Friday, June 26, 2009

Hair of the Dog Craft Sunday

Don Ron Books will be out in force this Sunday at the Hair of the Dog Craft Market, sponsored by the Philadelphia Independent Craft Market. There are over 30 other vendors, great music by Bevin Caulfield and others, and free beer courtesy of PBR. Entrance is just $2. We'll be there selling pre-publication copies of the brilliant new Philly Fiction 2.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Rain won't stop Philly Fiction

After the Clark Park Festival was rained off, Don Ron Books switched neighborhoods and headed to the 2nd Street Festival in Northern Liberties to check out some music, drink a beer or two, and promote the new Philly Fiction 2. Weather did not cooperate, but even before the rain broke and it turned into a pretty nice day, we were there, with a borrowed umbrella from 2nd Street Pizza. Here is a Channel 29 news report featuring Don Ron Books' own Josh McIlvain.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What the reviewers said about Philly Fiction

With the release of Philly Fiction 2 fast approaching, we look back at what the reviews said about the first Philly Fiction. Taken from:

"I liked every one of the tales in this anthology... Philly Fiction rocks: Buy your own copy and see." —Philadelphia Inquirer

"[t]he writing sings; in 'The Shanghai Ship to Love,' Edward P. Clapp hilariously describes a trip on the Chinatown Express. There’s genuine emotion in Michael Aronovitz’s 'The Big Picture' …. In Greg November’s 'Dinnertime at 42B,' a loser pays a hooker for her company, but the woman isn’t pretty, and the ending isn’t Hollywood. Welcome to Philadelphia." —Philadelphia Magazine, Best of Philly issue

"Delish"—Philadelphia City Paper

"If you feel that indescribable sense of Philly pride, then this book is a must read. If others, maybe living outside the city, don’t understand your feelings, then this book is a must gift." —Play magazine
Read the entire Play article here.

"Stories that use the Philadelphia landscape, not only to highlight Philly’s literary talent … but also for the enjoyment of Philadelphians." —Chestnut Hill Local

"Philadelphia stories, themes, and concerns can only be told by local writers." —Gloucester County Times

"I recommend this book to both Philadelphia residents and people who don't live in Philadelphia."—Zoe Strass,

"Philly Fiction covers all the bases in an eclectic collection that exposes the city at its worst and its best. A friend of mine recently said that Philadelphia hasn’t found its soul. I will send him this collection as Philly Fiction reveals the city's soul with all its bumps and bruises."—G. Emil Reutter, blog360

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Philly Fiction 1

"Their first volume was delish!"
---Philadelphia City Paper

Philly Fiction, a collection of nineteen short stories set in Philadelphia written by Philadelphia authors, was the first publication from Don Ron Books.

Whimsical, inventive, and profound, the tales are as vibrant and diverse as the city whose stories they tell.

These must read pieces from established and up-and-coming writers will captivate and delight you, whether you grew up in Philadelphia or have yet to make your first visit.
Buy Philly Fiction 1 now

Monday, June 8, 2009

A Brief History of Early Publishing in Philadelphia

by Philly Fiction editor Christopher Munden
taken from:

Early publishing in Philadelphia has a rich and storied history. William Penn founded Philadelphia in 1682; within three years the nascent town had its first printing press. The first American publication was printed in Massachusetts in 1639, so in publishing — unlike in many other endeavors in America — Philadelphia cannot claim precedence. Nevertheless, it did not take long for the city to establish itself as a major printing center.

Publishing in Philadelphia began as an enterprise of Quaker meetinghouses, which printed mainly religious texts. The city’s first printer, William Bradford, was forced out of town when he published a tract critical of the Quakers. Bradford relocated to New York and began a successful printing career there, but sent his son Andrew back to Philadelphia in 1713 to set up the city’s first independent press. At first, the younger Bradford printed theological works using equipment rented from the Quakers, but he soon acquired his own press and began to publish secular works. The American Weekly Mercury, the newspaper Andrew Bradford began in 1719, was Philadelphia’s first and the third in the colonies. The Bradford family continued to publish newspapers and other texts for generations, and their operations in New York and Philadelphia made them one of the most distinctive and influential families of printers on the continent, but it was a young printer and editor from Boston who established Philadelphia as the premier city for publishing. . . .
to read more go to

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Rich in History, Rich in Stories: An Introduction to Philly Fiction

Taken from

From the correct viewpoint at the corner of Fifteenth and Market streets you can see Claes Oldenburg’s forty-five-foot tall pop art sculpture of a clothespin against the backdrop of City Hall, an elaborate building in the architectural style of the French Second Empire. This unapologetic juxtaposition typifies Philadelphia, a city with both a shadow and a pulse. We still walk the streets mapped out by William Penn—along cobblestone alleys, past Georgian-style homes, through lively public squares—but we do so to get to the latest BYOB restaurant, our office in a towering Center City skyscraper, or a pumping hip hop club. The city’s history contributes to its vitality, but its people and their stories bring Philadelphia to life.

The first novel printed in North America came from the printing press of Philadelphia’s most famous resident, Benjamin Franklin. Franklin is best known as a scientist and Founding Father so it may seem unusual for a fiction book to put his much-seen visage on the cover, but it was the printed word that enabled him to retire at forty-two and dedicate his remaining years to the science and public activism that helped make this city great.

Philadelphia was once the center of American publishing, and many famous authors spent all or part of their lives in the area. Edgar Allen Poe wrote many of his best works here. Louisa May Alcott and the father of the American novel, Charles Brockden Brown, called Philadelphia home. James Michener and John O’Hara, two of the twentieth century’s best American novelists, lived little more than a stone’s throw from the City of Brotherly Love.

In literature and publishing, as in so much else, Philadelphia has a proud and storied history. But a newcomer to the city may well ask: “If it stopped commemorating events that occurred more than two-hundred years ago, what would Philadelphia celebrate?” We put together these collections because we believe the answer is: “Much.”

Philadelphia’s beautiful streets are rich in history but also ripe with life. The stories in this book draw their inspiration from the city and its diverse inhabitations, highlighting the metropolis in all its grit and glory. Our deepest gratitude goes to the Philadelphia-affiliated writers who contributed to Philly Fiction and Philly Fiction 2, both those whose stories are featured in the book and those whose stories we were unable to publish. We would also like to thank everyone who supported this project, and everyone who read the book.---The editors.