Adventures in Marketing — Week 321.5

I was preparing to forego any “Adventures” this week since Sunday, the day I usually post one, had arrived without my selling a single book – and then I sold TWO!
Marcel (See, most recently, “Adventure 313″) bought an IWKYA. I am not sure why since he’s given no indication he’s read the last couple he’s bought, but maybe he wants to remain on my good side, so I will continue to give him my “Chronicle” when I finish. Maybe he simply enjoys talking with me about the old days in SF, which are triggered by whomever’s obit has just appeared. (One of the downsides to selling books in cafes, I’ve found, is that some people assume that a purchase automatically gives them the right to sit down whenever they want and begin chatting.) He said he intended to give this one to a grande dame at his Christian Scientist church, an organization with which he has an ambivalent relationship.
Then a fortyish woman (long dark hair, grey jacket-sweater), accompanied by a boyfriend/husband (greying goatee, baseball cap) bought a “Schiz.” The Crumb quote on the back cover sold her, not my standard pitch: “Six murders, kinky sex, intricately plotted, lavishly illustrated.” When I asked – also standard – if she was a writer or artist, she replied, without ruling either out, that she was “reinventing” herself. Unspecified “trauma… (had) shattered”) her family and she was finding her way forward.
I gave her my card.

In other news…
1.) A book entitled “Best American Comic Criticism of the 21st Century” has appeared with nothing by me in it. (Maybe I got an Honorable Mention – if it awarded Honorable Mentions.) This was a blow to – as well as a boost for – my self-esteem. It’s like Charles Bukowski said. Writers who sell a lot of books know they are great because their sales figures confirm the appeal of their vision. And writers who sell few books know they are great because those figure confirm the singularity of theirs.
2.) Coincidentally – and solely a boost – the out-going and in-coming editors of “The Comics Journal” greeted my most recent submission as “amazing” and “terrific.” (Now if they could just land an anthology contract.)
3.) Finally, some weeks ago I received an email from a young man in Colorado Springs, who had read an article of mine about the “disappeared” horror comic illustrator Graham “Ghastly” Ingels and wanted to buy my books. I’d referred him to my website but heard nothing from him. Now he wanted to talk. Was he ready to buy?, I wondered. Had he bought a book and wanted to option it for a movie? You know how it goes.
Nope. He wanted tips on investigative journalism. Specifically, he wanted to investigate the family of the wife who was divorcing him. They, it seemed, were affiliated with a Sinaloan drug cartel, which was trying to commit him to a psychiatric hospital in order to destroy his right to the Iowa farmland to which he had title so they could convert it to opium fields to be farmed by Afghans they were illegally smuggling into the heartland.
See where writing can get you.