It’s been six months since my cousin, Jesse bought two of my books on Amazon, one for herself and one for her sister. Not a sale since. Not even a hit on Facebook or my website.
I hosted an evening of story telling in my back yard, and danced around with my book hoping for some customers. One guest chomping away at the spread of food was interested in the book but didn’t have $12 or the sale price of $10.
So naturally I was very pleased to get an invitation to appear in a directory of authors that was being created in Florida and would cost me nothing but the hour it took to send a picture of my cover and a brief description about the contents of the book and the background of the author.
Little did I realize how widespread the circulation of that “directory” would be. Within a week my mail had doubled. I was invited by a cute young girl in Frankfurt to let her print my book cover on a tee-shirt and advertise it at the Frankfurt Book Fair for only $99 or was it Euros. Somehow the picture of this curvaceous blonde Fraulein with bouncing boobs left some questions.
This was quickly followed with an announcement that my fellow author Jel Jones, virtually unknown, not a celebrity, sold over a thousand books this past week. All were sold on Amazon. He had the good fortune of investing $24 in an American Star book that gave him instructions on how to do it.
I might have the same opportunity of a bestseller if I respond to, “Only 12 spots left on Oprah’s new book section. I could be Oprah’s next pick if I am willing to send $24 to get the Star book on how to do it.
But for the same price Jackie Velnoskey talked to Veronica, Ellen DeGeneres’ assistants, “one of the friendliest and most pleasant people you’ll meet in show business. She will show your work and your name will be presented to the team.” And should you be invited for an appearance, she will go with you to Los Angeles for support.”
All I have to do is go to americastarbooks to activate for $24 and avoid reading in much smaller print the disclaimer at the bottom that America Star Books has no affiliation with the Ellen de Generes show or guarantee that this promotion will guarantee success.
I’d be better off getting my book on a 45 second commercial for $99 in a small town in the Midwest. For $25 I could get a shorter commercial, but I think reading the title of my book and author’s name would go over the time purchased.
No, it’s better for me to go for the big bucks. At the next L.A. Times Book Festival there will be a booth set up for the screenwriters who live in nearby Hollywood and Beverly Hills. They will come to this booth looking for stories that can be adapted to film. I do need to hurry because there are only a few spaces left and they are filling up. For $49 U.S. dollars I can be included in a Screenwriters Guide that will be distributed to the screenwriters attending. They will read about my book and want to do a movie. But hell, I’m a screenwriter too living near North Hollywood and I can do my own screenplay.
Yes, independent self-publishing is providing so many new exciting opportunities for entrepreneurial hustlers, hucksters and innovators like Uber, Facebook and Sarah Balukoff. She wants me to get into the 2017 Book Catalogue that Barnes and Noble, Walmart, Costco and Target (just to mention a few) will be checking before buying. A full page ad will be only $94. But, on the second page is the now familiar Americastar Books, which alas is not familiar with any of the book sellers mentioned above.
Today I was greeted with a message from her telling me that the happiest publisher in America this week is Doubleday. They have a nose for what’s a good book and she is asking me to allow her to submit my book to them, so I too can get Oprah’s stamp, Ellen’s interview and see 200,000 copies of my book in bookstores all over the world….for only 24 bucks.
Oh dear, perhaps I should be devoting my time to my next book for children. A few of my loyal supporters have already ordered copies even though their own children are grown and the book isn’t even printed. They probably are looking forward to the wonderful wine and cheese book selling parties I invited them too for my adult book. I haven’t told them we’ll be doing lemonade and cookies this time. I’ll try to keep my advertising expenses at $24 to $49 dollars. I’m saving $99 for the Frankfurt tee-shirt.