Sexy ain’t in it…

May 16, 2016 | 3 comments

Jailhouse Stories - Coming Soon!

Jailhouse Stories – Coming Soon!

The preview copies of my new book arrived from History Press yesterday.  Even though the author is included in the process at every step – as in has seen the layout, approved the cover, checked and double-checked the copy – actually having the book in hand is a moment of truth.

I remember when my uncle Willard Espy received his first copy of Oysterville, Roads to Grandpa’s Village and how pleased he was with the way it looked.  Me and Jailhouse Stories from Early Pacific County… not so much.  The cover (which, after all, is said to “sell” the book) is what I would call “serious looking” or, perhaps, “handsome” but it doesn’t really shout “Buy me!  Buy me!”  In no way can it be considered “sexy” in a come hither-ish sort of way.  And if the usual hype that sex sells is true, this book may well have a malingering-on-the-bookstore-shelves problem — even though there are bawdy, steamy, non-PC aspects to the stories once the cover is breached.  I can only hope that history buffs and faithful fans will continue to live by the you-can’t-tell-a-book-by-its-cover philosophy of book buying.

Which brings up another point.  Just how many bookstores are there that might be interested in carrying Jailhouse (or any other kind of) Stories from Early Pacific County?  The number seems to dwindle with each book that I write.  (Not that I think there is a cause-effect relationship here.  It’s just a fact of life in the 21st Century Bookstore World.)  I’m hoping that it shows up for sale in the unlikeliest of places.

Oysterville Store, July 2015

Oysterville Store – Last Summer

When I told Matt Winters that his name would appear on the cover – “Foreword by Matt Winters, Editor & Publisher Chinook Observer” – his immediate response was “It will sell millions!”  I think must share that thought.  Although the official publication date isn’t until June 13th, the book is listed on the Amazon site already and the authors are said to be “Sydney Stevens and Matt Winters.”  I imagine that will be straightened out soon, but in the meantime, it probably means guaranteed sales of several million at least!

Actually, I hope that locals will hold off ordering from Amazon and support our nearby book outlets.  Hopefully, Time Enough Books and the gift shop at the Heritage Museum in Ilwaco will carry Jailhouse Stories, as well as the Pacific County Historical Society in South Bend.  And there may be others.  As far as marketing goes, the author is the last to know.  Although, come to think of it, maybe I should check with Matt…

Greg at the Oysterville Store has offered to host a ‘signing event’ on Saturday, June 18th.  I am ever grateful.  And, I must say, if anyone can make this book sexy in a ‘gotta have it’ marketing sorta way, it is probably Greg.  Stay tuned for details!


  1. Stephanie Frieze

    Congratulations! Will copies be available by Memorial Weekend?

    • sydney

      I’m not sure, Stephanie. Thanks for asking and stay tuned!


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