Feb 152016

Since our inception, the symbol of our company has been a brass cannon. The brass cannonCannon Logo3, like our company name, was a hommage to our favorite author, Robert Heinlein. We admit to a certain devilishness by using the extremely unusual reference to tease our patrons. Since its adoption we’ve found exactly five people who recognize it.

Conversely, now, almost four years later, we’ve grown and listened. Toy Wars remains our best seller. Toy_Wars_Cover_Final_Front_Cover_Only 1400

Avatar  scan0001 Don Quixote, the purple bear with the M16, continues to delight and engage you, the patron and bring in other curious creatures. IMG_20140801_150008_671    IMG_20140802_145259_835

Vendors and customers alike sometimes forget our founder’s name, but it didn’t take long for them to bestow upon him the moniker Teddy Bear Man. IMG_20150912_173835_399  IMG_20140820_170531_143  IMG_20140703_185148_192  IMG_20150124_095159_833

Never let it be said that TANSTAAFL Press won’t take a hint.  Starting 2016, we will be phasing out the obscure cannon, and phasing in our lovable friend Don Quixote. You will see this happen on and in our books, on our website, and everywhere you look for us :D

 February 15, 2016  Uncategorized No Responses »
Jan 262016

TANSTAAFL Press is publishing Stephanie L. Weippert’s first novel!  Now for the best part.. we should have this in print no later than the end of April. As a result of this tremendous and wonderful news we are offering Sweet Secrets as a preorder at a special low price.

Reserve your copy today!

 January 26, 2016  Uncategorized No Responses »
Oct 062015


We’ve actually started some advertizing on Krypton Radio for our books. A couple of them are quite humorous and we encourage you to go take a listen.  If you want to only catch they ads, they are on at the top of the hour, every hour. There are four ads run in rotation.  Go take a listen and maybe even a giggle.

For those of you who don’t know what Krypton Radio is, I want to highly recommend this form of entertainment as an alternative to your ipod or Windows Media playlist. 24/7 they play geeky parodies of current popular music, they play music from scifi movies, they have regular show including techonology, how to do costuming for cosplay and much more.  Their tag line is “It’s SciFi for your WiFi.”

I’ve been listening to this pretty steady for a couple of weeks and they do some wonderful things. Please show up and listen or even become a contributor.

 October 6, 2015  Uncategorized No Responses »
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.


 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.

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 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 »