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November 16, 2006

Yahmdallah on Ebert; Darrell's Stories

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* Yahmdallah reviews Ebert's Top Ten from 1967 through 2005. WhiskyPrajer starts playing catch-up here.

* Speaking of WhiskyPrajer (aka Darrell Reimer) ... Congrats are in order: He has completed not just the writing but the publishing of "Youthful Desires," his long-awaited collection of stories. You can buy a copy of the book here -- I've ordered mine already. Darrell's an excellent writer and a superperceptive guy; he's comfy around fiction of both the popular and the literary kind; and he's blessed with a very distinctive point of view. Also, he promises that the collection includes some "salty" material ...



posted by Michael at November 16, 2006


Knowing nothing about aforementioned Mr.Reimer and his blog, I am reading this bit from his comments' section:he promises to supply an autographed copy of his book to those who request it, right after he figures out the shipping charge.

Does it struck anybody else as ...odd? I just recieved a warmly autographed book from an author in Israel, who I'd never met except online, and not only she didn't mention any charges - she asked her friend travelling to NY to put it in his baggage and personally deliver it to me.

Can't say I'll be inclined to buy Mr.Reimer's book any time soon, however excellent his book might be.

Posted by: Tat on November 16, 2006 5:13 PM

"Does it struck anybody else as ...odd?"

Not really. It sounds to me like he doesn't have a fulfillment house dealing with the shipping.

If you have to ship by yourself, especially if your volume is low, the real cost of custom-shipping autographed copies is probably twice or more the cover price of the book. Packaging, shipping, and (most importantly) the time to fill out addresses and shipping books, time to deal with the shipper, and time and effort to track orders. If you haven't done it recently (or, especially, at all), it's worth investigating what your costs will be before committing to a price.

The trick is that many authors are deeply clueless about economic realities, so vastly underprice their services. Your correspondent in Israel seems like such a person (or at the least there was some impressive serendipity involved).

If I were to try to find someone into whose baggage I could drop a book destined for some particular address in NYC, I don't know how I might start. And without such networked shipping, I'd be seriously out-of-pocket. That's a bad way to run a business. (And writing for pay is definitely a business.)

Posted by: Doug Sundseth on November 16, 2006 7:41 PM

Not that Mr. Reimer needs any additional defense than Mr. Sudseth has already provided, but I'll throw in my two bits. For anyone who has read his blog, either occassionally or religiously (like myself), one of the major qualities that comes screaming at you, aside from his excellent writing and (as Michael already mentioned) perception, is his decency. He is an honorable person who consistently shows his kindness.
He is, most definitely, not a fool either. Why he should pay for postage for a book that he's also paying for doesn't make sense. He's self-publishing, so there is no advertising campaign being launched by any publishing company. This is all on him!
I love his blog and I'm pretty sure I'll love his writing. Why shouldn't I pay for something that he's put a lot of effort and time into? And why shouldn't I pay for the postage that he's laying out to get the book to me?
He's a writer and he has the right to make a living at it.
For those folks who haven't spent time over at Whisky Prajer, why don't you go over and sift through.
Then, as Michael said, if you like what you read, buy the book.

Posted by: DarkoV on November 16, 2006 10:25 PM


I will gladly pay your shipping charges if you would like to order a book from Whisky Prajer.

Besides, at Lulu, you can opt for the downloaded version if the loss of extra bread causes you hunger pains.

WP is an all-round, straight up kinda guy, besides being a kick-ass writer. You will get your literary dollar's worth - to quote my favorite comic man, Justin Wilson, "I garontee it!"

Posted by: Cowtown Pattie on November 16, 2006 11:58 PM

"many authors are deeply clueless about economic realities, so vastly underprice their services" - yep, that's pretty much it in a nutshell right there. I know what my cost is, and I know what the initial cost of shipment (from the US, where it's printed, to Canada, where I reside) is, but I've not yet received my first box o' books from Lulu. Books coming across the border are frequently hit with a tariff, sometimes with a courier's brokerage fee while our beloved customs officials scratch their heads over the possible porn content. This is my first time going the Print On Demand route. I'm not hoping to get rich selling these stories; I am hoping to stay out of the poor-house.

Thanks for the link, Michael.

Posted by: Darrell Reimer on November 17, 2006 6:57 AM

Mr. Sundeth has provided enough information and personal experience as a retort to the intial comment.
But let me throw in my 2 cents. To any folks out there who read Mr. Reimer's blog occassionally or religiously (like myself), you know you're reading, as Michael put so well, a "superperceptive guy, blessed with a very distinctive point of view." Per his entries, you also realize you're dealing with an honorable and decent person .

Why would anyone expect a self-publishing author to be giving away books for free and, on top of that, paying the postage? We're not talking about some publishing company laying out a marketing budget here. I've ordered Darrell's book here. I think the price is more than reasonable for the effort that I know he put into it. I'll also be gladly paying the postage.
I'm with Mr. Sundeth. Mr. Reimer's a writer and he's no fool. Unless the price of postage was built into the book, why would I expect him to pay the postage? Even Amazon requires you to buy $25 worth of stuff before you qualify for free mailing.

I encourage anyone out there who hasn't spent some time at Whisky Prajer to go on over for a visit. I think you'll be persuaded by his writing to order his book. And to pay for the work he's put into it.

Posted by: DarkoV on November 17, 2006 8:06 AM

Pattie: too kind.
I earn enough for bread, butter (and some caviar on top of that), and certainly for paying my way everywhere, but thanks all the same.

If Mr. Reimer is self-publishing and selling the books thru his blog, I see nothing curious in his wanting to recoup his business expenses. Autographed copies, however, are usually given to friends and relatives, at least to people you have some sort of personal connection with. My Israeli correspondent had asked readers on her (very popular) blog if anybody is going to travel to NY any time soon, so she could ask a favor of carrying her book for me - I guess, out of courtesy. And Eli, the guy who finally handed me the present, was very gracious as well. The author of the book has a publishing house in St.Petersburg selling her book, and they're talking about a new edition now, since the first was sold out almost immediately. Actually, she's not an isolated case; I have 3 more books by authors I learned of online, autographed and presented to me free of charge, and I expect the collection to grow.

I have no problem with buying books and paying s&H charges - to a business; it seems strange to me, however, when a friend (I consider someone writing personal inscription on his book at least a close acquaintance) will tell his friend to pay for a shipping. I guess it's one of those intercontinental mentality clashes.
Other examples of tactless oddities (to me):
-inviting someone to lunch and then asking for his/her share in the bill
-visiting someone's house overnight and bringing your own towels and soap with you.

Etc, etc.

Posted by: Tat on November 17, 2006 9:59 AM

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