Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Now Out On Kindle - Ala ad-Din

So...yeah. I actually decided to do this. My original short story, "Ala ad-Din," is now available through Kindle Direct Publishing.

Click on the cover to head straight to the Amazon listing!

Now, those of you who know me may be saying, "Addley, why are you doing this? Don't you hate e-books? And despise the slapdash nature of the average self-publisher?"

The answer is: Yes, yes I do, on both accounts. But I'm also not an idiot. While the concept of actually reading an e-book makes me cringe, I know that they're not going to go away. And, while certain self-publishers with slapdash design and self-righteous arrogance drive me to tear at my throat like I've caught Hinamizawa Syndrome (obscure joke), I can't deny that the current marketplace is an excellent venue for things that wouldn't get traditionally published as stand-alones, like short stories, novellas, and the more esoteric genres.

And that's why I'm doing this. Ala ad-Din is mostly to test the water - I had the story sitting around, its rights reverted to me after Dante's Heart took the first printing, and I had an idea for the cover - but if it works, it won't be the last. I've got a handful of other stories that I know won't sell in the traditional market, either because it was written for too specific a market or because the genre doesn't technically exist in English, and after giving it a lot of thought, I think that self-publishing is the way to go with them.

So consider this a branch of my creative endeavors. If nothing else, it will be an interesting experiment.

In case you missed the link up there, you can purchase "Ala ad-Din" through Kindle Direct Publishing on It's only $0.99, so help a girl out, huh?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

I've Got a Bad Feeling About This...

So, I’ve been working in the Hasting’s book department – the only bookstore-of-sorts in Odessa – for about a month now, and don’t get me wrong, I like it. I’d much rather be helping people and stocking books than working the cash register, that’s for sure, and there’s nothing more exciting than the moment someone says to me, “I just finished Series X and liked it a lot. What would you suggest I read next?” Even if Series X is Twilight, that’s the most enjoyable and rewarding part of my day.*

But there’s one thing that’s been bothering me: Our African-American Literature section.

The African-American Literature section is a single full bookshelf at the beginning of our novels section which is, as you’ve probably gathered, dedicated to African-American Lit. But here’s what gets me: apparently, Waler Mosley is not African-American Lit. Neither is Toni Morrison, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, or Alice Walker.

All of those authors are shelved in either classics or the white-bread, catch-all ‘novels’ section where we put everything that’s not romance, mystery, or sci-fi/fantasy. So what goes into our African-American Lit section?

Midnight: A Gangster Love Story
Chocolate Flava II
Mama, I’m in Love with a Gangsta
A Hood Chick’s Story
His Baby Mama: An Urban Tale

And so on.

I’m not even exaggerating here. I spent an hour alphabetizing the entire African-American Lit section last week, and saw every book there. There was a tiny, tiny handful that didn’t mention gangstas, hookers, playas, or hos. I think the words bitch and slut were in more titles than our entire erotica and sexuality section combined.

And I’m not going to claim to be an expert on African-American pop fiction, but this just screams…something bad.

Mind you, I don’t know exactly what this indicates. I know that Odessa has a relatively small African-American population for the south (we have more Hispanics than anything) and I know that we don’t have a whole lot of African-American culture, activism, or awareness in the area. But I find it really hard to believe that

And I’m not entirely sure what to do about it, because I’m not entirely sure if we’re the ones who decide the categories or if it’s something that corporate decides. I just know that something, somewhere, is seriously off.

If anybody’s got suggestions for what to do about this, please, I’d love to hear it.

*For the record, post-Twilight recommendations include: The Mortal Instruments series, Beautiful Creatures, House of Night, and The Name of the Star.