The Second Edition of Yalu and the Puppy Room Has Arrived in Fabulous Las Vegas

The second edition of Yalu and the Puppy Room has made its grand entry into fabulous Las Vegas via YRC Freight. Of the 2,046 printed, 1,005 arrived today. The rest will stay at the Atlas Book warehouse in Ohio where they handle the distribution for Bookmasters.

In the second edition, I cleaned up boo-boos that got past me in the first time around. How “Golden Retreiver” instead of Golden Retriever showed up on the back of the first edition’s cover still baffles me, now it’s fixed. There was my special spelling of “German Sheppard” instead of German Shepherd that received a correction. The really fun discovery came from my artist Tielman who informed me two years after the first printing that his last name was spelled, Cheaney and not Chaney. Oh the little things one learns when dealing with the details. Rather than blaming others, these oversights belong to me. It does make me wonder what new mistakes will now creep up.

The second edition has eight more new and really good pictures from Tielman. The book needed more artwork and now has a greater overall balance.

And now after all the cashier’s checks sent to Bookmasters, it’s nice looking at the final product and holding a book in my hands. Now all I have to do is go sell them and that opportunity will present itself at the upcoming Orange County Children’s Book Festival in Costa Masa, CA this Sunday.


Not A Worry in the World

Despite the picture being blurry, this is without a doubt the happiest Golden Retriever you’ll ever meet. She doesn’t have a care in the world other than playing and that’s how Lori and I wanted Yalu’s life to stay—worry free. Welcome to one of Yalu’s many dog action photos. Here, a happy dog romps on the grass outside her Nashua, New Hampshire puppy palace. Yes, I know on the back of my books I say I live in fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada, and I do, but Yalu lived in New Hampshire. Her puppy palace has a long common backyard with a dozen other condos. There are woods and a stonewall that made for the perfect play place.

Lori and I never asked if Yalu was the runt of the litter or if her brothers and sisters might have been mean to her. It didn’t matter. Yalu had won life’s lottery by becoming a Yates dog. For those of you who believe in reincarnation, if you have to come back as a dog and you get a choice of whose dog you’ll become be a Yates dog. Look at how happy you’ll be. There’s lots of play time, lots of petties, car rides, homemade dog cookies, and plenty of opportunities to show the world how cute you are.

Before her sniffer developed and back when I could outrun her, I’d race Yalu to the other end of the condos and hide behind the last building. When Yalu charged past me, I’d slip out of my hiding spot, and run back. I would see her stopped, looking to her left and right for me wondering, Where did he go?

To which I would yell, “Woof, woof, woof.”

She would turn, notice I was far away, and race back–that’s one way of having fun with a puppy!


In about a week or so, Yalu and the Puppy Room will be available as an e-book. The cost: $2.99. I’ve always been leery of putting a children’s chapter book in an electronic format. To me, a child wants to hold a physical book in their hands and turn the pages. A parent wants to read the book to their child and show the pictures. If I had written a young adult or mainstream novel, I’d agree that having an e-book format would be necessary.

The overall problem is that I am part of a dying breed of people who prefer physical books. I have three bookshelves filled with books and a fourth bookshelf on the way from a company in Arizona and even with the fourth bookshelf I’ll still have books in boxes. The problem is that the world is forever changing and one must learn to adapt to those changes.

Back in the 1930’s when paperbacks made their appearance, I’m confident that people lamented the downfall of the book industry and lovers of literature would miss their beloved leather bound hardcopy books. The paperback book would ruin everything. Although not as durable, paperbacks are cheaper and easier to carry. The same can be said of e-books.

It’s difficult to imagine all my books being contained in an electronic format—when people see books, they’re think you’re smart and better yet, you’ve read all of them. Today, and well into the future, if I want a book, I can download it in seconds and have instant gratification. People want what they desire now, not in five minutes or a few days. E-books answer the demand of, “I want it now”.

Once the book is finalized, it costs little to store an e-book on a server, computer, or Ipad. People won’t need bookshelves so that saves a few trees. E-books provide instant access to reviewers so I won’t have to ship a hardcover version of the book. That saves me postage and the depletion of my overall inventory. E-books are less expensive. Last I checked $2.99 for an electronic version of Yalu and the Puppy Room is cheaper than a $15.99 hardcover.

What bothers me is that in my lifetime, bookstores will become passé like the typewriter. I can accept change. I don’t have to like it, but I can accept it.

Yalu Meets DiMamma

In late July 2000, Yalu and I sat down on the living room and have a person to puppy talk. She had been living with Lori and me a good month and considered herself the top dog of her new puppy palace. When it was just Lori and me that worked fine because someone had to be the top dog and it might as well be a Golden Retriever. However, her top dog status was about to change because DiMamma was on her way back to Nashua, NH and Yalu needed to know who really ran the place.

DiMamma taught middle school English and spent her summers providing daycare for a grandchild in Minnesota. The day before she left for the Midwest, DiMamma and I brought Chelsea, our eleven year old Golden Retriever, to the vet for the last time. She had yet to meet Yalu, but plenty of phone calls and e-mails with pictures that kept her updated.

Lori went to Logan Airport to chauffeur DiMamma home. Yalu and I would have gone to Boston, but the tech support job I had at the time required me to be near a pager and a computer in case I had to provide weekend tech support.

When our puppy talk concluded, Yalu and I heard the sound of the garage door chain turning. She already knew someone was coming inside and started squirming. I told Yalu to get ready for the biggest moment of her life.

DiMamma opened the garage door and saw someone very excited to see her. Oh, and Yalu was happy too. The puppy and I stayed at the couch with her sitting up against me, my hands around her tummy. I invited DiMamma to sit next to us and introduced the little brown dog she had heard so much about. Lowering Yalu to the carpet, the pup turned on the charm. I’m pretty sure Yalu didn’t have to use her Jedi mind control powers, I told her they wouldn’t work on DiMamma. Plan B was to make with the cute.

I didn’t expect DiMamma to say, “I don’t like this dog, take her back.” She needed time to mourn Chelsea’s passing. After a month, she had the time and now we had a puppy eager to make a cute impression and Yalu did and offically received the offical stamp of approval from DiMamma. Life was good.

Modern Dog Magazine

Advertising is an undertaking that always makes me wonder if I have spent my money and time wisely. The moment I agree to something, whether it’s a booth at an event or some form of marketing, I instantly get buyer’s remorse. Taking a deep breath (how odd, I had originally typed death instead of breath), I have to look at reality.

On my own, I have generated 587 sales of Yalu and the Puppy Room by word of mouth and events I have attended. If I had done that in pre-sales or in a few days, great, forget the advertising, I can sell books all by myself. However, the 587 sales are over the past two years. Okay, I must do a better job of turning this hobby of selling books into a job that could support me.

With some funds put aside, because I refuse to go into debt selling my book, I came across a Vancouver based magazine called Modern Dog while attending Superzoo this past week at Mandalay Bay.

Touted as, “the best magazine ever” and “the lifestyle magazine for modern dogs & their companions”, at least that’s what their webpage says, and who was I to argue, the magazine’s advertising costs sounded reasonable. Modern Dog comes out quarterly and has 70,000 hard copy subscribers, along with electronic subscribers, and over 37,000 likes on their Facebook page.

I met one of the magazine’s publishers, Connie Wilson (that’s her and me in the picture) at the Modern Dog booth and we talked shop. For the next year, I will advertise with her magazine with a two inch by two inch color ad—hey, my budget’s still limited. The bank account isn’t ready for full page ads just yet. Along with the four ads, I’ll be eligible to participate in the Friday Freebie.

My current plan, pending Modern Dog staff approval, will be a coloring contest where contestants, otherwise known as kids, will go to and print out their favorite black and white picture from my website and then send in a completed parent approved entry for a chance to win an autographed book. How many books? I’m thinking ten—details to follow in the near future.

There’s also the possibility of getting an article published about Yalu and the Puppy Room. That’s up to the editorial staff, but it never hurts having an article to my credit, an interview or both. Hopefully this time around, I won’t have buyer’s remorse and I’ll end up like the commercials where people have ideas, like Suzie’s Lemonade. Someone comes along, lends a hand, and everything turns out great.

The Second Edition of Yalu and the Puppy Room Prints Today In Ohio

The second edition of Yalu and the Puppy Room will print today at Bookmasters in Ashland, OH. Half of the 2,000 books will be shipped to me. Half will stay in Ohio with Atlas Books. This time around, Atlas Books will help me distribute with Baker & Taylor and Ingram so now bookstores can order Yalu and the Puppy Room. By the end of the month, I should have new copies delivered to Las Vegas by the end of the month, just in time for the Orange County Book Fair in Las Angles. Life is good.

Meeting Yalu

Life is so much better when a pet not only chooses you, but also comes equipped with Jedi mind control powers. When our previous Golden Retriever, Chelsea, passed away, my sister and I wanted to see a variety of dogs when we traveled to the kennel in Deerfield. We specifically asked the owner if we could see dogs with a lot of energy and personality.

The first contestant was a Chocolate Lab. This little guy wanted to show us how quick he could cut corners. He sprinted around the room like a racecar and forgot about the two people who came to see him.

The Yellow Lab came next and he probably knew the Chocolate Lab because they had a grand old time playing together. Once again, two people sitting on separate couches felt forgotten.

Okay, bring out a German Shepherd. Now three dogs are having the time of their lives playing together. As for the two people on the couches, they could wait. Playtime was more important.

I knew a St. Bernard wasn’t going to work. Lori didn’t like drooling dogs and when this puppy grew up, he’d be a giant. Still, I wanted to see one so when the St. Bernard showed up, he wanted to party with the Chocolate Lab, Yellow Lab, and the German Shepherd. Why not? They were all having a grand time—the people could wait.

Next came an attention starved Beagle romped right to Lori. Finally, a dog who noticed people, here was progress and the Beagle had potential. Snoopy from the Peanuts cartoon strip was a Beagle. Lori loved Snoopy so the Beagle took the lead in becoming a Yates dog until he rolled over on his back and nipped away at Lori who couldn’t get her hands near him.

The Chocolate Lab decided there had to be a reason for two strangers being in the room. He decided to visit me. Being a playful little guy, he climbed up on my lap, pulled back his paw, and scratched my left arm. That was his way of saying hi.

One look at Lori told me that none of the dogs in the room stood out. I asked the owner if she would bring out a Golden Retriever.

The lady brought out a very shy Golden that she put on the floor. The pup looked at her kennelmates playing in the room and refused to join them. She eyed me and then Lori before making her move. Calmly, the Golden Retriever walked over to the couch next to my sister, avoiding the other dogs playing an intense game of tag, and tried climbing up next to Lori. Being a small pup, she couldn’t do it by herself so Lori helped her.

The dog widened her eyes and applied classic Jedi mind control. Like Obi-Wan Kenobi, she waved her paw and said, “You don’t like these dogs.”

To which Lori and I repeated with glazed eyes, “We don’t like these dogs.”

“You want a Golden Retriever.”

“We want a Golden Retriever.”

“You want the Golden Retriever sitting on the couch.”

“We want the Golden Retriever sitting on the couch.”

“You will spoil the Golden Retriever and give her whatever she wants.”

To which Lori and I came out of our trances and said to the dog, “Well, duh!”

“Tell the owner you want the Golden Retriever and will take her home with you right now.”

I did.

The owner, most likely immune from Jedi mind tricks was stunned. “You said you wanted an outgoing dog. You picked the shiest one here.”

Hey, once a Golden Retriever lover, always a Golden Retriever lover.

I’m glad Yalu came with Jedi mind control powers and a whole lot of cute. She would need it for her upcoming meeting with DiMamma.