Hello and good morning on the last Thursday (and indeed the last day) of September in 2021. Because it’s Thursday, it’s time for another edition of my usual blog post. I have posted quite a few other things here over the past several days, earning me kindly electronic pats on the head from WordPress for blogging three days in a row, twice now.
I guess frequent blogging is considered a worthwhile goal for them. But is it an instrumental goal or a primary goal? I know what my answer to that question would be*, but that raises another interesting question, perhaps pertaining to cults, especially to ones that are flagrantly dishonest**: What happens when one person’s instrumental goal becomes some other person’s primary goal? Come to think of it, that question could be significant in fields ranging from religion to artificial intelligence.
Anyway, all that isn’t even tangential to what I intended to write about today. Today I’m writing about the imminent release of Dr. Elessar’s Cabinet of Curiosities, which is locked and loaded for publication. I’ll send the order this evening, so it should be available for purchase starting tomorrow, October 1, 2021, as planned. Of course, there are sometimes delays at Amazon, but those delays have hitherto always been shorter and fewer than their warnings say might happen.
I guess they use Mr. Scott’s tactic of telling people to expect the worst so that they are pleasantly surprised and even amazed and impressed when things are better than that expected worst. This is often my general attitude toward life. Unfortunately, life is full of surprising surprises (I’m not being redundant), and it appears to have no final “worst”. Often, the bad things you anticipate and for which you prepare yourself—psychologically at least—are not the bad things that happen, but instead you are blindsided by something utterly unexpected. At least it keeps you on your toes…until it knocks you off your feet, anyway.
All that notwithstanding, I’m very chuffed about a surprising fact regarding publication of my book: It will be available in hardcover as well as paperback and e-book format! This is being beta-tested (apparently) by Amazon, and I’m taking advantage of it. It’s surprisingly not much more expensive than paperback publication.
I don’t know why I should be as surprised as I am; I don’t really have any good reason to think that producing a hardcover book is prohibitively more expensive than producing a paperback, other than the fact that, all my life, hardcovers have tended to be much more expensive than the paperbacks. Perhaps, though, that’s merely a marketing decision by publishers. Perhaps they just recognize that people are prepared to pay quite a bit more for hardcovers than they are for paperbacks***. It’s entirely possible. Look at the whole “organic foods” marketing protocol. And the “non-GMO” labeling scam, or even more comically, the label “gluten free” being slapped on numerous items that are obviously gluten free, like nuts or beans or corn chips****. The average consumer frequently strays far from the economists’ notion of a rational value maximizer. As do the economists, themselves, ironically.
Anyway, purchasers of my new book can decide freely and for whatever reasons strike their fancies in which format to buy it. Indeed, they can get a copy in each form if they like. Goodness knows I am going to do that!
So, tomorrow, at some point, there will be a post here with the description and cover of Dr. Elessar’s Cabinet of Curiosities, with links to the Amazon page for purchase. The paperback version will also be available through some other online sellers such as Wal-Mart, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million, but I don’t know how soon those will be up.
I don’t encourage you to hold your breath—a day is a long time to try to do that, even if you’re a blue whale, which I assume you’re not*****—but I can at least tell you to look forward to seeing The Cabinet for sale starting tomorrow. In it are several stories previously published only in e-book form and two stories—bookending the collection if you will—that have never previously been published. In the meantime, and afterward, and also at any given moment, do please take care of yourselves and those you love…and try not to do any harm even to those you don’t love.
*Instrumental. That’s probably obvious.
**I’m speaking now to the spirit of L. Ron Hubbard.
***This is not necessarily an irrational willingness; hardcover books are empirically more durable than softcover ones, so presumably one would need to replace a given book less frequently if it were hardcover. This is assuming that, like me, a person tends to read books one likes over and over and over and over and over again. Of course, in some senses e-books are even more durable than hardcovers, but in other ways they are less durable. A hardcover book might well survive the fall of civilization and a return to the bronze age or worse, but an e-book requires a power source. I wonder if, in such a post-apocalyptic world, I would be able to work up a generator or solar power source adequate to providing power for my tablets/laptops/smartphone, so that I could read at least the already-downloaded e-books. I certainly know how such things work, and why…and there might be plenty of spare parts around, depending on how civilization had met its end. Well, never mind; it’d just be easier to make my way to the Spanish River Library in Boca (or some similar beautiful library) and read the print books there. Not that generators wouldn’t be useful for other purposes as well, of course, but those purposes are not as important as books.
****I would only be mildly surprised to find a pack of batteries or a household appliance labelled proudly with the words “gluten-free, non-GMO”. Ah, humans. They’re so funny.
*****Wouldn’t it be delightful if I were wrong about that, and there’s a blue whale out there who follows my blog?