“Guess you’ll be quitting your job now.”
My mama raised me right, so I haven’t laughed in anybody’s face yet. I just try, politely, to explain the reality. In his Cockeyed Pessimist blog this month, The Permanent Press publisher Martin Shepard waxes frustrated about the business of bookselling, and links to this funny/sad piece in Red Room by novelist Ivan G. Goldman about that reality. Every writer I know has a similar story;
I was once asked to read from my (then) new novel Exit Blue at Beyond Baroque, a literary salon in Venice, CA. The organizers strongly hinted that I bring refreshments (“You know, a little wine, some munchies.”) I was so ignorant of these events that I didn’t stop to think they’d named a date over a Memorial Day weekend, when everyone is out of town. I may have had nine people in the audience, including my wife. The spread must have cost at least $50, and if I sold three books I’m lucky. I personally make about $2 a copy.
Luckily , I like my job at the Missoulian a lot. I also like to eat, and to sleep with a roof over my head. And lord knows Nell likes her kibble. When the time comes for me to peddle the book, please stop by. It’d be a shame to let the wine and munchies go to waste.
Filed Under: Bookselling