Adventures in Marketing (Week 24)

“The Shiz” arrived from the printer’s on Monday, as scheduled. Well, mostly. It turned out I was light 180 copies. Luckily, I thought, this was not the sort of shipment likely to have lured highwaymen. I felt confident since, one morning, shortly after purchasing what-has- proved-to-be a more-than lifetime supply of my first novel when my publisher was threatening to shred them and storing them in my garage, I received a call from a construction worker that he had arrived at his job site and found the contents of an opened carton strewn about. The thief had kept our rake however.

Anyway, I posted announcements of my launch party at the cafĂ© and health club and passed some out hand-to-hand. I sent invitations to friends who lived locally and announcements of the book to others. (I did not request RSVPs, but from those who’ve given them, attendance looks good.) I sent copies of the book to the artists who contributed and invited those in NorCal to come and sell their own work.

Actual sales to date remain in single figures. Publishing something is always a lesson in humility, a reliable reminder that you are not as important to other people as you think you are. The most instructive lesson has been that, aside from one cousin, no one I knew before I turned 25, though we’ve kept in touch e-mail, Xmas card, and/or phone (and most of whom I gave a free “Cheesesteak”) has bought a “Schiz.” But I am without rancor. (Well, hardly any.)

Reaction-wise, the book’s look has been praised and its back cover blurbs described as hilarious.

COMMERCIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: “The Schiz” can be ordered for $30, and “Cheesesteak” for $20 from Spruce Hill Press, POB 9492, Berkeley 94709. Those and my other books can be ordered through Pay Pal at