Adventures in Marketing — Week 371

Sold one book – but it wasn’t mine.
The café has a shelf, situated above the table at which I usually sit, on which authors can display their works. (The owner thinks it provides the place a classy, literary swagger.) Only half-a-dozen take advantage of this. I have “Best Ride” up there. Some people have three or four. At least three languages are represented. No one seems to look at any of them.
The other day, a woman with a Hispanic accent, asked if I was a writer. I said I was and asked the same of hers. She said she had owned a nearby hair salon for 18 years and that her daughter was urging her to write a memoir. I told her of Left Margin Lit, across the street, and its classes. Then I pointed out a book on the shelf in Spanish: “Gringo Cabron.” She loved the title and since the author had authorized me to act on her behalf I sold it.

I also engaged in a bit of barter.
Faithful readers will recall “James,” the distributor of psychedelic medicines I met a few weeks ago. He had taken out a series of loans to be repaid on the first when his check came, but the first had come and gone with no repayments occurring. (Truck problems, he excplained.) So James gifted me with a small, glasseine envelope containing a white powdery substance which he described as “an analgesic psychedelic. Keep in a cool, dry, dark, place.”
“My sock drawer,” I said, “with the Ecstasy I was given last century.”
“I’ve learned the hard way Ex breaks down quickly, regardless of where you put it,” he said.
Touched by his spontaneous generosity, and since James had recently said he wanted to hear my “stories,” and with the best of them from my first 25 years in “Cheesesteak,” I gave him a copy.
But he is off on the “Transformational Festival” circuit, so I don’t know how much time he will have for reading. This weekend its Joshua Tree.

In other news…
I have signed a contract with F.U. (Fantagraphics Underground) Press for the publication of my new collection “True Tales of Comics, Conflict and Creativity: Messiahs, Meshgganahs, Misanthropes and Mysteries.”
Since my last contract, royalties and free copies have decreased which was explained to me by the publisher as the only way they could publish idiosyncratic books (like mine) in small runs (no problem) “and not lose our shirts.”
It does great stuff I am proud to stand among.