AMV is now de-monetized

Back in March I quietly removed the Amazon.com link in the sidebar, and stopped linking books in individual posts to Amazon. I have also reduced the prices on the AMV t-shirts to zero commission (or in the case of the Minerva Red and the esoteric LDS — just the commission for the designers).
I am grateful for all of you who supported the blog by buying t-shirts or using the referral links. All told, I received about $160 over the three years that the blog was monetized, which helped support the web hosting needed to keep AMV, LDS Cinema Online and Wilderness Interface Zone up and running. Thank you for that.
Now I’m de-monetizing. In particular, I didn’t like feeling obligated to link to Amazon. And I want to make the shirts as affordable as possible. And I am using the web host to also host my own personal web presence. And I just didn’t like the hassle of dealing with the administrative stuff — it wasn’t any big deal, but it was one more thing to think about.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t still support AMV. Read, comment. Friend us on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter. Drop one or all of us a line every so often. And, heck, buy a t-shirt. I won’t get money for it anymore, but every t-shirt sold makes me happy because it means my crazy ideas are out there in the wild.
And this also doesn’t mean that we won’t still tell you when one of us has a book you can buy or a show you can go see. There will be shilling (have I mentioned Monsters & Mormons?). But this blog specifically — it’s on me. And again: many thanks to all of you who clicked on an Amazon link or bought a t-shirt. And thanks, but now, no thanks.

Back in March I quietly removed the Amazon.com link in the sidebar, and stopped linking books in individual posts to Amazon. I have also reduced the prices on the AMV t-shirts to a zero commission (or in the case of the Minerva Red and the esoteric LDS — just the commission for the designers).

I am grateful for all of you who supported the blog by buying t-shirts or using the referral links. All told, I received about $160 over the three years that the blog was monetized, which helped support the web hosting needed to keep AMV, LDS Cinema Online and Wilderness Interface Zone up and running. Thank you for that.

Now I’m de-monetizing. In particular, I didn’t like feeling obligated to link to Amazon. And I want to make the shirts as affordable as possible. And I am using the web host to also host my own personal web presence. And I just didn’t like the hassle of dealing with the administrative stuff — it wasn’t any big deal, but it was one more thing to think about.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t still support AMV. Read; comment. Friend us on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter. Drop one or all of us a line every so often. And, heck, . The blog won’t get money for it anymore (although, as I mentioned, the designers will get a bit), but every t-shirt sold makes me happy because it means my crazy ideas are out there in the wild.

And this also doesn’t mean that we won’t still tell you when one of us has a book you can buy or a show you can go see. There will be shilling (have I mentioned Monsters & Mormons?). But this blog specifically — it’s on me. And again: many thanks to all of you who clicked on an Amazon link or bought a t-shirt. And thanks, but now, no thanks.

The Difficulties Faced by an Online Mormon Lit Bookstore

A couple of weeks ago Jonathan Langford posted his vision of an online Mormon Lit bookstore–something I’m also quite interested in. I very much believe in that vision, and if I had the resources and connections necessary, I’d start the bookstore he describes as soon as possible. I think such a bookstore could be successful, and would likely be a great help to building and audience for Mormon literature.

There are, however, some large hurdles to overcome.

Continue reading “The Difficulties Faced by an Online Mormon Lit Bookstore”

The Concept of an Online Mormon Lit Bookstore

Many of us (here and elsewhere) have lamented over the problem of trying to reach and/or create an audience of Mormon readers who might have an interest in fiction reflecting a Mormon perspective but grittier or more realistic than what standard LDS bookstores can or will carry.

I don’t have any new ideas about how to find those readers. However, I do have an idea about a different piece of the puzzle. At the moment, there’s no single place to send people where they can browse for authors and titles that might interest them. My suggestion: an online store that caters specifically to Mormon literature, organized to make browsing easy — like a good brick-and-mortar bookstore — with a broad and inclusive enough selection that people could explore with a fair confidence of finding what they’re looking for.

Continue reading “The Concept of an Online Mormon Lit Bookstore”

Re-publishing Mormon Doctrine

This past week news reports confirmed that Deseret Book will no longer print additional copies of the 42-year-old classic Mormon Doctrine, essentially taking a classic Mormon work out-of-print. While the move is apparently because of low sales, many commentators on the bloggernacle and news sites have claimed instead that the Church wanted it out-of-print.

While that seems unlikely to me, the effect is the same. What might be more interesting is what happens to Mormon Doctrine next.

Continue reading “Re-publishing Mormon Doctrine”

Proselyting for Mormon Literature

I was over at Amazon.com the other day, trying to figure out someplace to post about my book in the Mormon community. I mean, I was able to find a couple of places to post in the Gay etc. community. Surely there ought to be a place to post in the Mormon community.

Except, not. Oh, sure, there’s a lot of activity over there, but it all really seems to amount to people screaming at each other about whether LDS doctrines and practices are justified. Which, okay, fine, if that’s your thing. Except that it’s really not mine — the whole virtual-shouting-at-people thing, I mean — and, hello? I think of Amazon.com as an online bookstore, not an online debating club. So how about some talk about books here, people?

Continue reading “Proselyting for Mormon Literature”

Poetry in Print — April 2010

This is the third year that I have prepared a bibliography of poetry by Mormons in print for National Poetry Month. Surprisingly, this year we only added titles to the list — nothing went out-of-print. But don’t think that is because all these books are easy to find.

Continue reading “Poetry in Print — April 2010”

My 2009 Mormon Literature Wish List

For those of you keeping track: this year I read sixty-eight books (if you don’t include the Calvin and Hobbes and Fox Trot compilations I skim while brushing my teeth and the countless picture books I’ve read my kiddos) and twenty-four of them were Mormon–not quite as many as last year and not enough of them are Mormon classics, but I still stumbled on to some really satisfying reads. Here’s my ranking of the Mormon books I encountered during 2009. (Here’s my 2008 list.) Just in case any of you are still looking for Christmas gifts I’ve conveniently linked the titles to Amazon.com (which means if you buy them after clicking through from AMV some of your money will support the hosting costs for our site! Thanks in advance!!).

Books I wish I owned:

Byuck by our very own Theric, er, I mean, Eric Jepson. This is the best link I could conjure up for this quirky never-published novel about the fight to stay single while attending BYU. So sad it never made it into print. Maybe if we’re all really nice Theric will serialize it on his blog!

No Going Backwards by Jonathon Langdon. Gay Mormon teen. Need more? Then check out the website.

Slumming by Kristen D. Randle (To read my interview with Randle click here.) What I loved about this book was how uncompromisingly Mormon it was and how uncompromisingly national market it was. Okay. It wasn’t exactly Gossip Girl, but the fact that the book works in both worlds made me so happy.

Breaking Rank by Kristen D. Randle. This one had closet Mormons but the teenage protagonist’s decision making process was so true to teenage Mormons. I loved it.

Harvest: Contemporary Mormon Poems I had no idea how awesome Mormon poetry was until I bought this. It was truly the best forty-six cents I ever spent!

The Year My Son and I Were Born: A Story of Down Syndrome, Motherhood, and Self-Discovery by Kathryn Lynard Soper. If you know a Mormon mommy who loves memoirs and haven’t bought this book yet for her, then now is the time. Seriously beautiful book.

Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place by Terry Tempest Williams. I read this one for an ecobiography writing seminar and I was glad. TTW is a controversial and watershed figure not only in Mormon environmental writing but also in Mormon feminist writing and Mormonism as a culture and not just a religion. This book, part memoir and part ecology lesson, is a great place to start with her.

Long After Dark by Todd Robert Petersen. This book really pushed my litmus test, making me extremely uncomfortable in the process, but I felt like it was done artfully and purposefully and that made me glad. Read my interview with Todd Robert Petersen for more.

The Conversion of Jeff Williams by Douglas Thayer. This book about a California teen’s summer in the heartland of Mormonism is the novel that will shut the mouth of all the your Mormon fiction naysaying friends. Beautifully written, intensely thoughtful, this is one that demands repeat readings.

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George. For you readers who love teen fiction (it’s okay to admit it; I do too!) or just enjoy having a thought provoking book to read with your kids, this creative amalgam of Norse mythology and the Cupid/Psyche myth will delight. George is popular for her Dragon Slippers series and if you liked those you will LOVE this one.

The Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull. I love tween literature that encourages questioning and viewpoint broadening without being all Lord of the Flies or One Fat Summer about it. By creating an old lady of dubious motivations who makes candies that give kids super powers Mull does a great job of entertaining and pushing kids to think about consequences without preaching or settling for easy answers. I’m still waiting for a ten year old to read this book so I can chat with them about it. Really well done.

Books that were worth the inter-library loan:

Benediction: a Book of Stories by Neal Chandler. (Not everyone loves this book. A lot of people find it offensive. But I thought it was such a great parody of some of the wilder small town personalities I grew up with. Read my original post here.)

The Only Alien on the Planet by Kristen D. Randle. (Basically a novelization of the old “Cipher in the Snow” story. Interesting!)

Secrets by Blaine M. Yorgason (Quintessential Deseret Book “issue” novel. Tackles an important subject but tends to gloss over the difficulties.)

People of Paradox: A History of Mormon Culture by Terryl L. Givens (Probably the most important book for Mormon culture scholars and you should read it. But you might not tackle it more than once.)

A FUTURE FOR TOMORROW – Surviving Anorexia – My Spiritual Journey by Haley Hatch Freeman (Read my original review here. I also believe that this book should not be read without also reading Michael Greenberg’s Hurry Down Sunshine–just to give some context the psychotic break of it all.)

Books that are worth reading if someone hands it to you:

Circle Dance by Sharlee Mullins Glenn

Hold On, the Light Will Come: And Other Lessons My Songs Have Taught Me by Michael McLean

Abinadi by Heather B. Moore (For more of my thoughts on this book read here.)

River Secrets (The Books of Bayern)River Secrets (The Books of Bayern, #3) by Shannon Hale

Longshot: The Adventures of a Deaf Fundamentalist Mormon Kid and His Journey to the NBA by Lance Allred (My original review.)

Austenland: A Novel by Shannon Hale

Dragon Flight (Dragon Adventures) by Jessica Day George

All this has got me wondering, what Mormon books did you read this year and what did you think? Any you enjoyed enough to shell out money for? I need recommendations for next year!