Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: The Writer's Life (05/13/10)
TITLE: A Chapbook
By dub W
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I have since published several novels, have written a ton of corporate white papers, and printed a mountain of other written work. I guess I can be called professional, because I get paid for some of what I write. In a couple of weeks I get to sit in a drafty farmer’s market with a stack of books and hawk my writing alongside organic tomatoes. So, that my friends, is truly the writer’s life.
My dear Christian associate, and favorite novelist, Alton Gansky, once told me that the writer works as hard after the production as before. The creative end is no more than the sprinkles on the ice cream. The real efforts come in marketing. Marketing is that ill defined skill of selling. A self publisher spends weekends at local bookstores and farmer’s markets smiling and taking checks. A traditionally published writer spends weekends at big bookstores and conventions smiling and taking checks. The big difference of course is the national exposure by the publishing company. I figure I know people all over the world; if I had the money I would publish my own books and send them to these friends to market for me … self printed marketing theory.
My publisher told me that I can make $4 for each book I sell. So, while sitting at the farmer’s market (alongside the organic tomatoes) next week, it is possible that I might manage to sell 500 books, I stand to make $2000. Sounds great doesn’t it? Send me $7.50 and be the first $4 in the pot.
Somehow though, $4 for each book, hardly seems adequate in that I figure it took me over 1200 hours to write the book. I need to sell over 2000 books just to make minimum wage.
Typically, I write about 4 hours per day, seven days per week. I only write Christian literature these days, but as I said before, my career was build around secular writing.
I carry a Webster’s in my truck cause one never knows when an idea will strike and the right word is not at the fingertips. I also carry a notebook everywhere I go. Some of my best stories were created during boring and uninspired sermons. I have also found a lot of stories watching people in airports, markets, or fairs. A writer friend and I sat in a coffee house overlooking the harbor and wrote character sketches for four hours – just watching people. We wrote a novelette together while sitting there, well at least the concept; I told her she could use it. I hope she did.
I suppose when I die someone will stand in front of the church and say something about my writing. I would rather they skipped all that and just said I was a decent Christian and leave it at that. I can only hope that the Lord had room for a chapbook writing good ol’ boy.
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