Sunday, December 1, 2013

It's Buy-Stuff-Online Day!

The way things becomes "things" is often very interesting. Sometimes, it's because a thing needs a name, like at one time how a dog needed a name. And I don't mean Spot or Fido, either. Way back when around 25,000 years ago when wolves started hanging out with men, they had to call them something, and I bet "wolf" started out something like "wlf" and was related to the sound they made. [Yes, I'm making  this up.] Later, some of the wolves started living with the cavemen instead of just hanging around and trying to grab scraps and calling both groups, the in-camp group and  the out-of-camp group, wolves probably became confusing, so someone started calling the ones that never left "dgs," which is kind of like the sound my oldest son made, "dg!", when it was being his first word. Yes, my oldest son's first word was "dog," and we didn't even have one at the time.
[Remind me to one day tell you about his first Star Wars word.]

Anyway... the idea of "Black Friday" was one of those things that came about over time. It was a thing that was happening that needed a name, and, then, it had a name, and, then, people (stores) started having sales for it, because, sometimes, in our culture, all you have to have is a recognized name and there will be sales in your honor. Like "President's Day." And I'm waiting for stores to realize that they can name sales after celebrities, and, then, we'll see "Cyrus Twerking Day" sales or something.

But that's not today. No, today is "Cyber Monday," a complete made up marketing name so that we could have sales. And convince people to shop online. No, really, Cyber Monday was not actually a thing until some company decided to call it a thing and hope that it would become that thing, and, well, it did. It's like if you started calling your car a rocketship and, one day, you woke up and it was a rocketship. Dude! Now, I'm totally going to have to try that!

At any rate, today is the day where we try to get people to buy stuff online, so I'm going to give you some suggestions of things you should buy online that will help out some people that need it more than say, Target or Toys R Us or Best Buy. And, not to start with myself, but I'm going to start with myself, but only because it's

And what better time of the year is there to read a Christmas story, right?

And, just to say it, I'm only suggesting things I've actually read.

The best bargain on the list:
Temporary Anne by Briane Pagel -- Not only do you get a pretty horrific horror story (that's, like, horror squared), you get additional stories from some other pretty great authors! And, well, there are cookies! But not cookies you want to eat, and you'll just have to go read "The Magic Cookies" to understand what that means. And it's just $0.99!

Eclipse -- Also by Briane Pagel and my favorite (so far) of his novels. If you want a book that will leave you wondering what actually happened when you get to the end, this the book for you.

Demetri and the Banana Flavored Rocketship by Bryan Pedas -- This was the best book I read in 2012 and there has only been one, so far, from 2013 to beat it. Yes, it's got a strange title. Yes, it's quirky. Yes, it's a great read.

"My Killbot Buddy" by Rusty Carl -- This is an intact story but only a glimpse into a world I hope Rusty goes back to.

"Augurs of Distant Shadows" by Briane Pagel. It can be found in "Shadow Spinner: Collection 2: The Man with No Eyes." And, honestly, this has nothing to do with the fact that it's in my Spinner collection and everything to do with the fact that this is my favorite thing of all by Brian (so far!). More people need to read his story, so buy Collection 2 just for that if you need to.

There are plenty of other independent authors out there that could use the support, and this a perfect time of year to do it. I'll be mentioning other authors as we progress through December, but these are the indie things I've read that I've really liked (as in, these works stand out in my mind without me having to go back and look through what I've read; if something I remember without needing to think about it, it's pretty darn good), so this is where I'm starting. Seriously, support quality, independent works by supporting these guys in a way that's tangible. AND LEAVE REVIEWS once you've read the work in question! That's tangible, too, and, hey, it might just be me, but reviews make great gifts!

Note #1:
Just in case any of you missed the announce last week because of the holiday, "Shadow Spinner: Collection 3: The Garden (Parts 13 - 21)" is now available!
It has a backup story by Rusty, and, if you don't know who he is by now, shame on you. Pick up your copy today!

Note #2:
Also in case you missed it, I have a short story, "The Tea Kettle," up over at Out of Print. Stop by and read it and let me know what you think.


  1. Hi Andrew,
    Great Going!
    The time is changed and now everything online...LOL
    Thanks for providing those
    great bargain list,
    Keep Inform

  2. Cyber Monday isn't much of thing anymore since most of the online stores have sales just as good on Black Friday. (Which is when I finished all my Christmas shopping.)

  3. Maybe you made it up, but I like your logic about wolf. As for Cyber monday, it was brilliant marketing when it first started, but I have to agree with Alex. Not much of a thing now.

  4. WOW. I got a rejection email this morning in a project I'm working on where I fully expect to get rejection emails but I still don't LIKE it, and then I come here and see that I'm all over this list! Thanks. It's great to hear those things about my stuff.

    I'll get you up on the Indie Gift Guide; I have a whole list of things to put up already and now suggestions are coming in, too. But I like your idea: "Leave a review." That doesn't cost anything, and it does help.

    But the very very best thing in this post was your son's "First Star Wars Word." That's AWESOME. I think that's what we as parents should be keeping track of. I even know Mr Bunches': It was "Darth Vader." CHILLING, right? Maybe he's the one to bring balance to the force?

    (In Mr Bunches' Star Wars, Darth Vader gets along with Obi Wan. One day they all flew from the Death Star to Tatooine to buy a droid from a stormtrooper. I couldn't explain to him how distressing it was for me to NOT be able to have the storm trooper say "Is this the droid you're looking for?")

  5. I've heard it speculated that most word origins are omnimonopeiac - did I just spell that right? Anyway, I like the idea enough that I'm inclined to hope it's true.

    Great gift ideas!

  6. Now this is the kind of Cyber Monday I can get behind! I still haven't found a single deal for Black Friday or Cyber Monday or any of this stuff that's worth spending any of my hard earned money. That's why I love this idea - I mean, hey, instead of buying another tablet you don't need for $100, why don't you buy $100 worth of e-books?

  7. I've been checking out some online sales myself. I don't have a kindle or reader or I-pad or any of those cool gadgets but I have passed some links today onto friends who do. I'll be sure to pass these along as well. :)

  8. Nice.

    You know, I've been thinking about this "naming days" thing. It starts with Thanksgiving, the Black Friday, then Cyber Monday, and apparently some bloke decided Tuesday should be an official "donate to charity" day. Before long every day in December will have a name. ;)

  9. Phil: It's nice to not have to leave my house to shop!

    Alex: Yeah, but I think a lot of that has been because of that initial push to get people to shop online. And I'm still seeing a lot of Cyber Monday sales, which I'm sure you're not going to see in a brick-and-mortar.

    Rhonda: At some point, I may need to look up the etymology of "wolf."

    JKIR,F!: Or cut it up!

    Briane: What do those rejection people know anyway? Nothing, that's what.

    That's awesome that it was Darth Vader. My son first talked about Vader not by saying his name but by breathing like him. heh

    Rusty: I don't know enough about etymology to know; it's not my thing. Tolkien would have known, I'm sure.

    I thought they were good ideas. :)

    ABftS: Well... I don't actually have a tablet. But I think I'd still rather just buy the books.

    G_G: That's the great thing about Kindle: you don't actually have to own one to read Kindle material! Just go over to Amazon and download the FREE! app for your desktop or whatever, and you can read e-books right from your computer!

    Crystal: Can I declare a "donate to indie writers" day? Or, how about, just a "donate to me" day!

  10. I avoid shopping altogether over this notorious weekend, though getting new books is always fun :)

  11. How have I never noticed the sound "Wolf" makes is a woof?
    I love cheap books! Especially those that are recommended. No better way to fill a Kindle up for cold days.

  12. The way you started this made me thing of The Clan of the Cave Bear, one of my favourite books.

    I have so many books on my Kindle I really don't need any more.

  13. It was actually wlp, but you're pretty close. No one knows about dog, so your guess is probably not that far off.

    Holidays are made up. It seems natural to also make up pre-holidays, and traditions like buying flowers for holidays like Valentine's Day. People are weird. Especially people in marketing.

    Looks like some good horror stories!

  14. I love book recommendations.

    Let me rephrase, I LOVE book recommendations!

    I mean, I love it when I discover an awesome book all by myself...but that just doesn't happen much anymore. Not enough time or money. :(

    Thanks for pointing me towards these... :)

    That wolf=woof thing is brilliant, btw...that is really putting a smile on my face, much needed, thank you!!

  15. alexia: Evidently, judging by the number of books I own and buy compared to what I actually get around to reading, I really like getting new books way better than I like reading them.

    David: That is certainly true.

    Jo: I haven't read that one. I think I owned it at one point, though.

    Jeanne: I thought about asking you about that but decided not to. Didn't want to mess up my false analogy. I'm glad I was close, though.

    RG: Hey, no problem. About the recommendations or the smiles.

  16. Well... whoever thought to make Cyber Monday a thing was very clever indeed. ;-)

  17. Happy Stare at Your Shoes Tuesday! Trademark!!!

  18. Misha: yeah, a marketing win for sure

    TAS: I think I won't be participating in that one. :P

  19. I want the story about your son's first Star Wars word!

  20. Elizabeth: Well, I'll make a note to myself to write up a post.

  21. Brilliant. Loved this - thanks for sending me the link. I'm very interested in word origins, being a word nerd and all, and it's something my dad (the published author of many books and local paper monthly columnist)and I banter about frequently. He might actually know because one of the languages he studied in school (he was a languages major and speaks, at last count, 11) was ancient icelandic. Cold wolves, dogs. Might be in his vast knowledge banks.
    I hate the idea of making up a thing and then making people think they have to do the thing. Valentine's Day is my all-time "favorite" of the made-up, commercial holidays. I think it should be called, "Let's make every person not in a relationship feel like total crap for a day" and make those IN a relationship spend money. Lots of money. I don't know if you keep track of such things, but I do because I like fresh flowers and buy them frequently, but they triple the price of roses in February. TRIPLE. It's kinda like gas prices which they jack up for Memorial Day and Labor Day and other times that people will be driving a lot.
    Thanks for all the recommendations. I'm so glad I have a kindle because I have NO idea where I'd put all these books I have in my TBR pile otherwise. I mean, where do you put 105 physical books? My house is already cluttered enough...
    Tina @ Life is Good

  22. Tina: The origins of things can certainly be fascinating. Like a tea kettle.
    No, that does make sense, and, no, I'm not going to explain it.
    Not now, at any rate.