Bring Me the Head of Charles Bukowski (1 Viewer)

Johannes

Founding member
Whoever the fuck Ron Elko is, he wrote a book called "Bring Me the Head of Charles Bukowski"

--> http://www.amazon.com/Bring-Me-Head...=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1248880997&sr=8-1

"From the desk of the most prolific writer that you have never heard of comes sixteen short stories and a novella, thematically dealing with loneliness and the importance of small distractions. This grouping of energetic, original and humorous short stories deal with a wide range of topics from sex and drugs to insanity and murder, a trip to Tennessee after a devastating tornado, a woman who works as a phone sex operator to help make ends meet, realizations of being in love, and stories about the frustrations of the writing life. There is no other writer who speaks with such a unique voice and does so from such a point of view."
 

Hosh

hoshomccreesh.com
Looks like a self-published affair. Nothing wrong with that...just that, with a title like that, it seems engineered to generate hits when folks search Amazon for Buk.
 

mjp

Founding member
This grouping of energetic, original and humorous short stories deal with a wide range of topics...a woman who works as a phone sex operator to help make ends meet...

Oh yawn, how many times is that original and humorous cliche going to be trotted out and propped up?
 

Gerard K H Love

Appreciate your friends
Wow, I should write a story about the failing Telephone Psychic who is living in her car with her two little dogs. The question my kids ask. "If she's a psychic then why didn't she see this coming?" The dogs will help keep it down home and heart warming around the turmoil of her intense anger and frustration.
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Throw Bukowski's name in your book title and you're bound to sell a few copies ;)
 
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Ambreen

Sordide Sentimental
This grouping of energetic, original and humorous short stories deal with a wide range of topics...a woman who works as a phone sex operator to help make ends meet...

Oh yawn, how many times is that original and humorous cliche going to be trotted out and propped up?
Probably as long as women will continue to do that original and humorous job.

Remember, guys, that Hank himself resorted to the name of an illustrious author for the title of one of his books. ;)

But it's true that titles with a writer's name can be deceptive. I was attracted by The Jane Austen book club by this way. One of the worst books I've ever read.
 
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bospress.net

www.bospress.net
Remember, guys, that Hank himself resorted to the name of an illustrious author for the title of one of his books. ;)

...after he was somewhat famous. Plus, I bet that almost NO ONE ever searched for Shakespeare and bought Bukowski by accident. Plus, in the pre-internet days, the idea of "search words" was not an issue. Nowadays, you can change your last name to Hemingway and be sure to sell some books based on those that google the name.

It is a cheap way to try to sell a self published book.

Bill
 

Ambreen

Sordide Sentimental
Oh I was not insinuating that Hank chose that title purposely so as to attract people. I was just pointing out the fact that he himself put the name of a writer in one title, as Ron Elko has done, regardless of any purpose.
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
Yes, but the purpose is important. I could write a book about growing corn and call it "Charles Bukowski loved corn" and it would show up on search engines, under the Amazon.com search for Bukowski & would get airtime here. It would sell many more copies tan it would under a different title. The point is that it seems a desperate and sad attempt at selling a self-published book.

Bill
 

LickTheStar

Sad Flower in the Sand
I was actually thinking about starting a press called Bukowski Sparrow Press and making sure to title my books in a similar vein. Bring Me John Fante's Spaghetti! Joyce Carol Oates Shit On My Doorstep! Diane Wakoski Verbed The Adjective Noun!

I think I've got a long, profitable career ahead of me.
 

Ambreen

Sordide Sentimental
Yes, but the purpose is important. The point is that it seems a desperate and sad attempt at selling a self-published book.
Yes, assuredly. But in the case we're focusing on, one can't assert with certainty that M. Elko has any purpose by using Hank's name and that this purpose consists in selling his book. You can only infer it. Maybe you're right, maybe you're wrong. That's why I didn't consider any supposed purpose when I made the parallel with Shakespeare never did it. I gave him the benefit of the doubt.
As well as one has no evidence to declare it's a self-published book. Actually, it's not (http://www.publishamerica.com/shopping/shopdisplayproducts.asp?Search=Yes ).
 
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mjp

Founding member
publishamerica.com is one of the larger self-publishing joints. Self-publishing meaning you send them a file, they spit out a book. No editor is involved. Your book could be error-laden gibberish, and most of them are.
 

Lolita Twist

Rose-hustler
^ Hey, they were going to publish my first novel, but, never did because I was under-age at the time and that somehow went against their policies. Since then I have lost the file to a number of virus', and the file in my e-mail doesn't open anymore. :(

There is somewhat of an editing process, it has to go through two "editors" before it's put in the printers.

But, on topic... do people really do that? Says a naive me... do they really call their book something just so it gets more results in a search engine? That's so... bad.
 

mjp

Founding member
Well, the "editing" appears to be a rubber stamp job. They accept everything, because everything they accept makes money for them.

I read an entire publishamerica.com novel, and I can testify that it was a painful, if humorous, experience. If an editor ever looked at it, they must have been blind, because every page had a spelling or grammar error. I am not exaggerating when I say that. This thing went directly from the word processor of a semi-illiterate "author" to the printed page.

Reading that book is what made me look them up in the first place. It is definitely a vanity press, which is what they used to call self-publishing. ;)
 

Ambreen

Sordide Sentimental
From the moment that a text is presented to a publishing house, that's no more self-publishing ; there is an editing process, however minimal and bad this latter is.
But I see what you mean. What I've read on Publishamerica's website reminds me of a publishing company in which I began an internship. I was there for three months, I stayed four days, shocked and disgusted by their methods and their attitudes towards some writers (especially the ones who were published for the first time). I had to deal with a text which was published one year ago but whose author was so disappointed by the result (numerous faults, paragraphs forgotten...) that he sent a letter in which he expressed his huge sadness and disillusions about publishing after this bad experience. I found it very moving... and the others... they just make fun of this poor guy ! The text was going to be corrected again... but they waited eight months to do so. And when I asked them why having waited so long, they told me they didn't have any time before for a capricious author like this one. In that house, there was an editing process, the texts were selected, corrected, rewritten when necessary, etc., but too quickly, without real care, so that the result can only be more or less disappointing.

But, on topic... do people really do that? Says a naive me... do they really call their book something just so it gets more results in a search engine? That's so... bad.
Money and success have always been attractive, there's nothing to it. ;)
 
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mjp

Founding member
From the moment that a text is presented to a publishing house, that's no more self-publishing ; there is an editing process, however minimal and bad this latter is.
publishamerica.com is not a publishing house, it is a vanity press.
 
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hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
Reaper Crew
Moderator
Founding member
A 'vanity press' is an existing real world phrase. I can't be bothered to look into the complete ins and outs of the publishamerica site but I did notice this line in their FAQ:

The author pays no fees of any kind, at any time. We want your book, not your money.

Usually a vanity press will publish whatever you like as long as the author will pay for it.
 

Lolita Twist

Rose-hustler
Well, the "editing" appears to be a rubber stamp job. They accept everything, because everything they accept makes money for them.

I read an entire publishamerica.com novel, and I can testify that it was a painful, if humorous, experience. If an editor ever looked at it, they must have been blind, because every page had a spelling or grammar error. I am not exaggerating when I say that. This thing went directly from the word processor of a semi-illiterate "author" to the printed page.

Reading that book is what made me look them up in the first place. It is definitely a vanity press, which is what they used to call self-publishing. ;)

Not to say that there's anything wrong with self-publishing if one is any good at what they do... right, right? ;)

And Ambreen - yeah I get that... I just personally like the "art" to come first before greed. As I'm sure most of us here do.
 

hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
Reaper Crew
Moderator
Founding member
[This video is unavailable.]

Oops wrong thread...
 

mjp

Founding member
Usually a vanity press will publish whatever you like as long as the author will pay for it.
Right. "Vanity press" as a description of a [STRIKE]scam[/STRIKE] business is falling out of use because printing technology and the internet have changed the vanity press into print-on-demand. Technology killed much of the profit that the vanity press used to thrive on.

I used the old-fashioned term vanity press to describe publishamerica.com because while they are essentially a print-on-demand joint, they persist in fostering the illusion that they have standards, or "editors." They do not, and I could prove that easily by sending them a pile of shit which their "editors" would gladly accept.

Not to say that there's anything wrong with self-publishing if one is any good at what they do... right, right? ;)
There is nothing wrong with self-publishing if you go into it knowing what it is. But places like publishamerica.com fill [STRIKE]gullible[/STRIKE] hopeful people's heads with promises that they have no intention, or ability, of living up to. Or charge them a lot of money for "services" that will be utterly useless to them (this is where they reclaim some of that lost vanity press revenue).

If I handed any of you the publishamerica.com book that I read it would take you no more than 5 minutes to come to the same conclusions.

They will "publish" anything.

Therefore they are not a "publishing house," they are a printing plant.
 

LickTheStar

Sad Flower in the Sand
I don't know about other bookstores... but Barnes and Noble has essentially banned all Publish America stuff from their shelves by making it pre-paid order only items (i.e.: dot com orders). And thank BBQ Christ for that one. I'm really sick of looking at books that have been on the shelf longer than I've been with the company that we can't sell and can't return...

Self-publishing alone is great, but the way that groups like Publish America and iUniverse do it is a fucking crime. I bought a $1 clearance book that was iUniverse published because even the back cover had three spelling\grammar mistakes. The book itself was about a guy who had gone off to war in Korea and his love ran off with some other guy... then he remained a virgin forever and published a really shitty memoir at age 65.

I can't stand the piles and piles of useless crap that these places crap out, especially when the authors come in and demand we carry it on the shelf... I've had one guy who comes in once a week to try again, only to get the same answer... he's a great guy, but can't write for all the Chins in Chinatown. But being able to get his work published gives him the impression he can write... and the same story for thousands of others...
 

nervas

more crickets than friends
I always got the feeling that people looked down on self published authors. However, it seems to me to be similar to a band self-recording their own music without a label? Some of those bands have become quite famous, and some of them are very good. I guess if it's good it's good. My point is, are there any stories of self published authors that went on to become famous, or best selling authors?
 

mjp

Founding member
I always got the feeling that people looked down on self published authors.
That used to be a pretty universal truth, but again, in less than a decade the internet has turned all traditional methods of entertainment content delivery upside-down.

That's good and bad, of course. Good, because artists don't have to pay a middleman anymore. Bad, because now we have to slog through a thousand times more shit to find the pearls.
 

LickTheStar

Sad Flower in the Sand
Chris Paolini was self-published at first with his book Eragon. Kinda. His parents owned a publishing company already and put his book out. Naturally the quality goes hand in hand with being a teenaged author... But he is now a bestselling author, so I guess it counts...

I think self publishing is a good thing, overall. I especially like the idea of authors not living in some glass castle high on the hill. But a good chunk of them should probably be buried alive in a glass casket...

But that isn't a nice thing to say...
 
Slogging through shit is pretty easy. Annoying, but easy, but only if on the interwebby thang. Thankfully, most physical, hold them in your hand and decide books nowadays are OK.

Well, not most.

I really haven't made much of a point, have I? Well here it is:

You've got your classics, and you've got your small press. Avoid the in-betweens.
 

LickTheStar

Sad Flower in the Sand
I dug through a whole bookshelf at Powell's to find a nice Bottle of Smoke book since the employee almost looked up from her book to let me know they couldn't search by publisher on their machines...

Most of the rest of it was either older (60s, 70s) or crap... Annoying, but... yeah, I'll give you easy. Easy-ish.
 

Ambreen

Sordide Sentimental
And Ambreen - yeah I get that... I just personally like the "art" to come first before greed. As I'm sure most of us here do.
This thread brings me back in mind something. I believe having read that Hank one time wrote a fake praise of his own work, and put the name of Henry Miller as the author of it. I think it was for a book who was to release in Germany. Somebody to confirm ?
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
I thought it was Genet and Sartre, although he could have also use a Miller quote....

And I don't think that it was Hank that did it, but was probably Carl Weissner....

Bill
 

Ambreen

Sordide Sentimental
I didn't forget this thread but I'm too lazy to have a look at the notes taken from the Sounes bio (I think I read about this in this book). I'll try to do it in the coming week.
 
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Ambreen

Sordide Sentimental
So, I've finally checked my notes and it turns out that Sounes is quite vague about that subject : He writes that in the mid 70s, one could read in the newspapers praises from Sartre and Genet who both considered Buk as the greatest living american poet. According to him, these praises were invented, probably by Buk himself, he who by the past already wrote the said fake Miller's praise.

That's too approximate and consequently doesn't get us anywhere...
 
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