UPDATE ON ALL THINGS DPP

Hi! Remember that great idea we had where we (D&D) were going to move so that our daughter could go to a great school?

It’s still in progress. As with many great ideas, it is requiring upheaval and patience and a good deal of frustration.

We are attempting to either buy or rent a living space in one of the hottest RE markets in the country. People are over-bidding on both buyable and rentable living space, and it’s not easy to be the winner in those contests.

In the meantime, we are smooshed together, three people, two Guinea pigs, two cats, and one dog, into about 250 feet of space. We are also subject to the vagaries of “hotel” wifi, and trying to work our regular jobs, through which we pay for the whole DPP operation.

What this means if you are an author who has submitted something, anything, to us: We need more time.

We got good news just this week: it seems our long nightmare of homelessness will end late-June, and we hope to be back running again by July 1.

Currently, July 1 is our date for the first 2022 issue of Instant Noodles, so those of you who have been accepted, we need to ask you to hang-in there with us.

Those of you who may be working with us on a full-length work, or hoping to hear about a submission to a printed anthology, you will not hear from us until late June/early July at best.

Those of you wanting to submit to a future anthology or a later issue of Instant Noodles, we will not be taking submissions until we have desks…. literally, so July at the earliest, as we take care of the current submitters first.

We understand it is very hard to wait. And we are so sorry for the waiting.

If you are unwilling or unable to wait, we completely understand. We will be sorry to lose you, but we get it. And we apologize for any inconvenience.

Honestly, we did not truly understand how “out of our control” housing would be.

And, we still feel we have made the right choice for our family. For example: we recently escaped this nasty extended stay for a few hours wandering around the local mall where for every 30 Asian people we saw, there was one white person. After years of our daughter being the only Asian person anywhere (and schools and organizations being fine with events like Chinese auctions: good grief!), this was a welcome sight for all of us. In our daily lives (when we are not in this run-down hovel trying to get on WIFI) we are surrounded by a rainbow of people, and that is just better for who we all are in this family (not only our daughter).

Writing is a pursuit that is often lonely, and the pay-off feels as if it comes when someone publishes you, and your friends get to see it. We’re sorry to stretch that out.

If you have had enough waiting for us, we understand.

Our requests:

#1. Please don’t send emails now. We can hardly get online. This will only add to our backlog.

#2. IF you are withdrawing your piece, please don’t send emails now. We can hardly get online. This will only add to our backlog. when we are working on the publication we will check in, and you can tell us then. IN THE MEANTIME: feel free to send it or publish it elsewhere. Our contracts are at-will for you, and us. We will not be offended, and we will not refuse to publish you ever again, or anything like that.

#3. IF you want to wait for us… that is great! Please don’t email and tell us that now. We can hardly get online. This will only add to our backlog. We appreciate you, and we will be in touch ASAP, hopefully sometime around the 3rd week of June. We have a goal of Instant Noodles publication by 7/1/2022.

#4. Sometimes life is messy. We appreciate whatever grace you can spare for us as we navigate our resettle in our new place.

Many thanks to all the wonderful contributors to all of our publications. We love helping you with your writing career: it brings us joy. We miss doing it a lot, and we hope to be back to doing it soon.

Much love~

D&D

INSTANT NOODLES NEWS

If you follow us, you know we are moving.

Unexpectedly, our house sold the first day we listed it, and everything has been toppling quickly like dominoes. It’s time to go!

And, Instant Noodles “Pathos” is still in process.

So, we beg another month from our readers. Look for our pathos issue in May!

Thanks so much for your support, and understanding. It means everything.

Love~

D&D

OF SHOES AND SHIPS AND SEALING WAX

“of shoes and ships and sealing wax, of cabbages and kings.”

Yes, I am quoting the wondrous Lewis Carroll there. It’s appropriate, in a way, because today the post is about children.

Specifically, our child.

We’ve been so fortunate to meet some of you in person, and, therefore, some of you have met our daughter, but most of you probably had no idea we have a daughter.

I know, as I am always submitting my work for publication too, that it is easy to imagine the publishers as people in their offices 24/7, never doing anything but reading (and rejecting! LOL… that is often how I feel when I submit!), and publishing, whatever the heck that involves. I know I had one publication last year that took so long to finally BE; it was literally driving me crazy, wondering “What are they doing?” And yet, being me, I know what they are doing.

Dave and I have often frustrated our daughter, by doing DPP work on the weekends, and at night, often when she wished we were hanging out with her. She’s given a lot to the business.

Our daughter wants to be an artist, and, where we currently live, there is little opportunity, and certainly none in the school system, either the public school, or the one lone charter school with the un-winnable lottery. Our school district is very, very proud of its athletics, as are so many schools in the USA. And I have personally seen the money colleges put out for their sports teams. But what are school districts doing to support the writers, the artists, the chefs, the musicians, the performers, the thinkers, the activists? Ours isn’t doing squat. Or if it is doing something, it’s keeping it a pretty big secret.

Unless some miracle of biblical proportions occurs, Dave and I are only having one child. It’s important to us to do as much as we can do as parents.

And so, we’re moving.

Ha! That was long-story-short, eh?

We ended-up where we are now when Dave’s mom was failing, and we needed to be closer, and it’s been great being here, and it absolutely spawned this press and got us both writing regularly again. And now we’re going to take our act on the road.

And so we’re packing up the press for a big move.

We are hoping to be fully settled by June, and back on track.

What does this mean to you?

A. Well, if we’re publishing your full-length work this year, we’ve already been in touch and asked for grace as we pack and label boxes…. so many boxes…. so, hold your questions, at least until April, if at all possible, as we pack and move the whole shebang.

B. If you have submitted to the Hawkshaw Press Hardboiled and Loaded with Sin anthology, everything should proceed as planned, untouched by the move. If your piece is accepted, you’ll be notified by email, get a contract, and a check for $25 in March, through the US Mail, and publication will be in the fall.

C. If you have submitted to the Devil’s Party Press anthology Solstice, and your piece is accepted, you’ll be notified by email, get a contract, and a check for $25 in March, through the US Mail, and publication will be in December.

D. If you have submitted to Instant Noodles for the first issue of 2022, everything should proceed as planned, untouched by the move. If your piece is accepted, you’ll be notified by email, get a contract, and publication will be in April, though we may be a teensy bit later than April 1, 2022, simply because submissions end 2/28. It is my goal to hit that deadline though.

E. For Out of This World Press and Gravelight Press, we don’t have any upcoming anthologies, though we are working with some of you on full-length publications. For those of you in that group, see A above.

F. For those of you who have submitted a full-length work to Duosuma/Duotrope and have not yet received a reply, unfortunately you’re likely to be in that situation even longer. I apologize. And, I have to tell you, we are not alone in this. As I said up at the top, sometimes publishers take a crazy amount of time, whether they are going to accept you or not. We hope to begin going through those submissions again in August/fall 2022. In the meantime, do not wait for us. Take any opportunities you have. Life is short, as the pandemic has showed us, and it is important to make the life you want, now. If no one else grabs you, you can still keep your submission with us. If someone does grab you, we will celebrate with you; no hard feelings.

Well, that’s all this walrus has to say at the moment.

If you have questions, you can leave a comment, and I will do my best to answer them, and be honest when I do. I really want anyone who submits to us to know that we are not in this for ourselves. Heck, if we were, the money, and the child, and the…. you get the idea. No, we’re really on a mission to give opportunities to writers, and that is why it costs us so much of our time, and capital, and we are happy to do it. And, we need to take some time back now, to give our daughter the opportunities she needs to live her best life, too.

So, we hope you understand. We appreciate you, and we’re grateful for you.

Much love~

Di and Dave

HOW TO SELL YOUR BOOK, POST 4: THE KEY TO SELL THE BOOK OF AN UNKOWN AUTHOR

Why do you try a new restaurant in your town?

Is it because you’re desperate to get out of the house, have someone else cook for you, or do you like to be the first to try anything new in town, or maybe you’re a foodie?

Or is it because your local paper told you it was good? The food critic on the town Facebook page said it was yummy. The neighbor on Nextdoor said it was a lot of food!

Who are you really? Who knows about you? Are you a former president, co-writing a book with another famous person, and your already overflowing wallet gets a little harder to get into your back pocket?

Or are you just… you? Like me, you could just be a writer, writing quietly at home.

Well, if your book is going to sell, newbie to being published, it’s going to sell online (and maybe 10 copies at your local bookseller). If you pay-to-play, and the “publisher” gives you a box with a thousand books in it, where are you putting them? On a shelf… at home?

It’s not a secret. When your book is available, in print, you have a few days, to a month, where your book is “hot,” meaning the people who know you, or who are local to you, are noticing it. Then, it’s over, and you should turn your focus to your next book.

That ride was short!

It reminds me of when I did community theater as a kid. We would practice almost every Saturday from January to June, and then, two weekend performances, Sat. & Sun., so four total, and it was over. Photos went in the local paper after the fact, and the lights went down until the following January.

You want your book to sell, to be a topic of conversation, to be on NPR! I know I do. But NPR doesn’t know you, and even if they did, there are so many other people who have a track record who also put out books the exact same day and time as you about the same thing, and they are getting on NPR, not you, because they were already on there two years ago.

Okay Captain Bringdown. Now what?

What matter most of all are reviews of your book until you are famous enough not to need them.

What I want most, as an author, is to be read. I want to know someone liked my book/story/poem. And sales would be nice too

Most new authors will generate most of their sales from Amazon. You will probably generate more sales than you will reviews. Our first book sold into the hundreds on Amazon, but got 9 reviews there.

Nine reviews is not building a web. It’s not being suggested to people. “Mary bought Book A and Book B, you bought Book B. Mary gave Book B a high review, and Book A. Would you like to look at Book A? Amazon actually asks me on my Alexa about the authors I buy for my daughter. “Grace Lin has a new book out. Can I put it in your cart for you?”

At somewhere in the neighborhood of 20-50 reviews Amazon will start building the web for you.

Our author sold many many more than that, but those friends/family/random people didn’t review it.

Ahhh, my fellow rugged American individualists…. most people are not like that, and want to read something that has a good review that other people liked, a lot, like 4 and 5 stars a lot.

Who can get those reviews for you?

Well, certainly we tell everyone we know about you and ask, over and over, for reviews, but if people don’t know you, why are they listening to me? They want to see someone else write one. They want to know what to write. Are you going to judge their writing skills? Will some jerk on Amazon judge their writing skills? Will someone blame them if your book turns out to be a flop? (If we publish you, you’re not a flop. We know what we’re doing when we choose a book to publish.)

What is your strategy for getting reviews?

Will you send out a newsletter?

Advanced reader copies?

Will you ask today, and next Wednesday, and the following Thursday, again and again, “Did you write that review for me yet? Can I give you a sample and a bottle of wine to thank you for your effort?”

That is what sales is. Asking, knocking on the door, again, and again, and again.

In the old days you only had to do that with agents. Today, the book industry has blown wide open. And this lets in more older authors, BIPOC, LGBTQ, and women. Great! But, those folks are going through publishers who don’t have an auto-order for a thousand books at Barnes and Noble.

Which book are you going to buy with your limited income? The one with two reviews? Or the one with 30, and Mary, who bought it, also bought The DaVinci Code, which you loved too!

I can’t tell you a magic number: this many reviews = this many sales.

And for that I am truly sorry.

But, one thing we can do, list the Kindle for free. Ask people, and ask them again, and go over to their house and help them to download your book free and then help them write a review.

And if your book isn’t running a free promotion, this does mean, in the case of Amazon, that your friend or relative may have to buy the book on Amazon to be able to leave a review there. It isn’t always the case, but it is sometimes true. And that could end up costing them, or you, if you give them the cost, the price of the book or anthology.

And, so what?

This is the cost of doing business.

This is the cost of a latte, or two.

And you already do it ALL THE TIME anyway. Yes, you do:

When we help each other out through reviewing, we help ourselves out, too. It’s a matter of literary survival.

IS THIS CHEATING?

And what about that local book club you belong to? Are they reading your book and your friend’s book? If not, why not? Have you asked them to? Are they supporting you? It is, really, a small thing to ask, but if you have a mystery book club and you or your friend managed to get a publisher to publish your mystery, then why would they not read it? Maybe they cannot read it until next year, okay, but they put it in the rotation. And then you help them leave reviews.

None of these things is going to transform you into a New York Times bestseller overnight, but I don’t know how else you’re ever going to even begin to head in that direction, or how the indie publishers who do this work on a shoe-string are going to keep being there to give no-name authors the chance they deserve.

So, if this is a serious thing for you, you want to “make it” at this, you’d like to at least make enough $ someday for a nice vacation or a monthly car payment, you have to start digging away at this notoriety problem we all have by taking your eyes off of your manuscript long enough to help each other out. 

BY THE WAY: It’s never too late to leave a review. You can start a whole new conversation by the review you post today.

SO BE A MENSCH: get the kindle of Bill’s book, for free, and post a review in the next week:

Can’t read that fast? Skim it, just to see what the writing is like. You’ll be impressed enough to know he deserves a review.

TO-DO:

#1. Get Bill’s book for free and review it.

#2. Develop a group of like-minded authors or friends and relatives and book club members who solemnly promise to give you a review in a timely fashion (within a month of publication).

#3. Buy books and give them to your local library and as gifts, etc. (or buy yourself the cheap Kindle version so you can post a review).

#4. Ask that any reading groups you belong to read your books.

#5. Create a budget for book purchases.

#6. Help people who may not know how to post a review post reviews for you, and help them write one.

#7. Keep the reviews short and sweet. “I loved it; you’ll love it too.” “Fast and fun read.” “Great way to spend a day at the beach!” 

Thanks so much for your interest in DPP and for reading this blog. We love publishing people who the big guys ignore, and we thank you for helping us do what we love to do.

We’ll be back with more posts about this as we have time during this season of final grades for Dianne’s students, and awards-nomination season for our authors and their books!

Review Bill’s book!

HOW TO SELL YOUR BOOK, POST 4: THE KEY TO SELL THE BOOK OF AN UNKOWN AUTHOR

Why do you try a new restaurant in your town?

Is it because you’re desperate to get out of the house, have someone else cook for you, or do you like to be the first to try anything new in town, or maybe you’re a foodie?

Or is it because your local paper told you it was good? The food critic on the town Facebook page said it was yummy. The neighbor on Nextdoor said it was a lot of food!

Who are you really? Who knows about you? Are you a former president, co-writing a book with another famous person, and your already overflowing wallet gets a little harder to get into your back pocket?

Or are you just… you? Like me, you could just be a writer, writing quietly at home.

Well, if your book is going to sell, newbie to being published, it’s going to sell online (and maybe 10 copies at your local bookseller). If you pay-to-play, and the “publisher” gives you a box with a thousand books in it, where are you putting them? On a shelf… at home?

It’s not a secret. When your book is available, in print, you have a few days, to a month, where your book is “hot,” meaning the people who know you, or who are local to you, are noticing it. Then, it’s over, and you should turn your focus to your next book.

That ride was short!

It reminds me of when I did community theater as a kid. We would practice almost every Saturday from January to June, and then, two weekend performances, Sat. & Sun., so four total, and it was over. Photos went in the local paper after the fact, and the lights went down until the following January.

You want your book to sell, to be a topic of conversation, to be on NPR! I know I do. But NPR doesn’t know you, and even if they did, there are so many other people who have a track record who also put out books the exact same day and time as you about the same thing, and they are getting on NPR, not you, because they were already on there two years ago.

Okay Captain Bringdown. Now what?

What matter most of all are reviews of your book until you are famous enough not to need them.

What I want most, as an author, is to be read. I want to know someone liked my book/story/poem. And sales would be nice too

Most new authors will generate most of their sales from Amazon. You will probably generate more sales than you will reviews. Our first book sold into the hundreds on Amazon, but got 9 reviews there.

Nine reviews is not building a web. It’s not being suggested to people. “Mary bought Book A and Book B, you bought Book B. Mary gave Book B a high review, and Book A. Would you like to look at Book A? Amazon actually asks me on my Alexa about the authors I buy for my daughter. “Grace Lin has a new book out. Can I put it in your cart for you?”

At somewhere in the neighborhood of 20-50 reviews Amazon will start building the web for you.

Our author sold many many more than that, but those friends/family/random people didn’t review it.

Ahhh, my fellow rugged American individualists…. most people are not like that, and want to read something that has a good review that other people liked, a lot, like 4 and 5 stars a lot.

Who can get those reviews for you?

Well, certainly we tell everyone we know about you and ask, over and over, for reviews, but if people don’t know you, why are they listening to me? They want to see someone else write one. They want to know what to write. Are you going to judge their writing skills? Will some jerk on Amazon judge their writing skills? Will someone blame them if your book turns out to be a flop? (If we publish you, you’re not a flop. We know what we’re doing when we choose a book to publish.)

What is your strategy for getting reviews?

Will you send out a newsletter?

Advanced reader copies?

Will you ask today, and next Wednesday, and the following Thursday, again and again, “Did you write that review for me yet? Can I give you a sample and a bottle of wine to thank you for your effort?”

That is what sales is. Asking, knocking on the door, again, and again, and again.

In the old days you only had to do that with agents. Today, the book industry has blown wide open. And this lets in more older authors, BIPOC, LGBTQ, and women. Great! But, those folks are going through publishers who don’t have an auto-order for a thousand books at Barnes and Noble.

Which book are you going to buy with your limited income? The one with two reviews? Or the one with 30, and Mary, who bought it, also bought The DaVinci Code, which you loved too!

I can’t tell you a magic number: this many reviews = this many sales.

And for that I am truly sorry.

But, one thing we can do, list the Kindle for free. Ask people, and ask them again, and go over to their house and help them to download your book free and then help them write a review.

And if your book isn’t running a free promotion, this does mean, in the case of Amazon, that your friend or relative may have to buy the book on Amazon to be able to leave a review there. It isn’t always the case, but it is sometimes true. And that could end up costing them, or you, if you give them the cost, the price of the book or anthology.

And, so what?

This is the cost of doing business.

This is the cost of a latte, or two.

And you already do it ALL THE TIME anyway. Yes, you do:

When we help each other out through reviewing, we help ourselves out, too. It’s a matter of literary survival.

IS THIS CHEATING?

And what about that local book club you belong to? Are they reading your book and your friend’s book? If not, why not? Have you asked them to? Are they supporting you? It is, really, a small thing to ask, but if you have a mystery book club and you or your friend managed to get a publisher to publish your mystery, then why would they not read it? Maybe they cannot read it until next year, okay, but they put it in the rotation. And then you help them leave reviews.

None of these things is going to transform you into a New York Times bestseller overnight, but I don’t know how else you’re ever going to even begin to head in that direction, or how the indie publishers who do this work on a shoe-string are going to keep being there to give no-name authors the chance they deserve.

So, if this is a serious thing for you, you want to “make it” at this, you’d like to at least make enough $ someday for a nice vacation or a monthly car payment, you have to start digging away at this notoriety problem we all have by taking your eyes off of your manuscript long enough to help each other out. 

BY THE WAY: It’s never too late to leave a review. You can start a whole new conversation by the review you post today.

SO BE A MENSCH: get the kindle of Bill’s book, for free, and post a review in the next week:

Can’t read that fast? Skim it, just to see what the writing is like. You’ll be impressed enough to know he deserves a review.

TO-DO:

#1. Get Bill’s book for free and review it.

#2. Develop a group of like-minded authors or friends and relatives and book club members who solemnly promise to give you a review in a timely fashion (within a month of publication).

#3. Buy books and give them to your local library and as gifts, etc. (or buy yourself the cheap Kindle version so you can post a review).

#4. Ask that any reading groups you belong to read your books.

#5. Create a budget for book purchases.

#6. Help people who may not know how to post a review post reviews for you, and help them write one.

#7. Keep the reviews short and sweet. “I loved it; you’ll love it too.” “Fast and fun read.” “Great way to spend a day at the beach!” 

Thanks so much for your interest in DPP and for reading this blog. We love publishing people who the big guys ignore, and we thank you for helping us do what we love to do.

We’ll be back with more posts about this as we have time during this season of final grades for Dianne’s students, and awards-nomination season for our authors and their books!

Review Bill’s book!

Q: WHAT IS HOTTER, AND MORE BUTTERED, THAN MOVIE THEATRE POPCORN?

Um, yeah, that would be Instant Noodles, Volume 3, “Hot Buttered Holidays!” And we use real, sweet, creamery butter, because it’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.

It’s available December 1st., the lit mag, not a tub of butter.

Why, December, that’s months and months away.

It is almost Thanksgiving, People.

There’s no leaves left to peep at!

Are you ready for the cavalcade of holidays?

Great!

If not, you may want to linger a bit longer in the now distant summer!

Why not try a lovely little number form Instant NoodlesHot Fun in the Summertime,” like “First Morning After Moving,” by Greg Hill, or visit “The H.K. INN,” with Virginia Watts?

How about a memoir from a veteran for Veteran’s Day?

Enjoy your light-noodlie lunch now, before it’s stuffing-yourself time!

Mmmmm… tasty.

OUR FIRST BLOG TOUR!!

Have you ever been on a blog tour?

Thanks to Great Escapes (GE), Stan’s book, Accident (and, in some cases his other book, Charlotte too) is going on tour!

If you would like to be a stop on the tour, you can sign up with GE here.

We are very curious to see how it goes. If you’re interested in your book going on tour someday, follow along.

Thanks so much for being interested in Charlotte Smart and her detective skills. 

Much Love~

Stan (and D&D)

SUPPORT THE PRESS & SUPPORT THE WRITER IN YOUR LIFE

Well, I was just thrilled as hell to buy a t-shirt to support my absolute favorite podcast, Rabbits (I mean, seriously People, Rabbits!!!), and Dave and I thought, why not add some swag to our company, and give people a way to show they love our authors’ books and stories?

All month long we’ll be adding fun little shirts and hats and surprises to our shop. Why not pick one up as a holiday present for your favorite DPP author, or, better yet, your favorite DPP fan, or, even better yet, your favorite reader who has never even heard of us, and, like my favorite podcast (Rabbits! People!) you just have to tell them about us and our amazing writers!

I believe in the people we publish here. And I thank you so much for helping DPP publish each and every one of them. One day we hope to be able to say “Yes” to twice as many as we do now. We can get there, with you.

Thank you for helping us do something meaningful. Thank you for helping us to keep doing what we love to do, championing those second-act authors. We love you~