The foregoing quote is excerpted from a review of my modest little 56-page picture book Felix’s Friends . The review is by John E. Mitchell, who is a book author himself (with his wife, illustrator Jana Christy, he chronicles his family’s travels in Four Go Mad in Massachusetts ). He is also the creator of the web site Shuffleboil in his private life and the Arts & Entertainment Editor of the North Adams Transcript in his professional one.
In other words, the man’s been around the world of publishing from several different directions and he knows how much getting a little press for a low-profile, shoestring project like Felix can mean to a fringe figure like me.
John’s review ran in the Transcript on November 14. Since I’m only now finding time to mention it and to make sure it doesn’t melt into the void before others have a chance to read it, I asked John to let me ensconce it permanently and in its entirety here on my own web site. In the best-case scenaro, John’s evaluation will inspire readers to scurry forthwith to the spot at the Lulu Marketplace where my book awaits them.
In general, books that are self-published using print-on-demand digital technology tend not to get reviewed at all. They’ll never show up at bricks-&-mortar bookstores, after all; the POD "business model" is incompatible with the Barnes and Noble one. And if a book ain’t gonna be on a shelf at B&N: who cares about it?
Felix’s Friends is also doomed to fly way-y-y below most radars since I don’t have spare money to channel into advertising it, New York Times Book Review page rates being what they are. OK, I did send out a notice to my "Facebook friends" today, a few of whom I actually know. That costs nothing beyond the possibility of cranky reactions from those who may feel they’re being spammed, and since many of them have been "poking" me until I’m black and blue for the last year, I can’t worry too much about bruising the sensibilities of the unsympathetic minority. Indeed, a vocal few among my Facebook crowd have insisted, in response to a tentative query I sent out recently, they would enjoy learning about my publishing ventures. So maybe a single mass-mention of Felix’s Friends won’t be unwelcome to them at least.
Nobody’s gonna make anybody do anything rash like actually buy my book! I’m not exactly King of the World or anything.
Still, there’s an up side to my book’s obscurity. Anyone who’s thinking about making a gift of it can be all but certain that the projected recipient won’t already have it.
…Unless they read John’s Transcript review, of course, and have already been moved to pony up for one. The term early-adopter comes to mind.
That can’t be helped. Some folks are just genetically predisposed to be ahead of the curve, and anyone within John Mitchell’s sphere of influence who falls into that category just may find himself with two copies of Felix: the one he or she bought for himself or herself and the one he or she is about to be given by weird Auntie Wilma.
Well, screw it. Having two copies of Felix’s Friends won’t be the end of the world. That’s why God invented re-gifting!