If you receive a book freebie, please leave a review!

Sometimes people receive a book in a giveaway, and a couple months later, they’ll leave a comment in the online “review” box: This is long, what is it about, why did I request it, I can’t remember, who am I, what is time?

As an author, I’m not too mad about that. Any comment whatsoever boosts the book in their social media notification feeds that go to their followers, in search engine algorithms, and maybe in retailers’ rankings. Potential readers are more likely to see the book’s title, author, cover image, and description. Those potential readers may not care what the reader said or whether that person’s comment was a proper “review.” They will care more to learn that the book exists. So, I’d rather have giveaway winners post nonsense comments or negative comments than nothing at all.

So far, I’ve given away 140 free copies of Most Famous Short Film of All Time through official giveaways. I hope someone will leave an online comment. I am confident that someone will.

I’m unlikely to acknowledge any public discussions of my novel (whether the reviews are positive or negative) because I think readers deserve space to make honest comments about a book without feeling as though they’re forced into conversation with the author. Readers should have a relationship with my book; they don’t need to have a relationship with me. It would be creepy and presumptuous of me to try to arrange otherwise. Still, I will see public comments about my book, and I do hope that such acknowledgments sprout roots and wings.

Grateful for the time we share with each other, even if indirectly, through books.

Goodreads Giveaway #2: ‘Most Famous Short Film of All Time’

Absurdist, philosophical, long novel split into mini-chapters. I’d love to show it to you. You’re required to believe in trans men. Ghosts optional.

I started a giveaway for Kindle copies of Most Famous Short Film of All Time. US only — a Goodreads rule, not mine. Entries opened today, Nov 20. Enter through Goodreads until Nov 27, 2022 for your chance at a free copy.

There are 100 e-copies on offer. Put your name in the hat ASAP.

If you don’t want to wait until next Sunday to find out if you’ve won, you can buy your own copy today.

Novel’s release date: Sep 20, 2022

Book description: Ghosts and goddesses beckon Lev Ockenshaw. Oh, bother. Fortunately, he’s got a pill for that. In 2014, Lev is happily telling campfire stories in Boston with his longtime friend, Stanley, and his coworker, Aparna. One day, he receives an anonymous, threatening email referring to the company where he and Aparna work. He reports the threat to his boss, but is not believed. Most Famous Short Film of All Time is a non/fiction-hybrid philosophical novel about belief, prejudice, perception, ethical action/inaction, undoing/redoing decisions, trying harder, being excellent to your friends, being a fictional character, being trans, the nature of time, and burning things that do not serve.

Book cover of MOST FAMOUS SHORT FILM OF ALL TIME

Saidiya Hartman: ‘I set out to engage the catastrophe’

“I love Ralph Ellison’s definition of the blues as “an autobiographical chronicle of personal catastrophe expressed lyrically.” I set out to engage the catastrophe and the ways it was performed and articulated in cultural practice. The reckoning with catastrophe and performance required a deeper understanding of the material conditions of slavery and its afterlife. I read Sterling Stuckey’s Slave Culture, Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Édouard Glissant’s Caribbean Discourse, and Orlando Patterson’s Slavery and Social Death, and there was no turning back.”

Saidiya Hartman, interviewed by Max Nelson, “The Tragic Mode,” New York Review of Books, November 19, 2022

Storygraph Giveaway: ‘Most Famous Short Film of All Time’

There’s a giveaway for paperback and ebook copies of Most Famous Short Film of All Time. The paperback is offered in 138 countries, and the ebook is offered in 176 countries! You can enter through Storygraph until Nov 18, 2022 for your chance at a free copy.

Entries opened several weeks ago, and so far over 3,700 people have put their name in the hat for 30 copies.

If you can’t wait to find out if you’ve won, you can buy your own copy today.

Novel’s release date: Sep 20, 2022
A note about the giveaway: Absurdist, philosophical, & transgender. Visual formatting in this 455-page paperback. 7 years of work. I’d love nothing more than to show it to you.
Book description: Ghosts and goddesses beckon Lev Ockenshaw. Oh, bother. Fortunately, he’s got a pill for that. In 2014, Lev is happily telling campfire stories in Boston with his longtime friend, Stanley, and his coworker, Aparna. One day, he receives an anonymous, threatening email referring to the company where he and Aparna work. He reports the threat to his boss, but is not believed. Most Famous Short Film of All Time is a non/fiction-hybrid philosophical novel about belief, prejudice, perception, ethical action/inaction, undoing/redoing decisions, trying harder, being excellent to your friends, being a fictional character, being trans, the nature of time, and burning things that do not serve.

Book cover of MOST FAMOUS SHORT FILM OF ALL TIME

Imagine other ways to be

“Supremacy of all kinds lies in the idea of perfectionism; that there is a right way to be and only the supreme know and do it and the rest of us don’t have a chance. Supremacy also thrives on a lack of imagination. The idea of imagining a different way of being is a threat to those who are holding power. The act of sitting down and spending time not creating something for the market, not trying to be part of a grand tradition of anything perfect and refined, and imagining a world that is different from the one you live in: well, that is an act of resistance…”

—Vanessa Zoltan, “Don’t Just Write a Novel This November. Write a Bad Novel,” Slate, 7 Nov 2022

“I think of the marginalized experiences some people find threatening that have always been here, will always be here. In the past, we pretended not to see them because we did not have a name for them. But art dies, art expires within the time limits of its era, if it does not keep pushing us to name those sparks.”

— Kaitlyn Greenidge. “The Best Book for 2018 Is 25 Years Old.” New York Times, 23 June 2018

“There is another reality, the genuine one, which we lose sight of. The other reality is always sending us hints, which without art, we can’t receive.”

— Saul Bellow, quoted in BrainPickings.org, quoted in The Week, 19/26 Aug 2016, p. 17

“Imagination is a gateway to truth.”

— Madelyn Jablon. Black Metafiction: Self-Consciousness in African American Literature. University of Iowa Press, 1997. p. 162.