Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Selling My Book Ain't for Sissies

If anything, I'm a stubborn sumbitch. Hey I thought a few years ago, I'll write a book of blog posts! What a stroke of genius! The damn thing's already written, I just have to put it all together, and by jingo it'll be easy! Just get it published on Amazon and sell a few zillion copies and I won't have to drive a damn bus 55 hours a week any longer!

Riiiiiggggghhhhhhttttt. Fuhgedaboudit. It was a long, tedious and patience-testing project which was about as "easy" as pulling a rusty nail out of my foot. The editing itself nearly pushed me harder than braking an old bus going downhill. Eventually, the book was published and I had seen it through to completion. That in itself was an accomplishment from one who started building his eight-year-old daughter a dollhouse only to present it to her when she was 17. At least the book only required 18 months to produce, but it also was the catalyst of my first on-top grey hairs. Fuzz budgets.

The book's "success" has been about as lukewarm as the Oregon coast in December. While readers have generously written 30 five-star reviews, the revenue production rivals about 1/20th of minimum wage, or less. Oh well, not a terrible start to a literary career... there have been less glorious debuts.

Now I've produced the audio book version of JUST DRIVE - Life in the Bus Lane. In one month, there have been an unprecedented SIX copies sold! That's just enough for a bottle of middle-shelf Irish whiskey, but it may take about five of them to accomplish an ambitious marketing plan for this new version. I've hired Jess the Audiobookworm to sponsor a "tour" of the book on several reviewer blogs. This is supposed to generate interest in the book, but there's always the chance these full-time reviewers will not look upon my baby with the pride of its author. It's a risk, but I've never backed down from a challenge. If I fail, there's always the next book, and the one after that, followed by more... yadda yadda yadda. Like I said, stubborn is me modus operandi.

My "head shot." Glamorous, eh?
So here I sat for about 20 minutes tonight, reading through the things Jess needs to start the tour. One of these requirements is a photo of the author. Any volunteers? Y'all know Deke doesn't have one of them thar photograff(sicop: spelled incorrectly on purpose) thingees(ditto). A pseudonym requires anonymity, and plastering a photo of myself on the internets would spoil this disguise forever. I reckon I'll shoot her the head shot showing only my personalized cap.

Part of me wonders if I should just pull the damn book, count my losses and move on to the next book. After all, maybe a twelfth of my Portland brothers and sisters have purchased it, and a smattering of others across the States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. I'm not feeling sorry for myself about it. Rather, I'm a realist. People just don't like to read much these days, unless it's on a phone screen, especially if they do what I write about. The truth sucks, but it remains thus.

I'm no King, Twain or Vonnegut, just plain ol' bus driving Deke. I'll keep writing because that's who I am. This literary challenge to myself began later in life than it should have, but later is better than having never done it at all.

There. A post about writing instead of complaining about the road bozos we constantly endure. Hopefully, you'll keep your eyes crossed for me. Otherwise, I'll be driving until I leave the bus in a casket.

The 77-year-old future Deke will hobble out to his bus and tell a newbie, "Just help me into the seat sonny, I'll take 'er from there!"


  1. Replies
    1. I have no idea how to go about it! Also, my voice is fairly recognizable, which isn't good when you use a pen name. Open to any ideas, suggestions, guidance. Please email me at deaconinblue@gmail.com!