Friday, December 18, 2015

i've been working on folk tales, of all things - actually i'm working on all blogs. trying to update them, put the advertisement for my new book on them, try to organize them so they draw traffic where they should. this one, i just ramble, it's just for me - yet it's my favorite, one that is always up to date, always my best. yet i do absolutely nothing to compromise to the commercial world, to say, i'm an author, buy this buy that. and, sure enough, people respond by not buying anything.

that's ok though, i get what i deserve, and i haven't hired a publicist, just lonely old me, not even putting capital letters on my blog. but i did come out with a new book of stories (see below), my fifth, so i went down to the local hastings to see what what happening with the other books i had for sale - it is, after all, the christmas season.

the walmart book, a dozen crime stories - from a well-known, big-box discount retail chain - had been stolen. that heartened me, for some reason. it was like it said steal this book on it, though of course it didn't - still, i got the sense that it was hot, that you looked at the cover and wanted to read it. this also happened in our writing lab - i lent it to someone, and she walked off with it, and i'm kind of glad, nobody else is reading it. it's like i need some kind of program to get these things out there, because once they are, i'm pretty sure they'll make it.

it's gotten really cold around here, and, i'm grateful to say, very quiet on my walk. around the big park, four square blocks, i go, and when i get around to flint, there are still no cars, going either way. there are still helicopters- those are big in our neighborhood, but fewer cars. the students are gone. the late-night traffic - ten or eleven is when i go - those are the students, the drinkers. they're gone. the malls are crowded in the day, people are buying tons of things. but the park, the town, the streets, much quieter. orion is king. he has some buddies up there too. they're out in force, guarding. the fox is slinking around. but the students are gone.

a friend of mine, book publisher, is actually sending me money for stories - he wants to avoid giving amazon its cut. people don't like amazon, or maybe, they're just tired of it. i myself am grateful for amazon - and maybe i don't distinguish createspace enough from amazon, as they are really one and the same - but createspace allows me to print my own books, one at a time, and print as many as i need when i need them. and it's cheap - a book of twenty stories, printed in twelve point, which i consider big - and i can still get my own copies for less than three plus shipping. shipping makes it more like four, generally, but that's still pretty good. if i sold them on the street for five, i'd still make a dollar each and i'd do pretty well. i'm thinking of trying a little harder. i've actually got quite a few good ones. the walmart ones, as i said, are the hottest. but you can't just walk into the walmart and sell them.

walked into the barnes and noble, and they wouldn't take them. they said you have to work through a "hoe-saler"...well, i could call myself a "hoesaler" - but i didn't, and instead bought a one-year b & n membership for $25. now i saved 10% right there on buying a christmas present that very day, and i like to shop there, will probably save about fifteen before the season is over, fifteen bucks that is, but the membership is twenty-five, and the problem is, i don't use it all that much the rest of the year. i sense i'm taking a hit here. and the guy is being a little snooty with me about my books, which, as i've said, are actually pretty good.

amazon, of course, hasn't even read them, really, except to be sure they aren't porn. they kind of benevolently proof them, allow me to print them, put them on their site....all it costs them is a website. they have their createspace factory printing them up whenever they need them, but, really, i think they consider it kind of taking the vanity press market. the vast majority of people like me just want to see their books in print, and are willing to stop after one or two. i think as i reach a certain plateau - i now have four or five poetry books, five story books - i enter another class of writer, those who didn't give up after a half dozen or so. they like that. if amazon notices me, that would be the first step.

i toil away on this blog, lowercase and all, just to keep myself in practice. half the time, like tonight, i have nothing to say. i just get the sense that, if i don't keep writing, i'll fade away. don't want that. tonight at the drunken music gathering, there was news - about people dying, other people having trouble with the weather, or falling - life is full of hazards. even in my own family, there are hazards. i'm grateful to make it another year. i put that somewhere in the christmas letter, but really, it should have been line one.


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