Readers’ words (almost) as good as readers’ money!

I recently received a delightful email from my cousin David Hart, who a few months back ordered both The Old Man’s Last Sauna and Black Grass through our online store.

David’s message of May 6th, 2021, reminded me of a couple of important things I need, as a publisher, to keep in mind.

First, that people don’t usually start to read a new book the moment it passes through their transom (as I, with my own Leaning Tower of Unread Books, really ought to know!). And second, that most readers don’t ever let you know whether they liked it or not, whether by correspondence or a review.

So it is my great pleasure to present to you (with permission) a letter that made both author and publisher smile broadly – writing is a lonely business at the best of times. Now hurry up and finish Black Grass, David! 🙂

Finished The Old Man’s Last Sauna today, and I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed it.

[Carl Dow]’s apparently autobiographical stories felt the most natural and were the funnest reads. Overall, though, my favorites turned out to be the last three: “The Model ‘A’ Ford,” “O! Ernie … What Have They Done to You?” and “The Old Man’s Last Sauna.”

“Sauna” was a great way to end this collection, with its disturbingly fascinating build-up of sexual tension and ultimate oedipal release. Funny to find oneself at once cringing and eager to see if the story is really going in the direction it seems to be!

Next up, Black Grass.

David Hart is an artist, writer, and social justice advocate who can be found Twitter here.

And a brief reminder to those of you who haven’t yet made the wise decision to buy The Old Man’s Last Sauna. One of David’s top three stories is still available to read for free! Click here to read “O! Ernier … What Have They Done To You?”

Of course, all of our books are available from your favourite online vendors, or directly from the BumblePuppy Press in paper and electronic editions right here at our shop. And if you’re in Ottawa, drop us a line via orders@bppress.ca to see if we can arrange delivery for you!

Geoffrey Dow, publisher

Like Sir Walter Scott, Louis L’Amour and … Penthouse Forum?!? Clearly, opinions vary!

Setting the Black Grass promo train in motion (again)

Of course it’s tempting to blame the worldwide pandemic for the lack of a real push on promoting Black Grass; cancelled book fairs and television appearances are a real thing.

I can also point to my darling daughter, pictured with me above. Though there are currently two of us at home to take care of her, she still demands a fair amount of attention (which I gladly provide, make no mistake about that!).

“In the spirit of Walter Scott, Black Grass offers humour, horror, passion, satire, and insight.”

And there is my related work as a “daddy blogger” over at PapaZesser.ca, not to mention the time I have spent figuring out how to maintain and remodel this (apparently) rather kludged WordPress site.

Even so, despite the exceptional circumstances of our times and my own complicated situations, I have not done enough in terms of doing what a publisher is supposed to do: sell books!

“The way Susan felt just before she had the first intercourse, is the way you feel about it when you want it. I wondered, how does Carl know how a woman would feel in that moment? He must have been a woman in a prior life.”

After all, the stories in The Old Man’s Last Sauna range from good to bloody exceptional, and Black Grass is a genre novel that transcends genre, a story that will surprise and delight and excite discerning readers. So I want people to buy them!

But there is, as I have been learning (too slowly), more to publishing than editing copy, laying out the interior and (second time smart!) hiring a real artist, Magdalene Carson, to create a cover. No, a publisher has to promote the books they publish — they need to sell the books they publish.

“The poker game was a tour de force, and I say this as an experienced player.”

So, without further ado, if you have been wondering whether Black Grass is worth your time (and money), I have written about how and why Black Grass inspired me to start this company and, perhaps better still, we have finally posted the opinions of 15 advance (or beta) readers of Black Grass here.

Does Black Grass appeal to English Professors and receptionists? Does it resemble the works of Sir Walter Scoot or Louis L’Amour? And is Carl Dow a sexist, or was he a woman in a previous life?

“A delicate balance of sex, violence and history that should take the book far.”

Why not find out for yourself?

Click here to find out what 15 readers of a draft version of the novel thought!