Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Getting the Words Out

I have an idea.

OK, honestly, how did humanity convey the concept of "having an idea" before the 1870s, when the light bulb was invented (or made famous by Thomas Edison, as the case may be)? Were people too stupid to have brilliant ideas before there was enough artificial light to have them by? By which to have them? Whatever?

But I digress.

My post actually has nothing to do with light bulbs.

Or this, although on a related note, I may be addicted
to Google image search.
It has to do with the fact that, as you may know, I'm trying to write a book.

I say trying because, if you told me I had to produce a single finished chapter or else lose a toe, I'd be one nine-toed bitch.

Awww, Right Big is my favorite toe.
Still, I'm working at it. And I'm working at it despite the fact that I lack an agent or a single publishing house that has expressed a scintilla of interest in acquiring my manuscript when it's finished.

If I made such things my benchmark for continued commitment to writing, I'd be a closeted gay nun tromboner feminist social worker zookeeper instead of a writer.

Or this guy.
I know how difficult it is to get a book published if you don't have a million blog readers or a reality show or the one-in-a-kabillion odds luck of the chick who wrote 50 Shades of Grey. I know there are writers a thousand times more talented and deserving than me who will never get a book deal, and they're a thousand times more likely to get one than I am.

As an avocation, writing is among the most noble. As a business, it's down there with discount prostitution.

Moliere: Total badass.
So I'm thinking of approaching book distribution a little differently.

It doesn't cost a lot to self-publish a book. It's not dirt cheap, certainly. But for less than the cost of a  couple of rooms' worth of hardwood flooring, any writer can have a book professionally critiqued, edited, designed, and printed. All that remains is distribution. And getting a book distributed via the major online and brick-and-mortar outlets is a gargantuan task. Which is why it's best left to the big publishing houses, whose attention (in case you've forgotten) is nigh impossible to get.

That's why I propose to self-publish a limited quantity of my book (when it's finally finished) and crowdsource the distribution.


Well, I happen to know a number of people who travel a lot as part of their jobs. I know others who somehow manage to arrange multiple out-of-town getaways during the year, and still others who occasionally take a road trip because it's time to take a road trip.

That's pretty impressive to those of us who fear roads. And trips.
And the unknown. And raising our hands in the air like we just don't care.

Those people are awesome. And maybe - just maybe - they'd be willing to carry with them a few copies of my book and leave them behind on their travels.

In airport lounges. In train stations. Or rest stops. Or Starbucks locations.

There's no telling where my humble book could end up if only I had willing accomplices.

If just a few people would read my book and pass it on, eventually it might catch on.

I'd like that a lot.

What do you think, Drunkards?

Stupid idea?

Or so stupid it just might work?


  1. That actually just might work! I don't travel often, but when I do, I'll carry a few copies with me :)

  2. Wait! Another idea! A separate blog page for your book- people take pictures WITH said book and send you the pictures to post!

  3. Count me in. I travel like a mofo, and I'd be glad to help.

  4. I'm sorry to say I doubt people would take free literature seriously :/

  5. I don't travel as much as I'd like to but I do work at a fairly well-known university which shall remain nameless but was mentioned on a Simpsons episode. A few copies of a smart, funny, and entertaining book left around the campus could quickly become popular.

    Also the book distributor Ingram has a service called Lightning Source that prints books on demand. They do very high quality books (chances are you've bought one without knowing it), and you'd also be working with the distributor that ships books to bookstores and a little online company called Amazon.

  6. And I'm full of shops! I don't mean the chain ones where you pay six bucks for a latte to use the free wifi and the only reading material they have is the New York Times. I mean the groovy independent ones usually made from a converted house or former pet shop (I know one like this) where they have a cinnamon bun that looks like Mother Theresa (different coffee shop).

    They often have free books. Leave yours there. Better yet attend one of their evening poetry readings. A friend of mine self-published a book of poetry and did really well selling it at readings.


You're thinking it, you may as well type it. The only comments you'll regret are the ones you don't leave. Also, replies to threads make puppies grow big and strong.