Friday, May 26, 2017

last day of school, for me, was yesterday; they were about to send me home at 8 am when i begged them to be placed in the low-incidence sped class. i did this, i admit, because having driven down the hill, i didn't especially want to waste the drive, and wanted to get some work out of it. but also, i have found some joy in hanging around the low-incidence sped folks. alamo is a small town of 30,000. it only has so many high school students of severe disability, but here, they're all in one room. and they really are very diverse, both in their disabilities, and in everything else. they are very unpredictable. you can be hanging around happily, in a central room, and one will become hysterical or stubborn, or yell for no particular reason. or jump, or wave their hands around. you just never know.

today, it's back home, mulling over, seriously, all my poor marketing or lack of marketing. i have literally created many books, with very little strategy applied to their pricing or marketing. undersell them, i thought, for a while, but it didn't work; being unknown, dropping my work in a sea of self-published work, how are they supposed to know good stuff by low pricing? Maybe they'll try it, and, of course, i was hoping that if they tried one, they'd buy a few more. but it didn't work out that way. perhaps i'm not that good, that they should want to do that. i have several possibilities for marketing and basically i'm still mulling them all over. one is to make a writing contest. another is to make a "best-of" volume of stories, also, my own author facebook page. still another is to start ad campaigns, either on linked-in (free for the first fifty dollars) or google (hundred dollars worth of ads for 25 dollars). there are still more, but i won't go into them now. as i go into kindle to mess with my kindle settings, i'm somewhat surprised at how random they are: one book was set at about thirty bucks; another had never even made it onto kindle. others had random pricing, or i had not decided whether to put them on kdp (kindle direct), or hadn't done it. only reason not to do it, is if you have plans to publish elsewhere. time to move forward on all plans at once? not sure.

so, back in the sped room, you have this guy in a wheelchair, and he gets stuck on stuff. he brought up this yellow #1 tape. now what he liked about this tape was that it had old kid songs, and he still liked the kid songs. well, i like them too, so i produced "this old man" on my phone and we rocked out to "this old man." some of the other workers, i suspect, didn't like that, as it kind of fired him up and made him obsessive. when he's obsessive he'll say things over and over. things like, "i need to get that yellow #1 tape" or "help me find that yellow #1 tape." the other workers were sick of it already. one mentioned that in his iep, his plan for care, it specifically said he was to try and get into the present, and not be so stuck on things. ok. but i'd found something that really got him excited. and it seemed to me that if he could get so fired up about one old song, it was perhaps because music could do things for him, and he wasn't getting nearly enough of it.

back on the promotional trail, i'll be putting a lot of work out this summer. don't know when it'll all come out, but it'll come out soon; mostly, as i've said, i've been dropping hard work into an endless sea of unappreciated work. it could be, i'm just a kind of mediocre writer; i hate to get caught in that endless loop of self-doubt and despair. i like to think of myself as somewhat of a fanatic with the poetry, writing a thousand a year (i'm exhausted, having reached a thousand but then, upon review, lost one because it was redundant). i'm in my own world, with the haiku. and i've had no plan on the pricing of the haiku either. seems if you write a thousand in a year, you should charge more than $1.99, but then, i've had no strategy, except to undersell on the hope that someone, appreciating one of them, will buy more. with the haiku, why should they? a thousand is already more than they can handle.

at one point this guy, the obsessive one in the wheelchair, kept repeating the words "speed bump." they have speed bumps, he says. now i couldn't figure out what he was saying, though i'd tried my hardest, at least three times, but everyone else knew exactly what he meant; he'd been stuck there many times. it reminded me of the time a korean guy cornered me and told me he wanted to know how to become puh-duh-rent - which meant fluent - but it took me three or four times and i still didn't understand him. in this kid's case, after reflection, i could understand how he'd get stuck on that. those buses come into the parking lot every day, and hop him up, in his wheelchair, as they go over the speed bumps. it's a big thing in a life that, in most ways, is very bound, bound by a general lack of options. more later....

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