30. January 2009 · Comments Off on More Lifestyles of the Struggling Writer · Categories: General, Literary Good Stuff, Veteran's Affairs, Working In A Salt Mine...

Still here, finally over the massive, incapacitating head cold/allergy I came down with in the middle of last month. I missed a week of work at the telephone center, and cut short a couple of shifts when volunteers were asked for, mostly because the cough lingers on. I don’t think it sounds at all good when a hotel reservations agent sounds like she is hacking up lung tissue whilst entering guest data into the hotel reservations data base, but that’s just me. I had originally planned to quit after Christmas, but since Blondie lost her job, and my other employers have work for me on such an erratic basis, a regular check has certain charms. Even if I loathe everything about the call center – the break room is a pit, the two computers there which employees can use for personal stuff like checking emails barely function, and the restrooms smell like ass, I’ll have to stick it out a couple of months longer. I also confess to such a deep dislike for the client, a certain hotel-resort-casino chain, that I will never, ever set foot in any of their properties, because I now hate it so much. Eh, I’ve had jobs that I hated even more. The last one took me a year of plotting my escape, and that was a full time, 40-hour a week hellhole. This is only mini-hellhole.

The income from books is still a trickle: one very nice check straight from the publisher for books bought outright immediately upon release by several different shops. Alas, I won’t get much from royalty payments in February, mostly because sales made through Ingram (the book distributor) and through Amazon and other Humongous Sales Outlets are only reported and paid quarterly. So, the results of sales of the Trilogy made in December will show up at Booklocker in March, and in my bank account maybe in April. This kind of delay in registering results of sales efforts makes it damned hard to figure out what works, let me tell you! It’s also the after-Christmas sales slump, also – things won’t pick up again in the Hill Country until spring break time, so I am making plans to gear up again then, and in late spring, when the tourist season, such as it is, kicks into high gear, with the wildflowers and all. I do have a talk in March, at the German –Texan Heritage Society, in Austin, and the Trilogy is now available to readers with vision impairments at www.bookshare.org. In March, The Gathering will be the book for an on-line book club of Bookshare members, thanks to the interest of another IAG member who posted a very nice review of “The Harvesting” on her own website.

I also had a lovely interview on another Western enthusiasts blog – The Tainted Archive which may have bumped up the Amazon rank a notch or two with a couple of sales

In the meantime, my campaign to have the Trilogy stocked at various Texas historical museum bookstores continues apace: the George Ranch management sent me a very nice reply, and the buyer who manages stock for the store at the Alamo asked for two copies of The Gathering for review. Talk about the Ground Zero of museum bookstores – the Alamo would be it. I have to sit on my hands and wait patiently for their response, at this point. I don’t think I’ll pursue too many more signings in the big-box stores, though. There’s a brand-spanking new Books a Million over on the other side of town, but all signing events for it apparently have to be requested/approved/coordinated through either their regional manager, or god help us, their corporate HQ. It’s the same thing with Barnes & Noble; local managers are exceedingly cold to independent writers, and the signing experiences I have had at Big Box places have been so miserable, I’d rather put my efforts into museum stores, independents and on-line.

And I started on the next book, this week. The prelude, and most of Chapter One already done, finished, backed up onto disc. Am I a glutton for punishment or what?

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