Upward and Onward
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When I published my first revisionist book as a one-man-publisher back in late 1998 while still residing in England, it took only a few months to get a very positive feedback from a well-known revisionist in the U.S., who was not only excited about such a fine study being written and published, but who also wondered who might translate it into English and publish it so that the rest of the world could read it as well. At that time, of course, I was unable to do it myself, both because my English language skills were rather wanting and because I had basically no access to the English language market, to which I used to pay no attention. I produced solely for the German market from my English exile. But the question was of course valid: Who would bring out the fine research, which scholars like Carlo Mattogno and Jürgen Graf were doing, in a language read and understood by billions?
When the tide of European persecution washed me ashore the United States in late 1999, my attitude did change swiftly, and within a year I had published the anthology Dissecting the Holocaust with the organizational help of my friend Dr. Robert H. Countess and with the indispensable help of a few other very dear friends. Printing 2,000 copies of this huge, 608 page, letter size hard cover volume was quite a financial risk for somebody who had just fled Europe and whose very future was at risk, but it turned out to have been a success, as almost all copies were sold in less than two years. To a certain degree, however, it was a treacherous success, because it made me believe I could sell other books on a similar order of magnitude.
Thus, in 2001, I published two more books with a similar investment: Jürgen Graf's Giant with Feet of Clay, in which the foremost Holocaust scholar, Raul Hilberg, is exposed as a trickster, and Stalin's War of Extermination by German mainstream historian Dr. Joachim Hoffmann. Although I am very proud of the later book, as it is – in my eyes – one of the finest books on the German-Russian war ever published, it also turned out to be a millstone around my neck, because I hardly could sell any copies of it. Still today, after almost three years, I am sitting on 2/3 of all copies printed. The same holds for Graf's book, which I considered a splendid introduction to revisionism. But I never really managed to place it in the market. It seemed like having sold one book had satisfied all the needs the U.S. market had for books published by me.
Excellent books with a bad spell on them. In the meantime, Castle Hill Publishers uses them to promote their products.
What was the reason for these failures? Finding out why I had these problems was crucial for any future activity, as I wanted to keep publishing books, but could not afford such investment failures again.
In 2002, I tried it the other way around by publishing a book on a mainstream topic – the JFK assassination – with a new imprint not associated with revisionism. I thought that this way I would be able to get access to mainstream book sellers. But that did not work either, mainly for two reasons.
First, the American book wholesale market is a strictly controlled monopoly. Most people might be unaware of this, and so was I, until I tried to place this book: Almost every bookstore orders their books from the wholesaler Ingram Books. There are other wholesalers, but they have such a minute market share that they can almost be ignored. I estimate that Ingram controls 95% of the wholesale market. This would, of course, not be a problem, if they treated everybody the same way. And that was exactly what Ingram did when I, as Theses & Dissertations Press, placed Dissecting, Stalin's War, and Giant with them previously: they gladly accepted it. But one month after I had brought my JFK book to the printers, they changed their policy. As I applied to have my new imprint Monte Sano Media accepted as a vendor to them, with the JFK book being the first book published by it, they explained that they would no longer deal with self-published authors and small publishers with less than ten books in their program. Instead, I had to get a contract with one of the roughly 25 distributors in the U.S. who had a contract with Ingrams and who would collect all the books from small publishers in order to offer them as an assortment of their own to Ingram.
Being a new kid on the block, I could only convince one of those 25 distributors to accept my upcoming JFK book, and as it is common in this market, they demanded an exclusive contract with me and a 60% discount on all books. However, some two months after I contracted with this distributor, they declared insolvency and stated that they could pay only 10% of the amounts on all outstanding invoices. In other words: they demanded a 96% discount, which would have covered only 20% of my production costs. The exclusive contract I had signed with this distributor was so neatly written that I could not get out of it, i.e., I could not sign a contract with another distributor unless I risked legal difficulties.
To get out from underneath this, the author of said JFK book managed to get a contract with a different distributor under his name. He also accepted to store the books for the time being in his garages so that I would save on storage costs.
What followed was a somewhat eccentric behavior of the author, who felt betrayed, because the promised royalties were not coming in. As a reaction to this, he thought he could do better and started to sell my books himself by the thousands mostly at prices under production cost, while keeping me in the dark about it and also keeping the money for himself. After realizing this, things got a little ugly, of course, but I managed to secure my possessions and get some of the books 'sold' back. By that time, the author was so antagonistic that he badmouthed me to 'his' distributor, telling them that I was a criminal on the run, a Holocaust denier, an anti-Semite, neo-Nazi, etc., so that this distributor has refused to deal with me ever since. So in early 2003 I stood there with lots of books and still no distributor or access to the market, except for Amazon, which is the only major outlet not controlled by Ingram. Even though the author, after a somewhat difficult reconciliation, promised to keep functioning as an intermediary between me and the antagonized distributor, he never forwarded any payments due, and each time I pressed for it, he came up with different excuses. I therefore decided to take action and to include the JFK book in my assortment of books as Theses & Dissertations Press, which had a vendor contract with Ingram. In other words: I decided to give up the attempt to go mainstream.
In spring of 2003, however, Ingram tightened its thumb screws on the First Amendment one more turn: Instead of demanding 55% discount, they now asked for 60% discount from all small publishers. Next in late 2003, they declared that all their vendors must spend at least $1,200 per year on promotion with Ingram to have a free account with them, or they would be charged fees for every book placed in Ingram's database. In other words: they prepared for the final blow against all self-published authors and small publishers who had signed vendor agreements with them prior to 2002.
My sales records show that revisionist books are hardly sold via Ingram. Normal book store never carry such books, and placing ads in mainstream media is close to impossible. My turnover of revisionist books with Ingram Books was therefore ridiculously low, neither justifying an advertisement budget of $1,200 with them – if they would accept any ads for my books in the first place – nor the payment of a stiff fee for each book. To make matters worse, the contract with Ingram provides that all books are returnable at publisher's expense. Since many orders coming from bookstores are placed by people who do not know or expect to receive a revisionist book, I estimate that almost 25% of all orders placed by Ingram are being returned – with my having to pay the UPS shipping fees and to deal with damaged books, etc.
In other words: I decided that my books are no longer available in normal book stores, because I cannot afford the horrendous conditions that Ingram has forced upon the market.
Aren't there laws in the U.S. outlawing monopolies? Why is nobody fighting against this one? And why is nobody standing up to protest against this most deadly assault on the First Amendment since its introduction? Thousands of self-published authors and small publishers publishing books with contents running contrary to the mainstream are affected by this. Their opinions are the reason why the U.S. has a First Amendment, because mainstream opinions hardly need to be protected.
Yet the world stays silent.
There are, of course, other problems as well. When I had just published Hoffmann's book Stalin's War of Extermination, I placed a half-page ad for it in the world's largest historical magazine with the title Word War II. When the issue with my ad came out, there were extremely strong rain falls in north-eastern Alabama, leading to my phone line going dead. It took over a week to get me back online, only to find out days later that my toll free number wasn't working, which I had included in the ad so people could order the book. The long distance company that I had just switched my service to had accidentally forgotten to tick a box on the screen of their computer to switch it free...
So it happened that in the first two weeks after I had placed my ad no reader of this fine magazine could reach me by phone. Talking about bad luck...
In late 2003, a representative of World War II magazine contacted me, asking me if I wanted to place another ad in their February 2004 issue, coming out in January. I gladly accepted, praying that this time things would work out better, and I designed an ad with all of my books included with a very brief description. It took only a few days after I had sent in this ad to receive an email back from them stating that they could not accept any ads from me anymore, since readers had massively complained after I had place my first ad back in summer 2001. To my inquiry to specify what the readers had complained about, I did not receive an answer.
So why would anybody want to be a revisionist publisher? One might just as well bring the cash directly to the waste incinerator without a lengthy diversion.
Of course, it is not that easy. There were lessons to be learned, and the year 2003 shows that I did learn. I decided not to publish fewer books, but more; not to publish thousands of them at a time, but only a few hundreds. Although this would increase the costs per book, it would still lower the overall costs per book and lead to a faster return of investment. I also abandoned the illusion that I could remain a one-man-publisher and hired a secretary in early 2003 in order to take over customer care and order fulfillment (so blame her if something is wrong with your orders J ). This way I could focus my energy on the production of new books and, of course, The Revisionist. The result of this new policy in terms of books published during 2003 is easily summarized:
- The Rudolf Report;
- Dissecting the Holocaust;
- Concentration Camp Majdanek;
- Concentration Camp Stuffhof;
- The Hoax of the Twentieth Century;
- The First Holocaust;
- and last but not least the German edition of Special Treatment in Auschwitz, which is due in spring 2004 in its English edition.
To introduce these books to you, we have dedicated large parts of the book review section of this issue to review them. As you can spot from their independent style, some of these reviews were not written by an in-house writer, and none of them are uncritically promoting our books. I dared to have scholars write them who are just as independent as I am, because only if revisionist books can stand up to independent criticism, they are worth your bucks.
Yet this ambitious book publishing program of last year was only the beginning, because by the time this issue of TR will be in your hands, two more books will have appeared:
- Exactitude – Festschrift for Robert Faurisson;
- Treblinka – Extermination Camp or Transit Camp;
I mention the first one here because the contents of it is reprinted in this issue in its entirety. It is a homage to Robert Faurisson, who is justly called the most influential revisionist ever and who celebrated his 75th birthday on January 25th of this year. This 140 pages book was presented to him as a gift from his best friends from around the world, and it was a pleasure for me to have had the honor of being a contributing editor to, and the publisher of this work. I would, of course, appreciate if you would consider purchasing this book as a special print of the anniversary contributions included in this issue of TR, although it does not contain anything, not already included here as well. As a matter of fact, since this issue of TR was published later than this book, we were able to include a few contributions more than are included in the book (those by T. Sunic and R.H. Countess). But as a signal of support for my work – or in order to use it as a gift yourself – you might want to consider purchasing the book after all.
The second book, that on the Treblinka camp, has quite a history of its own. I received the German manuscript of this book – 432 pages long – back in early 2002. The prospect of having to read, correct, format, and layout this vast amount of in-depth studies did not really create any enthusiasm for me at that time, so I put it aside for a few months. After all, what revelation could I expect from such a book, after I had read and edited so many books and papers on this or similar issues before and considered myself quite well-versed?
But when Jürgen Graf and his lovely wife Olga came to visit me and stayed at my place during the entire month of July 2002, there was of course no excuse anymore not to work on this manuscript. Once I had started, I must admit that it was even fun. I was positively surprised about both the quality of the research results presented by Graf and Mattogno as well as the fact that the book contained many new and sometimes even startling revelations even for me. Thus, I hardly noticed how time passed by while I worked my way through it. Of course, part of the joy was also the fact that I had Jürgen and Olga with me during this month. Just recently Jürgen confessed that this one month was the most beautiful time he and his wife had ever spent together – and I am glad to join this in the sense that I, too, hardly ever felt as comfortable as I did while we were all together. That's what real friendship is all about.
As to the contents of the book, one probably needs to have a somewhat relaxed attitude to be able to laugh about the many absurdities, which both authors expose both within many eyewitness accounts in particular and within the 'official' history of the camp in general. At any rate, I could not help laughing out loud once in a while working on this book.
Objectively seen, this new book by this most productive author tandem is not just about the alleged extermination camp Treblinka, but as a side dish, it also deals briefly with the Belzec and Sobibor camps, whose official history is quite similar to that of Treblinka. Moreover, the mass shootings of Jews by the Einsatzgruppen at the eastern front – real or invented – are covered just as well as are deportations of western Jews via transit camps into "the Russian swamps," as Hitler used to express it during his table talks.
In this issue of TR you find a short introduction to this book by one of the authors, Jürgen Graf. The translation and copy editing of this book turned out to be quite an effort, not only because of its volume, but also because I have the reputation of trying to get it right, and that requires reading and re-reading, editing and re-editing. One might think that after editing it so many times – in German and in English – I should be sick of it. I sure was glad to see it go to the printer, but during my second editing of this book I again learned so much from this excellent book, despite thinking I had learned and understood everything while editing the German version. Real good books simply need to be read several times; you will always get something out of them, just like it is with this one.
All in all, this book is probably the most complete study ever written by these two revisionist authors, and I must say that after having read it, it increases ones appetite for more. And indeed, in the meantime I convinced Carlo Mattogno to prepare a book with focus a on the Belzec camp, where exterminationist researchers claim to have discovered mass graves several years ago. This book will be exciting reading as well, I am sure, and we hope to get it out later this year or during 2005.
Several other books are currently being worked on, the details of which I am not yet prepared to publish here, but you can see from my activities over the last year that something has profoundly changed: Things finally seem to work out more favorably. I have a foot in the door to the English language market, and my products seem to gain acceptance.
And indeed, if I had followed the same behavioral patterns that I did with the first four books published since I came to the U.S., I would be bankrupt by now. But I am not, because I finally seem to have found a way to manage a revisionist publishing company, if not necessarily profitably, so at least without running it against the wall. I heard rumors going around that I can pursue this ambitious publishing activity only because I probably received massive funding from donators. The truth is that my level of donations reached a record low in 2003. The reason behind this success and progress on all fronts is that I learned my lessons well, keep control over my own business affairs, and make small steps instead of trying to leap ahead.
Patience and diligence are the parents of success. And I intend to keep it that way, hoping that you as my valued customers will honor my efforts.
|||J. Graf, C. Mattogno, KL Majdanek. Eine historische und technische Studie, Castle Hill Publishers, Hastings, East Sussex, September 1998.|
|||Gregory Douglas, Regicide. The Official Assassination of JFK, Monte Sano Media, Huntsville 2002.|
Additional information about this document
|Title:||Upward and Onward|
|Sources:||The Revisionist 2(1) (2004), pp. 2-5|
|First posted on CODOH:||July 10, 2012, 7 p.m.|