David David Katzman's Blog: Of Doom - Posts Tagged "a-greater-monster"

A Greater Monster lives!

Dear Friends,

A Greater Monster cover After nearly eight years of labor, I’m proud to inform you that my second novel is now available for purchase. You can find it on Amazon here. And on Goodreads, of course, here: A Greater Monster . It is also available in Chicago at Quimby’s Bookstore, Unabridged Bookstore, Sandemeyer's Bookstore, and Chicago Comics. At some point in the next couple weeks I hope to make it available via PayPal on my website.

My book release party was a great success! There were about 45 people in attendance, and the crowd was quite engrossed in my reading. Eight people actually showed up as we were closing down! Drinks were imbibed, and good times were had by all. A few snaps here:

A Greater Monster release party pic1

 A Greater Monster release party pic2

 A Greater Monster release party pic3

 A Greater Monster release party pic4

 A Greater Monster release party pic5

In the meantime, I’ve been hard at work on my Kickstarter project rewards. You can still watch my amusing video (about the book. I pre-sold 120 copies through this project and all the pre-orders have finally been mailed out. I’m also halfway through writing stream-of-consciousness letters and emails that were included in the rewards. It’s quite fun but also a bit exhausting to write 125 emails and letters and keep the inspiration going.

On top of that, I’ve been trying to make the rounds to the bookstores in Chicago. Sadly, there are so few independent new bookstores left. There are numerous used bookstores, but they won’t carry any new books even on consignment.

I’m still working on landing a national distributor for the book as well. Was turned down by Small Press United, which was my first shot. They sent a form letter rejection without explanation. C’est la vie. The point of having a distributor, for those who don’t know, is to provide bookstores a way to order your book when a customer requests it. It will show up as available in their system. Ingram is the top distributor, but they are hard to break into. Some of the smaller distributors will network with Ingram. Createspace through Amazon supposedly gets you into the system—but then you need to accept the quality of the job they do and the large cut they take with each print-on-demand book.

A good distributor will also notify bookstore buyers that your book exists via some sort of catalog update or a sales call in an effort to get some orders. (Createspace doesn’t do that as far as I know.)

Next steps are to visit more bookstores in Chicago and begin sending out review copies and interview requests to bloggers. As well as finish all my Kickstarter rewards. I’m a busy boy.
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Published on November 25, 2011 19:39 Tags: a-greater-monster, david-david, distribution, katzman, publishing, release-party

An author’s job is never done

A Greater Monster cover Good news: I was fortunate to receive a nice review from Midwest Book Review this week—a not-for-profit website of unpaid reviewers who focus on small press books. They’ve been around for about 11 years and seem to have a particularly strong relationship with acquisition librarians. Here are the highlights:
[When] we see something unusual, we rarely expect it to be the tip of the iceberg. A Greater Monster is a novel from David David Katzman who brings readers into a unique alternate reality that has many twists and turns [...]. With unique humor and plenty to think about, A Greater Monster is a fine and much recommended choice.
This could potentially lead to a slew of orders from libraries … it really depends on whether it catches their eye, and they go to the trouble to contact me.

I’ve been working furiously over the past few months to finish all the emails and letters that were included in the rewards for my Kickstarter project. I dedicated anywhere from one to three hours to each letter and with about 125 letters to write …! You’re probably better at math than I am so let me know how that works out. I’m grateful that my project was successful, but now it’s back to making A Greater Monster even greater.

I’ve submitted the book for several small press publishing awards and other general fiction awards. The best resource I’ve found so far is Poets & Writers magazine. Each issue includes a list of upcoming deadlines and the general requirements.

I’ve been making the rounds to bookstores in Chicago bit by bit and asking them to carry it. Don’t forget to support your local bookstore! A Greater Monster is now available

… in Chicago: The Book Cellar, Unabridged Bookstore, After-Words Books, Quimby’s, Sandemeyer’s Books, and Chicago Comics.

… in St. Louis: Dunaway Books, Subterranean Books, Pudd’nhead Books, and Star Clipper Comics.

… in Austin, TX: Book People

And for those of you in other cities … yes, Amazon here http://amzn.to/greatermonster

Next Steps: get into more bookstores, find reviewers/bloggers who appreciate edgy, experimental literature, and lastly hook up with a distributor. More on distributors in my next blog post.
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Givin' It Away

A Greater Monster cover

Just posted: Goodreads Giveaway for A Greater Monster. If my book interests you, please enter for it here: http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/sho...

AGM is currently available

… in Chicago: The Book Cellar, Unabridged Bookstore, After-Words Books, Quimby’s, Sandemeyer’s Books, Chicago Comics, and 57th Street Books (just added)

… in St. Louis: Dunaway Books, Subterranean Books, Pudd’nhead Books, Star Clipper Comics, and Left Bank Books (just added)

… in Austin, TX: Book People

And of course on Amazon: http://amzn.to/greatermonster

Other news: I’ve submitted my book to the distributor who carried Death by Zamboni, so I’m hoping they will agree to carry it, in which case bookstores can order it directly from them. Coming up in June, I’ll be on a mini-book tour in New York City with several readings. More on that closer to the date.

Had a great reading at After-Words Books the first night of the AWP convention. Over twenty folks showed up on a blustery cold evening. Had a great time.


A Greater Monster reading at After-Words Books
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Published on March 24, 2012 18:59 Tags: a-greater-monster, book-giveaway, giveaway

Monster News

A Greater Monster coverA great deal has happened in the span of the past 24 hours. My book tour in New York City has been finalized, and I won a book award!

First, the award. A Greater Monster, has won a Gold Medal as an “Outstanding Book of the Year" in the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards. So say the awards: "These medalists were chosen from our regular entries for having the courage and creativity necessary to take chances, break new ground, and bring about change, not only to the world of publishing, but to our society."

Phew, that's long-winded but very flattering. There were only 10 winners in different categories out of 5000 entries. Independent Publisher Book Awards Gold Medal

Now, onto the tour. I’m joining several other authors who have been published by the Chicago Coalition of Literature and Photography (CCLAP) on a four day reading event in New York City from May 31st – June 3rd. All shows take place from 7 to 9 pm, with performances generally starting around 8:00.

I’ll be reading at the following venues: On THURSDAY, MAY 31ST, at the lower Manhattan performance space Le Poisson Rouge. [lepoissonrouge.com]

On FRIDAY, JUNE 1ST, at a Brooklyn bookstore Book Thug Nation. [bookthugnation.com]

On SATURDAY, JUNE 2ND, at the Brooklyn experimental performance space Vaudeville Park in conjunction with New York jazz band Battle Of The Camel. [vaudevillepark.org]

And on SUNDAY, JUNE 3RD, for the largest showcase of the tour, at revered lower Manhattan "lit bar" KGB. [kgbbar.com]

The Brooklyn events were graciously organized and sponsored by the arts-and-entertainment website Brooklyn Spaces [brooklyn-spaces.com] and Oriana Leckert.

Get more details, including the other authors being featured at http://www.cclapcenter.com/nyctrip/ or on the Facebook event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/29939...

My last bit of news is that, at last, I have a book distributor. Bookstores can order my book from the fabulous Last Gasp who produce and distribute many gorgeous art books from the likes of Mark Ryden, Todd Schorr, Camille Rose Garcia, and many more.

Last Gasp
777 Florida Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
phone 415.824.6636
fax 415.824.1836
Email: Kristine at lastgasp dot com
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Published on May 01, 2012 20:10 Tags: a-greater-monster, book-award, book-tour, david-david-katzman, new-york-city, readings

News York

A Greater Monster

My New York reading tour was a blast. Some great fellow readers, too much alcohol, not enough sleep, and … New York! Most exciting city in the U.S.A. I did sell a few books while I was there, met some interesting people, and walked about 50 miles.

I visited 25 bookstores and shared with them my new press release—about my literary award “Outstanding Book of the Year” in the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards—and several of them seemed quite interested in ordering it. The manager of the Strand Bookstore, which is the largest in Manhattan, emailed me a few days ago that he was in fact going to order the book from my distributor Last Gasp. When you self-publish, and even when you are published by a small to mid-size press, an author needs to do a great deal of her/his own publicity. That’s just the way it is.

Lori Hettler, who runs The Next Big Book Club, came out to the great Sunday reading at KGB Bar, and took videos of all the readers. She broke them up into roughly five minute chunks, so mine is in two parts that you can view here.

It was a great trip all around! Some photos below.

And I came close to winning another literary award. I was named as a Finalist (one of three Finalists), but not the winner, in the 2012 Indie Excellence Awards, Fantasy genre. I’m going to read and review the winner’s book, The Ghosts of Watt O'Hugh after I’m done with Have You Seen Me , which was written by one of my fellow tour authors.

Le Pouisin Rouge

Le Pouisin Rouge

Book Thug Nation

Book Thug Nation

Book Thug Nation

Vaudeville Park

Vaudeville Park

Vaudeville Park

 Vaudeville Park

Vaudeville Park

Vaudeville Park

Vaudeville Park

Vaudeville Park


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A Room with an Interview

My most exciting news: I was interviewed for the Newcity newspaper. Newcity is Chicago’s only locally owned and operated cultural weekly, and it’s been around for 22 years. The article just went live on the Newcity Lit site. Check it out here!

Some of you may recall I won a literary award for A Greater Monster. Turns out I was a finalist for another one. Isn’t that kind of like winning a bronze medal in the Olympics? You work your ass off, beat like 3025 people, come in third best in the entire world … and no one gives a shit. Eh, bronze? What a shame. Who won gold? But seriously … bronze is still cool. I was one of three finalists in the fantasy category of the 2012 National Indie Excellence Book Awards.

Here are some interesting stats that I read last month in Poets & Writers magazine. Within an article entitled A Day in the Life of a Literary Agency, which was a peek inside the workings of a mid-size literary agency, they revealed that the agency received 100,000 queries per year, which breaks down to slightly more than 200 queries per week for each of their nine agents. And based on the number of writers they pick up in a year, the odds of an author finding representation from them are one in 11,111. By contrast, do you know what the odds are of getting published when you self-publish? One in one.

I’m having another giveaway on Goodreads until August 16. You can enter here. And in case you missed my previous post, I have two videos up from my reading tour in New York City. Part 1 is here and Part 2 is here.

Lastly, as always, I urge you to support your local indie bookstore! If you know anyone who might like A Greater Monster, here’s my updated list of bookstores that currently carry it:

After-Words Books
The Book Cellar
Chicago Comics
Quimby’s Bookstore
Sandemeyer’s Books
Unabridged Bookstore
57th Street Books

St. Louis
Dunaway Books
Left Bank Books
Pudd’nhead Books
Star Clipper Comics
Subterranean Books

Book People (Austin)
Domy Books (Houston)

Glen Arbor, Michigan
The Cottage Bookstore

Portland, OR
Reading Frenzy

Manitou Springs, Colorado
Back to the Books

The Beguiling

Bristol UK
Here Gallery

Berlin, Germany
Modern Graphics

Western Australia
Planet Books

You can also ask your favorite bookstore to order it from Last Gasp Distribution.
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A Great Year and a Giveaway

New Year CardHappy New Year everyone! To celebrate the arrival of 2013, I’m giving away a copy of A Greater Monster to one of my Goodreads friends. More on how to enter at the end of this blog post.

I was delivered some good fortune here at the beginning of 2013 when I learned that A Greater Monster was named to two top ten lists. It was named in “Top 10 Books of 2012” by Common Ills blog as voted by members, and it was also named in a “Best of” list on Refinery29.com and described as one of “10 books every Chicagoan needs to read right now” to their email list. Refinery29 email header - Top 10 Books

In that spirit, I’ve written four top ten lists to evaluate my success as a self-publisher and provide a little bit of advice for authors-to-be.

Top 10 Things I Did to Produce A Greater Monster:

1. Spent seven years obsessively writing it (through fourteen drafts)
2. Paid a professional proofreader to give it the once over
3. Asked two excellent writers to give me their detailed thoughts on it
4. Hired a book designer and spent six months working with him to design it
5. Hired an illustrator and spent six months working on the illustrations
6. Hired an animator and a musician to collaborate on the web scenes
7. Asked authors to read the manuscript and provide promotional quotes (if they liked it)
8. Read and re-read several books on self-publishing (my favorite) and created long to-do lists
9. Bid multiple printers to find the best price and quality
10. Created a video and promoted a Kickstarter project to fund the print run of 1000 copies

Top 10 Things I Did After I Published It

1. Held a big reading/release party at Quimby’s Bookstore in Chicago
2. Made the rounds to all the indie bookstores in Chicago and St. Louis, leaving them copies with a press kit
3. Held a reading at After-Words Books
4. Reached out to numerous bloggers across the web requesting reviews
5. Entered twenty (or so) literary competitions
6. Contacted numerous distributors, trying to find one who would carry a self-published novel (Hint: it’s next to impossible)
7. Emailed bookstores occasionally when I had news
8. Participated in a Chicago author reading tour in New York City and made the rounds to bookstores
9. Created a postcard that highlights my literary award and a review excerpt for bookstores to post on the shelf
10. Hosted two giveaways on Goodreads

Top 10 Successes

1. Made two top ten book lists of 2012
2. Gold medal as “Outstanding Book of the Year” in the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards
3. Finalist for National Indie Excellence Book Award
4. Received many thoughtful reviews from both readers and bloggers including The Chicagoist, The Midwest Book Review, Psychedelic Press UK, dig Boston, and the Seattle PI
5. Was interviewed for Chicago’s Newcity arts newspaper for both print and online
6. A Greater Monster was featured in University of Wisconsin's alumni magazine, On Wisconsin
7. Managed to get listed with a small press distributor
8. Feel proud of my work artistically
9. Have sold more than 500 copies
10. A Greater Monster is carried in nearly 15 bookstores

Top 10 Failures

1. Post office lost 16 books and destroyed 8 (Lesson: always insure mailings)
2. My distributor has done very little to promote my book
3. One bookstore ordered 15 copies and the order never got through to my distributor
4. Don’t have enough media attention to get picked up by a significant number of bookstores
5. I have been disorganized following up with bookstores (especially those out-of-state) and getting paid for sales
6. Struggling with developing an ebook version—had to fire my first ebook vendor; on my 10th round of feedback with my second
7. Started an audio book version but put it aside due to other priorities
8. Amazon sales have been pretty slow (bookstores have sold much better)
9. Couldn’t get to 10 failures (oh, the irony!)

If anyone ever tells you that self-publishing is easy, they're not doing it right. Sure, anyone can write a crappy book, export it as an epub and Kindle file, find a stock photo for the cover, submit it to Amazon, and voilà they're published. But almost no one will read it, it will likely be riddled with grammar errors and typos, and the author will often be too close to the work to recognize its larger flaws. That isn’t to say, self-publishers can’t write great books. But they need some honest opinions and a lot of hard work. If a book is self-published in the wilds of Amazon, does it make a sound?


So here’s the part you skimmed to. If you'd like a free signed copy of A Greater Monster sent to you then you can qualify and be entered as follows:

1. You are my friend on Goodreads
2. You don’t already own a copy of A Greater Monster
3. You Like my author Facebook page *
4. You comment below that you want a free copy!

I will put the names in a hat and make a random selection. Last entry accepted Friday, January 25th.

P.S. What a relief that this asshole lost


* Special note - if you do NOT have a Facebook account, then ... you're awesome! As long as you are on my friend list on GR and then you Like this blog post, you can also enter below. But if you are on FB then please follow the guidelines above. Thank you!
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Respected blogger - review & discussion of A Greater Monster

I Like Odd BooksFor anyone who has read or is considering reading A Greater Monster ...a popular, critical and highly intelligent blogger-of-unusual-books has posted a long and thoughtful review and has invited discussion/posting of comments.

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Published on September 03, 2013 15:19 Tags: a-greater-monster, anita-dalton, blogger, experimental-fiction, i-read-odd-books, surreal-fiction

I'm all atwitter

A GreaterMonster Pretty cool: A Greater Monster was selected by a blogger for her favorite Fantasy Cover Art list!

Also, I am now officially #aTweeter #EndOfTheWorld #MakeItStop #why #RandomHashtag #GettingRidiculous. If you'd like to follow my craziness, you can find me at http://bit.ly/TwitMonster or search for @AGreaterMonster

And that's all she wrote. #Peace
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Published on May 10, 2014 23:07 Tags: a-greater-monster, cover-art

Jeff VanderMeer likes A Greater Monster

Jeff VanderMeer rates A Greater Monster
I am thunderstruck. One of my favorite authors, fantasy author Jeff VanderMeer, just rated A Greater Monster 4 stars on Goodreads. I thanked him on Twitter, and he said it was "...a really cool and unique read! Beautiful book, too, in the design."

Here's my review of VanderMeer's brilliant book Annihilation, part one of a new trilogy. Part two, Authority, was just released and is up next in my queue. Not to be missed!
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Of Doom

David David Katzman
Author David David Katzman blogs about the process of completing and publishing his second novel.
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