March Newsletter, volume 4, issue 3 2015
Last month we announced the coming of Black Gat Books, our new line of mass market books premiering in May. It’s hard to top that news, so we’re going fall back on a little bit of in-house promoting this time. Specifically, the Stark House Crime Club.
The Newsletter goes out to a lot of folks who haven’t signed up for the Crime Club but still want to hear about the new titles. And we can certainly understand that. But perhaps it’s time to re-state just what the Crime Club has to offer for those who were thinking about joining.
First of all, members of the Crime Club get their books first. Before Amazon or bookstores are shipped a single copy, the Crime Club copies go out. The very first thing we do when the new books arrive is to send these copies down to the post office. We used to have our Amazon orders drop-shipped from the printer, but even though that saves us some money, one time the Amazon customers got their copies first. So we make sure that doesn’t happen again, and we have the printer ship all the copies to the Stark House warehouse first.
So that’s the first benefit. You get your books first.
Crime Club members also don’t pay shipping costs for their books. Sure, you get a discount from Amazon, but they charge you shipping unless you order $25 worth of stuff at a time. We don’t make you order anything else. We just ship the one book freight free. And tax free as well—we still pay the tax at our end, but California customers get their books without being charged sales tax.
And beyond that, we try to circumvent the destructive efforts of the post office by mailing the books in a cardboard mailer. Sometimes the post office crushes the package anyway, but we are quick to replace those copies so you get a new copy of each Stark House book in pristine condition.
After the book is shipped, we bill you via paypal. Clean and easy. And if you want to pay by check or money order, that’s okay, too.
Those are the main benefits of joining the Crime Club. Of course, you also get each new, monthly Stark House crime book without missing anything. That goes without saying.
Sometimes, in addition to the monthly crime books, we toss some odd titles into the mix. For example, when we publish one of our turn of the 20th century treasures, we always send out an email and ask first before shipping those, even if it’s the monthly release. We love them, but we appreciate the fact that not everyone likes their fiction 100 years old. If the monthly release is outside the regular genre of mid-century mystery/suspense/noir fiction, we will always give you a choice.
So there you have it: five or six good reasons why you should join the Stark House Crime Club. If you’re interested, just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org , and we’ll set you up. All we need is your email and physical address to get you started.
And speaking of crime books, W. R. Burnett’s Little Men, Big World / Vanity Row arrives today. Burnett wrote Little Caesar and High Sierra, both made into excellent crime movies with Edward G. Robinson and Humphrey Bogart. Our two-fer represents the second and third books in his Urban Trilogy, which began with The Asphalt Jungle, filmed by John Huston in 1950 with Sterling Hayden and Sam Jaffe, and currently available in a kindle edition.
These three books represent Burnett’s attempt to dramatize the gangland disintegration of the big city “in three stages: status quo, imbalance and anarchy,” according to the author. Through a series of finely drawn characters on both sides of the law—both the crime bosses and underlings as well as the cynical newspaper reporters and honest police captains—the reader is immediately pulled into each story. Little Men, for example, focuses on a fellow named Arky, who controls the gambling in the city, but who also finds himself in charge of a small baby that needs caring for while trying to juggle his relationship with his lover, Anna. Each character is interestingly multi-faceted, whether on one side of the law or the other, and you find yourself caring about them whether you agree with their moral stance or not.
Little Men, Big World / Vanity Row by W. R. Burnett; introduction by Rick Ollerman (978-1-93358667-0, $20.95)
Our next trade paperback two-fer is Liz / Syndicate Girl by Frank Kane, who made his career writing about the exploits of detective Johnny Liddell in a series of 30 books published in the 1950s and 60s. But he also wrote a few stand-alone novels, and we’re bringing you two of them, the first novel being the story of a woman whose road to success is paved with murder and mayhem, the second a hard-hitting thriller about a corrupt city and the man who stakes his life to clean it up.
Liz / Syndicate Girl by Frank Kane; introduction by Robert J. Randisi (978-1-933586-59-5, $20.95)
Plus we’ve got new titles coming up this Spring and Summer by Douglas Sanderson, Peter Rabe, Darren R. Leo (an exciting new author), Bruno Fischer, Malcolm Braly, Rick Ollerman and Gil Brewer. It’s going to be a great year for Stark House. We hope you get in on the excitement by joining the Crime Club, but no matter whether you do or not, we thank you for your continued support!
Greg Shepard, publisher
Stark House Press
P.S. A few more details for those who are new to the newsletter or who would appreciate a bit of additional clarification:
All Black Gat Books are 4.25" x 7" and will be $9.99 each.
All regular trade paperback two-fers are 5.5" x 8.5" and will be priced at $20.95.
All regular trade paperback three-fers (published irregularly—the next one is due in July) are 5.5" x 8.5" and will be priced at $23.95.
As a member of the Stark House Crime Club, you will automatically receive each new trade paperback crime book. We were going to address this in the next newsletter, but if you are a member of the Crime Club and wish to automatically receive each new Black Gat Book as well, please let us know by responding to email@example.com, and letting us know so we can sign you up for those as well. They will start with 3 titles in May and then single new titles will be published every 3-4 months in addition to the monthly two- and three-fers.