Meanwhile, back at the idiots...

When last we left our dauntless hero, he had sent off to his potential publisher the following missive:

Dear Ms. Garcia,

My most profound apologies. With three girls in the house, ranging in age from 6 to 17, things are always in a state of low grade chaos around here, but with school starting again in two weeks, well, it's been a circus lately, and I'm not the ringmaster... I'm not even the chief clown! And it's not likely to get better any time in the immediate future.

I'm working on those questions you asked me. In the meantime, I've done some studying on your site and would very much like to check out some of your other publications. I went over to Amazon and it seems as if [Singalong Sue]'s [MONKEY MASTER] is one of your better sellers. I'm also very interested in [Hung Lo, Chinese Porn Star]'s [FRITO BANDITO] series, and [Chupa Lupa]'s [BLUE CHEESE FOR AN ERMINE COMMANDER] sounds very cool to me, too.

I have a big road trip coming up this weekend, due to a family event, but I'm planning to work in some errands and a little shopping too. I'll be all over the Louisville/Southern Indiana area Saturday and Sunday. Could you please advise me as to a bookstore where I could pick up these titles? I'm happy to invest some money in your line so I can hold one or two of your volumes in my hands, turn the pages... get a real feel for where I'll be going with your company.

If you could let me know by this Friday so I can work this into my itinerary, I'd really appreciate it.

Thank you very much,

[Happy Little Me]

A few weeks went by, and the publisher finally answered, which ain't bad, if you've ever corresponded with publishers. Anyway, the answer from Ms. Garcia was to, basically, say "We haven't heard from you, what about all those questions we sent to you, what's the deal?"

In other words, they just straight up ignored the note I sent, above, probably hoping I'd been struck very hard in the head since composing it and thus would not recall ever dispatching it to them.

In response, I turned around and sent them the exact same note back again. After all, they couldn't exactly protest or call me a dipshit for sending them another copy of a note they weren't acknowledging receipt of in the first place, right?

And that was three weeks ago and I honestly figured they'd just given up, since to anyone who knows anything about what's going on here, that note should be pretty obvious notice that, you know, I'm onto them -- I know they're a Publish On Demand outfit that is desperately trying not to let me know that, and if they can't point me to a bookstore where I can find their books, I'll have nothing to do with them.

But today, well, I got this:


If you're looking for an example of the current quality of our publications, then you'll want to make sure that you get a book that was printed recently. Two of our bestsellers are"Virtual Rock" (more than 100,000 copies sold) and "Bones Become Flowers." Both been reprinted recently.

The slim volume "Monkey Feces" is not a bestselling title (it's a collector's edition) and has not been recently printed so it wouldn't be a good example of our print quality. {whobejoozus]'s feminist fantasy novels ("YaYas" and "Gigantic YaYas") have both been reprinted. To make sure you have the most recent printing, make sure the covers are the pastel covers by artist [la la la]. [life is a cabaret]'s "Blue Steel Penguin" is only available in a recent edition, so any copy would be a good choice.

As for what specific bookstores carry our books, Darren, chainstores buy through Ingram so we don't have a list of stores (Ingram doesn't release that type of information). You can order directly from [us, the miserably lying POD outfit] for 20% or simply order through Amazon or any offline store. Sorry I can't be of more help here.

Please contact me after you've completed your research and reached a decision.

[not Jerry] Garcia
Director of Contracts, Rights & Legal
Whacking Day Creative

So, let's take this one point at a time.

First, while I've changed the names to protect the... whatever, innocent isn't the word but what the hell... I haven't changed the fact that in this letter, from the Director of Contracts, Rights & Legal of a supposedly professional publishing company, I'm being recommended to seek out books by specific title, and I'm not being told who the authors are.

This doesn't exactly boost my confidence in these people. But it's nothing compared to what's coming a little further down, where we discover that these people are apparently publishing books and getting them distributed by a company that will not tell them what bookstores their product has been placed in.

Or, alternatively, they're just lying sacks of shit, and their distributor isn't a distributor, and they can't tell me any bookstores carrying their books because there aren't any bookstores carrying their books.

Now, what I need to figure out is

(a) do I simply not respond
(b) do I respond the way I'd like to respond, since I'm not planning on doing business with these morons anyway
or (c) do I try to be professional with them, which would aggravate the crap out of me, as it would require me to continue to act as if I actually believe their duplicitious charade and don't feel they're fucking assholes trying to exploit the desperate hopes and dreams of unpublished authors.

I don't know. I'll have to think about it.

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