Jim Main’s Whatever No. 1

Whatever No. 1

Contents Page
Jim Main’s This & That . . .
Jack Bertram’s The Tell-Tale Heart Revisited
Steve Keeter’s Tribute to Bill Shelly and Sam Gafford with art by art by Jack Bertram and Doc Boucher
To Be Continued! (Part 1) A Serial Pictorial
Buck Oviatt’s Superman and the Mole Men with art by Scott McClung and Doc Boucher
Brien Wayne Powell’s Poor Execution

Whatever No. 1 Winter 2020
Publisher/Managing Editor: Jim Main
Editor/Production Manager: Robert J. Sodaro
Assistant Publisher: Connie Main
Front Cover Production and Logo Design: Marc Haines
Front Cover Artwork: Anthony C. Gray
8.5” x 11” full color, 28 pages
$4.25 postage paid from

Self Publishing in Color

If there’s one thing readers of The Digest Enthusiast’s print edition want, it’s color. Me too. It’s something I’ve worked the numbers on many times over the past five years. With KDP (formerly CreateSpace aka Amazon) a printed color equivalent of the b&w TDE would run $25 or more. The “or more” would be another $6 to earn 35¢ a copy in expanded distribution (Barnes & Noble, etc). I played with page counts and page sizes, but the numbers never worked.

In November, sent me an invitation to their work-in-progress Beta site, which offered two color options, Standard and Premium. The Premium looked as high as KDP, but the Standard option looked promising. I worked up a color version of TDE10, submitted the files, and ordered a proof. It looked great. In comparison, Lulu’s cover didn’t have quite the depth of KDP’s, but the step up to a color interior was more than worth the trade-off.

cover comparison
Scans from the TDE10 printed books, Left: KDP, Right:

I was ready to switch to Lulu until I found out their Beta site wouldn’t go live until late in the first quarter of 2020. I may try them in June for TDE12, but TDE11 was due in January. I thought about continuing with KDP in b&w, but having seen what’s possible, I couldn’t go back.

Alec Cizak had explored working with IngramSpark (IS) a year earlier for Pulp Modern, but didn’t end up using them. They offer a full service to publishers, but unlike KDP, they aren’t selling to end users, they’re selling to booksellers. That means a built-in bookseller margin that’s substantially larger than the publisher’s. Still, their distribution channel is significantly larger than amazon’s, and amazon is included. They also offer both Standard and Premium color options.

Moving from a direct channel like amazon, to an indirect channel is risky. Sales numbers will lag, so I won’t have a good idea how a color TDE is being received until months after the fact. The price increase to $18.99 may kill its appeal. It’s a gamble, but also a chance to learn more about publishing and potentially reach a wider audience, which includes libraries—an area where the book could do very well if given the chance.

Getting started with KDP offers no overhead. The whole production process and the ISBN number is free. With IS you need to bring your own ISBNs, purchase the setup ($49), and incur a charge to revise your book file if a last-minute change is required ($25 ea.). It’s not cost prohibitive, but does give you pause if you’re not confident you can get it right the first time.

Unlike Lulu, IS requires 1/8” clear space in the gutter of pages that bleed, to ensure the best adhesion in bindery. I was a little concerned it would show, but it was undetectable on the printed proof.

Manhunt spread
Manhunt inside spread showing the 1/8” clear space in the gutter.

IS also provides a conversion service to convert your book’s PDF print file into an ePub file which it uses to distribute your book to a wide range of eBook vendors—Kindle, iBooks, Nook, etc. Their fee is $60 a page, so a 160-page book costs $96.00. You can supply your own ePub file, but that’s the only format they’ll accept. I couldn’t figure out how to generate an ePub file that would maintain TDE’s page design, like the Kindle Create tool. I considered hiring IS to convert the PDF file, but they don’t have an option to upload a PDF that’s specifically for the ePub. They use the print book file. I couldn’t do that. I create a separate file for the eBook layout with even margins all around. (Printed book files have a generous margin on the gutter side of pages to allow for bindery. Plus with IS, you’ve got that 1/8” white space on all the pages that bleed. Not acceptable.) Finally, you need a separate ISBN number for the ePub version of your book.

eBook page comparison
Most eBook readers display pages individually, not in spreads. Left: The print file with a wider margin and 1/8” clear space in the gutter, Right: The adjusted digital file with page elements centered.

For TDE10 I moved to IS for the printed book, and stayed with KDP for the Kindle version, using the Kindle Create tool to produce the print-replica look I wanted. I’m missing out on all the other eBook platforms, but maybe Lulu will offer an alternative when their Beta site goes live.

I ordered a printed copy of the book from IS before I released the file for distribution. They offer several print production and delivery options. The costs to speed up production of the book are reasonable, but I thought their quicker delivery options were overpriced. I selected their least expensive shipping option, about $5.50, It took ten days for the proof to arrive, not including the production time. A speedier delivery would have cost many times that. A little book like TDE11 can ship first class for about $5.50 and arrive in three days, so I don’t understand their shipping offerings.

IS also charges a $1.99 handling fee for every publisher’s order. So plan ahead, if you order one copy or ten, you’ll pay the $1.99 handling fee.

After I approved the printed proof, I enabled distribution. The book showed up on amazon a couple of days later. Three days out it is not available from Barnes & Noble, Powell’s, or Quimby’s, but I’m hopeful it will be soon.

The Digest Enthusiast No. 11

Overall, I’m very happy with IngramSpark. They offer a quality color printing service and a distribution reach that includes amazon and beyond. I hope their services will enable TDE11 to reach more readers. We’ll find out in the months ahead.

Print $18.99 Kindle $4.99

The Digest Enthusiast No. 11

The Digest Enthusiast No. 11

The Digest Enthusiast No. 11 is now available in print and kindle editions—both in full color:

Jeff Vorzimmer

Janice Law
(Madame Selina series AHMM)
Paul D. Marks (Bunker Hill series EQMM)
Jeff Vorzimmer (The Best of Manhunt)

Manhunt 1954 part three

Peter Enfantino
summarizes 1954’s final issues of Manhunt.

Beyond Infinity

Vince Nowell, Sr. grapples with Beyond Infinity.

Leo Margulies

Richard Krauss spotlights Leo Margulies: Giant of the Digests.

A Classic Error

Steve Carper dissects a Classic error.

Astounding formats

Ward Smith quantifies Astounding’s formats.

Homicide Hotel from Gary Lovisi
Tough 2
Paperback Parade
No. 104

John Kuharik

John Kuharik
“Buckthorn Justice” art by Rick McCollum
Vince Nowell, Sr. “The Good Soldier” art by Marc Myers
Joe Wehrle, Jr.
“Zymurgy for Aliens” art by Michael Neno

Plus nearly 150 digest magazine cover images, News Digest, cartoons by Bob Vojtko, and first issue factoids. Cover “Madame Selina” by Rick McCollum, 160 pages.

Print $18.99 Kindle $4.99

Wehrle Comic Strips

Excerpt from my tribute, “The Creative Works of Joe Wehrle, Jr.” from The Digest Enthusiast No. 8, June 2018:

Cartoon Trader was monthly from October to December 1989. The fourth issue, dated March 1990, was the last I’ve seen. In addition to Joe’s covers, it included Classic Cartoonist Cards, paper dolls, and a page of comic strips with Joe’s Cat Burglar, Stovepipe, Night Radio, and Karen’s Litter Lane.

Night Radio

Night Radio offered a peek into another great interest of Joe’s—classic jazz. He collected 78s and played the saxophone, clarinet, and guitar. ‘I have fond memories of those few months we produced the Cartoon Trader, and still in my collection is a handful of very charming strips I prize which Karen drew for the zine about a feline couple living a zany suburban life. There will never be any more of those.’ In 2014, Joe published a 16-page mini comic collecting The Unknown Comic Art of Karen Wilson Wehrle. It includes her Litter Lane comic strips and eight color cartoons she drew fora proposed children’s book.”

Litter Lane

Joe’s bibliography appears on the Larque Press website.

Fantasy & Science Fiction Jan/Feb 2020

Fantasy & Science Fiction Jan/Feb 2020

Contents Pages
Essa Hansen “Save, Salve, Shelter”
Matthew Hughes “Air of the Overworld”
Michael Cassutt “Banshee”
Charles de Lint: Books to Look For
Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs
The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson
The Green Man’s Foe by Juliet E. McKenna
The Man Who Wouldn’t Die by A.B. Jewell
The Slab by Jeffrey J. Mariotte
Belladonna University Box Set by Tansy Rayner Roberts
Halloween is Not a Verb by Tansy Rayner Roberts
C.C. Finlay: Recommended Reading
A Song for a New Day by Sarah Pinsker
Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse
Catfishing on CatNet by Naomi Kritzer
Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko
Joanna Russ by Gwyneth Jones
Monstress and Monstress Volume Four: The Chosen by Marjorie Lin & Sana Takeda
Farmhand by Rob Guillory
Alex Irvine “Chisel and Chime”
Elaine Vilar Madruga “Elsinore Revolution” translated by Toshiya Kamei
Albert E. Cowdrey “Falling Angel”
Julianna Baggott “The Key to Composing Human Skin”
Corey Flintoff “Interlude in Arcadia”
Karin Lowachee’s Films: Ad Astra Per Corde
Jerry Oltion’s Science: Where’s My Flying Car?
Auston Habershaw “Three Gowns for Clara”
Melissa Marr “The Nameless”
Statement of Ownership, Management and Circulation
Rahul Kanakia “The Leader Principle”
Coming Attractions
F&SF Market Place
Rich Horton’s Curiosities: Man’s Mortality by Michael Arlin

Fantasy & Science Fiction Vol. 138 No. 1 and 2, No. 747, Jan/Feb 2020
Publisher: Gordon Van Gelder
Editor: C.C. Finlay
Assistant Publishers: Barbara J. Norton, Keith Kahla
Assistant Editors: Robin O’Connor, Stephen L. Mazur, Lisa Rogers
Contests Editor: Carol Pinchefsky
Cover: Max Bertolini
Cartoons: Nick Downes, Arthur Masear, Arthur Masear, Kendra Allenby
258 pages, $8.99 on newsstands until March 2, 2020
Fantasy & Science Fiction website

Mystery Weekly Magazine Jan. 2020

Mystery Weekly Magazine Jan. 2020

Contents Page
William Burton McCormick “Fast Forward”
Ken Teutsch “The Beresford Case”
Christie Cochrell “A Siege of Herons”
John H. Dromey “When the Circus Almost Came to Town”
Bruce Harris “Murder in the Workplace”
John Grant “Murderer Bill”
Laird Long “Bare Billfold” (You-Solve-It)

Mystery Weekly Magazine Jan. 2020 (No. 53)
Publisher: Chuck Carter
Editor: Kerry Carter
Cover: Robin Grenville-Evans
7.5” x 10” 82 pages
Print $6.99, Kindle $3.99
Mystery Weekly Magazine website

Asimov’s Jan/Feb 2020

Asimov’s Jan/Feb 2020

Contents Page
Sheila Williams’ Editorial: Happy Birthday, Isaac Asimov!
Robert Silverberg’s Reflections: The Pharaoh’s Trachea
James Patrick Kelly’s On the Net: Live Long and Whatever
Robert Frazier “Your Clone, the Mirror Clone” (verse)
Neal Asher “An Alien on Crete”
Marie Vibbert “Unlooping” (verse)
Mar Catherine Stratford “Third Shift”
Allen M. Steele “The Palace of Dancing Dogs”
Dominica Phetteplace “The Antidote”
Timons Asaias “Go. Now. Fix.”
Leah Cypess “A Pack of Tricks”
Statement of Ownership, Management and Circulation
Jean-Louis Trudel “The Way to Compostela”
Meredith Lozaga “The Refraction of White Lies”
Doug C. Souza “The Kaleidoscope City”
Jane Yolen “Taking Care” (verse)
B.S. Donovan “You’ll Live”
Sheila Finch “Not This Tide”
Jane Williams “Meeting the Man from the Future” (verse)
Next Issue
Paul Di Filippo: On Books
Thirty-Fourth Annual Readers’ Award and Ballot
Index 2019
Classified Marketplace
Erwin Strauss: SF Conventional Calendar

Asimov’s Science Fiction Vol. 44 No. 1 & 2, whole No. 528 & 529, Jan/Feb 2020
Publisher: Peter Kanter
Editor: Sheila Williams
Managing Editor: Emily Hockaday
Editorial Assistant: Deanna McLafferty
Senior Director of Art & Production: Porter C. McKinnon
Senior Art Director: Victoria Green
Cover: Dominic Harman
208 pages, $7.99 on newsstands until Feb. 18, 2020
Asimov’s website
Asimov’s/Analog Value Pack-8
Asimov’s/Analog Value Pack-16

Occult Detective Magazine No. 6

Occult Detective Magazine No. 6

Contents Page
Dave Brzeki: Editorial
John Linwood Grant’s In Memoriam: Sam Gafford (1962–2019)
Melanie Atherton Allen “The Rending Veil” art by Autumn Barlow
Tade Thompson “Komolafe”
Matthew Willis “The Way of All Fresh”
Cliff Biggers “Blindsider”
S.L. Edwards’ Kotto’s Creepies: An Interview with Jonathan Raab
I.A. Watson “Vinnie de Soth and the Phantom Skeptic”
Kelly M. Hudson “The Empanatrix of Room 223” art by Bob Freeman
Bryce Beattie “The Unsummoning of Urb Tc’Leth”
Alexis Ames “In Perpetuity”
Craig Stanton’s Nury Vittachi’s The Feng Shui Detective and the Singapore Union of Industrial Mystics
S.L. Edwards “The Way Things Were”
John Paul Fitch “Angelus”
Ian Hunter “The Last Performance of Victoria Mirabelli”
Michael Kellar’s Cold Cases: Supernatural Sleuths: Stories of Occult Investigators Edited by Peter Haining
James A. Moore & Charles R. Rutledge “Occult Legion: He is the Gate” art by Russell Smeaton
Describin’ the Scribes

Occult Detective Magazine No. 6 back cover

Occult Detective Magazine No. 6 Fall 2019
Publisher: Jilly Paddock & Dave Brzeski
Editors: John Linwood Grant and Dave Brzeski
Cover: Roland Nikrandt
6” x 9” 206 pages
Print $11.81

Ellery Queen Jan/Feb 2020

Ellery Queen Jan/Feb 2020

Contents Page
Matthew Wilson “The Wretched Strangers” art by Mark Evan Walker
Andrew Welsh-Huggins
“Home for the Holidays”
Kristopher Zgorski: Blog Bytes
Fei Wu “Beijingle All the Way” (Passport to Crime) translated from the Chinese by Josh Pachter
Bonnie Hearn Hill “Feliz Navidead”
Dean Jobb: Stranger Than Fiction (preview)
Mark SaFranko “Frogman”
Mike McHone “A Drive-By on Chalmers Road?”
Steve Steinbock: The Jury Box
Mycroft and Sherlock: The Empty Birdcage by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar & Anna Waterhouse
The Devil’s Due by Bonnie MacBird
The Adventure of the Peculiar Protocols by Nicholas Meyer
The Disappearance of Alistair Ainsworth by Leonard Goldberg
Lethal Pursuit by Will Thomas
The Vanished Bride by Bella Ellis
Death in Focus by Anne Perry
Killing with Confetti by Peter Lovesey
The Second Biggest Nothing by Colin Cotterill
—plus four others briefly covered
Kieran Shea “Paying It Off” (Black Mask)
Merrilee Robson “Edie”
Terrence Faherty “The Yellow Face” art by Jason C. Eckhardt
Statement of Ownership, Management and Circulation
Josh Pachter “The Adventure of the Red Circles”
Kelston Gunn Cowling “Mr. Majestyk” (Dept. of First Stories)
John M. Floyd “Crow’s Nest”
Marilyn Todd “Nights in White Satin”
B.A. Paul “The Dragonfly” (Dept. of First Stories)
Pat Black “The Concrete Pillow”
Toni L.P. Kelner “Now Hiring Nasty Girlz”
Bill Pronzini “Stroke of Luck”
Leslie Elman “The Summer Uncle Cat Came to Stay”
Twist Phelan “Used to Be”
Peter Turnbull “The Banks of the Ouse”
Classified Marketplace
Christine Poulson “Because You’re Worth It”

Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine Jan/Feb 2020 Vol. 155 No. 1 & 2, Whole No. 940 & 941
Publisher: Peter Kanter
Editor: Janet Hutchings
Managing Editor: Jackie Sherbow
Senior Director Art & Production: Porter C. McKinnon
Senior AD: Victoria Green
Cover: Erika Steiskal

192 pages
$7.99 on newsstands until Feb. 18, 2020
Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine website
Dean Jobb’s Stranger Than Fiction

EQMM and AHMM Mystery Value Pack-8 $7.95
Mystery Double Issue Value Pack-12 $15.95
EQMM and AHMM Mystery Value Pack-16 $12.95

Paperback Parade No. 106

Paperback Parade No. 106

Contents Page
Gary Lovisi: Paperback Talk
Richard Greene “Dream Dance: The Art of Ed Emshwiller”
Gary Lovisi “Lila Lynn: Paperback Cover Model”
Richard L. Kellogg “Revisiting Peyton Place”
Gary Lovisi “The Hard-Boiled Paperbacks of Al Fray”
Sean McMullen “Carter Brown’s Unscientific Thrillers”
Gary Lovisi “The Australian Scientific Thrillers”
Richard Greene’s Matchless Paperbacks by Howard R. Milsted, Jr.
Philip Harbottle “The Return of Norman Firth”
Richard Greene “Road Trip Treasures”

Paperback Parade No. 106 Jan. 2020
Editor: Gary Lovisi
Designer: Richard Greene
~5.5” x 8.5” 104 pages, full color throughout
$15 + postage for a single issue
$40 for three-issue subscription
Gryphon Books website