It's Finally Here ... "Mr. Bukowski's Wild Ride" (1 Viewer)

Well, slightly more than a week remaining before our launch date, and there is so much more left to do before putting this chapbook to bed. Last night we finally completed and authorized the cover art for Mr. Bukowski's Wild Ride.

Thanks to everyone at bukowski.net for their help and inspiration, most importantly John (Stickpin) for standing by the project during this long process and Harry and David for the kind words they composed for the book.

More later ...

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Looks great, Rodger, and I can't tell you how happy I am to be a small part of this. It allows me to continue the tradition of me being a footnote to small press history. :cool:
 
We are very proud to have you aboard, Harry. We made your nice piece the Preface to the First Edition; the book runs 78 pages. We send off for our proof copy this afternoon and, barring any complications, we're in the marketplace late next week. It's been a wild ride and many more miles to go (press releases, electronic storefront, Amazon placement, etc.)
 
Thanks, Rodger, and please let me know when and how I can buy a few copies. I'll mention it in my next wine column and anywhere else I can think of to give it some publicity!
 
We are still working out the details with City Lights Books in San Francisco for in-store placement, but in the interm, for those preferring to purchase their copies online, the Lulu storefront for Mr. Bukowski's Wild Ride is up and running.

The book looks beautiful, if I may say so myself, with terrific editing, layout, and design by Lela Michael. It's 78 pages, 6" x 9", perfect binding, with original cover artwork by Gent Sturgeon. The free preview at Lulu will allow you to read the Preface to the First Edition by writer and wine connoisseur Harry Calhoun, a witty foreword by poet David Barker, and Joseph Mailander's insightful mini-essay, Bukowski is Not Bukowski.

It will be 6-8 weeks before the book shows up at Amazon and Barnes and Noble online and we are still mapping out strategy for placement in indie bookstores nationwide.
 
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LickTheStar

Sad Flower in the Sand
Awesome news. Despite the fact that I work for Barnes and Noble... if I see a copy in City Lights when I go down to San Francisco next month... I'll probably pick it up there.

Good luck getting it out there!
 
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Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Too bad that loon Barker is involved. But it's a strong bunch of stories and ought to survive even his evil influence.
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Wal f***ing Mart? That is incredible. The idea of me having a few words in anything that lands in Walmart is beyond my wildest conception. That was not supposed to happen. I'm not tracking on this. It does not compute. How can I align this development with my predetermined destiny of being completely ignored by the mass culture forever? Makes no sense. But I'd say it's good news.
 
You're already doomed, David. Target Stores online are carrying the title as well as Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com. Do you think K-Mart shoppers might be interested?
 
Hell, Kurt, less than 15% of the population at large reads for pleasure anymore. By the way, if anyone here is into Sam Fuller, my debut column at Pop Matters, The Poet of Potboilers, is about the man and his work via a new examination of his films from Wesleyan University Press. The piece closes with a nice quote from Bukowski.
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
It always amazed me when I visit someone's home and there are no books, anywhere, no magazines, just the tv and the computer.

In Target online stores, no less. What will Walmart and Target shoppers think when they come across Wild Ride? A bigger question: how did this happen, and does it means there's some crack in the armor, some backdoor through which the small press can slip into the mainstream distribution channels?

Memo to Bill Roberts: any chance you can get Bottle of Smoke Press titles in these same outlets? They could come with GPP broadsides pre-inserted. Think of the possibilities. Americans clicking to purchase good poetry, for a change. Now that would be a change I could believe in.
 
Memo to Bill Roberts: any chance you can get Bottle of Smoke Press titles in these same outlets? They could come with GPP broadsides pre-inserted. Think of the possibilities. Americans clicking to purchase good poetry, for a change. Now that would be a change I could believe in.

Alas, David, I harken back to my bartending days. I was 'tending the day shift once at a nice restaurant. I was sitting at the end of the bar grabbing a quick bite to eat and had a copy of American Poetry Review sitting next to me. Some guy came in and ordered a drink and after I poured it, he motioned toward the APR and said, "Do you mind if I look at your paper?" I said no, go ahead, and when he opened it and saw what it was, he said, "Ewwww, poetry," with a disgust usually reserved for turds.

I fear that things haven't changed much in the many years since then. But your dream is a noble one.
 
I do believe that small press can slip through the mainstream distro channels, David, and Wild Ride is proof of that. Getting it into the channels is one thing ... producing sales is yet another. Now begins the long, laborious, and frustrating tub-thumping excursion.


Check this out: talk about price gouging. Sheesh.
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
Memo to Bill Roberts: any chance you can get Bottle of Smoke Press titles in these same outlets? They could come with GPP broadsides pre-inserted. Think of the possibilities. Americans clicking to purchase good poetry, for a change. Now that would be a change I could believe in.


This looks to me like the same deal that Amazon has. Many times they do not carry the book, but list it and take a fee if it sells (55%). I will not list any BoSP books with Target.com directly, although my books by Denander & Winans are listed there (they pulled these directly from amazon.com). Not to take the wind out of anyones announcement, but they clearly signed a deal with Amazon, where they get a cut on any book sales that come through their site.

Also, they seem to list by ISBN only, so books that are long gone are still listed. Anyone want to buy any copies of "People Poems" for $4? According to their site, they are expecting copies more from the publisher (Who passed away 10 years ago) in a couple weeks.

And to add to that, both books that are listed are long sold out.

If you look in the upper right corner, it says "Brought To you by Amazon.com"

Bill
 
As you correctly point out, Bill, it is the purchase of an ISBN that gets a book's information into the system (Ingram's, et al). It is not the author's choice who picks up the book and who doesn't, nor is the author involved in the pricing. And as you also point out about the OOP books, this automated process could definitely use a human touch. But that is not the case.

Actually, the reason for my "announcement" has more to do with the everyday consumer who is not aware of this process; case in point: when a friend of my editor heard a couple of weeks ago that the book was available on Lulu she said, "I'll wait to buy it when it's available on Amazon." There's a veneer of respectability there whether we like it or not.

If there is any "announcement" that I am proud of, it's the fact that my friends and associates at City Lights Books have showcased Wild Ride in their store.
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
That is HUGE. Much cooler than Amazon. I have only had one book ever carried in City Lights and that was because the author was able to sell a couple copies to them. Still, it was a HUGE honor.

Plus, you are one of the staff picks.

Best,bill
 
Thanks, Bill. I agree, landing at CL was a much bigger honor. In truth, as you point out, any schmuck with an ISBN can get listed. Selling copies is another matter (it's been reported that we are averaging one book sale per day at City Lights).
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
One a day is pretty damned good. Print on Demand books can sell on Amazon and other online stores, if the subject attracts attention, as Bukowski will. I've bought a few myself. Speaking of attention, has John Martin weighed in on the subject of Wild Ride? He has a history of not being happy when a small press book with the word "Bukowski" in the title comes along and cuts into his market share (so he imagines). Any letters from lawyers yet?
 
Oh Jesus, not another run-in with Martin. I can see his reaction now: "What the hell is this? First that damned Calhoun publishes MY writer's poems and now he's smearing Bukowski's name in this travesty of a book! I'll sue the little son of a ..."

But look on the bright side. If history repeats itself, he won't sue us but will just be a jerk about it. Then we can tell him we meant no harm and he will send us a bunch of Black Sparrow books. :)
 
I have always anticipated such problems arising and that is why the fact that the Bukowski character in this book is not Bukowski became an integral part of the marketing and the subject that every essayist in the book addresses. If John Martin does make a noise, I hope it remains just that ... a noise. No need for legal papers to exchange hands over such a modest book with modest intentions.
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
[snip] If history repeats itself, he won't sue us but will just be a jerk about it. Then we can tell him we meant no harm and he will send us a bunch of Black Sparrow books. :)

What the hell? When I published my Chinaski memoir, I got an angry letter and an order for four or five copies (for his lawyers to pour over), and I wrote back and said something lame (don't recall if I said I meant no harm, or if I told him to shove it; probably the later), but I didn't get a bunch of Black Sparrow Press books! Not even a New Years Greeting. Nada. I must have been rude. Should have made nice. Oh well...
 
No free copies for lawyers on this end; they want 'em, they buy 'em. I would say that I'm not concerned but this online saturation that happens with ISBN is insane so it may track on Martin's radar sometime soon. The book is available all over the damn place if you do a search for it by ISBN. It cracks me up when some online vendor says "In Stock, Available for Immediate Shipping." Bullshit. It's a POD book and cannot be produced until the order is placed. It's a freakin' shell game; everyone claims to have the book in stock (and at wildly inflated prices -- I mean, $58.97 in Germany? C'mon) and the actual book is sitting in a computer in North Carolina.
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Martin paid for all the copies, but he did mention lawyers (he may not have said the copies were for the lawyers -- that could be me remembering it the most dramatic way possible).

I like that "in stock, available for immediate shipping." Maybe they should add "slightly shelf worn due to our customers having handled it" or "signed by the author and inscribed personally to you!"
 

mjp

Founding member
Martin always made sure he got copies of "suppressed" items for his own collection. That's one of the benefits of being king, I suppose.
 

mjp

Founding member
I think it's the literary equivalent of hypocrisy.

"This is not of sufficient quality for people to see! This is unauthorized! I'll take five copies, please. But the rest must be destroyed!"
 
Well, sounds like he is trying to corner the market on (what he determines to be) unathorized Bukowski ephemera which, I dare to say, puts him somewhere on the evolutionary scale with bottom feeders. His imprint -- literally and figuratively -- on Bukowski's literary legacy is solid. There's no need for him to act as self-appointed executor of the estate.
 
We are very pleased with that review, Kurt, very pleased indeed. I don't think we can aspire to anything better'n that, although we have picked up a number of requests for review copies in the last few weeks so we'll see; thanks for the nod.
 

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