27. January 2014 · Comments Off on Comings and Goings · Categories: Ain't That America?, Domestic, Geekery, Literary Good Stuff, Working In A Salt Mine...

It’s been a quiet week here at Chez Hayes this last week – mostly because of the latest round of global warming which swept through here on Friday and left every tree twig and leaf encased in a medium-thick shell of ice – the streets and sidewalks also. We had quite forgotten the odd rattling noise produced when the breeze blows through the branches of a tree thus treated by ice-cold rain and temperatures plunging well below 20 degrees for a good few hours overnight. We very deliberately scheduled all necessary errands for Wednesday and Thursday, not wanting to need to go anywhere at all on Friday. Walking the dogs was adventure enough, with patches of slick ice everywhere. No, I did not want to risk either of our lives or the continued good condition of either car by driving anywhere. Not only am I out of practice with regard to driving on ice and snow – I have seen south Texas drivers driving in heavy rain. No-bloody-thank-you.

The sale of the Tiny Bidness to me proceeds apace. My business partner’s niece and executor wants to see that her dearly-loved aunt winds up the business properly; all the bills paid, and whatever monies are left in the main account go to her. The business has supported my partner for a good few years, and I hope that it will do the same for Blondie and I. She had a secure base in the home that she and her husband owned, and in Social Security – which she pas paid into all of her working life. I have the military pension, and what comes in from my own books – the Tiny Bidness serves to provide the extras. The agreement is that I will pay the costs of the legal eagle who will draw up the agreement transferring the other company assets to me: the website, the care of reoccurring clients, the various files, three shelves worth of publisher copies of the various published books, whatever passes for DBA certificates, intangible things such as client good-will, the good-will and knowledge of several local providers of services … in another week or so, it will all be mine.

I am naturally restraining myself from romping, Scrooge McDuck-wise, through an Olympic-swimming-pool-sized pool of gold coins. It’s not that kind of company and likely will never be otherwise in this age of Obama, even if I had a mad wish for that to be the case. No, I will deliberately keep it small, personal, depend on personal connections and good service rendered. I may eventually have a storefront office, just for the look of things – but I think to depend otherwise on taking client meetings at a local chain’s coffee shop locations. I swear, there are probably more deals made over their tables by small niche businesses and independent salespeople than practically any other venue. As for assistance in the business, I’ll be training Blondie up in it; first assignment, to memorize the Chicago Manual of Style, and second; learn Photoshop inside and out. I also negotiated an exhibitor space at the upcoming second annual San Antonio Book Festival. Alas, they are being a trifle rigid about subsidy publishers, so an exhibitor space is about the best that I can do. None of my own books would be eligible to be nominated; they lifted their requirements from the Texas Book Festival in Austin – and that organization is also rather snotty about books published by subsidy presses, or those published by their authors. No one has explained some of the facts of the current publishing life to them – which is that there are writers taking it all very seriously and hiring editors, book designers and cover designers and marketing talent out of their own pocket and producing a book every bit as good as or better than those produced the traditional way.

I already have a good client, with promise of repeat business; a retired Army officer and amateur historian, who has a series of five books – or rather, original documents to do with the Civil War in the Hill Country, which he has pulled out from various sources, and annotated through his own research. This is just the sort of thing which the Tiny Bidness has specialized in – and he is no end chuffed that I already am familiar with the events and dramatis personae. So … to work. And to work some

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