Anna Kolouthon’s Anniversary Book on Panther’s Lodge

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Indian dancer by Ernie Lossiah, Cherokee reservation art.

Indian dancer by Ernie Lossiah, Cherokee reservation art.

One day the sun comes up and nobody reads the local paper anymore. In some towns, there is no newspaper. If you manage to find a newspaper, it is usually a paltry affair.

The sun comes up and suddenly no one writes letters or reads books or magazines or calls people on the phone to chat. They are all on e-mail, Facebook or Tablets.

It is expected that in most of the world, especially those parts of it not termed First World (an offensive term to us), the common Joe (or Jose, or Yosef, or Yo-yo) will experience the Internet not on a staid desktop or laptop PC but flashy iPhone, possibly Tablet.

Consumers even in First World countries are still reading books, but they are reading them increasingly as e-pubs, a category of publishing that seems to cover a multitude of sins. In their runaway bestseller APE:  How to Publish a Book, Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch address the clueless free-fall of traditional publishers, closure of corner and corporate bookstores and astounding ascent of e-books. Surprisingly, they find that despite the appeal of e-books people are still buying awkward relics of the Gutenberg Revolution.

According to Kawasaki, American publishers chalked up $27 billion in sales in 2011. The revenue from e-books accounted for 30 percent of the dominant category, adult fiction. But 80% of trade books were still the printed format.

For readers, who have suddenly become King Customer, the advantages of e-books include immediate gratification (“When you finish an e-book, you can buy another one in seconds… without having to drive to a store”), privacy, a vast selection, accessibility (synching) and a host of extras like audible versions, lookups, electronic bookmarks, adjustable text size and even environmental considerations. The main plus is price. E-books cost 40% less than their paper versions. And for authors, the great inducement is upward to 70% royalties, to say nothing of complete control over their manuscript. This compares poorly to the stingy royalties of august Fifth Avenue publishers like Random House and Penguin, where an author is lucky to get 10%, and where advances are a thing of the past.

Hence we determined in March to transform Panther’s Lodge into an indie and hybrid publishing site. Anna Kolouthon, one of Panther’s Lodge’s oldest followers in its tweedy academic incarnation, has compiled a commemorative publication in print and electronic form to celebrate that transition. It’s called The Big Little Book of Native American Wit and Wisdom. 

In addition to reprising some of the popular satiric pieces from the glory days of the American Indian Movement, as well as nuggets like “The Indian Ten Commandments” and J.C. High Eagle’s “Being Indian Is…,” Anna presents a fifteen-year cross-section from the guestbook. Here are some excerpts from the chapter titled “Indian Radar,” testifying to the engagement of readers:

I found your web site by accident, but I found it interesting. So many of my family hide their Native American ancestry and until the 1940's it was illegal to marry an Indian in NC. It has been difficult to trace family lines. Thank you for you site. Roxanne Wilson
I am an Algonquin elder and like to keep in touch with everything that pertains to the Anishenabe culture. wabikijik inini
I can't tell you how much I appreciate you research and help in connecting us to our "Lost Tribes". I am a descendent of the Wapoo subtribe of the Cusabo.We are supposed to be extinct. We descend from the Goings family, summized to have derived from Gowen a Gaelic name like in your story of the Cherokee. My ancestors migrated from Virgina to Ohio and are classified as "free persons of color". Keep up the great work.  Sylvester Myrick
A spiritual page. Michael Redfeather Tenderfoot
O'siyo ~Hello~ ogi na li i ~my friend, 
Wa'do for your spirit's willingness to give and guide others to walk the path of the American Indian. You know your own journey here upon Mother Earth will be blessed by the Grandmothers past, for it is in their light and love they protect you. It is my honor to meet you. Witsatologi nihi ~many blessings to you~. Ge-ta-wi-(ni) ~Katherine~ aka HairDark
O'siyo Iginvtli I'm glad to have found your site, it is good information, cutting away the incorrect information that is out there in cyber space concerning our Tsalagi. R. White Bear Barnard, Ph.D.
Trying to find my indian roots before i die (help).

 

And here is an arresting syllogism from my essay “Who Is Indian”:

All dead Indians are good Indians.

(You are not dead.)

(You are not a good Indian.)

The corollary, of course, is:  “If you are claiming or admitting to be Indian, you can’t be, because you should be dead.”

We thank our followers and contributors over the years with heart-felt thanks. Aho!  The time has come for American Indians—and their descendants of whatever degree blood, if one drop—to step into the sun. Traditional publishing and academic studies have dismissed you long enough. So tell your story to the world now through self-publishing! If you want a manual how to do so, buy APE:  Author, Publisher, Entrpreneur. And if you need help, contact us. We are seeking authors with compelling American Indian or other ethnic material.

 

 

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