|Kristie Leigh Maguire spots her books on the shelves at B&N in Reno, NV
WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS
Yes, that is what they say is the value of a picture. So, the Star* Publish Times, in conjunction with Star* Publish
LLC, would like to offer our readers a challenge.
Star* Publish has worked hard to get their books on the shelves of the
brick-and-mortar bookstores across the country. It is an on-going job. Star* Publish's Marketing Director, Janet Elaine Smith,
devotes many hours every week calling the managers at bookstores nationwide.
But those calls are just the batter that makes up the cake. The basic ingredients had to come first. That involved a
great deal of work with the various chains and the powers-that-be to get the Star* books into their databases so they could
even be ordered by the stores. If the titles don't show up on the various "systems" (which seems to be some of the most mysterious
things on the Virtual Highway we travel today), there is no way a manager can order the books. This does vary somewhat with
independent bookstores, where they can order them as long as they are listed with Ingram, the industry's most frequented distributor
Thanks to the co-operation of the three major bookstore chains in the US--Barnes & Noble, Borders Groups and Hastings
Entertainment Centers--Star* Publish books can be found on the shelves in some of their stores in many different states, and
the list is growing daily.
Another word of thanks for making this happen is the policy of Star* Publish LLC itself, in making their books all
100% returnable through Ingram, as well as placing a standard discount on all their books as they go into Ingram. Without
such efforts, this practice would be impossible.
Does it work? There have been those naysayers who have challenged that this is possible. Other publishers lament, "We
can't get our books into the stores." There are probably different reasons, but one of the basic ones is probably that they
are not willing, or they haven't taken the time to figure out how, to put forth the effort to start at the basics of hours
and hours of paperwork, phone contacts, etc. to make it happen.
But the icing on the cake is, as you see in the picture above, when an author (in this case Star* Publish LLC's own owner
Kristie Leigh Maguire) walks into a bookstore and discovers their book there, staring back at them off the shelf. Kristie
proudly remarked, after finding her book Affairs of the Heart on the shelf at a Barnes & Noble store in Reno,
NV, "There I was, halfway between Debbie Macomber and Nora Roberts!"
And thus the challenge we are making to our readers is to look for Star Books on the shelves of any brick-and-mortar
bookstore. If you find one, snap a picture of the book, and you with it, and e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org
. The picture will go up on both the Star* Publish Times and the Star* Publish website, plus you will receive a nice sampling
of some of Star* Publish's fun promotional materials. If the submitter has a website, you will also get a link back to your
TV OR NOT TV?
That is the question! Or perhaps it would be if William Shakespeare were alive today. Imagine someone saying, today,
"All the world's a stage." Ah, yes, and on that stage we have images shown daily of such intense activities as bombing schools
and churches in some far away lands, airplanes flying into buildings and killing thousands of people, a president being shot,
natural disasters from around the world, "civil wars" in countries that many of our children never heard of until our own
troops were there, sacrificing their lives, and we can see them in a matter of a few seconds. The biggest difference is that
there is no rehearsal for all of these events.
There are entire sects, as well as many other select families, etc. who decide they are not going to watch TV. While
this might be admirable in many cases, there are still many things that can be said for the positive aspects television offers.
A recent case-in-point came into play for Star* author Janet Elaine Smith when somebody alerted her to a program on the
History Channel: "Full Metal Corsets." It was about women in the Civil War (the one in the US back in the 1860s). There were
several women in the episode that aired on Saturday, March 24, that were very reminiscent of the young woman in Janet's book
And We'll Call Her General Leigh. Readers have declared it a "Civil War romantic comedy." Gen. Leigh, the heroine
in the book, was raised by her father, Gen. Alexander Davis, as the son he always wanted and never had. When her father went
to stand by President Lincoln's side during the war, Leigh decided to do her part by taking food to the nearby troops. She
disguised herself as a young man, mainly for self-protection.
But wait, And We'll Call Her General Leigh is fiction. The stories on the History Channel are fact. However,
try to convince some of Janet's readers of that. One retired university professor whose specialty was the Civil War era made
a trip last summer to the National Archives in Washington DC to try to find records verifying the existence of Gen. Alexander
Davis. He had told Janet that "He has to be a real person. You can't make a make-believe person seem that real." After his
excursion, he admitted that he must be a fictional character.
Long live the TV--for the good it does! If it sparks your interest in a book, whether a fictional one or a true-life
one, go buy the book and read it. You might find that both things are equally entertaining.
|A truly inspirational man--and tale!
UNLOCKING THE AMAZON "MYTH-TERY"
Authors watch the rankings at Amazon.com with a passion, wondering how it works. Publishers struggle to try
to understand "the system." Even Amazon employees are hard-pressed to explain what the numbers mean, admitting that they don't
understand it. The only thing everyone agrees on is that the lower the number on the Amazon rankings, the better the book
It is anybody's guess as to how many books are listed on Amazon.com, but it is several million titles. The
ranking seems to kick in somewhere over 2 million. From explanations given by the company, as well as monitoring the rankings
on a specific book, it is possible that the sale of one lone copy can bump the ranking up (or is it down?) by as many as a
million notches. Who knows how far it might move if somebody should manage to sell 100 copies?
Some people have done a marketing "experiment," which Amazon workers view pretty much as a "scam." They will
blanket everybody they know, and as many people as they can find that they don't know, to order a copy of their book at the
same time on the same day. Granted, that drives the numbers way up towards the best-selling mark, but Amazon employees say
that many of those orders are cancelled soon after they are placed, while others return the books, unopened, causing Amazon
to pay for the return postage.
Enter Les Goldberg's new memoir, Les Goldberg: Living Judaism My Way. This is Star* Publish LLC's
latest book, the release date logging in as March 16, 2007, less than 10 days ago. This book is the story of a very remarkable
man, who spent his life helping others and dedicating hours to sacrifice his own comfort to allow others to go as far as to
move into his home and live with him.
Today, March 24, at 8 p.m., less than 10 days after it came out, here is the ranking taken directly from Amazon.com.
Mr. Goldberg, we don't know what you are doing, but you're definitely doing it right. It certainly shows that "it pays
to have friends in High Places!"
MORE AMAZON NEWS!
In other late-breaking news, Kristie Leigh Maguire went on
a hunting expedition on Amazon.com and entered a search for "Erotica Romances." What showed up was a list of 115 titles,
and her newly-released Affairs of the Heart: Collector's Edition, was NO. 5! Way to go, Kristie!
Fate by Tawny Taylor (Paperback - Jun 30, 2005)|
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