Tag Archives: books

The How in the Hell did that Book get Published List

Just about everyone wants to write and publish a book.  They envision their life story or creative fiction on top of the bestseller list and making zillions of dollars.  Unfortunately, of the millions of people around the world writing their best seller, only a small percentage will actually realize the publication of their work, and a smaller percentage of that small percentage will make the big money.  However, despite the odds against publication and getting rich as a writer, true writers never stop trying.  Thank goodness!  Where would we be if John Grisham, Greg Isles, Stephen King, Frank McCourt, and J. K. Rowling, just to name a few, had given up on their dreams?

Nevertheless, sometimes books are published that leave readers and struggling writers asking, “How in the hell did that book get published?”  I am not talking about self-published books or vanity press publishers where the author pays to publish whatever he/she deems worthy of publication.  I am not referring to mainstream books such as Twilight or Fifty Shades of Grey, which consistently appear on “bad book” lists.  No, I am referring to such classics as It Hurts When I Poop by Howard J. Bennett and David Blanchard’s My First Cavity Search, which is described by its Amazon.com blurb with the caption, “This whimsical book will help teach your child what is about to happen to them now that they have been declared a threat to national security.”  Really?  How in the hell did that book get published?  Of course, in this era of ebook and traditional book publication, the line between self-publishing and traditional publishing is fast disappearing, which throws open the door for books of questionable merit to be published.

Some people may argue these books have credibility and should not be considered questionable at all.  They might claim such books are unique and come under the heading of novelty books which hold a legitimate and well-established place in the publishing industry.  I agree there are unique books that fit a specialized niche in the market such as Diane Muldrow’s Everything I Need To Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book; Stuff White People Like: A Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions by Christian Lander; and Max Brooks’ The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead. However, I am of the opinion that books like the “Poop” and “Cavity” books  defy all publishing logic.  Is there really a market for those books?  Is there really a market for books such as Do It Yourself Coffins by Dale Powers and Gobbling Proofing One’s Chicken Coop by Reginald Bakeley?  As mindblowing as it seems, apparently there is a market for such books.  Why else would Amazon.com sell them if there wasn’t a market?  If you don’t believe Amazon sells these books, go to the website and look for yourself.  While looking, you might want to look for the books in the chart below that can also be found on Amazon.  Who knows, seeing some of the bizarre books that have made it into print might be the motivation you need to finish that long overdue novel or non-fiction family history you have been dreaming of writing.

The How in the Hell did that Book get Published List

[All books are real and available on Amazon.com]

Book Title Description Author Publisher
Crafting with Cat Hair:  Cute Handicrafts to Make with Your Cat The title says it all!  Crafts you can make from the hair your cat sheds. Kaori Tsutaya Quirk Books
How to Avoid Huge Ships


This book was named “worst book ever” by Publisher’s Weekly, but you owe it to your kids to buy it.  You never know when they might be accosted by a huge ship on the way home after school. John W. Trimmer Cornell Maritime Pr/Tidewater Pub
How to Goodbye Depression:  If you constrict anus 100 times every day?  Malarkey? Or Effective way? The author claims consistent rectal exercise will result in a beautiful complexion and make you look twenty years younger. Hiroyuki Nishigaki iUniverse
How to Live with an Idiot: Clueless Creatures and the People Who Love Them According to the author 4 out of 6 people live with an idiot.  The other two are fledgling idiots. John Hoover Career Press
Knitting with Dog Hair


What makes more sense than harvesting your dog’s hair and knitting rover a sweater? Kendall Crolius St. Martin’s Griffin
Latawnya the Naughty Horse Learns to Say “No” to Drugs African American horses are lured into the world of illegal drugs by drug dealing Caucasian horses. Sylvia Scott Gibson America Star Books
The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America This book contains photographic documentation of actual stray shopping cart sightings.  Get your camera ready! Julian Montague Harry N. Abrams
Walter the Farting Dog Walter is a great dog, but much to the delight of the kids, he has gas Kotzwinkle, Murray, Colman Frog Children’s Books
What Bird Did That? A Driver’s Guide to Some Common Birds of North America Use this guide to decode the bird crap on your windshield to track down the bird who soiled your car. Burton Silver Ten Speed Press
Who Cut the Cheese:  A cultural History of the Fart Yep, just what it says, a historical perspective on farts. Jim Dawson Ten Speed Press

How in the hell did those books get published?  I can assure you I don’t know, but I am seriously considering purchasing each of them to see if I can find a common denominator to getting published that as an unpublished writer I have yet to discover.  Hmmm?  I wonder if anyone has ever written a book about the “migratory habits of tics and the photogenic opportunities they offer?”  If the books in the list are an indicator, there is bound to be a niche for such a book.  There is one thing for sure, though, if this list does not motivate you to start writing, you are a dreamer and not a writer!


©Jack Linton, April 3, 2016

12 Things about Kids the Parenting Guides Won’t Tell You

Every parent wants the best for their children. That does not mean that parents always know what is best for their children. For most parents, their first revelation about parenting is they need help. They learn that something that looks so simple is one of the hardest tasks they will ever undertake in their lives. Every day there seems to be a new twist to parenting. Just when parents think the corner has been turned for the better, some bizarre, terrifying, mind boggling, or unexpected something smacks them upside the head. Even when they are lucky enough to learn how to muddle through and get by, there is often a lingering feeling that something is missing or there is something they should be doing as a parent that they are neglecting. As a result, parents look for advice on how to raise their children; they seek help from their parents and grandparents, they listen to friends, and they read just about everything they can find that will make them a better parent.

Book stores devote whole sections to “how to guides” for parents. There are guides on how to be a better parent, guides for reading with children, guides for teaching children responsibility, guides for connecting with children, guides for conflict management, and the topics go on and on. Everyone who has ever been a kid, had a kid, or carries a PhD in kid and adolescent psychology has a theory, opinion or insight into the mystery of how and why children think and act as they do. Most of these guides offer parents sound advice on how to deal with the day-to-day challenges and surprises of raising children, but unfortunately, these guides also often leave out key information. The reasons behind the omissions could be debated at length, but suffice it to say most often the reasons lie in the author’s core beliefs (The book is secular in tone, and anything spiritual is avoided) or in the economics of the author’s wallet (The author is saving the information, so parents can dish out another $29.95 for the author’s next book).

However, there are no politically correct strings or monetary motivation attached to this article; the sole purpose is to provide parents with the information the parenting guides do not always tell them or won’t tell them. Hopefully, the list below will elicit a smile, offer some insight into kids, or maybe cause reflection on the parent/ child relationship. After all, parents want what is best for their children, and for that to happen, they need all the help they can get.

  12 Things about Kids the Parenting Guides Won’t Tell You

  1. Kids are God’s way of telling adults they are not in control;
  2. Kids enter pre-school/kindergarten on fire to learn. It is the parents’ and teachers’ responsibility to keep that flame burning throughout the child’s school career;
  3. Kids and dogs are about love and a perpetual financial commitment;
  4. Naps are more for parents than for kids.  Parents need the down time to replenish their batteries more than kids who run on EverReady;
  5. Kids have the capacity to learn any language introduced to them, but yet, they can’t understand what “No” means;
  6. When a kid ignores you, it is not personal; there are other things on his mind – like himself;
  7. There is no life after kids; they never go away;
  8. A kid’s first addiction is chocolate milk;
  9. Kids are internally wired to embarrass parents every chance they get;
  10. Never ever eat anything off a kid’s plate;
  11. From birth to the age of 25, the funniest thing in the world to a kid is passing gas; and
  12. Kids are God’s way of telling parents life is worth living.

JL                    ©Jack Linton, September 13, 2014