Posts Tagged ‘Books’

Monday, April 15, 2013

Adirondack Books: A Best Seller or A Local Seller?

Adirondack Books at Hoss'sWould you rather have a book on the New York Times Best Seller List, or a top seller in the Adirondack region?

If you’re an aspiring author, I know, I know … stupid question. But humor me, and before you answer, let me further define the question in this fashion: your book appearing on the New York Times list was produced, marketed, and sold by one of the world’s largest publishing companies. Your regional book, on the other hand, was self-published, which means it was funded, marketed, and sold by you.

I recently asked my partner that question, with the answer appearing obvious to both of us―but it isn’t. Actually, your reply depends on your goals: bragging rights for making the Times list, along with a semblance of fame and a profit; or regional popularity and a larger profit. » Continue Reading.


Monday, April 1, 2013

Commentary: Lawrence Gooley On Buying Local

Buy LocalBuy local … it works! A month ago, I wrote about Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza suing the country’s six largest publishers over e-book issues, and the impact the outcome might have on regional booksellers. As one way of fighting back and helping small businesses (including those in the Adirondacks) survive against the behemoths, I urged consumers to buy local and support the stores in their communities. One comment generated by my story dismissed the idea: “Anyway, exhortations to buy local or buy paper books isn’t going to work, and is not the answer.”

Recent statistics suggest that just the opposite is proving true: it is part of the answer. Despite widespread claims in recent years that e-books would soon cause the demise of printed books, independent bookstores had a great year in 2012. And one of the contributing factors cited is the Buy Local movement. » Continue Reading.


Monday, March 4, 2013

Lawrence Gooley:
Amazon, Collusion, and Local Book Stores

Book House imageSix months ago, I wrote about a major court decision and the negative impact it could have on many regional Adirondack businesses, especially booksellers. The next phase has arrived in a convoluted, “if-you-can’t-beat-’em, join-’em” story, challenged by one of upstate New York’s top independent bookstores. The defendants in the earlier case included several of the nation’s largest publishers―Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Group, and Simon & Schuster. Their e-book titles were being deeply discounted by Amazon, and to fight back, the group signed an exclusive agreement with Apple to sell the same e-books at artificially inflated prices.

The government called it anti-trust collusion, and when the courts approved a settlement in favor of Amazon last September, the Justice Department lauded the agreement as “in the public interest, and consumers will start to benefit from the restored competition in this important industry.” » Continue Reading.


Thursday, February 28, 2013

Adirondack Center For Writing’s Literary Awards

Adirodnack Center for WritingThere is still a week left to enter the Adirondack Center for Writing’s (ACW) popular annual Adirondack Literary Awards. ACW is looking for submissions of fiction, poetry, children’s literature, memoir, nonfiction, and photography published any time in 2012.

The ACW Literary Awards is a way to honor the writers and publishers who live and work (even part-time) in the North Country. Submission don’t have to be Adirondack- themed, though they can be. If you live here and published this past year, just send in twocopies for consideration before March 8th.  Attach a cover letter with complete contact information and the genre in which you will enter your submission. » Continue Reading.


Monday, February 18, 2013

Remembering Chestertown Author David Pitkin

David Pitkin Afterworld 3HThe regional writing community lost a well-known member with the recent death of David Pitkin, 73, of Chestertown on February 13. I first communicated with David via email many years ago to obtain copies of his books for our online store. In person or by email, he came across as friendly, kind, and gracious. While I didn’t know him well personally and only met him a few times at book events, I did know him through his writings.

David was the most recognized ghost-story author in the Adirondack region. A native of Corinth in Saratoga County, he wrote his first book of ghost stories in 1998 following retirement from 36 years as a schoolteacher. The subject was ghosts of Saratoga County, which Pitkin called “America’s most haunted county.”  The book was a success, leading to many more similar titles, the most recent of which was released just six months before his death. He also wrote a novel and was working on a sequel at his passing. » Continue Reading.


Monday, January 28, 2013

Gooley on Garrow: Accuracy And Historical Narrative

Caveat Emptor sign 02Standards are important when writing something for public consumption. If the material is based on an actual event (rather than an opinion piece or commentary), the writer carries the burden of getting it right, a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. We all make mistakes, and though it’s not my role in life to criticize others, books are important to me, and when I see slipshod work passed off as factual, it’s very irritating. It diminishes the efforts of regional writers when poorly researched and error-filled regional books are offered to the public. » Continue Reading.


Monday, January 7, 2013

Writing: Avoiding Book Publishing Frauds

With so many successful self-published books in the Adirondack region, it was disturbing to hear the recent news so close to home that police in Hinesburg, Vermont (south of Burlington), discovered what they have termed a Ponzi-style publishing scheme. The case first came to light in June 2011 when it was reported that Peter Campbell-Copp, former president of the Manchester Historical Society, had allegedly defrauded individuals and businesses to the tune of $170,000.

According to media reports, Campbell-Copp contracted to handle the editing, printing, and marketing of clients’ books as a publisher. Apparently, some of the printing was done by at least two firms, and Campbell-Copp was known to have served at least fifteen authors. Except that the allegations are he served them nothing but bitterness.

According to police, taking the biggest hit of all was Print Tech, a Burlington company for more than three decades. Around January 2010, they began producing print jobs for Campbell-Copp, receiving several scheduled payments. The work continued, but the payments stopped, and the work eventually stopped as well, by which time the company was owed about $100,000. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

High Peaks Happy Hour: 2012 Annual Report

Whether measured as 9,375 square miles or as 6.1 million acres, we can vouch for the fact that the Adirondack Park is huge. We covered most of the main roads in the park, visited nearly 120 bars and clocked over 5,600 miles since we began our project in January, 2011, to find the best 46 “High Peak” bars in the Adirondack Park. The farthest distance traveled one way was 110 miles to Cranberry Lake. Many others were very close to that distance in any direction. Pam, a self-proclaimed excellent driver, logged most of those miles while Kim served as navigator, photographer and chief note taker. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Adirondack Trails with Tales: History Hiking Guide

Adirondack Trails with Tales: History Hikes through the Adirondack Park and the Lake George, Lake Champlain & Mohawk Valley Regions (Blackdome Press, 2009) is by Albany writers Barbara Delaney and Russell Dunn, licensed guides and authors of books on the great outdoors of eastern New York and western New England. Trails with Tales is an effort to connect hikers with the history around them. The guide includes detailed directions, maps, photographs, and vintage postcards.

The book guides readers through sites made famous by Adirondack guides, artists, writers, entrepreneurs, colonial settlers, and combatants in the French and Indian and Revolutionary Wars. Abandoned iron mines and the ruins of tanneries, famous Adirondack great camps and old resorts, lost villages, Native American battlegrounds, and the homestead of John Brown, catalyst for the Civil War are covered, as are the scene of America’s first naval battle and marvel at geological wonders like Indian Pass, Canajoharie Gorge, Chimney Mountain, and the tufa caves of Van Hornesville. » Continue Reading.


Monday, December 17, 2012

An Autobiography: Edward Livingston Trudeau

A recent “discovery” brought me great pleasure: a beautifully written book about a very popular Adirondack subject. The book was written more than a century ago (thus the quotation marks), and many are familiar with it. It was a discovery for me because I had never read it and had never seen it among the genres of history or medicine on area bookshelves. In fact, I only came across it as part of a new venture here at Bloated Toe Publishing.

We recently began producing our “Preserving History” collection―physical reprints of outstanding books that are part of the public domain (not copyright protected). As part of the process, I’m required to read through each one. That’s what led me to An Autobiography: Edward Livingston Trudeau.

An excellent perk of producing this collection is being “forced” to read great books that I otherwise might not find time to enjoy. It adds to all the busyness, but what a payoff! Trudeau’s own story is a gem. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Lost Ski Areas of the Southern Adirondacks

The Adirondack region has long been a favorite of skiers, as its mountains and snow cover provided a perfect landscape for downhill ski areas to develop during the Great Depression, when New Yorkers looked for an affordable escape to beat the winter blues. Over the decades, ski areas expanded with new lifts, lodges and trails. Despite the popularity of the sport, many ski areas have disappeared, yet countless people still hold fond memories of them.

Ski historian Jeremy Davis, the founder of the New England Lost Ski Areas Project (NELSAP), has released a new book on the subject. Lost Ski Areas of the Southern Adirondacks (History Press, 2012).  A lost ski area is “a ski area that once offered lift-served, organized skiing, but is now abandoned and closed for good. For NELSAP’s purposes it had to have a lift – it could be a simple rope tow or multiple chairlifts, but it had to have a lift. The size of the area or number of lifts isn’t important,” Davis told Adirondack Almanack contributor Jeff Farbaniec in an interview last year. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Great Gifts: Kayaker’s Guide to Lake Champlain

A Kayaker’s Guide to Lake Champlain: Exploring the New York, Vermont, and Quebec Shores (Blackdome Press, 2009) is an authoritative effort by Catherine Frank and Margaret Holden. The guide includes detailed directions, information on launch sites, 54 maps, GPS coordinates, 93 photographs, safety and comfort tips, a wealth of historical and geological information, and directories of paddling outfitters, organizations and clubs.

50 different watery paths of adventure divided into eight sections covering the Champlain Islands, the Inland Sea, Missisquoi Bay, Broad Lake North, Malletts Bay, Broad Lake East, Broad Lake West, and South Bay, provide an intimate, cove by cove, island by island exploration of America’s other great lake, celebrating the 400th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain’s epochal journey of discovery in 1609. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Great Gifts: Adirondack Waterfall Guide

In the Adirondacks we have guides for everything: where to hike with your dog, or your kids, guides for climbing, kayaking, and geology. From slide skiing and scat, to bouldering and birding, you can find a guide perfect for your individual Adirondack experience. Russell Dunn’s Adirondack Waterfall Guide (Black Done Press, 2003) is a great gift for everyone with an interest in the Adirondacks, no matter what their inclinations, from sporting to sightseeing.

From roadside views to wilderness treks and canoe paddles, author Dunn has selected waterfall adventures for every ability based on twenty years of exploration. Covering many of the significant waterfalls in the eastern half of the Park, the guide is organized along major travel routes and includes easy-to-follow directions and 50 maps. Vintage postcards and line art accompany the text which includes notes on accessibility, difficultly, and history. » Continue Reading.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Pearl Harbor and the Battle of Plattsburgh

The anniversary of the Battle of Plattsburgh passed recently (it was fought September 11, 1814), and this week, the anniversary of another famous American battle is noted: the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. Within the military, both battles are held in the highest regard as critical moments in American history, and oddly enough, the two have an unusual link of sorts.

I discovered this several years ago while working on one of my earlier publications, The Battle of Plattsburgh Question & Answer Book. It’s not earth-shattering stuff, but instead more of an “I’ll be darned!” moment that happened during research.

The book’s unusual format led me to several similar discoveries. I wanted to cover the entire story of Plattsburgh’s famous battle, but in a way that might be enjoyed by children as well as adults. When my children were young, I often made a game of things to keep their minds active and teach them when they didn’t realize they were being taught. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Book Review: Life Under the Fast Lane

Life Under the Fast Lane by Tom DuBoisThe Adirondack Park has its share of guidebooks—for hiking, paddling, birding, fishing, cross-country skiing, you name it. Just when you think the field has been exhausted along comes another.

The latest addition to the genre is one I never would have foreseen: a guidebook to the culverts under the Northway.

The author, Tom DuBois, is a veteran bushwhacker who likes to scout out remote cliffs for rock climbing. Life Under the Fast Lane grew out of his efforts to find crags in the Dix Mountain Wilderness, Hoffman Notch Wilderness, and other state lands on the west side of the Northway (I-87).

The book gives detailed directions to eleven “walking culverts” between Exit 28 and Exit 31 that can be used to reach public lands that otherwise would be inaccessible. As the name suggests, all of these culverts are large enough to walk through (and sometimes drive through). You may need to ford a river or bushwhack to get to a culvert, and once on the other side, you’ll need to bushwhack if you plan to hike any distance. » Continue Reading.