Greetings from St. Louis, Missouri, where I am celebrating the American holiday Thanksgiving with my family, and taking a bit of a break from book reviews and other major updates to the CCLaP site. That said, I thought I'd at least try to get some minor updates posted while I'm on vacation; and that leads me to the center's first original book, the story cycle Repetition Patterns by local author Ben Tanzer, which this week marks its first month of being online and available to the public. Because the fact is that public opinion about the book is starting to trickle in, and thankfully so far has been 100 percent positive; it's something I've been wanting to mention, so thought here during the holidays would be a good time to do so. Favorable mentions now include:
--Author Jason Jordan (who is also editor-in-chief of the literary zine decomP), who over at the book's Goodreads listing said: "Tanzer does it again with Repetition Patterns, a forty-page eBook that could be his best work yet." (And for what it's worth, there are now almost 50 people at Goodreads with the title either on their "to-read" or "have read" lists, with an average rating there now of 4.6 out of 5.)
--Author Nick Ostdick, who did a very nice write-up recently about the book, calling it "ideal to have on your desktop for a quick read" and comparing Ben's writing to no less than Raymond Carver, Junot Diaz and Ha Jin. Wow!
--And let's not forget Time Out: Chicago, where Books editor Jonathan Messinger recently did a more technical write-up about the book's "pay what you want" pricing scheme*, but also calls the book itself "inventive" and "sharply designed."
My thanks to Jason, Nick, and Jonathan for the kind words; and don't forget, if you yourself end up having something to say about the book at your own blog (either good or bad), by all means drop me a line at cclapcenter [at] gmail.com, so that Ben and I will know about it!
*And since I'm sure many self-publishing writers are interested, let me mention that as of its first month online, Repetition Patterns is maintaining a consistent 10-percent download rate among all people who visit the book's online headquarters; as of today, for example, roughly 600 people have now checked out the book online, with 60 of you ending up downloading it. And the rate of voluntary payment has held steady too, right around 20 percent of all downloaders over its first month of release, with those people paying an average of $6 per copy. Like I said, these rates have held steady every week for the first four weeks of the book's release, plus I'm told match up to the rates that Radiohead had for their own "pay what you want" experiment regarding their CD In Rainbows; although not a guarantee, it's looking more and more like these are percentages that pretty much all self-publishers and basement presses can count on, when doing a similar experiment with their own projects.