Archive for February, 2014

Having A Publisher Isn’t the End All

February 17, 2014

I was happy when I signed a deal with a publisher.  Now my novels would be available through Ingram and other world-wide distributors.  My previously self-published novels would be re-released, and everyting would be available through Amazon including e-books.  I can buy my novels at 50% the retail price for my own purposes. But active promotion is still up to me.  I could hire a publicist.  One offered to help me for $20,000 over four months. For that investment he’d try to get me interviews on radio and TV.  I didn’t hire him.  Why would someone want to interview a guy who wrote books nobody’s heard of?  I tried to arrange a book signing in SantaFe.  The store said they’d sell my books on consignment and pay me 50% of retail for every book sold.  All I’d have to do is do some advertising or direct mail.  Hmmm.  So I’d lose money.  I’ve sent personally addressed and signed flyers to over 200 book stores promoting Canyon Road, Lakota Betrayal, and The Improbable .38.  But Ingram says it cannot tell me if any sales were generated.  They report sales every six months, and all they include is the number of books sold.  Not where they were sold.  Not what month they sold.  So it’s impossible to measure the impact of the flyers.  It would therefore be impossible to measure the impact of a radio or TV interview in a specific city.  So it’s very frustrating, especially for me who has a background in marketing and advertising.  So what do I do?  Keep writing. Keep promoting.  Hope for the break.  Above all else, keep writing.  And just have faith that eventually something good will happen because I’m published. Thank goodness I love to write.

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Mascot Names

February 3, 2014

I went to St. John’s School in Houston.  We were the Rebels.  Now we’re the Mavericks.  Those responsible for the change said that a teacher they wanted to hire from New Jersey wouldn’t accept a position at a school with a Rebel mascot.  So forget what alumni want, or students want, or parents want.  I told them I’d never donate money again to the school, and I  haven’t.  Martin Luther King was a rebel.  So was Jesus.  The Rebels of the CSA were not evil slave owners.  About 95% of southerners never owned slaves.  But, PC above reason.

Now Lamar High School in Houston, coincidentally next door to St. John’s, has been mandated to change its mascot, which has been Redskins since 1936.  It’s too bad our Native Americans didn’t do what the African Americans did to make skin color something of which to be proud of, e.g. “I’m Black and I’m Proud,” Black Power,” and Black is Beautiful.”  Maybe Redskin could’ve been defined as representing a people who were close to the earth, a people who were fierce warriors, or a people who were the first real Americans.  But too late.  Maybe the PC crowd behind the name change feels guilty about the white man’s role in the Trail of Tears, the broken treaties, confiscating land, including hunting grounds and sacred lands, or the provision to Indian tribes of blankets infected with small pox, the massacres including Wounded Knee, the slaughter and near extinction of the American bison, and forcing Native American to live where nobody would choose to live, like the Pine Ridge Reservation, where poverty and hunger continue to cause pain for Native Americans.  Why don’t these PC crowds do something that really matters?

I’m hoping Lamar becomes the Apaches , Comanches or Kiowas, tribes who inhabited Texas.  What’s offensive about honoring a speciofic tribe?  But I’m  sure that the new mascot will be something inane.  Like a color or a maybe a tree. Oh by the way, after graduating from St. John’s, I went to school in California.  Menlo College.  We were the Oaks.  California was way ahead of its time.