Saylor's Goodreads Bookshelf

Saylor's books

Animal Farm
Where the Sidewalk Ends
The Great Gatsby
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Catcher in the Rye
Of Mice and Men
The Alchemist
Me Talk Pretty One Day
Lord of the Flies
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Little Women
A Tale of Two Cities
The Count of Monte Cristo
Les Misérables
Moby-Dick or, The Whale
The Joy Luck Club
The Memory Keeper's Daughter

Saylor's favorite books »


If you are looking for the O Line Mystery series Podcast click here!

Where To Buy The O Line Mystery books and ebooks:

On the right hand side are the links to purchasing both the eBooks and paperbacks of The O Line Mystery Book Series.

For Libraries

The O Line Mysteries are now available to all eReaders through Smashwords. Free downloads are also available through your local public library. If your library does not carry the title, please request it.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Publishers vs. The WORLD

Billibatt is coming to a library near you! 

Seriously, I'm coming to a library NEAR you.  So I've been sort of keeping up with this entire hullabaloo about digital rights and eBook contracts. Sort of in the same way I see an object out of the corner of my eye and if my brain deems that object not to be a threat I just go about my business.  The same with the library slash publisher’s e-book distribution battle.  Now there's a thing. 

If you don't know about it here's a quick and generalized run down.  Publisher's want to limit the amount of times an e-book can be e-checked out so they've pulled all their e-books from library e-shelves.  Publishers are saying it's a financial problem and that libraries are taking food from their babies, the author's babies, and the entire literary industries baby’s mouths.  Libraries are like "Wahhh! We are the industry!"

I find this battle fascinating.  I think it basically amounts to the publishers winning a battle but losing the overall war.  (So much so that I've got some working theories as the plot unfolds. I'll tell you about them in a minute.)  There are about 122,000 libraries in these United States of those 17,000 are what we know as pubic lending libraries' (the ones you take your kids to including the book mobiles).  Keep those numbers in mind. 
So the publisher’s fight is predicated on the assumption that they are losing customers because of public lending libraries....sooooo, they are choosing not to sell their eBooks to - at the very least -10,000 libraries.  THINKING to themselves, (and not another person outside their little bubble) 'Aha! now we've got you.  We aren't going to sell our books to you! We will forgo thousands of "sure bet" sales and attempt to sell our books in a down and depressed market during a HUGE  worldwide recession! So take that! You bad sharing people.' 
And who's going to suffer for that?  Publishers?  Who have hundreds of authors in their stables in which they make about half the cover price of a book and the author gets about 10% up to 15% or about $1.50 for a 25.00 book?  (P.S. These numbers are not exact but a general figure of which I extracted from the Author's Guild.)

Let me just side step here, what is a public lending library?  Yes, it's a precious resource for blah blah institution blah. But what are they to publishers?  And authors?  As an author I see it as a marketing tool - the greatest and most untapped marketing tool available in the self-publishing world.  We, as self-published authors could spend 100 dollars on an advertising blip for a computer screen that no one is going to even look at OR you could buy a bunch of your own books and market them to libraries. Where people are going to actually look at them, and put at least some thought into and make a decision on.  If you're lucky, you get into the library, if not, you move on.  You are just one person doing the drudgework and you are going to get rejected, get over it and move forward to the next one.  Libraries are where authors get discovered, one curious mind at a time.  They are like - a gateway drug to the unwashed masses of readers, and who are readers?  Buyers. And talkers.  Books are conversation starters. 
Okay, there are always two sides to everything.  What is the publisher's side of the equation?  The embattled -hanging by a thread- industry has got to make money as they are, in fact, an industry where thousands of marketers have jobs.  So let's not begrudge them at least a fighting stance in something they feel they are being short changed on.  They feel that if they don't put a maximum loan out on e-books (which is not even a negotiated number yet. 25? 50? 100?) then the industry will suffer.  This is not something that the actual book selling industry deals with because of the first sale doctrine. (Go look it up.)

So there you go. Publishers: Waaah! I'm bleeding money. And Libraries:  Get over it, you make more money on the books that the actual authors (the source of the industry).  At this point my money is on the libraries.  There is a library in almost every county in this country.  They have face-to-face human contact (called humint in the intelligence agencies, thank you public library) people are involved with their libraries. What do publishers have?  Publishers weekly.  Where people inside the industry go to kibitz about...the industry. See my point?

Oh wait, right, my working theories.  Okay so you know how in episode 3 where the publishing industry is all "we're getting short changed so we want to put a lending limit on the e-books, even though there is not one on paper books because of that pesky first sale doctrine."  Well I think in further episodes we're going to find out that Krystle Carrington was too late to realize what Alexis was really up to when she baited Blake Carrington into a fight about eBooks when what Alexis really wanted was to get rid of the first sale doctrine all together because, BECAUSE, are you ready for this?  Because Alexis realized that the only people that were buying her books was actually Blake!  If she can make him buy the books more often than she can make her industry whole again!  But then Blake, who really is the most powerful one, since he has constant contact with the people doesn't budge and he's all, "F.U. Alexis I'll just train my trophy wife, Krystle here, how to write good books and make them available to the people. Stop making your bloated industry my problem! And that British dialect you use sounds pretentious, you've lived in America for 60 years!"

Okay I threw in that last line.  And that is why I'm coming to a library near you.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Problem solved

I needed to combine an earlier edition of Nobody, really, Likes You (published by another) with the current one published by Billibatt.  After about an hour of searching the amazon author central website the website instructed me to call amazon.  Here's how that went:

Mary (amazon employee, I'm assuming this of course.)  My name is Mary how can I help you today.
Me. I need to combine two editions of the same work, Nobody, really, likes you.
Mary. And you are Lorna or Saylor? Or are you both?
Me.  I'm both.  Lorna is a character from my mystery series and I wrote Nobody under her name.
Mary. I see.  And you want to combine these to the same page?
Me. Yes Ma'am. The red cover is no longer available.
Mary.  I see.  I can help you with that today.  Do you want to keep the reviews?
Me. Yes Ma'am.
Mary. What is your full name?
Me. My full name is Marla Saylor Billings
Mary.  I see.  That's a pretty name.
Me. Thank you.
Mary. And where are you from?
Me. Uh,(BRRRT! what an odd question) my family is from Tennessee.
Mary.  I see. That explains it.  I'll combine those now for you.
Me. Thank you.
Mary. You have a good day.
Me. You too.

With all this technology and all these websites it's nice to know that help is still just a phone call away.  As someone who is the first in line to bemoan the lack of civility in society and online I can relate that this was a most pleasant exchange.  Working with the G.P. (general public) is never easy so thanks Mary, (or whatever her real name was) who works at an amazon call board (or wherever you are).

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Nina's on board

Remember Nina?  She played Annie (and voiced several other characters) on the O Line Podcast.  So I gets a call from her, "Why aren't I reading the O Line for the audiobooks?"
"Because," I begins to explain before she so rudely interrupts me.
"And another thing I need help with my computer, so you need to get over here and fix it, NOW!"
That's the thing about audio recording it never actually transports the true nature of a character. You'd think that the voice that played Annie would be perpetually kind and generous of nature.  You might even say she was "pathologically nice".  But I go over to her home and she ties me to a chair in front of her jacked up computer and says "WRITE something NICE for me to say!" 
Then she withholds coffee from me. "Please Nina, I can't write without a sip of the dark elixir, it fuels my fingers to type."
So she makes a pot of coffee and says, "Can you smell that? I bet it smells good to you, wouldn't you like to have a cup? WRITE!"
Finally after three hours I'm able to escape from her torture chamber/kitchen table.  But as I escape she comes out after me with her hounds of hell. Luckily those hell hounds still had their leashes attached.  The leashes get caught up around her legs and she does a face plant in her outside flower bed.

None of this is true of course. Except the part about Nina doing a face plant in the flower bed because of the dog leashes.  But what is true and exciting is Nina has agreed to read the O Line Series for audiobooks. And I, personally, could not be more pleased if Meryl Streep called me and said, "Oh Saylor, I would be honored if you'd let me read The O Line Mysteries for Audiobooks."
Because then I'd say, "Oh Meryl, you'd be wonderful but there really is only one voice for the O Line, and it's not you. Now, if you'll excuse me I have to go stick my head in the oven."

So, fire up the digital audio interface!  We are mic ready! as soon as Nina's face heals...

Get well soon Annie.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th!
Let me preface this story with a note. We have a new kitten who has such a strange little personality.  Nothing frightens her. Not the older and 4 times her size male cat. Not loud noises, not fire, not water, nothing, she's just kinda fearless that way. So onward,

Remember those little fireworks that were sometimes called snakes?  A little puck that you'd light with a match and it would grow out of the puck like a squirmy black snakes?  So I see a fireworks stand (which are run by non-profits here and this one was run by the local historical society ladies) and I think  'hm, I wonder what Margaux Martine (the kitten) would think of those little growing snakes? I think I'll stop in a get a couple. I remembered them as being like a quarter for a box of like 6 or something and it'll be nice to help out the historical society.

So I pull up next to this large 10 ft by 30 ft cage which holds about 6-8 women and a shit-load of gun powder.  Now you can't really see anything inside very well because of the fencing but immediately someone from within asks me:  "What can I get you?"
"Do you have those little snake things you light, y'know?"
She holds up a package of 8 canisters, probably holding about 50 of the snake pucks.  I don't really need that many, I think.
"Can I buy just like one of those?"
"Well, hold on now.  There's another one here." And she holds up a pack of like 6.
"You can give them to your friends."  One says from within.
"That's fine," I say.  "How much?"  Since they don't have the prices displayed.
I hand in a 5 dollar bill a little ways down the assembly line.
"What's your first name?"  I hear the woman who helped me call out.
That's kinda weird, I think. But it is post 9/11 and who knows what kind of mini-disaster I could create using the snake pucks. So I say, "Marla".
Then another snarky voice from within pipes up, "Way to spend big, Mar."
I know.
But that's not why I was taken aback.  That shit spewing mouth is sitting in a cage with enough gun-powder to blow her and everyone around her to kingdom come taking half the parking lot with her.  Having that much hate and frustration in your heart is dangerous.  The reason I didn't reach into my purse and throw a lit match at her was because I am sane.
I looked over to see another woman stuck in that danger cage who locked eyes with me and said, "Thank you, it's fine. It's fabulous."

And now of course I feel guilty, I should have rescued the nice fabulous lady from the cage and then thrown the match in.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

I can toe-tally explain. I haven't posted in a couple of weeks because I was busy!  I published the third O Line book, "The Rot is Deep"  as you can see here:

  This is the cover of Book 3 and you can buy them on Amazon or Barnes and Noble in print or e-readers.  But then I got a wild hair up there and decided to publish all the books on Smashwords for all the other e-readers. "Oh but Saylor you published all 4 books in an entire new format, how ever did you do that in just 3 weeks?"
"Because I am a publishing machine!"  Actually, it's mainly because we moved last year and I have made only 1 friend in town who is probably getting very sick of inviting me to dinner.  (Sorry Joe, reciprocal dinner coming soon! We even bought a kitchen table.)

Hold up a tic, did I say 4 books?  Why yes, I did. And thanks for catching it.  I've republished the satirical self-help guide, Nobody, really, Likes You. (It got 5 stars from an amazon reviewer in it's earlier version.)  I had pulled the book due to the asinine nature of the earlier publishers, which will go unnamed here.  I thought since in Book 3, Lorna finally publishes a book, it might be fun to actually have that book available to readers.

 So it's a book written for reality television stars by a fictional  character who is going to tell them what's what.  Yes, I did that. I wrote a book, in character, for people who make fools of themselves in front of the whole world, on "tape".  And it's funny.