Publishers and Authors

The Lee Allred Website

Ever wondered what publishers have to go through dealing with authors? Authors are like sweet, innocent children. Sweet innocent absent-minded truculent scatterbrained terrorizing hellion Satan-spawn without a single brain in their whole head!!!!!

*Ahem* Where was I?

Authors are like sweet, innocent children. It is the role of the publisher to take the author-child by the hand and gently lead that author. At no time should an author be allowed to putter about on his or her own.

As a case in point, may I submit this recent email exchange between Publisher and Author?


16 Feb 2012
Subject: Author Online Presence and Horizontal RH Brand-Amplification Impactization
Dear Mr. Allred,

Just a follow-up reminder re our Rookhouse board meeting of 26 Dec 2011. As part of our December Rookhouse sneak peak, you were to update your author webpage at to reflect your participation in Rookhouse; i.e. feature your new Rookhouse eBooks in your bibliography.

It has been nearly sixty days since the Board meeting, and this has not yet been accomplished.

Please attend to this matter.

Kip Grant
Publisher, Rookhouse Books

16 Feb 2012
Hey Kip,

Uh, didn’t I do this already? I could have sworn I just updated that stupid webpage. I’m always updating that stupid webpage.

— Lee

16 Feb 2012
You haven’t updated your webpage since September 2008!!!!!
— K

16 Feb 2012
Is that a bad thing? You say that like it’s a bad thing.

— L

16 Feb 2012
FIX IT ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!!

— K

17 Feb 2012
What do you mean fix it? It’s always been fixed. See?

— L

17 Feb 2012
Oh. And I suppose Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.

— K

17 Feb 2012

— L

Sigh. Authors. Can’t live with ’em, can’t shoot ’em without harming the revenue stream.


— Kip Grant, Publisher/Babysitter



I Want to Buy! Buy!

We’ve received some good news and some bad news here at Rookhouse Central about our new Marketing Department.

The Bad News

Obviously some of our new employees have way too much free time on their hands.

Are all our books sold out? I think not! Back to work, crow crews!

The Good News

On the other hand, efforts to train our marketing department to pitch our books is proceeding apace. We seem to have gotten past the first hurdle: a verbal greeting.

Mission accomplished on “Hi” and “Hello.”

I suspect that part of our problem lies in our trainers, not our trainees. Instead of teaching our crows the simple task of saying “Buy Rookhouse Books! Buy Rookhouse Books!” some of you are just reinforcing our crows’ sense of entitlement.

Less ego-boosting, more book-boosting, please.

“I want to fly! Fly!”!?!?!

The catch phrase was supposed to be “You”…”You want to buy! Buy!”

Get it together, folks.

Now that’s just wrong on so many levels. It’s no use teaching cats to speak Crow. Cats don’t buy books!

Until next week, Rookheads. Remember: You want to buy! Buy!


— Kip Grant, Publisher and Birdman of Alcatraz Avarice


(h/t to Kristine Kathryn Rusch for the snaowboarding crow URL and for suggesting this post)


About Our Lame Company Motto

Ever wonder what’s up with our lame company motto: “Books to Crow About“? Ever wonder how we could come up with something so lame, let alone decide to run with it?

Well, wonder no more, Rookheads! Here’s the true story behind our company slogan.

Late at night at the Rookhouse building. A single 40-watt bulb burns feebly above the oaken conference table, casting wan shadows across the grim faces of the gathered Rookhouse staff. An emergency meeting has been called. A crisis has been discovered — a crisis that must be adverted! — or the newly-formed Rookhouse Books will die stillborn in its cradle.

Transcript of meeting begins:

Kip Grant (Publisher): Troops, we have ourselves a problem here at —

Doc Hornet (Media Research): Pew-pew-pew! Pew-pew-pew!

Grant: — a problem here at —

Hornet: Pew-pew-pew! Pew-pew-pew!

[Dr. No (Budgeting) reaches over and shuts down Hornet’s laptop he’s playing City of Heroes on.]

Dr. No: No!

[Vociferous protests from Hornet redacted from transcript.]

Grant: *Ahem!* As I was saying, Rookhouse faces an unparalleled crisis. Cheetah, if you will?

Cheetah (IT/Webmaster): As you know, we’ve decided to build our website around the WordPress blogging platform. It’s simple, it’s quick, it’s —

Copper (Graphic Design): It’s the only one Grant can figure out how to post to!

Cheetah: — it’s the only one Grant can figure out how to post to.

[Vociferous denials from Kip Grant redacted from transcript.]

Tess (Facilities Manager): If it’s so simple even Grant can use it—

Grant: Hey!

Tess: — what’s the problem?

Cheetah: This. [Swivels his laptop screen around so everyone can see it.] This is the prototype of the webpage our graphics guru, Copper, and I have worked up.

Various assembled staff: Ooh! I like that…Great job, Copper! I love that top banner and the blood splatters!…Isn’t that a little too bloodthirsty? We’re not just publishing mysteries…etc. etc.

Grant: *Ahem!* You see here under the site’s main title of Rookhouse Books? That “Site Description” line under it? We need to put our company slogan on that line.

Hornet: I didn’t know we had a slogan.

Grant: We don’t! That’s the crisis.

Various assembled staff: You called us here in the middle of a rainy night for that?…Man! It was hard enough just coming up with a company name! Now they want a slogan?…Slogan, schmogan. I want to get back to leveling my character! I’m losing XP here!…I think that ‘Publisher’ title has gone to Grant’s head…Man, who drank all the Fresca in the break room?…etc. etc.

[Conversation dies down eventually.]

Grant: We need a slogan, people. Preferably one that ties in with the crow theme we’re going with.

Hornet: How about “Rookhouse Books — Our books are caw-caw!”

Grant: I’m serious here, people.

Copper: “Rookhouse Books — Books so bad, they drive you Raven Mad!”

Tess: “Rookhouse Books — We’re just winging it!”

Cheetah: “Rookhouse Books — Hit the road, Jackdaw!”

Hornet: “We’re Magpie-nificent!”

Tess: “Buy, buy, Blackbird!” Get it? B-U-Y?

Grant (holding his head in his hands): We got it.

Hornet: “Rookhouse Book — Where we Rook our customers!”

Tess: I got it! I got it! “The competition doesn’t Scarecrow Us!” Get it? Get it? Scare-crow? Scarecrow?

Entire Staff: WE GOT IT!!!

[Meeting goes on for another pointless ninety minutes.]

Transcript Ends.

So now you know. The next time you see our company motto “Books to Crow About” and think it lamer-than-lame, just remember: given our crew, it could have been worse. Much, much worse!


— Kip Grant, Pun-ished Publisher


Our Marketing Department

Rookhouse Books Marketing Dept.

Rookhouse Books is pleased to announce we’ve finally staffed our marketing department!

We’re really excited about this one, Raven-readers! We’ve managed to land an exclusive contract with the International Order of Crows, Ravens, Rooks, Blackbirds, Magpies, Jackdaws and Other Fell Birds (or IOCRRBMJOFB for short).

That’s right!

Every crow-like bird worldwide is now a 24/7 door-to-door (as the crow flies) marketer for Rookhouse’s fantastic line of books. They’ll be singing our praises right after we teach them how to sing! (Given that the Corvus genus of birds has been determined to be as smart as gibbons and chimpanzees, it’s only a matter of time.)

Sure, all they can say right now is that our books are “Caw, Caw,” but that will soon change. Soon you won’t be able to wander a cornfield maze without hearing eloquent sales pitches about such Rookhouse Book titles as East of Appomattox or Hymnal.

So look to the sky, Raven-readers!

From now on, anytime you see a Murder of Crows, a Train of Jackdaws, a Parliament of Rooks, an Unkindness of Ravens, a Pie of Blackbirds, or a Tidings of Magpies…

…think of Rookhouse Books!

I know we do.

(Oh, and if you happen to see any of our new employees just milling around on the ground, slacking off and eating your grain — or maybe just sitting on an overhanging branch and leaving nuggets of wisdom on your car roofs or windshields — feel free to shoo them away back to work. According to the contract IOCRRBMJOFB signed with us, no coffee breaks allowed!)


— Kip Grant, Publisher


Who’s Who in the Crow’s Nest

Wednesday greetings! We’ve pretty much finished filling out our staffing here at the Rookery. It’s time to give you the lowdown on our kooky cast of characters here at the Rookhouse.

As you peruse our personnel chart of Raven Mavens, you probably notice that a lot of our staff go by their Iraq AOR radio call signs. Not only have we been using them to referring to each other for years now, but several of our crew prefer their call signs to their given names. (Confidentially, I think a couple of them have forgotten their real names. Copper, I’m looking at you!)


Publisher/Editor/Web Copy

Kip Grant

IT/EI/Reluctant Webmaster


Graphic Design/Comic Book Guru


Media & Market Research*

Doc Hornet

Petty Cash & Budget

Dr. No (“No means no! Buy your own!”)

Red Horse/Prime Beef (Facilities)


Receptionist/Mail Desk


* We’re not sure just what this entails, either; it seems mainly to involve Doc Hornet hanging around playing the online superhero MMORPG game City of Heroes 24/7 and consuming all the consumables in the break room. Also watching anime. A LOT of anime!

Doc Hornet claims he hails from “Liberty Server” No, we have no idea what that means, either, but whatever imaginary dimension this “Liberty Server” occupies, it seems be accessible locally; most days you can find Doc Hornet parked in the Rookhouse on a spare computer combatting online menaces while making “Pew-pew-pew!” laser beam sound effects out of his mouth.

I suspect that Amazon Prime package that just arrived with the Star Wars The Old Republic online MMORPG game belongs to Doc, too.


All next month he’ll be making light sabre noises while I try to get some work done here.

— Kip Grant, Pew-pew-pewed Publisher