Friday, December 30, 2011

HOLDING BACK THE DAY - new vampire fiction from Jamie Wasserman

by Jamie Wasserman
Vampire horror fiction

Claire's best friend and inspiration is her courageous and forthright grandmother Millie. Claire wants to be like her, but that's not such an easy task. When a charismatic boy named Jack comes to town, Claire realizes there's more to her grandmother than she'd ever guessed. Millie's harboring a big secret, and Claire suspects that secret is perennially mysterious Jack.

Available now in ebook and coming soon in print!

Buy Kindle at Amazon
Buy Nook at Barnes and Noble
Buy multi-format ebook at Smashwords

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Tide Changers now in print!

by Sandy Green
Middle-grade/juvenile fantasy fiction
Underwater discovery, ocean adventure, hidden civilization

Ever since Ford Kahr's dad went missing three years ago during a dive expedition near their home at Cape Lore, New Jersey, Ford's been afraid of the ocean. His older brother Jag is a junior swim champ, and his younger sister Mercedes has a mystical connection with the water. So why does he sink like a rock when he tries to swim? When Ford's brother Jag swims out to investigate the disappearing island past the jetty and suddenly has trouble keeping his head above water, Ford and Mercy have no choice but try to save him. And that's when Ford makes a startling discovery about himself and Mercy...

Buy at Amazon

Seasonal Humor Countdown, Day 1 (And a Partriiiiidge in a Pear Treeeee!!!)


Thursday, December 22, 2011

THE TIDE CHANGERS now available in ebook

Available now in ebook at major online retailers Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Smashwords, coming soon to Apple, Sony, Kobo, Diesel, and more. Print edition coming in about a week...

Sandy Green
Middle-grade/Juvenile Fiction

Ever since Ford Kahr's dad went missing three years ago during a dive expedition near their home at Cape Lore, New Jersey, Ford's been afraid of the ocean. His older brother Jag is a junior swim champ, and his younger sister Mercedes has a mystical connection with the water. So why does he sink like a rock when he tries to swim? When Ford's brother Jag swims out to investigate the disappearing island past the jetty and suddenly has trouble keeping his head above water, Ford and Mercy have no choice but try to save him. And that's when Ford makes a startling discovery about himself and Mercy...

Seasonal Humor Countdown, Day 3 (Three French Hens...)


Monday, December 19, 2011

THE TIDE CHANGERS by Sandy Green coming soon

New middle-grade/juvenile fiction underwater adventure with a magical/paranormal/sci-fi twist will be available in ebook just before Christmas and soon in print!

by Sandy Green
Fiction - middle-grade/juvenile paranormal/sci-fi

"I was glad to get an advance reader copy of this book. THE TIDE CHANGERS is a very special heartwarming tale featuring a young teen hero who doesn't feel very heroic. He's afraid of the water until he accidentally learns an astonishing secret about himself while trying to save his older brother from drowning. I love this story and everything about it, from the characters to the action and the underwater surprises. It is a fun read for all ages." -Willa Kaye Danes, author of PIXIE


Ever since Ford Kahr's dad went missing three years ago during a dive expedition near their home at Cape Lore, New Jersey, Ford's been afraid of the ocean. His older brother Jag is a junior swim champ, and his younger sister Mercedes has a mystical connection with the water. So why does he sink like a rock when he tries to swim? When Ford's brother Jag swims out to investigate the disappearing island past the jetty and suddenly has trouble keeping his head above water, Ford and Mercy have no choice but try to save him. And that's when Ford makes a startling discovery about himself and Mercy...

Seasonal Humor Countdown, Day 6

Christmas Lights

Hi Sweetheart,

I am sorry about getting into an argument about putting up the Christmas lights.

I guess that sometimes I feel like you are pushing me too hard when you want something.

I realize that I was wrong and I am apologizing for being such a hard-headed guy.

All I want is for you to be happy and be able to enjoy the holiday season.

Nothing brightens the Christmas spirit like Christmas lights!

I took the time to hang the lights for you today and now I will be off to the golf course.

Again, I am very sorry for the way I acted yesterday.

I'll be home later.

Love you...



Monday, December 12, 2011


Already available in ebook at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords, now available in print at Amazon and soon at other online retailers...

by Walter Knight
Humorous Military Science Fiction


The Butcher of New Colorado returns to the spotlight, assigned to protect the lavish new USGF Embassy while acting as a spy for General Lopez and the CIA on the spiders' home world of Arthropoda.

Amid riots and sports betting on exhibition basketball games, Czerinski finds trouble has followed him across the galaxy. An old foe makes a surprise visit and wrecks his office. A war ensues over turkey dinner, leaving the scorpion embassy in shambles.

Following that debacle, Czerinski and crew get a plum assignment back on New Colorado, guarding a volcano in desert-isle Quenaudenville as he tries to figure out what no-good mischief the spiders are up to now. And just when things couldn't be worse, his terrorist ex-girlfriend shows up with their delinquent son, Joey Jr. This time the loony legionnaires go off the reservation with a game-changing detour!


PART I – Embassy War

Chapter 1

I am Colonel Joey R. Czerinski, hero of the Legion, Butcher of New Colorado, former casino owner, and commander of a Foreign Legion garrison tasked with security of the United States Galactic Federation Embassy on Arthropoda. The spiders of the Arthropodan Empire are not happy that I am back in their capital. I have been assured that I am protected by diplomatic immunity, but I have doubts.

Today I meet with spider spies to sell top-secret private-sector human technology. Being a spy, a double agent, and more is all part of my job description. Do not think me as a traitor. I have certain self interests and business partners to look out for when I patiently explain to spider techs complicated operating systems to our latest electronic devices.

* * * * *

“You put the Wonder Bread in these top slots and push down the lever until it clicks into place,” I instructed. “In about a minute, the bread pops up toasted!”

“Wow, amazing,” gushed the spider spy. “What about maintenance? A device this intricate must be a nightmare to maintain.”

“How do you keep the cheese from gumming up the works?” asked another spy.

“Turn the toaster upside down and rap on its bottom,” I continued, ignoring that last fool. “Most crumbs will fall out. Be sure not to make toast while taking a bath. It could be shocking.”

“Can you guarantee toaster durability?” asked the spider spy skeptically.

“Of course. This appliance will outlive both of us. I guarantee it. A limited warranty is issued with each toaster.”

“How can you guarantee illegal, unlicensed, and untested technology like this?” asked the spider spy, always suspicious of human pestilence promises and boasts. “Your limited warranty is not worth the scrap of paper it is printed on.”

“If you are not interested, I have other buyers,” I replied, making an exaggerated show of getting up to leave, but not going anywhere. “These toasters are cutting-edge, state-of-the-art technology from the General Electric Corporation.”

“We will buy a thousand toasters,” advised the spider spy, impressed. “What else does your General Electric have to sell?”

“I just received a million electric toothbrushes, guaranteed to clean pearly white the nastiest yellow fangs of the Empire. For half price, I also have the latest fang-care accessories, including tooth paste and much needed extra-strength mouthwash. I can see you are in dire need of mouthwash, so to show goodwill, I am giving you a complimentary bottle of Scope with each purchase.”

“More guarantees?” scoffed the spider spy, holding the bottle of magic green liquid up to the light. “Why would I want to mask my breath? How do you expect me to attract females if they cannot smell my breath from a distance? Your mouthwash destroys the aroma.”

“Exactly. At least I hope so.”


“The mouthwash will help you attract females,” I insisted.

“You are a fool,” replied the spider spy, tossing the Scope aside. “You know nothing of our females. This is worthless!”

“You can also use Scope to scrub toilets,” I suggested, still smiling assuredly. “Did I tell you this is the New & Improved Extra-Strength Scope?”

“Our business is concluded.”

“Not yet. I want to buy the blueprints to your new portable atomic generator.”

“Ha!” hissed the spider spy, obviously annoyed at what he felt was human pestilence naivety. “If you want one of those pieces of junk, all you have to do is go to the Walmart Superstore and purchase it. They’re on sale all week. I hope it explodes in your face!”

* * * * *

“What am I going to do with a hundred thousand bottles of mouthwash?” asked Quartermaster Sergeant Donald Crisp as we walked to the front gate of the embassy. Sergeant Crisp was a born salesman and taught me all about marketing. But he constantly complained, letting inconsequential details upset him. “You promised Scope would be a sure thing on Arthropoda.”

“It should have been,” I replied. “Spiders have terrible breath, but just don’t care. All is not lost. We just need more marketing. That’s your job. I have more important responsibilities to worry about, so handle it!”

“What could be more important than a multi-million-dollar mouthwash deal?” asked Sergeant Crisp. “This debacle is costing money!”

“General Lopez only permits our little deals if we work on his CIA projects, too,” I reminded Crisp. “There is a lot going on here you don’t see.”

“Yeah, like Lopez getting a cut of our action,” complained Sergeant Crisp. “I know how that works. Lopez needs to start carrying his weight instead of shaking us down for a percentage.”

* * * * *

At the front gate, we were confronted by early morning spider demonstrators protesting American contamination of Arthropodan culture. Frivolous complaints were another unfortunate part of doing business on Arthropoda. I delegated most complaints to Crisp. The protest leader, waving a ‘No Walmart’ sign, presented a list of grievances.

“Not you again!” I sighed, accepting the list. “I thought we resolved all differences on Walmart. The Teamsters will be allowed to organize employees, and shoplifters will no longer be vaporized.”

“You have been vaporizing shoplifters?”

“Not really.”

“Walmart is just the tip of the claw!” shouted the spider protest leader. “Americanizing our culture is the main problem.”

“Go tell the Emperor your problems,” I suggested. I knew this particular protester well. We called him Barney because of his dyed purple exoskeleton. A real troublemaker. “Stop disturbing my peace!”

“It’s illegal to protest at the Emperor’s Palace,” advised Barney. “So I am stuck protesting at your Nest of Spies. Our grievances will be addressed, or else!”

“Bring it on!” I replied, dismissing Barney as a fool. I slammed the embassy gate. I glanced at the grievances, about to walk away. Barney and his followers rattled the bars, chanting, ‘Yankee Go Home!’

The grievance list complained about Walmart insensitivity, McDonald’s hamburgers being too dry, Taco Bell using cat meat and road kill in their burritos, human pestilence Satellite TV contaminating Arthropodan culture by corrupting youth with gratuitous violence, porn, and reruns promoting scary purple dinosaur toys marketed to babies, and Fox News not being fair and balanced.

“This is ridiculous!” I fumed, wadding the list into a small ball and tossing it aside. “I have a mind to file a defamation complaint against all of you! There are no cats on Arthropoda, so there can be no kitties in the tacos!”

“We have lab results proving otherwise,” exclaimed Barney, triumphantly waving documentation.

“The spiders have been importing cats as pets,” whispered Sergeant Crisp.

“I thought you spiders were dog lovers,” I commented. “Why all this sudden concern for cats?”

“Of course I am a dog lover,” replied Barney, rattling the gate with his claw. “Dachshunds rule! That is not the issue. The issue is dietary fraud! Today Taco Bell serves up cats, tomorrow it will be our beloved doggies.”

“Cat tastes like chicken,” added Sergeant Crisp, trying to be helpful.

“Does not!” insisted Barney.

“Remind me not to eat at Taco Bell anymore,” I told Crisp, in a hushed tone. “This is a bunch of rubbish!”

“I’ll show you rubbish!” shouted Barney.

I was startled by the metallic thunk of a toaster crashing nearby, followed by more toasters. Electric toothbrushes sailed through the air like arrows. Soon the embassy yard was raining toasters and toothbrushes. Legionnaires scrambled for cover. A shot rang out. The entire incident was recorded by multiple video cameras and immediately broadcast over the Intergalactic Database.

My communications pad rang before I scrambled to the safety of the Embassy Administration Building. It was General Lopez, shouting, “What the hell are you doing? I turn on the news, and you’re already making a spectacle of yourself, dodging my black market toasters! Why are you always creating bad press for me and the Legion by provoking those damn spiders? Can’t you go one day without a riot?”

“It’s not my fault,” I replied defensively. “You think it’s easy running a nest of spies? No one appreciates the job I’m doing here, especially you. If you think I’m screwing up, send me home! I’ll be glad to leave this place!”

“Those are my toasters they’re throwing over the wall!” fumed General Lopez. “Do you realize how much this debacle is costing me?”

“Forget about the cost,” I advised, flinching as toasters cracked against the shatterproof embassy windows. One of those spiders had a hell of an arm. “We have a chance to deal the spiders a crippling blow, and you’re concerned about costs? I’ve got the spiders right where I want them, eating out of my hand.”

“This had better be good!” said General Lopez doubtfully. “Tell me what you have.”

“The spider public is demanding the Teamsters unionize all Arthropodan heavy industry, and they think it was their idea. The Emperor is helpless to stop us now.”

“At least there is some good news. What’s all this nonsense on TV about Taco Bell? I’ve got the CEO of Taco Bell on hold, wanting to know why his new upscale restaurants are being persecuted by spider health inspectors.”

“I’ll pay someone off,” I replied, trying to placate Lopez.

“Not with my money you won’t!” fumed General Lopez, disconnecting.

I looked out the window again. Legionnaires were retreating to the reception lobby, firing shots into the air. Several spiders scaled the front gate, teetering at the top, undecided about whether to drop down into the embassy yard. More shots rang out. One of the spiders perched atop the gate dropped back into the crowd – more sensational news for the Intergalactic Database.

* * * * *

Arthropodan Intelligentsia State Security Police arrived and cleared the streets of protesters. A litter bearer removed a dead spider found at the gate. I greeted the ranking Intelligentsia officer through the front gate grill.

“The Emperor is going to be upset about this,” he commented.

“Sorry about the mess,” I replied. “That rioter was trying to breach the front gate.”

“Shoot as many trespassers as you want. It is that purple pest I am concerned about. Why could you not shoot him?”

“You mean Barney? Barney is harmless.”

“Barney does not know when to shut up,” insisted the Intelligentsia officer, annoyed at the mere mention of Barney’s name. “The Emperor has noticed that purple traitor and is not happy. There are important trade deals being negotiated, and public support is important. We do not need these agitators rioting in the streets.”

“So arrest Barney,” I suggested. “Who will care?”

“Freedom of speech is another new concept you human pestilence have infested the Empire with. It is all your fault. They read your Constitution drivel on the Galactic Database. Believe me, I long for the good old days when I could just throw malcontents like Barney into the mulcher.”

“Mulcher? Do you have a surplus mulcher I can buy?”

“What, your gulags are full again?”

“We don’t have gulags,” I replied defensively. “Our gardener has some pruning to do.”

“Sure, like I believe that.”

I shrugged, satisfied there would be no serious political repercussions caused by the front gate incident. As I left, Corporal Guido Tonelli hung back to talk to the spiders.

* * * * *

“Is the game still on?” asked Corporal Tonelli, waving tickets at the Intelligentsia officer. “I got front row seats just for you. You’re not going to let one little riot cancel the game, I hope?”

“No way,” answered the Intelligentsia officer, snatching the tickets. He scanned the tickets, reading the human pestilence writing with his translator. “The Harlem World Trotters. Are they any good?”

“They’re average,” advised Guido. “Care to place a bet that your all-stars can beat them?”

“How many points can you give me?”

“It’s a straight up bet,” insisted Guido. “After all, this is a home game for you spiders. You have home planet advantage.”

“Put me down for fifty thousand credits on our all-stars to beat your World Trotters.”

“That’s Globetrotters.”

“Whatever,” said the Intelligentsia officer, swiping his card to record the bet. “Others may be placing wagers, too.”

“Not a problem,” advised Guido. “I can handle all the action you bring.”

“Just remember, I get a percentage of all action I send you.”

* * * * *

I briefed Ambassador James Yamashita. He was concerned about fallout from the riot. This was my second assignment with Yamashita. In my opinion, he was a worry-wart, but he seemed to be a professional, competent diplomat.

“Was it really necessary to shoot that spider demonstrator?” asked Ambassador Yamashita. “Did you know the President saw the whole thing on TV and called me personally about it?”

“We’re still reviewing helmet camera downloads,” I advised. “Maybe that spider had a heart attack or something.”

“He was shot off his perch at the front gate! Everyone saw it on the database news.”

“That has not been confirmed. There was a lot of confusion, and we do not know for sure he was shot. We were ducking toasters. I plead self-defense. It’s a jungle out there.”

“There will be no more incidents,” warned Ambassador Yamashita, pacing about his office. “I worked hard to get this plum appointment to Arthropoda. Do not screw it up for me, or else!”

“Yes, sir.”

“Why are the spiders throwing toasters, of all things? Have they gone crazy? Or is this a result of more games by you and your CIA buddies? Why was I not informed the spiders toasted their bread!”

“They don’t. That’s the problem. That, and a few malcontents and agitators. It’s nothing to worry about.”

“Security is getting lax,” complained Ambassador Yamashita. “I expect you to be more diligent.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Are you going to the Globetrotters game?”

“I don’t have tickets yet.”

“Neither do I. You tell Guido I expect front-row seats for two behind the American bench!”

“Yes, sir.”

Seasonal Humor Countdown, Day 12


For today's Seasonal Humor Countdown, here's a bonus short story about Santa in the alien futuristic world of Walter Knight's AMERICA'S GALACTIC FOREIGN LEGION military scifi series. This short story appeared at the end of BOOK 11: CEMETERY CITY. (Warning: Some adult colorful language.)


A Galactic Christmas Story

Arthropodan planetary defense radar systems confirmed what light diffraction sensors had detected days ago. A lone alien spaceship, probably of human design, was inbound from human pestilence space. The craft evaded pursuing space fleet and planetary fighter interceptors approaching the remote north polar region, emitting gold and silver tinsel chaff to avoid radar and missiles.

Alarmed and angry, the Emperor broke the glass case containing the cherry red hot-line communications device, a direct emergency line to the President of the United States Galactic Federation.

“What new reckless adventurism are you up to this time?” accused the Emperor, watching a sleepy President appear on the monitor screen. “Trespassing on our home world will not be tolerated. Extreme measures will be taken!”

“What?” asked the President. “I do not know what you are talking about. Do you know what time it is? Explain yourself!”

“You dare deny your provocations? Our entire space fleet is on alert. If any harm comes from your continued irresponsible behavior, I will hold you personally liable. I will hold all of humanity responsible.”

“Your Majesty, my commanders are briefing me of the situation as we speak,” replied the President, looking down at a flash message just handed to him by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “They assure me there are no ongoing special projects anywhere near Arthropoda.”

“You admit you spy on us!”

“Now, see here,” replied the President, testily. “You wake me up on Christmas Eve with outlandish accusations from light years away, and expect me to just drop everything and take it?”


“Fuck you!” shouted the President, hanging up.

* * * * *

The President immediately regretted his outburst of temper. Aides turned away, pretending to have not heard.

“Get the Emperor back on the line, and make the necessary diplomatic apologies,” he ordered. “Blame misunderstandings and a faulty translation device, and sun spots.”

“Yes, sir,” replied the nearest general.

“Christ, man! I don’t need this nonsense. The elections are less than a year away, and the press breathes down my neck every time I turn around. Put our space fleets on alert.”

“Yes, sir.”

“The last thing I need is another diplomatic flap with those damn spiders. What do you think the Emperor is up to now?”

“The Emperor is under domestic pressure to institute parliamentary reforms,” advised the Director of the CIA. “The fool is pandering to his public to cause a distraction. He wants to preserve the absolute power of the Monarchy as long as possible.”

“I knew it!” exclaimed the President. “Freedom and democracy is not in their DNA. That will be their downfall. Alert our allies.”

* * * * *

“Your Majesty, the bogey just changed direction, and is now flying at treetop level in an attempt to avoid detection,” advised a spider general. “The craft is headed straight for Capital City.”

“Do something!” demanded the Emperor, wringing his claws and pacing. “Our capital must me protected at all costs.”

“Perhaps we should take shelter below the palace, suggested the general. “The Americans always attack command and control centers. They think they can shock-and-awe us.”

“The human pestilence president seemed surprised by my call,” commented the Emperor. “I can read their faces. Every lie is given away by muscle twitches and eye movement. Their president might be telling the truth.”

“Yes, Your Majesty, but I suspect a ruse.”

“I want confirmation of who, or what, is attacking us. If we are at war, I want to know who we fight. It could be those pervert scorpions causing trouble again!”

“Interceptors will make visual contact shortly,” advised the general, in constant communication with planetary defense forces. “Satellites images will soon be available, too.”

As if on queue, sonic booms shattered windows as the interceptor jets flew overhead.

“Your Majesty,” interrupted a staff officer. “Our pilots report receiving human pestilence radio communications. I am putting the transmissions on audio speaker.”

Immediately the speaker erupted with a cheery human pestilence male voice. “Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas and goodwill to all galactic species!”

“Veer away from Capital City,” responded the lead pilot. “We will direct you to a safe zone where you will land your craft and surrender. Resistance is futile!”

“I knew it was the human pestilence all along!” shouted the Emperor, pounding his desk. “Devious devils!”

“It appears the Americans are broadcasting seditious propaganda on our frequencies,” advised the general. “It is a common diversionary tactic. They hope the peasantry will rise up in revolt.”

“Nose-counters would think that,” agreed the Emperor. “There is a lesson to be learned here from their weakness.”

“Oh, my God!” radioed the pilot, panicked. “We are being hit by a blinding red light!”

“Ho, ho, ho! On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donner and Blitzen! We must deliver presents and good cheer down chimneys before dawn!”

“Did you hear that?” asked the Emperor. “They target chimneys! A whole squadron of human pestilence attacks our civilian population centers! Shoot them all down, now!”

* * * * *

“Mr. President, I am putting through our ambassador from Arthropoda with an emergency message.”

“Mr. President? Ambassador James Yamashita here. Uh, bad news, sir. I fear this day will live in infamy. The spiders just shot down Santa Clause.”

“Those bastards! Any hope of survivors?”

“No, sir.”

“Not even those cute reindeer?”

“No, sir. It was horrible!”

“Rudolph is dead?”

“Sir, they nuked Santa!” exclaimed Yamashita, weeping. “What do we do now? Cancel Christmas? What about the holiday sales? My wife is already camped outside Walmart. There will be no new and improved Kindles delivered this Christmas for anyone!”

“Dump all of my stock shares,” ordered one of the generals, immediately on the phone to his broker.

“Ambassador Yamashita, deliver your diplomatic credentials to the spiders. You are immediately recalled to Earth. I intend to ask Congress for a Declaration of War against the Arthropodan Empire.”

* * * * *

“Ho, ho, ho! Kill Santa? That’s a good one! Bring nukes to a magic fight? Ho, ho, ho! Bad idea! Ho, ho, ho! Let’s move it, Dasher and Dancer! Pick up the pace, Prancer and Vixen! We’ve got hundreds of thousands of more Kindles to deliver tonight!”


Seasonal Humor Countdown, Day 13


One Year...

The Next Year...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Seasonal Humor Countdown, Day 15


BOYCOTTING AMAZON - What's the Point?

Right at the height of holiday shopping, independent store owners (mostly indie bookstore owners) have launched or jumped on the bandwagon of a boycott TODAY to get people to NOT shop at Amazon.

We're sitting here wondering what is the point of it, and what real effects will it have on the online retail corporate giganticus, AMAZON? Let's try analyzing this from a logical standpoint with some given knowledge or experience-based facts...



Supposedly Amazon doesn't charge sales tax to its customers. HOWEVER, from personal experience, both as a buying customer and a business that drop-ships through Amazon distribution services, we can wholeheartedly say that WE ARE CHARGED SALES TAX BY AMAZON. Is the question really that Amazon is collecting the tax and then not ponying it up to the appropriate states? Maybe. Don't know. Here's a link for you to read more about it at Huffington Post if you wish. CLICK HERE.

2. WHY ARE INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORES JUMPING ON THE BOYCOTT AMAZON BANDWAGON? Independent bookstore owners are having a hard time staying in business, just like chain bookstores Barnes and Noble and the now defunct Borders/WaldenBooks. They see Amazon as the great online retail giant threat to their existence. Amazon gives discounts on popular titles bookstore owners can't afford to offer. Amazon gives free shipping on eligible items - buy $25 worth and get shipping free. Bookstore owners have to charge enough to cover the shipping they pay to get books to their store for resale. Amazon is seen as a destroyer of customer loyalty and decimator of the locally owned store system. For the independent bookstore owner, it is not so much about charging sales tax as it is about preserving a way of commerce - local and face-to-face.

3. WHAT DOES A BOYCOTT MEAN FOR AMAZON? Amazon takes heat from the government, big publishers, and other entities with real clout and the money to back it up. Are the movers and shakers within Amazon going to be trembling in their boots when a cluster of indie bookstore owners goes on a ONE-DAY campaign to decrease their sales? We think not. Why?

If you look at Amazon's business plan, you will see why. Yes, they employ cutthroat tactics to gain more customers. They offer free shipping on eligible purchases - which, by the way, includes all the titles we sell through Amazon. If you buy $25 worth of eligible stuff, you get free shipping. You can download free ebooks from them FOR FREE - no strings and no fees attached. Are they gaining a lot of customers with these tactics? Yeah. Are they making money at it? Who knows? We don't have access to their books, but yeah, they gotta be making money, or pretty quick they would quit what they are doing.

So ... is a one-day boycott sponsored by a small group of indie bookstore owners going to bother them in any real way? We think not.

What does the online proliferation of this boycott actually mean for Amazon? FREE ADVERTISING. Yep, even if it is negative, it is still free advertising, because Amazon's name is being shotgunned all over the internet WITH the added bonus of telling potential customers exactly how they can save money buying books and other stuff through Amazon.

Is this a good thing for the sponsors of the boycott? Um ... don't think so.

Is this a good thing for Amazon? DUH!

Maybe Amazon started the whole thing. Think about it.


First, for most indie authors and small publishers (like us), Amazon is one of only a few online outlets where we can sell our books without paying huge upfront fees just for the privilege of publishing.

No chain bookstores like Barnes and Noble will carry print indie titles or small-publisher titles (our titles). However, we usually can get listed online if these retail corporations have an online presence.

Most indie bookstores don't carry print titles of unknown indie authors or even small publishers (like us). To get one of our titles shelved in an indie bookstore, we'd have to contact each indie bookstore individually and negotiate sales terms and then get the books to each of those stores individually. However, through Amazon we have the ability to offer the books at wholesale prices to these stores and get them shipped there at reasonable rates. We pay sales tax to Amazon to do this if we make wholesale distribution deals with indie bookstores through our web site. If indie bookstores want to order our books, they can do so directly at the same prices and (probably) not pay sales tax. The sad fact is, WE haven't received any orders or inquiries personally from indie bookstores for our titles. However, we do have wholesale distribution sales through Amazon to resellers like indie bookstores. So we do know this system through Amazon works.

Does it make sense for us to research the contact information for all known indie bookstores and contact each of them individually to sell our books wholesale to them so they can resell them at a profit when we are LITERALLY making less than fifty cents per unit through wholesale distribution? Realistically speaking, NO. It would be a total waste of time and effort for us to do that, when we have so much other stuff to do, and so little time and so few people to do it all. Maybe if we were just one author with a couple titles, we'd have the time and energy to do it. But not when we are handling over fifty titles from fifteen authors, with more being added all the time.

So, back to the boycott of Amazon issue...

Suppose there were some people who were, by some stroke of insane luck, planning on buying a book or two by an indie author or from an indie publisher (like us). And let's say those potential customers decided NOT to buy our books on December 10th in honor of the boycott. NO SALE for you! Boohoo. But how about tomorrow or the next day, when the boycott's over? Is it OK to buy from Amazon then? Maybe. Maybe not. Depends on the individual person and what each thinks about Amazon as a company. If the big bad corporation is truly evil, then maybe they'll decide NOT to patronize these indie authors and publishers because they are selling their stuff on Amazon.

But what about all the other big publishers and best-selling authors whose books are also on Amazon? Will they ignore them too and go to their local INDIE bookstore to buy those titles? Who knows? Maybe a few loyalists will do just that, and deliberately pass up whatever savings they might have garnered by buying from Amazon. But they'll also NOT be buying any of those indie titles that are NOT available on the shelves at chain and independent bookstores.

So, really, who is this boycott going to hurt - if anyone? It sure isn't going to put much of a dent in Amazon's profits. Maybe a few customers will end up paying more than they could have if they'd bought from Amazon instead of a local store. And maybe they will feel like that is a fair tradeoff to keep that local store in business a little longer.

But the real loser in the boycott game will be the indie or small-publisher author whose books won't be shelved in local bookstores. They are the only ones that will be affected by the misplaced anger of the independent business owner.


First of all, it is better to promote your own business positively than to attack your competitors with negative rhetoric. Why? Because the negative rhetoric is coming from YOU and has a good chance of making YOU LOOK BAD. Do you really want that kind of reputation - as a whiner - because you didn't think of the Amazon business model first, and now it is too darn late for you to play catch-up?

Instead, why don't all you independent store owners do what you can do best - what Amazon CAN'T do. Talk to your customers. Get to know them personally. Sure, Amazon has some program analytics to guess what similar books their customer might like, based on what they bought before. But you, dear store owner, can actually TALK to your customers to find out what they are looking for. You can provide a pleasant and uniquely comfortable atmosphere for your customers to enjoy while they are shopping. So what if they can't sit at home in their jammies and not have to drive to your store? Make getting cleaned up and going to your store a treat, a real pleasure they enjoy more than slouching at home with their computer.

You have the unique opportunity to showcase unusual and little-known books that you have personally read and would recommend wholeheartedly, instead of pushing just the bestsellers, because you figure they'll have a better chance of garnering you a sale than that unknown author you enjoyed reading. Look at your store displays. What books are you actively promoting? If it's just bestsellers, add a few unknown authors' titles too - titles that you've read and could truly recommend.

You can put your money where your mouth is and research and support INDEPENDENT authors who deserve recognition either by their writing skill or story vision. You can do your business homework by READING unusual or little-known titles that appeal to you and would therefore probably appeal to your customers.

Instead of complaining that Amazon is stealing all your customers and putting you out of business, fight back by offering your own online presence and building your reading recommendations with a blog that customers - who've never visited your physical store and never will because they live a thousand miles away - can actually visit to get a feel for you and your store and what you have to offer them. Even if you don't make a sale in your bookstore, find a way to make a sale online too. WORK WITH INDEPENDENT AUTHORS willing to cut you a break on the pricing of their books just to get them in your store. JOIN WITH OTHER INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORE OWNERS and create a real online presence that matters to customers who don't know you but would benefit from making a connection, even if it is not in person. PUT YOUR PERSONALITY AND YOUR FACE OUT THERE like independent authors are having to do in order to find new customers. You might find that you really can broaden your horizons and meet new people that way.

Amazon is a machine that pretends to be a store. You are a person running your store. Offer your personable touch in a way that Amazon won't ever be able to. Think of a clever and effective way to do THAT, and you'll become something Amazon never will ... a real person doing business with real customers that you really know, even if you never meet them face-to-face.

Oh, and don't forget to start checking out titles of indie books to stock your shelves. LOOK HERE.  Let us know you're out there, and we'll help let other people know you're out there! CONTACT US HERE. And thanks for your support! We look forward to working with you.