Friday, August 29, 2008

Chat Noir Books Recycles

We have had a few people ask us if we recycle here at the store and I am proud to say yes we do! Not only do we recycle our paper, plastic and glass waste, but we also recycle our coffee grinds, which are great for the garden!! We also try to reuse our old coffee and drink trays, as long as they are not soiled. Bookstores are also a great place to pick up boxes, for storage or if you're moving. We're also a great place to find bubble wrap and packaging paper.

Walking With Wolf

Books, Coffee and Music. How can you possibly resist?

Muscial Friday afternoon

This afternoon at 2:30pm until 3:00pm we have Andy Klaehn and Guy Coolin in the store playing some Jazz and Blues music. It looks like it is going to be a rainy day so why not drop by and enjoy a nice hot latte or cool Cappuccino with a side of live music.

You can Check out Andy Klaehn's here, Andy is a Southern-Ontario jazz musician who plays saxophone, clarinet and flute. In addition to performing Andy, also teaches extensively. He is the Clarinet and Saxophone instructor at the University of Guelph's Music Department and he also runs his own teaching studio.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Great Entertainment

Today's review: Another Sigma Force novel from James Rollins. If you enjoy Clive Cussler this guy is for you! I actually enjoy reading these Sigma novels from time to time. They are great high energy adventures and are very entertaining, no brain strain required. This is another great example from Mr.Rollins.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

More Garden Pics

These were the garden beds in the spring when we first made them.

Here they are now.

More of our veggies. We're so proud.

Some of my mom's flowers. Just because I think they're pretty.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Green Thumbs

In unrelated to the store news, we started a veggie garden this year and although we've not had the best growing season we've has some success. We've had so much success with the yellow bush beans that we've stopped eating them every night and are now blanching and freezing them at an alarming rate.

The Kohlrabi has been great, the beets, peas and radishes were all good. The zucchini is just now exploding and the eggplants are growing, hopefully we'll have a warm Sept and we can get a few more from them.

Our carrots have also been great - here are two of them that got a little lovey dovey.

The tomato crop is keeping us in lovely little bite sized heaven. However, it was really just too cold and cloudy for peppers and cucumbers; maybe next year will be warmer. We did get a few hot peppers and some pimentos though. We also planted swiss chard but they really haven't done much of anything. We're still waiting to harvest the potatoes and parsnips but they look good so far.

More photos to come.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I want to sell my self-published book. Where do I start?

This is something we are asked about all the time so here are a few thoughts on the matter.

Self Publishing

If you are thinking of writing a book or already have and are looking to get it published, here are a few tips to consider from the bookseller side.

1. Pricing: When you are deciding the selling price of your book, keep in mind that bookstores buy their books at a discount off the list price so they can make a profit. The bookstore is giving you their staff, their location and their expertise to sell your book; this is how they get paid for that. General trade terms are 40% off the list price and the books are returnable after 3 months for credit or there is a higher discount. Make sure you come up with a price that covers your print costs and leaves room for you and the store to make bit of money as well. It takes a lot of $19.99 items to pay the rent and shelf space is valuable.

2. ISBN Number: Your book should have an ISBN number. You can get an ISBN # from Library and Archives Canada . Whoever obtains the ISBN for a new book actually becomes the publisher of record. It also plays an important part to booksellers, as it is the number we use for ordering, cataloguing and restocking. ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number and it is a number unique to your book.

3.Barcodes: Although it is not absolutely essential to have a barcode on any retail product or publication, it is often required by re-sellers and distributors. They use the barcode to efficiently keep active inventories and sales records. It will make your book easier to sell and that's what you want.

4. Marketing: Just because your books are now on the shelf in a bookstore it doesn't mean they are going to sell. You still need to come up with a plan. As the publisher it is your job to promote your list of titles. Books do not sell just by being on the bookstore shelf. Press releases and phone calls to your local media should be the very least you do as part of your marketing. Keep in mind that most smaller bookstores do a lot of "Handselling" to their customers. Consider a reading copy for the store as an investment in promotion - if a particular employee likes your book they can make a big difference in how may copies are sold.

5. Design and Editing: With the vast numbers of books published every year, packaging is key. Design elements include the typeface, jacket and layout. Putting the title on the spine is essential for placement on store shelves. Your book needs to look just as good as the ones from traditional publishing houses if you want it to sell. A professional editor is worth every penny they charge. You need someone who is not afraid to tell you the truth if something needs to be changed.

6. Book Signings and Events: Bookstores do not buy all of the stock for book signings they hold. Publishers send a large amount of stock to the store ahead of the author arriving. The bookstore sells the stock at the event and decides how many copies to keep for store stock. The bookstore then sends back the extra copies as soon as the event is over for credit from the publisher. If you are the publisher you need to arrive with boxes of your book (or send them ahead), the bookstore sells them decides how many to keep and pays or for that many.

7. Sales Numbers: Be realistic. Not everyone is going to buy your book. That's okay. Understand that the Canadian market is so small that only 5000 copies is considered a bestseller - think Margaret Atwood. If you sell a hundred copies to people who are not family or friends you should consider yourself quite successful.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Saturday Night Coffee House

Our thanks goes out to everyone who showed up for our Coffee House last Saturday evening it was a blast! A big thanks also goes out to Terry and Eva Graves of "Headframe" who helped bring the Amazing Gurf Morlix to our lovely little shop up here in Northern Ontario. If you missed the show but wanted a CD we do have a few copies of Gurf's CD's here in the store.

**We are not a Music Store, and cannot order in CD's for you, but we do try to support our local musicians, as well as carry CD's from our Coffee House performers.**

If you would like to be contacted about our next upcoming Coffee House, Open Mic, or book events in the store please forward your email to and let us know that you would like to be contacted on upcoming events in the store. Or you can join our facebook group!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

If you're feeling like some zombie related reading:

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.

Ranging from the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, where the epidemiological trail began with the twelve-year-old Patient Zero, to the unnamed northern forests where untold numbers sought a terrible and temporary refuge in the cold, to the United States of Southern Africa, where the Redeker Plan provided hope for humanity at an unspeakable price, to the west-of-the-Rockies redoubt where the North American tide finally started to turn, this invaluable chronicle reflects the full scope and duration of the Zombie War.

Most of all, the book captures with haunting immediacy the human dimension of this epochal event. Facing the often raw and vivid nature of these personal accounts requires a degree of courage on the part of the reader, but the effort is invaluable because, as Mr. Brooks says in his introduction, “By excluding the human factor, aren’t we risking the kind of personal detachment from history that may, heaven forbid, lead us one day to repeat it? And in the end, isn’t the human factor the only true difference between us and the enemy we now refer to as ‘the living dead’?”

The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead

The Zombie Survival Guide is your key to survival against the hordes of undead who may be stalking you right now. Fully illustrated and exhaustively comprehensive, this book covers everything you need to know, including how to understand zombie physiology and behavior, the most effective defense tactics and weaponry, ways to outfit your home for a long siege, and how to survive and adapt in any territory or terrain.

Top 10 Lessons for Surviving a Zombie Attack

1. Organize before they rise!
2. They feel no fear, why should you?
3. Use your head: cut off theirs.
4. Blades don’t need reloading.
5. Ideal protection = tight clothes, short hair.
6. Get up the staircase, then destroy it.
7. Get out of the car, get onto the bike.
8. Keep moving, keep low, keep quiet, keep alert!
9. No place is safe, only safer.
10. The zombie may be gone, but the threat lives on.

Don’t be carefree and foolish with your most precious asset—life. This book is your key to survival against the hordes of undead who may be stalking you right now without your even knowing it. The Zombie Survival Guide offers complete protection through trusted, proven tips for safeguarding yourself and your loved ones against the living dead. It is a book that can save your life.

A little Latin Lesson

Utinam barbari spatium proprium tuum invadant!

May barbarians invade your personal space!

Just 'cause.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Prairie Bridesmaid

I read this one over the last couple of bedtimes. I wasn't sure what to expect with it - was it going to be too fluffy chick-lit? It was very good. It made a great couple of evenings entertainment, I could totally identify with this woman and her conversations with the squirrel who lives in her backyard and it kept me interested in her life right to the end.... All in all a perfect light read that's not too fluffy.

The Prairie Bridesmaid: A Novel

From the Publisher:
“Teacher. One of the most unsexy jobs ever. Why couldn’t I have been in film school or architecture? I had to pick the Faculty of Cotton Pants.” Just cresting her thirties, Anna Lasko is a frustrated high school teacher whose almost ex-boyfriend, Adam, is away on temporary assignment in Europe. She finds herself tricked into a break-up-with-the-bad-boyfriend intervention by her supportive but meddling girlfriends. To cope with it all, Anna starts smoking again, keeps nightly counsel with her backyard squirrel, Buddy, and starts sessions with a caring but fashion-challenged therapist. Her well-intentioned family adds to the emotional workload when her beautiful and free-spirited sister decides to move to the Middle East with her boyfriend. Luckily, Anna has her gun-toting grandmother who constantly says it like it is, refuses to conform to anyone’s requests, and continues to live on her prairie farm half-blind, happy, and alone. Spectacularly fun and rich with wit and savvy, The Prairie Bridesmaid is a delicious debut novel about the bonds that break and make family, friendship, and love

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Gurf Morlix Saturday Aug 16th

Saturday August 16th We will be hosting another Coffee House with special guest Gurf Morlix and Local band the Headframes.

Gurf Morlix has been a professional musician since 1966. He can play just about any instrument he might find lying around.

He has produced, recorded with, or performed with a veritable "Who's Who" of the music business. He worked with Lucinda Williams for eleven years, serving as guitarist, vocalist and bandleader, as well as producing her critically acclaimed albums Lucinda Williams (Rough Trade/Koch) and
Sweet Old World (Chameleon/Elektra).

He has released four solo albums: Toad Of Titicaca, Fishin' In The Muddy, Cut 'n Shoot, and his latest - coming out February 2007, Diamonds to Dust .

Gurf spends most of his time holed up in his home studio in Austin, Texas, producing albums for many well known artists, but he gets out once in a while to tour on his own or with some of his friends.

Ticket price $5.00

Gurf will also be playing at the Miner Tavern in Cobalt on Friday night!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Summoning - Kelley Armstrong

I read this one this weekend and it was super! I had read her other novels but this is the first YA title for her. I like how it didn't write down - it just happens to have teenage characters. If you're looking for something to read now that you've finished all the Stephenie Meyer books look no further...

The Darkest Powers Series, Book 1: The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong.

From the publisher:

After years of frequent moves following her mother’s death, Chloe Saunders’s life is finally settling down. She is attending art school, pursuing her dreams of becoming a director, making friends, meeting boys. Her biggest concern is that she’s not developing as fast as her friends are. But when puberty does hit, it brings more than hormone surges. Chloe starts seeing ghosts–everywhere, demanding her attention. After she suffers a breakdown, her devoted aunt Lauren gets her into a highly recommended group home.

At first, Lyle House seems a pretty okay place, except for Chloe’s small problem of fearing she might be facing a lifetime of mental illness. But as she gradually gets to know the other kids at the home–charming Simon and his ominous, unsmiling brother Derek, obnoxious Tori, and Rae, who has a “thing” for fire–Chloe begins to realize that there is something that binds them all together, and it isn’t your usual “problem kid” behaviour. And together they discover that Lyle House is not your usual group home either…

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

New J.K. Rowling book!

It’s called The Tales of Beedle the Bard, and contains five stories alluded to in the Harry Potter novels:

Tale of the Three Brothers
Fountain of Fair Fortune
Warlock’s Hairy Heart
Wizard and the Hopping Pot
Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Cackling Stump

Introduction and Illustrations by JK Rowling, and notes by Professor Dumbledore

Release Date December 4 2008!!!!!

This is a fundraiser for The Children's High Level Group.

Back from the Bush

Back from the bush a little sun tanned and bug bitten, but refreshed and ready to get back to work...really we are...just hand me that pot of coffee and I'll be right with you.