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.
Second is nothing more than a picture
The final one, unfortunately requires you pay a $1 fee to get 7 days access. I’m copying the relevant part.
Publishers, Authors Fill Yelm With Books
By Steven Wyble email@example.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.”