Adventures in Marketing: Week 175

Sold one “Most Outrageous.”
The cute-as-a-button young woman who selected it had asked me to describe each of the five books I was displaying. “True crime,” I said. I added, “You have to be over 18 to read it.” Usually, I am joking. This time, regarding her closely, not so much. But she turned out to be a UC graduate in mathematics. You would be surprised, but my books do well with mathematicians. I am always impressed, though, by someone edgy enough to pick MO, esp someone like her, a “first” actually, who has “barely” heard of “Hustler.”

In other news…
1.) According to the small indie publisher guy, (Let’s call him Z), under whose umbrella my books have been distributed by a corporate behemoth, said behemoth has fudged its records, resulting in his being hit with a a $13,000 overpayment charge he can’t pay. (Hell, he can’t even pay to have his recently rear-ended car fixed or his whip-lash treated.) He has shut his doors, liquidated his stock, all but lit out for the territory. Whatever happened to the the dollars that should have been mine has been lost in this shuffle. The silver lining is my sales have been so meager these dollars are likely not many. But I am trying to straighten it out. Suggestions are welcome.
2.) On a sunnier front, editorial negotiations over my introduction to the forthcoming university press cartoonist-novelist collaboration (See previous “Adventure”) have gone well. My punctuation and grammar have been spruced up – and if anyone can give me the rule for when to use “which” and when “that,” I’d appreciate it – and my “gonzo academic” style praised. I’ve given up my use of “Nip.” (It’s a cusp of WW II book.) “Hebe” is under negotiation. (I’ve proposed substituting “Hebrews,” citing James McMurtry’s usage in “Choctaw Bingo” as authority.) And I’ve replaced “knockers” with phallic-S&M imagistic allusions.
3.) Then I received this even bigger lift. An e-mail from a guy with a Japanese name, a subject line of “Review,” and an incomplete sentence seeking “representative in north america with a stipend commission and salary attached” There was no period and no attachment.
Why, I wondered, would someone in Japan with an incomplete command of English and its punctuation be writing me? Clearly, a manga publisher wanted a well-known “gonzo academic” in the U.S. to “review” – its books or a comix-related magazine wanted the same. (Clearly, too, it was a case of good karma resulting from my eliminating “Nip.”) So I requested further info.
The attachment that arrived was from a steel import/exporter seeking representatives to establish good will with customers and collect overdue invoices.
It’s all coming together, I thought. Maybe the job will help me deal with Z.