On the Town   


Paperbacknovel.com Printed Newsletter
Hits the Streets

December 20, 2007

By LouV

Volume 1, Number 1 of paperbacknovel.com's printed newsletter hit the streets this evening. A few hundred copies of the printed edition were distributed to the West Village, East Village, and SoHo sections of New York City. Rich Sheppard also took some away with him to Jersey City, New Jersey.

After all the effort to print these issues out, you start to feel like they're your little puppies. Must be very careful when and where to place; want each one to find a nice home. And so, Paperbacknovel.com printed editions were distributed to the following locations, so far:

Disc O Rama on West 4th St, West Village, NYC

This store has narrow aisles and is packed floor to ceiling with CD's, some of them behind glass cases, with the cashier on the left side of the store sitting at a counter high above the floor. You get the feeling that you're walking into a CD liquor store; a place that gets robbed regularly. I think it's just the odd layout of the place. But their entrance is a haven for the independent paper, since papers placed there smack the customer in the face as they walk into the store, or out.

Paperbacknovel.com printed edition greets customers entering Disc O Rama, square in the eye.

Bleecker Bob's in the Village, in NYC

Bleecker Bob is one of the most venerable old record shops in the Village; it's seemingly been around forever -- the website says almost 30 years, which places it as having opened in the late seventies. Always a home to the independent artist and the independent voice, paperbacknovel.com seemed well-placed in Bob's free literature rack. Bob apparently has a reputation on the internet as a fellow with a gruff demeanor, and we might agree; but more importantly, he seems passionate about the music, and he likes Aimee Mann -- we know this because when we were looking to post a "Forgotten Arm" poster several years ago, Bleeker Bob said "We always have room for Aimee Mann", and then he advised us to put the poster with Aimee Mann herself facing outward, versus the side with the boxer. "Are you nuts? If you have a poster with a pretty woman, you face her outward", is what he advised, as I remember it.

Generation Records in the Village, in NYC

Generation always has the widest assortment of independent newspapers and magazines. And now it's got paperbacknovel.com. I came out of Generation with my bag heavier than when I went in -- I picked up NY Waste, Arthur, and a bunch of other papers and heavy color magazines.

Shakespeare Books, in the Village, NYC

Shakespeare has a guard at the door; very nice chap always have a quick chat with him when I put up posters in the vestibule. He wasn't there the night paperbacknovel.com made it's first print debut. I hope he picks up a copy and at least uses it for a coffee coaster or something.


Paperbacknovel.com printed edition at front of Shakespeare Books (top), and part of Shakespeare's front window (right) -- very nicely decorated and laid out. That book on Gonzo looks good.

PS: after the picture above was taken, I cut that stack of Arthur newspapers in half, creating two stacks, with paperbacknovel.com on the one stack only. I didn't want Arthur readers to have to dig to get their paper -- out of common newspaper-distribution courtesy.

Other Music, in the Village, NYC

The alternative music shop in NYC, across the street from what was Tower Records. I read in the newspaper that once Tower closed, Other Music's traffic diminished. Wasn't evident on the night that paperbacknovel.com's first printed edition was distributed there; the place was packed with people, and their entrance was packed as usual with independent papers, flyers, band postcards, and the like.

Arthur had just been delivered, and since there were numerous stacks of it, I was certain the Arthur people wouldn't mind if one of their stacks provided a platform for a bunch of paperbacknovel.com printed editions in Other World Records.

Kim's Video, on St. Mark's Place, Village, NYC

I'm still kind of pissed at Kim's Video for apparently ditching the Aimee Mann "Forgotten Arm" poster I gave them to put up next to Elliot Smith and the others they have up on their walls in the cd department two years ago. But they've got lots of traffic and lots of papers on their independent paper rack.

Store Next Door to Kim's Video on St. Mark's Place, in NYC

I meant to go into Kim's Video, and accidentally walked into the women's garment shop next door; oddly enough they had all kinds of independent papers up front, and the sweet goth gal behind the counter was receptive to paperbacknovel.com residing there.

St. Marks Sounds on St. Marks Place, NYC

St. Marks Sounds is housed in an incredible old walk-up brownstone; the huge, thick, 9-foot-tall, wooden door with black latches looks like it was taken from Frankenstein's castle. The huge floor-to-ceiling windows inside are just as impressive. And the pseudo shrine of posters and literature that's been created in the corner by the front door almost demands you take a picture of it, even with the curmudgeonly owner being the only other person in the place. He seemingly took no notice of me.

I laid down a small stack of paperbacknovel.com's, took a picture or two and then walked down the steps to the sidewalk below. I looked back up to take a picture from the outside, and saw through the windows that the owner had come down off his perch as soon as I left to go take a look. Perhaps he didn't like my placement; perhaps he'd throw them all out. Maybe he read it! I didn't take the picture but quickly looked away and continued on down the block. Not to put any pressure on him. We'll never know.


Notice the poster of Johnny Thunders at the top of the shrine, in this corner near the entrance/exit of St. Mark's Sounds.

CBGB's Store, St. Marks Place, NYC

CBGB's is now gone, but their new store on St. Mark's Place, selling CBGB's t-shirts, remains. The long-rumored CBGB's chain, starting with a new club in Las Vegas, never came to be. Hilly Kristal died, and the store on St. Marks is all that is currently left. Having an article in the printed edition on Johnny Wolpert's memories of CBGB's in the seventies, copies of paperbacknovel.com would obviously provide a value add to the customers of the store. Oddly enough, while I was in the store, a fellow came in who appeared to be part of CBGB's management. He told me they are still actively searching in the NY area for a new location for a new CBGB's. He was putting out flyers to help save CBGB's, anew.


CBGB's Store features similar front window display (seen partially to the right) that CBGB's Gallery used to have.

Grocery Store Next to CBGB's Store, St. Mark's Place, NYC

I'm not sure if this is a Gristeedes, or a D'Agostino's, or a Walbaums, or whatever these days -- it's been around forever; it's the grocery store/supermarket on St. Marks and many a person has walked into this store at 2 in the morning with a buzz on looking for some ice cream or munchies not exactly knowing where they were and wondering what a supermarket is doing there with all the bright lights. It always has a huge amount of flyers and postcards up front, simply because there's a large flat area on which to place them, and the store gets lots of traffic. Problem is, that large flat area is always messy as hell, as the flyers slop into one another. I spent 15 minutes cleaning up the area, and laid down a small stack of printed editions. 

Broome Street Bar, SoHo, NYC

Broome Street Bar is one of the best neighborhood bars in SoHo. Lots of papers by the front door; you can always find a copy of the SoHo Journal there. And now you can always find a copy of paperbacknovel.com there. Broome Street bar has the best cardboard beer coasters in the world, and when I find the one I took a couple of years ago I'll scan it and post. Thanks to the lady on her cell phone in the vestibule who opened the door for me on the way in and the way out after laying down some printed editions. Hope she sorted out whatever the heck was going on on that call.


The store next door to Broome Street Bar is closed and boarded for reconstruction; posters and graffiti cover the facade.

New Jersey PATH Trains

Rich Sheppard and LouV rendezvoused on Broadway and Dey Streets in lower Manhattan, and had a couple of hot peppermint mochas at the Starbucks in the old ATT building down by Ground Zero. Rich got his first look at the final print out of the printed edition, and then it was off to home and the Christmas weekend. Rich planned on distributing some on the PATH train heading into New Jersey. 



Paperbacknovel Newsletter on Staten Island

December 29, 2007 -- Paperbacknovel.com newsletter was distributed at The Cup on Staten Island. The Cup is Staten Island's premier music coffeehouse. Great homemade coffees, a comfortable atmosphere to sit and work or have a conversation, high ceilings, brick walls sporting the artwork for sale of local artists, and then a door to the backroom which offers a large cabaret-like music room, attracting the best local artists.

Paperbacknovel.com Redistribution in NYC

January 25, 2008 -- Redistribution of Paperbacknovel.com newsletter to all of the places in NYC listed in coverage above. This time we took a picture of the storefront of CBGB's Store on St. Mark's Place in the Village.

The floor of Generation Records in the Village is the free newspaper distribution capital of NYC.

CBGB's Store on St. Mark's place on January 25, 2008.


Paperbacknovel.com Newletter in Paris, France

January, 2008 found paperbacknovel.com correspondant in Paris, France, distributing the newsletter to bookstores and anyplace else that displayed free papers. One such place was the original Shakespeare and Company bookstore, an English language bookstore in the neighborhood of Notre Dame.


Shakespeare Books is in an ancient old building, one that looks like it's been around as long as Notre Dame. In the middle of the floor of the main part of the small store, there is a large circular concave denture in the floor, that looks like it was once used for offerings. Today people throw money into it. Our correspondent asked the lass behind the counter if we could put some Paperbacknovel.com newsletters in the free-paper rack at the front of the store. She asked if it had literary value. Our correspondent said yes, it has book and music reviews and the like. She said sure. Picture below shows Paperbacknovel.com newsletters in the free-paper rack, bottom row to the right.

About 25 Paperbacknovel.com newsletter in bottom right of rack. Correspondent put another 20 or so in the rack after picture was taken.



Paris didn't offer up too many places to distribute free newspapers; most bookstores and record shops encountered in the Right Bank and the Left Bank did not have any area for them. It was "purchased material" only. The heavily trafficked general goods store below, on Boulevard Saint Germain, did provide such a distribution area.

A rack at the front of this store sports Paperbacknovel.com newsletters. That's actually about 25 papers even though it only looks like a few.

It took over 45 minutes to find San Francisco Book Book Company, using an article found on the internet that gave a walking tour of English Language bookstores in Paris. Was midway through the search when our correspondent realized the article had been written in 1985 (the dangers of browsing the internet on one's cell phone). Thankfully, San Francisco Book Co was still there. Not so thankfully, San Francisco Book Co did not have any room for free newspapers at the front of its store. The search-and-find was well worth it, however, as San Francisco Book Co was an enchanting place, tight and cramped with a small backroom, with every nook and cranny of the store stuffed to its high ceilings with paperback novels from the fifties and sixties to current day. 

Papers were also distributed to a vintage record shop on the Left Bank; after placing papers in their free rack, an employee of the store came over to challenge the distribution, but when the correspondent explained that he was simply placing down some free newsletters, the employee said in English, 'ok, but you should ask first'. This kind of summed up free newspaper distribution in Paris -- it's 'do-able' but the town isn't exactly amenable to it. Because of this, our correspondent lessened Paris' grade as far as big cities go, since it didn't seem to provide a thriving outlet for 'free'dom of expression. This may be an unfair grade because the correspondent, being an ignorant traveler, didn't have time or know-how to hit all the areas of Paris, including it's Bourgeoisie area (the correspondent didn't actually know where that area was, and neither did the people at the front desk in the hotel). The French people in general, however, were extremely friendly and giving. People went out of their way to give directions when asked. And Paris is certainly an enchanting city, with some incredible history and museums; thus placing it as one of the world's great cities. We are proud that paperbacknovel.com was represented there, however minimally and fleeting.

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