Archive for the ‘The Dragondain’ Category

My Desk.

Desk with numbers

The vintage items you see here aren’t part of a deliberate theme on my part. Everything simply came together over time.

1. 20-inch Dell 2009w LCD monitor. I bought this in 2008. It’s great for text, but the color isn’t up to snuff for production work. (Oh, and hiding behind that lovely illustration by Carolyn Arcabascio, is the working draft of The Murk, which I am currently editing.)
2. Western Electric model 500 telephone (sold from 1950 to 1984). This is my high-tech communications system. I picked it up at a yard sale ($5) several years ago because I was getting tired of buying new batteries for my cordless phone. It still dials out, but when confronted with an automated message system and asked to press “4” or whatever, I just have to hang up.
3. Panasonic Electric Pencil Sharpener, model KP-77 S (probably early 70s, with Auto-Stop!). My trusty friend, bought by my wife for $3 at a church bazaar. Amazingly, you can still buy replacement parts for this model.
4. Sony MDR-V700DJ headphones. My portable orchestra. I bought these in 2001, shortly after purchasing an iPod, because said iPod couldn’t pump out enough juice to drive my old AKG 260s.
5. 15-inch Apple Macbook Pro (Winter 2006). Tucked behind the monitor, Graphic Mayhem rests in a little wooden bracket and runs in closed-lid mode when it’s not doing color work.
6. Apple Pro Keyboard (2000). The computer this came with is gone now, but I kept the keyboard because Apple built it to outlast the sun.
7. Apple Mighty Mouse (2005). I have no clear memory of how I acquired this mouse, but it’s still on the job.
8. Picture of an Egyptian chariot (gift from a friend), because chariots are cool.
9. Webster’s New International Dictionary of the English Language, Second Edition (1938). Yes, it’s old, but it still beats the hell out of any other dictionary I’ve ever used.
10. Two Rinn. These were a Christmas gift, hand-made by my wife and children. They are more precious to me than my weight in 1st edition hardbacks of The Princess Bride, by William Goldman (Fine in Fine dust jackets). And THAT, my friends, is saying something.
11. Placebo coffee (or sometimes placebo tea). It’s hard to see in this photo, but it’s right here on the corner of this middle shelf.
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Author Signing blog

Eastern High School library, Wash. DC, Friday 31, 2014

This was taken right after an Imagine, Write, Repeat presentation. Here I’m talking to one of the students while signing Moon Realm books. It was a smart crowd, filled with lots of good questions. The signing ran over a bit, but luckily the parents were very gracious. The librarian asked if I’d be interesting in coming back to run a writing workshop!

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Barnes and Noble, Sandy, Utah.

Like two little hobbits starting off on their first big adventure.


Hint: Second row, third and fourth from the left.

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The Moon Realm Invades Barnes and Noble Bookstores Everywhere




I wish I had a more exciting tale to tell, but getting a self-published book into Barnes and Noble is all about time, diligence, and whether or not they want your book.

In a nutshell, here’s how I got the Moon Realm series into Barnes and Noble. Last fall I submitted to their Small Press Dept., at their Headquarters on 5th Ave, in New York. On their website, they said that if I didn’t hear back from them I should resend, as they get 2,000 submissions a week, which means, every once and a while, they have chuck everything and start over. I got a letter back from them maybe two weeks later requesting paperback copies of The Moon Coin (the only Moon Realm book in paper at that time). That was back in November. My next task was to get a distributor or wholesaler. B&N had sent me a list of them. I sent submissions two wholesalers that could work out for me. One replied in a week with a no. The other, Baker and Taylor, took longer. On March 26th, B&N sent me another letter saying they still wanted The Moon Coin, but that since they hadn’t heard from me in a long time, they were going to take their offer off the table 30 days from the date of that letter. That seemed more than fair to me, generous, in fact. It was a bit of a bummer, though, as I’d decided in my mind that Baker and Taylor, not having gotten back to me—I’d submitted to them in January—wasn’t interested in my book. Then, on April 11th, Baker and Taylor sent an email to Gibbering Gnome press saying “We are pleased to inform you that after reviewing your materials, we would like to have your company become a vendor with Baker & Taylor.”

That was a fine day.

Since the second book in my series, The Dragondain, had come out in December, and since my original contact from Barnes and Noble had changed since last November, I decided to send my new B&N contact new copies of both titles. She called a few weeks later to say they were going to order The Moon Coin, and that The Dragondain was now being reviewed by their buyer. During that time, Gibbering Gnome Press set up its account with B&T. I sent copies of books to my contact at B&T at that time, too. Soon, I was in B&T’s system.

On July 18th, the day before I was leaving for vacation, the first two purchase orders from B&T rolled in. So, instead of packing, I spent the evening thumbing through a 55 page document on how to make a proper shipping label for B&T’s warehouse. It involved me—I’m Gibbering Gnome’s typesetter, among other things—generating a label containing six barcodes. I’d never made barcodes before. I mean, I’d order them from Bowkers, of course, but never made them from scratch. By midnight, though, everything was boxed and ready to ship. I did what packing I could, then finished up in the morning. We sent the books off as we left town.

Unrelated to all this, I’d been in contact with a B&N Children’s Book Manager since last summer. Her store is in Utah. She’d contacted me on GoodReads, and wanted to know why my books weren’t in B&N’s catalog, Bookmaster. I’d told her I was trying my best. We kept in contact during this whole process, and, now that my books were in the system, she ordered copies for her store. She’s picked out a display, and Gibbering Gnome Press has sent her posters and postcards adverts.

Now all I need to do is sit back and watch the purchase orders roll in, right? Ha! If only it was so easy! But seriously, my job now is to run around to local B&Ns and independent bookstores, handing out free review copies and letting them know that I’m in B&T, or, in the case of the B&Ns, that I’m in Bookmaster. If I’m lucky, I might be able to get in on a few signings.





Copyright © 2011, 2012 by Richard Due. All rights reserved.
Gibbering Gnome Press,
A Division of Ingenious Inventions Run Amok, Ink®
The Moon Realm®

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“And while this title is considered middle-grade fiction (ages 7-12) due to the ages of its protagonists, it is so much more than that. It is an addictive drug for those of us who have lovingly flipped through its pages. It is the fantastical story you dreamed of while waiting to fall asleep. It is youth brought to life. It is all the things I still wish I could do. Things like have adventures of my very own.”



Click HERE or the image directly above to read the review.



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Fiction Books Reviews The Dragondain


“The magic is more mesmerising, the adventures more alluring, the 

building sense of intrigue and danger more tantalising and evocative.”



Click HERE or the image above for the review.


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New Author Bio and Author Note

My editor has been asking me to rewrite my bio. She thinks a bio should satisfy a reader’s curiosity about an author’s journey and skillz.  She also sees it as an opportunity to let a prospective employer—in this case, one of the goliath publishing corporations—know that I’m not a complete dolt.

This is what I emailed her today. Any feedback would be welcome—just post your comments at the bottom. Thanks!

Author Bio:

Richard Due (pronounced “Dewey”) first imagined the Moon Realm while telling bedtime tales to his children. He makes his home in Southern Maryland, where he and his wife have owned and operated Second Looks Books since 1991. The Moon Coin is the first novel in his award-winning Moon Realm series.

Author Note:

I started writing stories in the 3rd grade and moved on to novels in my teens and twenties, only to give that all up in my mid-thirties.

In my working life, however, I’ve been into making squiggly marks (or dots, lots of dots) on paper since the 1980s. First, I worked as a laser scanner operator, making halftones. (Halftones are a reprographic technique that simulates continuous tone imagery through the use of dots). Or, put more simply, I turned black and white photographs into a whole mess-o-dots, extra pretty-like, making them perfect for running on printing presses.

Later, I worked as a DS camera operator, making halftones and text negatives on orthographic film. Or, put more simply, I turned photographs into a whole mess-o-dots, on film, and did the same with text, only without all the dots, making them perfect for running on printing presses. I made several hundred BFOPs this way. (BFOPs, pronounced BEEfops, stands for Books For Other People. And they aren’t always fun to make, but they’re great for paying for things like books, car insurance, rent, more books, food, and drink.)
Eventually, though, computers took all those jobs away from me and gave them to something called a digital typesetter. So I taught myself how to be one of those, and made more books (some cool, most not so much) and computer software manuals (can you say: kill me now).

In 1991, I put the typesetting business on freelance, and entered into the exciting and glamorous world of book selling. My wife and I are still at it, selling books at our independent (mostly-) used bookstore in Prince Frederick, Maryland.

In 2010, however, something very strange happened. . . . On a complete lark, during the night of a full moon, I put all my skills together in a paper bag, and waved them over my head while clucking like a chicken, then opened the bag, and out spilled the Moon Realm Series in all its ebook and print goodness. I have been very happy ever since.

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