Thursday, July 22, 2010

Kids Are Ridiculously Astute

I spent Wednesday evening playing with my 3-year-old nephew.  My sister informed me that the first words out of his mouth this morning, right after he woke up, were: "You have a very silly brother."

Just wait until he's old enough to read my books.  :-)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Why I love mom and pop bookstores

Most new authors and small press publishers understand the difficulty of getting their books into large chain bookstores.  Large book distributors eat up smaller book distributors in a method that resembles those shark-eating-tiny-helpless-fish games that I played on my Atari and Commodore 64 as a kid.  There are tons of books out there and limited shelf space in the stores that sell them. 

Unfortunately, what tends to end up in large chain brick and mortar bookstores are the blockbuster titles and books represented by big ticket publishers.  Small press and nonprofit publishers (like mine) have to struggle to get books on even a few shelves.  People always think that just because I have a published book, it is automatically in their favorite bookstore.  Despite wonderful customer and teacher reviews, my books are so different than the children's books currently on the market that a lot of store owners wonder if there is enough customer demand for them to even bother carrying them.  Barnes & Noble, for example, carries my books in their online store but decided against carrying them in their physical stores, so parents and teachers who walk into those stores looking for fun, educational test prep books, are forced to purchase boring, drill-and-kill multiple-choice workbooks.  Sigh.

Enter the small, family-owned, local bookstore.  This week, the owner of Northgate Books, a new bookstore in Durham, NC, decided to carry my books in both of his stores.  On top of that, he did something that still blows my mind.  He volunteered to donate 100% of the sales revenue from my books to Student Solutions, Inc. the 501(c)3 nonprofit publisher.  The publisher uses revenue and financial contributions to expand its product line and develop creative, humorous educational materials that make learning fun for students.  Every penny helps, and this particular contribution was completely unexpected.  Both Falls River Books in Raleigh and Northgate Books in Durham now carry my books, and I've issued them a complimentary signed copy as a small token of my appreciation.  

If you're ever in the Triangle area, please pick up your next book from one of their stores. They also have an amazing collection of used books. 

As a young new author, they have earned my appreciation. 
And as a voracious reader, they have earned my business. 

-Kumar R. Sathy
Author of the Chicken Nugget Man Series of Educational Children's Books

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Imperfectionists

The Imperfectionists (A Novel) by Tom Rachman

Love love LOVED this book.  This well-written collection of short stories follows a group of staffers at a newspaper that is struggling to stay alive.  The quirky, yet believable characters each demand novels of their own.  I deeply admired the story about Arthur Gopal and his daughter.  This relationship was so unique and entertaining that I wanted so much more.  As a writer in the nonprofit sector, I was particularly drawn to this story of creative individuals each trying to stay afloat in a troubled enterprise, relying on reader loyalty to preserve their jobs and livelihood.  This is a must-read for anyone who loves short stories, newspapers, or quality fiction.