Monday, November 24, 2008

Signing Success!

Congrats to Jon Severson whose book Delivered With Pride made train-sized appearances at two Duluth, Minnesota bookstores this past weekend. Both Barnes & Noble and Northern Lights Books & Gifts sold through their in-store stock and Jon had to go out to his vehicle to get more books to meet the demand. This "DWP Book" as it is becoming known, looks like it may be a real locomotive. And you know what the means. It's hard to stop a train once it gets going.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

5000 Square Foot Model

Got a great review of the DW&P book from Scott Anderson of Denver, Colorado. He's building a 5,000 square foot O-Scale railroad model of the "PEG" for a client and is finding the content of Jon's book valuable in his work. Thanks Scott.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Selling Books in the Modern Age

Here's how to sell books in the modern age:

1.) From your office. John F. Saunders sells 25 The Last Spartan books a week on average across the counter of his office in Greensboro, N.C. Would that Barnes & Noble could so so well.

2.) Jay Ford Thurston sold 10 Hemingway books at an Eau Claire, WI Trout Unlimited speech that he gave. He sold 20 books at a Mazomanie, WI craft show and then another 10 Out of the Rainbow books at two school talks he gave. All this in one week.

An old friend of mine who is a multi-millionaire has said more than once, "Nothing happens unless sombody sells something."

Monday, November 10, 2008

Fun, Funky, Funny WSJ Review

By Steven B. Beach
Published: November 9, 2008

THE LAST SPARTAN. By John F. Saunders. Savage Press. 218 pages. $24.95.

As I read the last sentence of The Last Spartan, a chill ran down my spine. In the day I spent reading this novel, my pulse had accelerated, my emotions had stirred and my engrossment meter had repeatedly pegged to red-line. But mostly, I'd simply enjoyed a wild ride trying to keep up with the pace of this story featuring Frank Kane, ex-enforcer for the Spartans motorcycle gang. Upon learning that the author, John F. Saunders, is also a Greensboro dentist, I decided to make an appointment and ask the question that has been asked of authors since time immemorial:
SB: Aaah, oooh -- ah, thanks for taking your hands out of my mouth. I was asking what possessed you to write such a novel?
JS: I was complaining to my wife, Lynn, about paying hard-earned money for a book, spending irretrievable time reading it, only to be disappointed by the whole experience. I told her I believed I could write a better novel than many that are being published today. Lynn responded with: "Then why don't you?" Next thing I knew I was spending evenings doing just that. The Last Spartan is the result.
SB: OK, it's a novel about biker gangs, prostitution and efforts toward redemption of one biker with a particularly violent history. How did you come up with the Spartan theme?
JS: Besides studying dentistry, I also majored in Greek history while attending UNC Chapel Hill. I've always been intrigued by the Spartans. They were unique in that they were a culture of warfare. Unlike their neighbors at the time, they didn't farm, weave or make pottery; they were all soldiers. They had slaves and the spoils of war to supply all that other stuff. There's never been another culture so centered on warfare. It made sense to write about modern times for a modern audience; it was a small step, then, to connect the Spartan backdrop to modern-day people who also use violence to achieve their goals. Outlaw bikers fit the bill.
SB: In my experience as a motorcycle enthusiast, I've attended biker rallies and known some rough bikers. It's easy for me to imagine a gang called the Spartans, and it's easy to imagine a guy who could be so fixated with actual Spartans that he would adopt their code. But for an entire gang to be so taken by the idea as to address each other with the names of the Greek gods, I felt like you were stretching it a bit. What do you say to that?
JS: Rinse and spit; I think I'll pull all your teeth now. Seriously, imagine living so outside the constraints of the law that you make your own law, you shape lives, you're untouchable, it's all about respect. What's the ultimate respect? You're a god.
SB: Fair enough -- but get away from me with theose pliers. Overall, I must say I enjoyed your novel. I liked the fact that Frank Kane lives in Greensboro and much of the action takes place in Atlanta. Do you intend to write more novels?
JS: I hoped you'd ask that question, since I'll be at the Winston-Salem Barnes and Noble bookstore from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16, for a book signing, and I want everyone to know I'll have plenty of books to sign and sell. After that, it's back to work on the next book in the Frank Kane series, The Spartan Negotiator, which is nearly finished.
SB: Well, based on how much I enjoyed The Last Spartan, I look forward to reading it. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me. Oh, and thanks for the floss.
Besides the bookstores, you can also buy this novel at
■ Steven Beach is a writer who lives in Lawsonville.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

DWP = Delighted With Product

A nice steady stream of orders are coming in for Jon Severson's book Delivered with Pride.

DWP= Don't Withhold Purchase.

DWP = Do Write (your) Pals about this great book.

DWP = Definitely Want Plenty (of books for gifts this Christmas).

DWP = Delighted With Purchase.

DWP = a Down Write Pretty book.

Send more DWP acronyms, if you would.