintain my Speech-Language Pathologist license so here I am: three hours this morning studying studies of the success of various tests to determine whether or not a stroke patient is likely to aspirate food or water. Then this afternoon, three hours studying the neurological underpinnings of autism and some suggested treatment approaches. Dry perhaps, but I love it. But just so as to not have totally neglected, Jolt: a rural noir, passed out Jolt bookmarks to any and all innocents who happened to engage in conversation with me. So far, two will go back to New York, a few will float around Mississippi, and one is headed for Sweden.

Roberta from Po-Town, Livin' and learnin' in Crescent City

8:36 pm est          Comments

tuesday, november 17, 2009


Let's see. Jolt is at the printer. Alva Press, Inc. has PalPay. Guess it's time to ready Yell'n'Tell for publication.

As for Yell'n'Tell, Don Dyen's watercolors are up and at'em ready, well almost. There are still a couple that have to be played with a bit. But the text is done and proofed. Must be just about time to think about design. Well, that's as soon as those watercolors that need to be aligned for continuity of character are touched up. After that. Good to go.

Yell'n'Tell is a funny little picture story book everybody loves. It's for kids between four and eight.  It tells the story of a little guy whose friend was secretly (albeit mildly) torturing--well, bullying--him. Now the little guy didn't want to be a tattler but he managed to tell anyway and, in so doing, saved the day. Why? Well, as it turned out neither of the boys' mothers liked the bullying behavior so the doer was reprimanded and remanded to closer supervision.

As for the boys, with the tattler feeling safer, he was also happier. And as for the bully, he just couldn't find a chance to bully. So when all was said and done, he gave up the dirty habit forever. 

Well, at least we hope so.

RMR in Po-Town, Lookin' forward

7:32 pm est          Comments

thursday, november 12, 2009

Use PayPal to Order Your Autographed Copy of Jolt

To facilitate ordering your pre-publication copy of Jolt: a rural noir, Alva Press, Inc., now offers PayPal services. To use PayPal (or to order online) just click on the Contact page tab to your upper left. 

Prices listed in the catalogue for both the paperback and hard cover copies include shipping within the continental United States. Jolt should be off the presses within the next week.

Please allow four to six weeks for delivery.

Roberta in Po-Town, Upgrading

10:05 pm est          Comments

saturday, november 7, 2009

Bookproof and Dust Jacket Proof for Jolt In

Yesterday, the bookproof and dust jacket for Jolt: a rural noir arrived. Although we may still tweak the size of the cover image a bit, everybody loved the jacket. As for the hard cover, it's fine without the radiation symbol.  Now to proof the pages.

The text pages arrived on a CD. Once I open it I'll be able to determine if I will have to print it out to review it. However, as proofing it primarily will involve looking at the page formatting rather than reading the text, I think I'll be able to do it on the computer screen.

Why is everything new to me that I do, scary?

Scary, but exciting!

Roberta in Po-Town, More anon

10:27 am est          Comments

monday, november 2, 2009

Expecting Proofs for Jolt Next Week

Jolt: a rural noir is now really with the printer.

How could I know that when Jolt's files went off for printing that it would take more than a week of negotiation and discussion before the design and the specs would be one?

First there was the question of the integrity of the margins where some adjustments were needed to prevent the bleeds where the radiation symbol ran into the margin. 

Next there was the spine thickness: A signature turns into eight pages once the larger printed sheet is cut. I thought Jolt needed thirty, but it only needed twenty-nine. So when the correction was made and the page count dropped from 240 to 232, the width of the spine changed.

Poor Kathi. She's a great designer. And, thankfully, very patient. 

Then today, after so much talk and readjustment, Chris erred and sent Kathi some revised specs and I decided to get involved. As it turned out, the changes were not needed and Jolt was already with the printer. Except it seemed that while the design was fine, the question of what to do with the radiation symbol on the book's spine remained. The problem was that Chris thought it would become a circle when the accent was applied. She said they could try it, but if it blurred they'd have to make a new die. At that point that I decided enough is enough. I told Chris to forget the radiation symbol . . . as long as the title, Jolt: a rural noir , Roberta M. Roy, and Alva Press were clear.

So in a week we should be looking at proofs for both the paperback and hardcopy editions of Jolt: a rural noir.

Imagine that.

Roberta in Po-Town, It's gonna happen!

8:18 pm est          Comments

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