Amazon

Big Amazon Score: 100 copies of my own book for $1 each

It still amuses me to think of the time I bought 100 copies of my own book, Savage Night and Other Stories, for $1 each on Amazon. Looking back at my Amazon orders, this was on April 1, 2011.

I caught the sale at the right time. Amazon was listing my book for $3. I assume they had warehoused a few stock copies due to the success of my earlier book, Mondo DC. Now they had unsold copies to get rid of. On a whim, I placed an order for my own book, requesting 100 copies. I had to order the books in batches of 33, with one batch of a single copy. I figured they would cut me off based on the number they actually had in stock. But no.

They sent me 100 copies of Savage Night.

Savage Night and Other Stories

For me, this was a no-brainer. Kind of. My royalty rate on Xlibris, where I had self-published Savage Night, was $2 per copy. So eventually I got a check from them covering two thirds of the price I paid Amazon. My net cost was $1 a copy.

Of course I have roughly 98 copies of the book left in my house. If anyone wants one, let me know. I’m sure we can work out a fair price.

This actually happened a second time in May 2015 with the second book I published through Xlibris, Spells of Coming Day. Amazon listed the book for $4, and I tried to order 100 copies. However, the bookseller had learned their lesson. I was only able to buy 4 copies at the reduced price. Of course, I still have those sitting in my house.

Spells of Coming Day

Every now and then, I check the Amazon listings for my books. I haven’t seen any big sales lately. But it’s remarkable how many third party sellers are offering my titles, usually at prices far higher than either Amazon or Lulu list them. I’d like to know how that’s supposed to work. But in some way, it’s flattering to think that someone listed my book in their catalog, hoping to make a little bread. I’m sure it’s a win-win for them: if one sells, they just have to order it from Lulu (or Xlibris or AuthorHouse) and then send it out, reaping big profits.

Since I rarely see any royalties from my own books, I guess they aren’t selling too many copies. Somehow, it all seems like a commentary on today’s publishing industry.

 

 

French Version of Cthulhu Limericks?

french-cthulu

It seems there may be an unauthorized, French language version of my book Cthulhu Limericks. It’s now on sale in the Amazon marketplace, on offer for $82.28 from a vendor named Prestivo. According to the listing, this is a “French language book” and it “ships from France.” While it lasts, the link is here.

Which is interesting, because I never made a French language version. Even more curious, this is apparently a version with the misspelled title, aka Cthulu Limericks. I wonder if I should take up the challenge and buy it, just to see what happens?

The copies of Cthulu Limericks I wrote about earlier, on offer from a British seller, is no longer listed.

This deleted and non-existent book with the misspelled name has really taken on a life of its own. The Curse of Cthulhu continues!

Update 10/14/16: This “French Version” is now selling on Amazon for $110.64.

The Curse of Cthulhu

Now the secret can be told. I tried to suppress it, but my hand has been forced. The single surviving erroneous copy of Cthulhu Limericks has appeared for sale on Amazon–the one that has “Cthulhu” misspelled in the title.

I’ll admit writing a collection of limericks based on H.P. Lovecraft’s weird tales was something of a blatant attempt to create a book that would actually sell for a change. After reading just about everything the master wrote, I knocked out about 70 humorous rhymes that featured lines like “the LOL of Cthulhu.”

The first published version of the book ended in resounding failure: after I’d bought 30 copies, I realized that the cover contained a really stupid typo: “Cthulu” Limericks. The name “Cthulhu” was spelled correctly throughout the text, but my underpaid proofreader (me) blew it when reviewing the cover art. After a short period of self-loathing depression, I deleted the book from Lulu and even managed to persuade Amazon to remove it from their marketplace. I thought I had killed the deformed little monster when I destroyed and recycled the copies I had on hand.

That experience taught me to proof the cover art as frequently as the contents before publishing, but now it seems I’ll have to live with the mistake.

Call it the curse of Cthulhu, I suppose this is what one deserves for playing with another man’s toys.

You see, before I noticed the offending typo, I sent a review copy to Bizarre magazine in the UK–at the time my favorite periodical, now ceased publication. Then I sent them a corrected copy. Neither of them garnered a review. I had hoped they’d notice the new book, since they had given my tour guide, Mondo DC, a positive review, probably because I’d written a short feature about DC’s unusual attractions for them previously.

I figured both books had ended up in the garbage. But apparently some unscrupulous staffer–or garbage picker–held on to the erroneous copy and decided to cash it in. The seller actually has two copies on offer–a “used” one and a “new” one. But I know–and he knows–that there’s only one. He’s asking $56.77 for the new copy, and $45.42 for the used one. Maybe he thinks the boneheaded author will buy it to maintain his devious deception about the glaring titular typo.

2Good luck with that, mate. The fully corrected, official book, Cthulhu Limericks, also available on Amazon for the low low price of $15.49, and the bargain basement price of $12.39 from Lulu, isn’t exactly making me rich and famous. In fact, I’m not sure any copies have sold.

The LOL of Cthulhu indeed. Looks like that ineffable, hideous Old One is having the last laugh in sunny R’lyeh.

Anyone who wants to gamble on my future fame might want to grab up this rare, bungled book–one of a kind!–in the hopes that one day it will be worth millions.

Until then, as someone who has advocated for the value of disinformation as a publicity strategy, I guess I can’t really complain that this uncorrected abomination has surfaced to haunt me.