Sep 112015
 

I have been remiss in getting this data onto my website. I’ve reported it in my social media pages but not here. At the end of July, beginning of August we signed two new authors to book contract into our press. Our business plan only called for adding one author this year but how in the flying frack are you going to chose between two incredibly good authors such as Stephanie L. Weippert and Christopher Bair.

Stephanie L. Weippert is a fantasy author and has a portfolio of material just waiting for us to dig through. Her subjects always revolve around the magical. While not yet published, she is well on her way to be an exceptional and prolific author. We wouldn’t be surprised if she ended up with a big name traditional contract in a very few years. We are exceptionally pleased at the rough draft of “Sweet Secrets” (available April ’16) and are drooling over another series as well.

Christopher Bair is a wildcard. He trends toward cyberpunk and dark fantasy. He’s published one book “Money for Nothing” through a gaming company. The company fell apart and we at TANSTAAFL were impressed enough that we wanted the series to live. Christopher is rewriting the book (removing gaming references) and we will publish it as “The Bloodshed of Mercenaries” in the summer of 2016 along with the prequel short story “The Assassination of Innocence.” We are expecting the next in the series, “The Culling of Evil”, either late 2016 or early 2017.

 

 September 11, 2015  Uncategorized No Responses »
Jun 302015
 

by Thomas Gondolfi – Since our origins there have been those who have pointed at TANSTAAFL Press and called us a vanity press or an outright cheat. As founder I’ve bristled at these comments but have kept my own angst under my hat, thinking that those people just didn’t understand. I waited, but watched.

I recently lost a potential author (and maybe a potential friend) because of our original contract. I was really unable to get that person to engage with me after I shared it with her. I was perplexed. On the heels of that crushing blow, I was told by a convention official, who I’ve never met, that I couldn’t move my seminars into the writer’s track because “we steer people away from vanity presses like you.” Wow. I could have been knocked over with a feather. I’m hoping to “repair” both of these broken relationships but for now they are just broken.

Our original contract we formed by taking the BEST of the pieces of author-positive contracts. Heck I’m an author and want everyone to have a contract I personally would be willing to sign on the other side. Only one piece wasn’t pulled or paraphrased from other contracts and that seemed to be the sticking point. The entire issue was around one section of the contract that I’d put in because I thought people would WANT the option I made available.

In short, the contract offered (but didn’t require) an Author to invest to cover some percentage of the initial costs (all receipts provided) in order to get a larger royalty percentage. Seems reasonable, right? In my mind it is / was a business decision that can be simply determined. I guess this was a /fail.

I took and rewrote a much more normal contract with a percentage of the net (with a smaller percentage than was called out in the original contract for zero investment) and offered both the key portions of this an author organization I was in and asked bluntly which, if either, contract they’d rather sign. I also dropped this on several authors I know.  Overwhelmingly (as in all but one) said the second percentage of the net contract or, in complete honesty, a couple of cases neither.

When I probed it turned out to be a visceral response to “asking for money.” Most authors these days are taught that money should only EVER flow one direction and that anyone else was a charlatan. When I created the contract I considered it an honest business decision that the author had complete control over. Why would their be an issue? Well obviously I was wrong!

One other thing came out – Why would TANSTAAFL Press fight hard to sell a book when they are only making a small percentage (with investment) when we could fight just as hard and sell a book for a much higher percentage (without investment). I see the built in conflict of interest. The only thing that would change that would be to watch me pitch my other author’s books vs my own book. It won’t take more than once or twice before you notice that I don’t give a flying care which one gets sold. I want the customer happy! I want receipts flowing in. BUT, at least this one made sense.

TANSTAAFL Press has NEVER been a vanity press. We have NEVER been a cheat or a scam. We never will be either of these things. We are new and will make mistakes (and own up to them). This appears to be one of those time. So in conclusion we’ve all but ditched our old contract. We will only offer the new percentage based contract. I’m hoping with this post, an apology, and a claim of impetuous youth (at least in the publishing game) that I may be able to repair the couple of bridges that were broken.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

 June 30, 2015  Uncategorized No Responses »
Apr 112015
 

Thomas Gondolfi and the wonderful folks from SciFi Monkeys have worked out a deal to post Thomas’ reviews of Indie Fiction on the SciFi Monkey’s pages. Approximately every other week, Thomas’ byline will appear bringing you another review of Indie work he’s come across in his travels.

Today was the premiere of Tom’s review of “Cobalt City: Los Muertos” authored by Nathan Crowder. You can find it here.

 April 11, 2015  Uncategorized No Responses »
Apr 072015
 

The print books of Metamorphosis: Lady Hornet, by Bruce H. Graw have arrived!  We are holding the launch for these books at Las Vegas Comic Con on the 24rd of April in.. well, Las Vegas, NV.  If you are in the area I encourage you to come and get to meet the author and get his autograph on his newest novel!

Look for book sales available here just after that convention.

IMG_20150407_140540_086

 April 7, 2015  Uncategorized No Responses »
Mar 042015
 
Thomas Gondolfi - High Rez

Folks, It’s been awhile since we’ve made a post here. We’ve found mentions of TANSTAAFL Press in our local newspaper and wanted to share.

The first one while it is on NVN page, can also be grabbed off of YouTube so I’ll use that link here.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5G1QuYSBWY

Second is nothing more than a picture
http://www.yelmonline.com/image_3df54c6e-3547-11e4-a7ca-0019bb2963f4.html

The final one, unfortunately requires you pay a $1 fee to get 7 days access. I’m copying the relevant part.
http://www.yelmonline.com/news/local_news/article_d843995c-3546-11e4-82c0-0019bb2963f4.html?success=2

Publishers, Authors Fill Yelm With Books
By Steven Wyble swyble@yelmonline.com
Books help shape people’s lives. They can inform, entertain and inspire. It’s not surprising books play an important part of people’s lives, even as the Internet threatens to change the way people consume the written word.
Yelm is filled with book publishers, large and small, motivated more by spreading their message than by making money — though money is still important. The companies range in size, to authors who publish their own books. What’s clear is that Yelm is a hotbed of publishers printing all kinds of books — guides to spiritual enlightenment, epic science fiction and fantasy novels, children’s books and dictionaries. And while there’s far too many publishers to explore in depth, there are a few that illustrate the kinds of books people in the Yelm area are producing.

TANSTAAFL Press, Indie Publishing

Thomas Gondolfi’s parents were both bibliophiles, so it’s not surprising he grew up to found a small indie press in Yelm.
Gondolfi’s parents both loved western and mystery novels, but his dad had a penchant for science fiction that his mother only casually shared. But that love of science fiction rubbed off on Gondolfi. At first, his dad introduced him to the juvenile fiction of sci-fi author Robert Heinlein. As he grew up, he started getting into Heinlein’s adult fiction.
A Heinlein novel, in fact, was the inspiration for the name of Gondolfi’s company — TANSTAAFL Press.
The acronym stands for, “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch,” a phrase popularized by Heinlein’s novel, “The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress.”
“I wanted to give kind of an homage to my hero, Robert Heinlein,” Gondolfi said. “Whenever I go to a (science fiction) convention, I’d say 60-70 percent of the people will come up to me and say, ‘Well, anyone with a name like TANSTAAFL Press, I half-like you already.”
The phrase — which means it’s not possible to get something for nothing — also serves as a nod to the business side of writing and selling books, Gondolfi said.
“It’s the concept that I’m giving something to other people — in this case, the twisted vision in my head, entertainment — and they’re giving me money, if you will. I consider it (money) almost applause. If you’re willing to pay me money to see what I’ve written and be entertained by me, then you’re giving applause by giving me money.”
Gondolfi has a solid scientific background having worked for Intel in DuPont and Xerox before that.
“I use my knowledge as a background, but I write what I want to write and try to make the science fit,” he said. “But at the same time, I won’t write anything illogical.”
That commitment to logic delayed the publication of his first book, “Toy Wars,” which he first wrote 15 years ago. The novel is about robotic toys fighting a war with each other on a distant planet.
“I couldn’t think of a logical reason why toys would fight toys, and so I just kept thinking about it,” he said. “What you see as the preface of the book is what I came up with, how toys would logically be fighting toys. Once I got that, it was like, ‘OK, now I can start writing the book.’”
Gondolfi considered going the traditional route and submitting his work to traditional publishers, but he didn’t look forward to the long, grueling process, he said.
When his wife gave him a book for Christmas called “The Well-fed Self Publisher” by Peter Bowerman, he realized he could publish his books himself.
TANSTAAFL Press got its business license in December 2011. It took Gondolfi about a year to put out his first book, “Toy Wars.”
Since then, TANSTAAFL Press has put out a total of five books, including two by Gondolfi’s longtime friend Bruce Graw, author of TANSTAAFL titles “Demon Holiday” and “Demon Ascendant.”
“I see it (the company) growing organically with the additional books I’ve put out,” he said.
Gondofli has learned the best way to promote books is through word-of-mouth, Gondofli said.
When he thought of how he discovered new books, he noted he either stumbled upon one in a bookstore or heard about one from someone — and between the two, word of mouth is where he’s focusing.
He’s generating that word of mouth by making himself approachable at conventions, where he often rents out booths or gives talks. He’s often accompanied by a purple teddy bear wielding a machine gun — the main character of “Toy Wars.”
“I can’t sell to a man dying of thirst,” Gondolfi said. “Never have been able to. But what I’ve learned is not to sell. I don’t sell my books. I market my books.”

 March 4, 2015  Uncategorized No Responses »
Dec 182014
 
Lady Hornet Cover Feature Image for WordPress

Metamorphosis: Lady Hornet, the latest novel by Bruce Graw is now at the editors. All things being equal we are looking at an availability date of end of March! Meanwhile Bruce is hunkered down on his next novel, The Faerie of Central Park. While we would like to see the next Metamorphosis book as soon as possible, TFoCP is nearly ready and we are hoping to go to print with that circa Halloween of 2015.

 December 18, 2014  Uncategorized No Responses »
Oct 192014
 
Stock-Chart

While it comes as no surprise to us, the data is in and TANSTAAFL Press has grown forty percent year-over-year in total sales. We are also at a positive cash flow. To have a positive cash flow in year two is amazing for any small business. We want to thank you, the fans, for your huge support.

While TANSTAAFL is currently using black ink we are dipping into this to create a few new items you might enjoy. First, and probably least for many of you, is that sometime in the near future, TANSTAAFL will offer e-books on our own site. We won’t pull them from the other sites such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble but we will be making them available for direct purchase at conventions and our site.

Second, we are working on an animated book trailer for our company and our books that we hope will entertain you! While it doesn’t directly involve the book plots, some of the characters (Don Quixote, the teddy bear and Cinnamon, the cat) will be appearing in leading roles. There is no definitive date for release at this time.

 October 19, 2014  Uncategorized No Responses »
Jul 272014
 

Yesterday I attended NW Book Festival, Portland Oregon. This is the beginning of our second convention season. Last year this was the first event I’d attended so we’ve come full circle.

I wasn’t surprised, but disappointed, that there was no repeat traffic here. The reason it didn’t surprise me was because of the nature of the festival. Most of it is spontaneous (“I didn’t know this was going on” was a common refrain both years). While the folks say that there is advertizing I am not sure how effective it is. That is NOT a criticism but rather an observation. This festival is well run and I enjoy it a great deal.

We only did half as well as we did last year, but on checking my records, I find that this fair last year did a nearly record single day… it held the record all the way up to Origin’s Game fair this year. This year wasn’t as great. That having been said, I still cleared my costs by a couple of dollars, not to mention getting to chat with some great new folks. Special shout outs to Heather, Aubry Kae Andersen, from the North Seattle SciFi and Fantasy Writers, and Ms. Wiseman!

While sales weren’t stellar, I did talk to a great number of folks. I kept trying to mingle with my fellow authors but people were drawn to my booth and I’d have to slide back for a chat. I felt good about the day and definitely will return next year!

I added pictures to show how much stuff my set-up uses (and yes it all fits into my Prius, but just) and thought I’d add a picture of myself in the booth for a change. Thanks Heather for snapping the photo! NWBookFestival (2) NWBookFestival (3)NWBookFestival (1)

 July 27, 2014  Uncategorized No Responses »
Jun 012014
 
thomas-gondolfi-FI

I mentioned in my previous posts that I was interviewed at Crypticon. SciFi Monkeys is a long running SciFi / Horror review blog. After they read only half of Toy Wars they came and asked to interview me.

The interview is now posted (over nine minutes — didn’t know I was that verbose). In addition they said some very nice things about Toy Wars. Go see the interview and their own words at  http://scifimonkeys.com/sfm-exclusive-ronnie-chats-with-thomas-gondolfi-author-of-toy-wars-at-crypticon-seattle/.

 

 

 June 1, 2014  Uncategorized No Responses »
May 272014
 

TOTB 2in high

 

For those of you who have been waiting, Thinking Outside the Box is now available for purchase. We’ve actually had them since before Crypticon but haven’t been able to update this website fast enough to keep up while getting ready for a show. Preorders shipped last week. If you are interested in this latest installment in the CorpGov Chronicles, please click on the above link to purchase the physical copy or this link to go to your favorite ebook seller.

 May 27, 2014  Uncategorized No Responses »