Monthly ArchiveDecember 2010

Podcast Episodes 29 Dec 2010 01:56 am

Podcast 5: SUICIDE

“SUICIDE,” by David Michael Wharton. Read by Todd Luoto.

As he waited for the crosswalk light to change, he noticed the bar across the street. There was always a bar within walking distance of these places, without fail, or a liquor store. They were like remoras, feeding from the belly of the Death Machine wherever it sprang up. He could see a few of them in there now, heads down, that uniquely blank look on their faces. Some of them had their death cards laid out on the bar, staring as if waiting for the ink to shift, for the universe to hiccup, for destiny to laugh and admit, “Just kidding.”

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David Michael Wharton is a freelance writer and journalist from Texas. When not sweating in the trenches as an editor for Creative Screenwriting Magazine, he hammers out screenplays and short fiction and swears one of these days he’s going to get around to that novel, damn it.

Todd Luoto is a filmmaker and screenwriter from Massachusetts. Currently he is a programmer for the Sundance Film Festival, and his film Oil Change is touring festivals around the country.

In the book, “Suicide” is illustrated by Brian McLachlan!

Updates 22 Dec 2010 01:54 pm

MOD appearing in bookstores! Plus: FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING

Pic from Barnes & Noble, Evanston IL.

We’re hearing reports from all corners of North America that Machine of Death has started arriving in brick & mortar stores! The first update came from Pittsburgh — that canary in the coal-mine-that-is-America — and from there, it spread…

• @fleenguy: Seen on Friday night, B&N, Edison NJ.

• @trislegomenon: Elliot Bay Books in Seattle has copies of Machine of Death on display at the front of the store. I don’t have pictures though.

@ellnhank: Machine of Death is IN the [Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Library] catalog and starting to circulate! #yay

BAM. CONTINENT-WIDE HUG. And on our Facebook page

I personally visited a Barnes & Noble in Los Angeles and first checked New Releases — then New in Paperback — then New Fiction — then New Science Fiction — then Fiction Anthologies — then Fiction — then SF/Fantasy Anthologies — then, finally, general Science Fiction. And there it was, filed under “North.”

This is a first step. In conversations with our distributor and in their conversations with the retailers, we’ve discussed promotions, ways to get it onto the front tables and very visible places. When you see books placed prominently by the front door of a big bookstore, or on the endcap of an aisle, usually that’s the result of a “co-op” agreement, where the publisher pays the bookstore for the favorable real estate. (It’s also kind of a sneaky way for the bookstore to make money whether or not the books ever sell. They can always return unsold books to the publisher for a refund, but of course they keep the co-op money.) Our distributor is helping us decide how much co-op money, if any, we want to spend and what kinds of deals the bookstores will give us. The bottom line is that the better the book does for the store, the nicer they will be to us.

Undecided on a gift for Uncle Morty? Well, since you’re probably going to be at the Barnes & Noble anyway… (Just a suggestion.)

We’ve also started the gears turning towards higher-profile press and review coverage. (Please contact us if you would like to write an article about MOD for the press. We give excellent sound bites.) We anticipate that the bulk of that coverage will fall in January, and we presume that increased sales will result in more thoughtful store placement as well.

And in some venues, that’s already started: The Chapters chain in Canada has very kindly committed to featuring the book prominently in all their larger stores, and we’ve received this report from an employee in Toronto:

Please let your readers know that the Chapters at John & Richmond is where you’ll find the most copies in town! 😀

It is currently on display at: the Books with Buzz Wall on the first floor.
The Staff Picks wall on the second floor.
In section at Sci-Fi/Fantasy Anthologies on the third floor.

Ryan is also working to possibly set up a signing in Toronto sometime in the new year!

FINALLY: The book’s distribution kicking into effect means that it is starting to become available in other online outlets as well. Two in particular that we’d like to mention:

Indiebound is an online bookstore that allows you to purchase from independent booksellers in your community (or anywhere) if you’d rather your money not go to monolithic megacorporations who desperately need your money to stave off bankruptcy. They now list MOD in their catalog and can help connect you to indie bookstores in your area who can either sell you the book online, or order it for you to pick up in-store.

The Book Depository is another online bookstore. Based in the UK, The Book Depository’s main gimmick is free online shipping worldwide. Like Kinokinuya, mentioned in the Facebook thread above, TBD is an international bookstore, meaning they import books from various markets and sell them in other markets.

We do expect to have traditional distribution set up in the UK/Australia/NZ next year, although it may be a few months before all the pieces settle into place. It may also make it to some non-English-speaking countries as well, though we can’t say for certain. In the meantime, The Book Depository has MOD in stock and will ship it to you anywhere in the world (including the US) for free.

Direct link to MOD on The Book Depository US site, which ships worldwide:

Our listing on The Book Depository UK site (faster shipping to the UK/Europe):

Have you seen MOD in a local store? Especially a non-chain store? We’re always keen to hear how broad our reach is! Leave us a comment and/or post a picture on our Facebook!

Podcast Episodes 06 Dec 2010 10:47 pm

Podcast 4: ALMOND

“ALMOND,” by John Chernega. Read by Kevin McShane.

I’m tired of looking at the machine, but there’s nothing else to look at. Maybe it’s supposed to wear down my defenses and get me to take the test, but I’ve made my decision. So I sit and stare at it. My planner is black with the blood of my tormented doodles. There is a brick wall outside my window. What’s on the other side? My guess is that it’s a locker room, and there are dozens of hot naked chicks inside, all with a thing for underpaid lab technicians who could, at the drop of a hat, tell them how they’re going to die.

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John Chernega lives in southern Minnesota with his wife and sons. Aside from a few corporate catalogs, “Almond” is his first published work. He keeps a nondescript business card on his nightstand that says “Clumsy Hippopotamus”, but he refuses to divulge whether it’s from a machine of death, or if he’s been moonlighting as a clumsy hippopotamus.

Kevin McShane is a cartoonist, designer, actor, filmmaker, writer, photographer, and a dozen other things that won’t impress you either. He can be found digitally at See Kevin perform with the improv-comedy team Trophy Wife, or hear more of his melodious voice on select episodes of Tweet Me Harder.

In the book, “Almond” is illustrated by Paul Horn!