Ah yes, TGIF, those ever-so-useful initials. Back in my bride’s time as a print-and-runway fashion model, TGIF was a handy mnemonic that her fellow models were advised to write on the insoles of their shoes. I’ll be happy to tell you what it stood for, but I have other things I need to tell you first.
It’s been a busy week—at Book Expo America, at LB’s Bookstore, and, remarkably enough, at the computer keyboard, where I actually sat down and wrote something.
Last things first. The new story is entitled “The Ehrengraf Settlement,” and you won’t be astonished to learn that it features the criminous criminal lawyer, Martin H. Ehrengraf, who never loses a case because all of his clients turn out to be as innocent as he presumes them to be. This is Ehrengraf’s 11th appearance since his debut in 1978, and it will soon join its fellows on Kindle. There, because it’s brand new, it’ll be priced at $2.99. (The others are just 99¢ apiece.)
But why pay $2.99—or even 99¢—for a single story, when you can get all 11 for $4.99? And you will very soon be able to do just that, with the Kindle-publication of Ehrengraf For the Defense as a full-length eBook. It should be available within the week.
Nor need you buy a pig in a poke. Around the time the eBook goes on sale, there’ll be a 24-hour window during which the first story in the collection, “The Ehrengraf Defense,” will be offered as a free Kindle download. If you like it, you can elect to buy other stories, or grab the complete book. And, if you don’t like it, you can save your money and escape unscathed.
At Book Expo America, the publishing industry’s annual trade show at the Javits Center, I had the great pleasure of finally meeting Bill Schafer of Subterranean Press. We’ve been doing business for years, and I have the warmest feelings and highest regard for this superb small-press publisher, yet somehow we never met face to face.
A few days ago we sat down to omelets, at what the Hollywoodenheads would call a power breakfast. Bill reported that the Strange Embrace/69 Barrow Street double volume will be out by this month’s end, and will almost certainly be out-of-print the moment it’s off-press. (I think you can still lock in an order at Amazon or B&N.) It is, he added, the first book to break the nipple barrier at Sub Press, and we agreed that there was no better man for the job than cover artist Robert McGinnis.
We went on to hatch some projects. He pointed out that I’d written enough short fiction since Enough Rope to fill a book, and we agreed that Subterranean would be the ideal publisher for such a volume. (If you know the kind of work they do, you’ll understand my immediate enthusiasm; if you don’t, well, I’ve got Tanner’s Tiger in the bookstore, at the bargain basement price of $9.98, so you might want to see for yourself.)
And we agreed, too, that Ehrengraf For the Defense ought eventually to have a hardcover edition. That will be a while coming, as the new story’s first appearance in print will be in Buffalo Noir, an upcoming entry in Akashic’s signature Noir series, edited by Ed Park. (You didn’t know Ehrengraf was based in Buffalo? Some Buffalonians had long since worked it out from the street names that appear in some of the stories. The connection to the Queen City of the Lakes is a little less elusive in the new story.)
BEA had me spending a pleasant hour one afternoon signing ARCs of Hit Me for a long line of booksellers and librarians. They all professed themselves eager to find out what Keller was up to these days, and several of them identified themselves as subscribers to this very newsletter. (If you’re one of them, Gentle Reader, let me say it was a pleasure to meet you face to face, and that I hoipe you enjoy the new book.) For those of you who didn’t get an ARC (which is to say most of you), well, my good friends at Mulholland will publish the book in February. That is, I know a long time to wait, and I’ll see what I can come up with in the meantime to make the waiting easier.
One ideal way to pass the time is to drop over to eBay to browse the virtual shelves in LB’s Bookstore. When last I looked, there were 130 items for sale—but that number keeps changing, growing as we add new items, shrinking as some of them sell out. I’ve got a few boxes full of anthologies to which I contributed a story or wrote an introduction, and I’d rather share them with you than wait for Father Time to turn them into something for my kids to throw out. In most cases I have only a single copy, and sometimes a book will go on and off sale in a matter of hours. So you might want to check the listings regularly.
The anthologies are almost always priced at $9.99 or less. (We did have a hardcover anthology edited by Neil Gaiman, and signed by him on the title page and me on my story; we offered it yesterday at $14.99, and first thing this morning someone grabbed it. I’m surprised it lasted that long.)
We also run specials now and then. I mentioned the Sub Press Tanner’s Tiger, a good value at $9.99, and we still have a good supply of The Specialists at $4.99. (We had a good supply of After Hours, but the last time I looked we were down to a single copy, and it’ll probably be gone by the time you read this.)
You say you want a special? We’ve been offering the 4th Bernie Rhodenbarr novel, The Burglar Who Studied Spinoza, for $19.99. That’s the first edition of the Dutton hardcover, and it’s reasonable enough at that figure, but we’ve got a lot of them, brand new, still in the publisher’s shipping cartons, and I’ve just this minute lowered the price to $9.99. Let’s see how long they last…
Speaking of both Bernie and bargains, HarperCollins has dropped the price of the Burglars Can’t Be Choosers eBook to 99¢—but it’s a very short-term deal, good only until June 11. While the special lasts, it extends to my other HarperCollins eBook titles as well—they’re all eVailable at $3.99 apiece. But when the sale ends, they all go up to a minimum of $4.99, and possibly higher. They’ll take up no appreciable space on your Kindle or Nook or Kobo or Apple eReader, so do act sooner rather than later. Sooner is right away—and later, alas, will be too late.
And that’s enough. This newsletter, rather like the month it’s wrtten in, is busting out all over, and it’s time to rein it in. I don’t think there’s anything I left out, so TGIF and all, and…
Oh, I remember! You wanted to know why the model wrote those letters in her shoes:
“Toes Go In First.”