Royalties! I WIL B RYCHE! wait and see

For your amusement, my statement from Amazon’s CreateSpace division showing how much I’ve made and how many copies I’ve sold over the past couple of months.

Total Royalties 3 Books $3.86

April, Maybe June Amazon site 1 $1.90
Camille’s Travels Amazon site 2 $1.96


This doesn’t count the four author copies I’ve ordered of each book. I’m going to wave them around while we’re on our trip up the I35W corridor and see if anyone wants to look.

Still, I haven’t done any publicity, so it’s a wonder that anyone found these. I want to thank the people who ordered them! It gives me hope that someone out there might hear my barbaric yawp.

Mama doesn’t want to hear my barbaric yawp. I was trying to explain to her how fortifying it was to have heard a few comments today from a friend who read the books, and she said, “Don’t talk to me about your books. God! Bring me a diet Coke! I’m so dry!” Conversation around here constantly reaches intellectual highs, I tell you what.

I also got my free business cards and postcards from VistaPrint, and I have to say they are really nice. She said she couldn’t even read them because the type is fairly small . . . but that’s a business card for you. *I* think they’re subtle and nice. I’m frankly tired of hard-sell stuff, and I wanted to make something that was a soft-sell. Or is that a soft-shoe? (Cross right behind left, up on toes, spin! Jazz hands!) Hubby glanced at them and grunted before returning his attention to the episode of “Family Guy” that has Frank Sinatra, Jr. in it. (One of their best efforts.)

Really, though, I find it amazing that I can upload formatted Word documents or PDF files to the CreateSpace system and get them spiffed up using an online “helper” routine, and then submit them to the live people who approve such things (looking mostly to block porn and REALLY illiterate spewings, but not editors–which is a good thing for those of us who don’t want to argue), and within a couple of weeks have a book up for sale online. When I was a child, the EDITOR and PUBLISHING HOUSE seemed like demigods, and they moved very slowly to make their pronouncements. Then the slackers grew up, decided that “all the cool kids are writing books and WE WILL PUBLISH THEM NOW,” and made this happen. It’s totally mind-boggling to an old Boomer like me. I keep looking around to see when they’re going to come for me and make me stop doing it. Really, with the exceptions of those mysteries that I still have out with agents, I think this is the way for me to get my work read by the small audience that appreciates it and finds it readable.

It’s not going to make anyone any money. But, as I’ve often told y’all in these very “pages,” I am not in it for money. I no longer know exactly what I’m in it FOR, but when I hear that someone has read the book(s) and has actually finished them, it does something to me. A good something.

I suppose that is what I’m in it for, after all.

Oh, and the TV producer called and left two messages today! She is being reasonable to assume that most normal people would jump at the chance to do a couple of segments about wrapping gifts on the early morning TV show. But after the way everyone has told me that I will “embarrass the family and humiliate myself forever” and “in so doing will make myself completely un-marketable should I actually have a New York-bought book to pimp someday on TV,” I really don’t want to do it. We caught this morning’s segment (the one I managed to turn down earlier) on the noon news. They got a good-looking young thing to compete against their reporter in a speed-wrapping contest at the Galleria. I’m glad I didn’t try to do THAT, as I’m more of an artistic wrapper than a speedoo. No magic tips were forthcoming, except that you can wrap a bottle of wine in a dishtowel and it counts as two presents. I don’t think I could have done better.

The fam is right in saying that I am not very presentable on TV. I’d need a new outfit and to get my nails done and do something with myself. That takes time! Right now I’m exhausted preparing for this trip, doing NaNo desultorily, formatting the various novels for CreateSpace, trying to get the roof fixed (still getting bids and working with the insurance and contractors), getting the feast ready for Thanksgiving, cleaning ALL THE THINGS twice, and trying to get Mama’s car out from under the complaints of the city (the code inspector person wants to come out and have us prove that it moves backward and forward under its own power; this is the result of calls made to the city from a new neighbor behind us who has not seen Mama drive it this past summer, but she HAS been in the hospital, you know. This is a 1985 Lincoln Town Car that is in great shape, but is now covered with leaves and has been parked next to the driveway in the back all summer while she has been indisposed. I agreed to charge up the battery over the weekend and have Mr. City Code Enforcer stand in front of it on Monday so I can show him that it moves forward. *roar* This is yet another irritant!)

We picked up a trickle charger for the car this evening. I also managed to snatch a Flip Video camera out of the returns bin on sale, but it is psychotic and cannot function properly. I can see why the original purchaser returned it. First it said it had 20 videos that weren’t playable. Then when I plugged it into SuperBrain desktop here, it loaded the FlipShare software but complained that the device driver couldn’t be updated. It then announced that it had successfully deleted the 20 videos of zero length. I took it off the computer to see if it felt more cooperative. The camera came on and pretended to be recording, but the counter never moved, meaning it wasn’t really recording, and the only way to turn it off was to take the batteries out. (Did you know that when you take the batteries out of something that’s powered on, you can often see a spark and get a tiny shock? I’m sure some people really get off on it.) None of the buttons would work after I put new batteries in–it just showed the preview screen without offering to record or play back. Anyway, I’m taking that one back in the morning. The clerk said I had a 48-hour window for returning it, and said he was sure they wouldn’t sell something that didn’t work. Wrong! This device is subtle, though, as it does seem to come on and looks as if it might work now and then, but doesn’t.

The Scotch Brand Most Gifted Wrapper contest will be on Dec. 2 this year. I wish it were available on a cable channel or online. It’s really a lot of fun and a great honor to participate in. You should enter the contest next year! (I can’t, as former finalists can’t compete again.) I really like the Scotch Brand Cutter thingie. I hate scissors and it is easy to make straight lines with it, as long as your wrapping paper is not the super-cheapie stuff. I also like their tape. I am very loyal in buying only Scotch Tape because I had such a ball at their expense. Try that cutter–all plastic, no metal, no sharp points, only cuts paper–and see if you don’t like it a lot. It’s only a couple of dollars at your nearest store! End of unpaid tribute.

Carry on!

At the Scotch Brand Most Gifted Wrapper Contest in 2008. The only time I actually did speed-wrap things. I was pooped!


Author: shalanna

Shalanna: rhymes with "Madonna" and "I wanna," and is not a soundalike with "Hosanna" or "Sha-Na-Na." Aging hippie with long hair, husband, elderly mother, and yappy Pomeranian. I've been writing since I could hold a crayon. I started with fiction, which Mama said was "lying." “Don’t tell stories,” she would admonish, in Southern vernacular. “That's all in your imagination!” When grownups said this, they were not approving. So, shamed, I stopped telling stories for a few years--rather, I stopped letting anyone read them. I'm married to a fellow computer nerd who doesn't really like hearing about writing, but who reads sf/fantasy and understands the creative drive. I'm actually a nonconformist/hippie still wearing bluejeans and drop earrings and the Alice-in-Wonderland hair with headbands and sandals. Favorite flavor is chocolate/orange, favorite color is either Dreamsicle orange (cantaloupe) or bubble-gum pink, favorite musical is either Bye Bye Birdie, Rocky Horror, or The Producers . . . wait, I also love The Music Man. Is this getting way too specific and irrelevant yet? Obvious why I don't sell a ton of flash fiction, isn't it? To define oneself, I always say, it is good to make a list. How about a booklist? Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird Frank and Ernestine Gilbreth, Cheaper by the Dozen C.S.Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (all the Narnia books) J.R.R.Tolkien,The Hobbit/LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy Gail Godwin, The Odd Woman F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby J. D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye (before dismissing it, actually read it) George Orwell, 1984 Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle Donna Tartt, The Secret History Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn James Allen, As A Man Thinketh Mark Winegardner, Elvis Presley Boulevard James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum Winnie-the-Pooh/House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie The KJV and NIV Bible (each translation has its glories)

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