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(Again, I'm replying because this comment "dinged" my email.)

All of the intelligent BNLJ commenters have joined the BN FB page last year. On BNFB, we post without anonymity, and engage in intelligent discussions - even if they're anti-corporate. BNFB is realistic, funny, and topical...unlike the venom spewed by BNLJ. BNFB has thousands of followers...unlike the handful of BNLJ, who gave up on this company years ago.

Yes, I understand that BN is struggling to survive in a difficult retail environment, and yes I totally get that we've had some trouble with Nook. But no one is perfect - family, job, or otherwise - and as this company's surviving employees, it's OUR responsibility to keep things running.

Yes, I'm a little ashamed that my realistic comments took down this blog. But I'm NOT ashamed that BN supporters joined the FB page by the thousands. Please, booksellers...stop the hateful, anonymous comments...and join the chorus of FB posters who genuinely believe in our company.. Join us, share your concerns on FB, and build a mature history on your resume - whether you stay with BN, or move elsewhere.

Seriously ... It will do you some GOOD.


( 35 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 12th, 2015 07:13 pm (UTC)
Just let it die, man
Feb. 17th, 2015 04:01 pm (UTC)
Why won't you just give up? Nobody posts anything on here anymore except for you, and it's always about how you think you're better than everybody else. We all know Barnes and Noble is going to go out of business, just accept it. It's a bad company and I can't wait until you lose your job so that you finally shut up.
Feb. 20th, 2015 02:49 am (UTC)
But still, you feel the need to reply - and to spread your underachieving venom. Please say "goodnight" to your disappointed folks, before you fall asleep in their basement.
Feb. 18th, 2015 05:13 am (UTC)
You know, this group *would* have died its slow death by now if you didn't keep posting every three months to tell us how wonderful you are and how great the Facebook group is, and how we're a bunch of underachieving ingrates and shitlords.

Do me one favor, Smithy: let me know who you are on Facebook so I can avoid you in the BN group.
Feb. 20th, 2015 02:47 am (UTC)
Again, "Ding."
Feb. 18th, 2015 05:00 pm (UTC)
Do us all a favor and put a bullet through your brain. This earth will then have one less douchebag among its population!

RIP asshole!
Feb. 20th, 2015 02:44 am (UTC)
I write about depression and mental illness. Thanks for your kind support.
Feb. 19th, 2015 04:15 pm (UTC)
Smithback killed this blog.
You are the main reason this blog died Smithback. You always had this I'm better than everyone attitude. You are a middle aged man making quarter raises. I see nothing to brag about.
Feb. 20th, 2015 02:41 am (UTC)
Re: Smithback killed this blog.
DING! You have a reply, Smithback.

No, I'm a writer - and I credit BN for making that possible. I've supported the company that cuts my pay checks, and I found a way to make myself thrive. Yes, my BN raises have been minuscule - but I took what I learned - and earned - at BN, and used it to make something wonderful. I'm reaching my potential - and I learned last week that my first novel is going to be mentioned in a national magazine. I'm still a happy/content BN employee - but I'll soon be able to make my living writing, rather than waiting on customers. Mine is a SUCCESS story - and I encourage everyone to follow my lead.

Chuckling..."Smithback killed this blog." Well, maybe...and I don't mind taking credit where credit is due. The BN FB page has thousands of followers. Tell me, who is left here? Not even enough to post a decent topic in the public forum - and that for you is very, very sad.

Be good booksellers. And find the same inspiration in yourself that I've found in mine.

Edited at 2015-02-20 02:53 am (UTC)
Feb. 25th, 2015 02:31 pm (UTC)
NOOK Advice
Smithback--maybe you can give me some advice. How do I save all the ebooks I’ve bought from B&N when the chain goes bankrupt and the servers close down? Any easy way to save them to my computer or other nonvolatile media so they don’t disappear when the lights are turned off in the B& server farm?
Feb. 25th, 2015 06:17 pm (UTC)
Re: NOOK Advice
Easy. You don't have to. nook media LLC is not a part of "the chain". So Just keep reading.
Feb. 26th, 2015 05:17 pm (UTC)
Re: NOOK Advice
In recent months, B&N has bought out both Microsoft and Pearson's investments in Nook Media, so it's wholly owned by B&N again. If they aren't successfully able to spin off B&N College and Nook Media into a separate company later this year, then yes, NOOK will go down with the ship.

You used to be able to download your EPUB files from BN.com directly to your computer, but that capability was removed from the website last year with no explanation.
Feb. 26th, 2015 03:15 am (UTC)
Where can we find your books Smithback?

How do we order the books you write?
What are the ISBN numbers?
Feb. 27th, 2015 05:45 am (UTC)
Re: Where can we find your books Smithback?
FINALLY someone asks that question! I'll be honest...my first book was POD, though that was three years ago, after I submitted it the usual way. My draft got read/passed by two publishers, read by a well-known agency, and I ended up spending 7k to publish the book correctly. My second book was picked up by a small publisher (thanks to the work I did, and my website's 2 years of archives), and my third is being shopped right now by my agent. Baby steps. And I'm where I am right now because of what I've learned at BN.
Mar. 1st, 2015 11:10 pm (UTC)
Re: Where can we find your books Smithback?
I thought so. Now we know the truth how about dropping the know it all arrogant Tony Robbins attitude?
Mar. 2nd, 2015 12:11 pm (UTC)
Re: Where can we find your books Smithback?
Smithback is a fraud!
Mar. 3rd, 2015 07:58 am (UTC)
Re: Where can we find your books Smithback?
A fraud? Really? How can you possibly say that?

My first book was read because I worked hard on it. And I got read without an agent because - after reading several novel publishing books, and interacting with authors that I met at BN - I wrote a killer query. I'll synopsize: My query's opening line was, "So, I'm sitting here shaking, waiting for the results of my HIV test." I went on to describe my project, while pretending to look at the clock, waiting for a call back with the results. I pitched myself, my first book, and myself - all while looking at the clock, and waiting for the phone to ring (with test results). And I teased the reader when my phone finally rang by describing my novel's ending - and saying something like, "if only it was as simple as hearing the results." That first query got me read by two publishers - one of them Kensington, which was an achievement for an unpublished writer. And when both drafts were passed, I sat back, looked at what was happening with Kindle's affect on the industry, and most importantly, what was happening within Barnes & Noble, and I made the decision to max out my VISA and to self-publish the best product possible - because I saw an opportunity. And that decision proved a good one.

Once my first book was available, I used my BN experience to promote it the correct way. I wrote letters to bookstores, called bookstore managers in my target areas, and spent $$$ getting sample copies into the right peoples' hands. (I also attended a local convention that was filled with my target audience. That weekend, I passed out over 200 sample copies.) I also launched a website - my author's name dot com - and provided information about myself, my project, my upcoming projects - as well as a blog that was linked to FaceBook, Twitter, and Goodreads. It was very hard work. At times it felt discouraging. But again, I took a chance on what I witnessed happening within our bookstores (and conversations with the fellow authors I've met at BN), and now, two years later, I have an amazing website - and a sizable/growing following.

For those of you who have tried to publish a book in our current market, you've no doubt discovered the Catch 22: A writer needs an agent to get read by an established publisher, but no good agent will touch you unless you've already published a book. Self-publishing takes care of the first part, but you have to be willing to spend the cash needed to produce a professional product. I needed ten grand to get the result I wanted, but I just barely had seven at the time...enough to cover the binding, layout, and cover artwork (which I had a fellow bookseller/art student design). I realized that I couldn't pay for proper editing, so I hired a former lead - a long-term employee who got downsized with BN's changes - to edit the project, which took six agonizing months. And once editing was finished - and the final product was ready - I used everything I've ever learned at BN to launch my 1st novel, and to hone my social media.

More -

Mar. 3rd, 2015 07:59 am (UTC)
Re: Where can we find your books Smithback?
A year after book 1's publication, having established a professional author's presence, book 2 got read much more easily...and was picked up by a small, traditional publisher. The first printing was very modest. It was nice to get a (small) check, but I remembered what J.A. Konrath once told me, after reading the opening chapters of my first novel. He said something like, "Take every penny you earn from your first book and reinvest it into self promotion." I couldn't afford to do that of course; I used my advance to pay down my credit card, but when I'd last spoke to JAK, Kindles were still a year away. But I reached out to a college friend (who works in marketing) to review my online presence - and to offer realistic suggestions. I found his insight funny. My original POD publisher had offered a "social media consultant" for an additional 5k fee - which I couldn't afford. Between my friend's analysis - and my reading of social media books at BN - I learned how to better use the internet to promote my projects. The BN FaceBook page has proven a valuable asset, but that's just one of many FB & Goodreads groups that I've been able to take advantage of. These days, in the era of both traditional & digital publishing, social media is the key to becoming a successful writer. And though I still need BN to pay the mortgage, there will come the day when that won't be the case. FOr the past six years, I've told my boss (during my yearly review) that "I want to work in a BN that sells the books I write." And I'm well on my way.

I finished my third book last last year, and in its present state, it still needs a good editing job. But with two books under my belt - and two years of information, blogs, sample chapters, and artwork on my website - I was able to find an agent who believes in my writing. Am I going to be the next James Patterson? Of course not. Realistically, I've got a total of ten to twelve books in me before I die...and I'll likely have to write several more before I can pay the bills with books, rather than BN. But that day is coming soon...and I wouldn't be in this position had I not supported BN as I have. I've learned from BN. I've been a solid employee for years, but I've also used BN to learn my craft - participating in writing groups (in the store), networking with "small" writers like myself to learn from their own experiences...and most importantly, working hard towards my own personal goals - as hard as I work towards our stores'.

So, again. A "Fraud?" Reeeeeeally? From where I'm sitting, I see only "vindication" - and the proof that the hard work/personal responsibility I've described in LJ for years genuinely does pay off in the end...if you abandon entitlement, and take charge of your life.

Like Stephen Colbert, "Smithback" has always been a rabble-rousing character...mostly written by me, but occasionally voiced by those at my break table - pro-BN booksellers who've hated the complete and total lack of intelligence shared by many within this blog for the past three or so years. I regret if you haven't been able to see that. But again, my own target audience tends to be thoughtful...and intelligent.

And to the brainiac who claimed that I "killed" this blog, I again repeat that all BNLJ's quality posters abandoned this forum for the realism shared on the BN FB page.

A few years back, the Borders LJ Admin knew when it was time to finally close the forum.

BNLJ Admin, I suggest that it's time for this forum to do the same.

Edited at 2015-03-03 08:00 am (UTC)
Mar. 3rd, 2015 11:08 am (UTC)
Re: Where can we find your books Smithback?
Damn.... Guess I hit a nerve with the "fraud" comment.... How sad. These last two posts could be your third "novel". (Laughing quietly)
Mar. 4th, 2015 04:18 am (UTC)
Re: Where can we find your books Smithback?
Hit a nerve? Really? I didn't quite catch how many novels YOU'VE WRITTEN...?

I shared my writer's experience thoroughly....and in a way that's impossible to argue. And I can't help but notice that you can't argue with what I wrote. Im sorry, but how many books have YOU published? And what is YOUR experience getting them in print, and building an audience? I didn't quite catch that. But, please...share!

Reading your response made me think of "The Walking Dead." The LJ world is over, and your last gasp comes across as some lone zombie survivor who begs Rick for just a chance, but is rejectected to join the surviving group.

Chuckling...someone on LJ once said that Smithback "killed this blog." No, I didn't ... You posters killed this blog, yourselves. The BNLJ page was once a simple place to exchange ideas - before the silly crazy pants took over. Entitlement, venom, and batshit-crazy-immature posts. Who's left, really? A few I can count on one hand? Just end this puppy, people...and know that Smithback always was going the "write" direction.

On a personal note, if anyone left reading this failed blog has aspirations to be a writer: please message me privately, and I'll give you advice. But for the rest of you disappointments - people who are clearly living in their parent's basements - allow me to salute you: YOU ARE IRREVALENT. No decent resume, no professional demeanor, and no hope making anything of yourselves - aside from collecting inheritance, once your parents pass away. You are the CSI backstory, the shame of family & friends alike...and you are the people living in cheap apartments, because that's the best that you'll ever accomplish.

Now, crouch low when Rick enters your shelter. And tell him how many novels YOU have written, before he throws you out to the walkers.

I'm waiting.

Respond if you want...share your complaints with the ghosttown. The BNFB page is pushing 7,000 followers...who else is left on LJ?

Edited at 2015-03-04 04:39 am (UTC)
Mar. 4th, 2015 02:23 pm (UTC)
Re: Where can we find your books Smithback?
"Who is left?" Just you and those of us watching you make an ass of yourself. Go back and read your last few posts man. How embarrassing. Not so much about "Walking Dead" as it is about "TALKING SH!T"
Feb. 26th, 2015 03:18 am (UTC)
You can't be a success working for this company when you get quarter raises and 15 hour work weeks.
Mar. 4th, 2015 11:17 pm (UTC)
quarter raises
In 2010 I was told by my store manager that there were no more raises coming, I did get another one in 2012, {20 years service }and none afterwards was let go this past January 2015. I think if you have been there 18-22 years they don't want you anymore no matter what you do
Mar. 9th, 2015 04:20 am (UTC)
Smithback's egomania
Smithback, good luck in your writing career but seriously, these folks are right: you come off as a self-righteous jerk. Give it a rest already on thinking you are tops and anyone who disagrees with your view of BN is sort some of lazy, bitter loser living with their parents.
Mar. 9th, 2015 03:43 pm (UTC)
Print on demand books are no different than posting in a blog. We are all publishers which makes us brothers Smithback. I love you Smithback. Did I ever tell you that you were my wind beneath my wings.
Mar. 10th, 2015 01:38 am (UTC)
Ding! Guys, seriously...shut this horse shit down. I've tried to convince you to support our company, tried to mentor you into being adults (by acting like employees who give a damn), and tried to share my writing success - describing my many, many years of hard work, intelligence, and using BN knowledge to create a new path in life. Does no one have my courage? Are all of you holding onto entitlement?

Life ain't easy, folks. And whether you're a writer or a bookseller or a loser who's been living in your parent's basement, you eventually have to come into your own - and admit your circumstances. In these last final gasps of the hijacked LJ blog, are your snotty comments REALLY what you you want to be remembered for? Seriously?

C'mon, silly people. Close this shit down, join the BNFB page, and find a forum that matters.

Edited at 2015-03-10 01:42 am (UTC)
Mar. 10th, 2015 11:41 am (UTC)
well, noone will remember us. we are anonymous. but they will remember you Smithback. your posts have gotten sad and it's obvious now what a pathetic loser you really are. it's hard to watch you disintegrate like this but we can't seem to look away.

Mar. 11th, 2015 01:05 pm (UTC)
Mar. 10th, 2015 03:34 am (UTC)
Funny how Mr. motivational Smithback keeps following this blog.

This quote so belongs to you Mr. Smithkeepscomingback.

"Who's the more foolish, the fool, or the fool who follows him?"
―Obi-Wan Kenobi, to Han Solo
Mar. 12th, 2015 02:19 pm (UTC)
Have you noticed that the Bn Facebook employee group rarely talks about workplace issues that impact employees? Most of the post center on stupid things customers do or book culture in general. Heidi and the gang are being watched by corporate and it really shows in the content.
Mar. 12th, 2015 06:17 pm (UTC)
Have you noticed that the Bn Facebook employee group rarely talks about workplace issues that impact employees? Most of the post center on stupid things customers do or book culture in general. Heidi and the gang are being watched by corporate and it really shows in the content.
Mar. 12th, 2015 03:06 pm (UTC)
Have you noticed that the Bn Facebook employee group rarely talks about workplace issues that impact employees? Most of the post center on stupid things customers do or book culture in general. Heidi and the gang are being watched by corporate and it really shows in the content.
Mar. 12th, 2015 06:18 pm (UTC)
Have you noticed that the Bn Facebook employee group rarely talks about workplace issues that impact employees? Most of the post center on stupid things customers do or book culture in general. Heidi and the gang are being watched by corporate and it really shows in the content.
Mar. 13th, 2015 01:10 am (UTC)
The BN FB page has almost 7,000 followers...and its posts often discuss workplace issues that impact "quality" employees. The tough stuff is addressed, but the overwhelming attitude involves keeping our company alive. Even in difficult times, everyone keeps a positive attitude. Perhaps there's a reason that BNFB is so successful, while BNLJ caters to nothing but spiderwebs.

Quick show of (anonymous) hands: who is left here?

Ya'all haven't posted anything new since October 14.' and its been over a YEAR since anyone posted a solid community topic - aside from myself, of course.

Seriously, folks - just like North Koreans who swim to China to escape the regime - why are you still here? Come to the light! Come join us on the BNFB page. Post whatever you like. Even ole' Smithback has had two public topics deleted (by the MODs) because the forum found my commentary offensive. But everyone is welcome, you anti-corporate shits especially. You just have to be prepared to defend yourselves...and to have the balls to put up with the heat, and to defend yourselves in the overwhelming outcry challenges you.

BNFB is reality. BNLJ is not.
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