This week marks two or three fun unveilings. The first is of my own imprint, Star Pine Books.
The primary and founding purpose of Star Pine is to re-release former titles of mine under my own aegis, both to ensure that my work is readily and perennially available – as any self-respecting author’s work should be in 2016 – and available in a way redounds to my own, and more importantly to my children’s, financial benefit. Ditto.
The first of the older titles I am releasing – my tent-pole, as ’t’were -- is The Chess Garden. More specific, descriptive and critical information about The Chess Garden can be found pretty easily from your present perch. For this space here, let it simply be said that I’m very pleased with the StarPine edition, in no small part because its cover features the artwork of Renaissance man and former Commendabi Leaguer Ethan Barretto, who started sending me drawings even before he knew of my intentions. The interior design is more simple and readable than it has ever been. Also and for what it’s worth (about 5 bucks), the new release has facilitated the first ever digital offering of the title. Given its particular age and the remarkable modesty of its former spokespeople, The Chess Garden has never (except to outright thieves) been available on Kindle, i-pad, i-phone, etc. Now it is.
But on the principle that one should never throw a party without party favors, I have – for this inaugural gala to which you have unwittingly invited yourself – decided to offer a second, never-before-seen title as well, about which I am no less excited.
My preference, of course, is to let books speak for themselves, but I know how these things work, and I don't expect to be doing a whole lot of marketing, knowing me. So, for those Totos among you who can’t seem to resist chewing on the pant-leg of the charlatan behind the curtain, you are welcome to peruse the posts immediately below to learn the two back-stories – one personal, one historical -- that provided for the conception and creation of Asmodeus.
But before getting to that, one or two last words about the Star Pine venture, just to be clear.
I certainly wouldn't want for my new shingle to be construed as some sort of GBCW directed at traditional literary publishing, which I continue to believe has matchless virtues, the benefits of which I’d be thrilled to enjoy at the next available opportunity. However, inasmuch as not everything I write is going to appeal to even my favorite gatekeepers, there exists the possibility that other new books may follow in the wake of Asmodeus, to take their place on Star Pine, snuggling in alongside the older titles to enjoy their company, their shade, and their warmth. It is in that modest, but also admittedly vain, spirit that I proceed.
And of course when it comes to those older titles, I understand that as free, sinister, and independent citizens of the 21st century, you are at liberty to go find other, cheaper avenues by which you may avail yourself of the same material. I cannot stop you. I don’t even much begrudge you. We writers have been living with the menace of free distributors for longer than most of our creative kin – DAMN YOU, LIBRARIANS! But if some pang of conscience should move you to want for your enjoyment, or potential enjoyment, of these efforts to reflect back upon their ostensible source, and maybe even provide him the means to offer more in the future, please consider Start Pine Books to be a kind of Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope, from me to you. My children's tummies, and my children's children's tummies, thank you.