The Learning Curve

Hi, Boomers,

Back at the blog.  What a week!  Every day something new to learn.  I actually like to learn new things and I find it exciting while I’m learning.  But it’s the time leading journey up to the learning situation that gets me.  I anticipate and I gyrate and I groan and I moan and I want to have a lot of sex.  Opps.  Didn’t mean to write that.  But it’s true.  I do the dance of resistance because, darn it, it’s difficult and challenging.  Sex is so much easier and much more fun.

Take, for example, the fact that I had to get a new ISBN number for my memoir, which I am pulling from the first publisher in order to do  publish the book with an independent printing company – with help, of course, and if any of you want to publish a book like I’m doing, email me and I’ll be glad to refer you to the wizard called Penny.  If any of you remember Penelope, she is a goddess of the highest priority.  She takes charge and makes things happen. I met Penny at the Tucson Book Festival last year.  She told me I was nuts to self-publish with a publisher who takes a percentage (over 40%) who then, in turn, puts it on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Ingram, etc. and then they take another percentage (over 40%) and I’m left with a 50 cent profit.  Penny, the goddess, was incensed that authors get so ripped off by the so-called self-publishers who charge way too much money to publish and then sell packages that are virtually worthless.  I honestly claim myself the sucker of the universe by buying into this scenario.  They offer this package and that package and none of them work, especially the marketing of your book.  Wow!  You think you have a hot book and they tell you have a hot book and they charge you $750 to put you on the media list – hey, you’re going to do TV and radio – and newsprint and then you get bupkis in return.  So now instead of paying $11.30 for each book printed from them, I pay about $5.00 a book and I don’t share royalties except for the usual suspects – Amazon, Barnes, et al.  Who knew this wizard existed in the book world.

But, of course, last year is not this year and as the royalty checks drizzled in, I got to see the full picture of the great publishing rip off.  Learning curve noted.  Actually, Penny makes it easy for an author.  However, I’m slow to learn this stuff and she is more than patient and kind and trying to surrender and I let Penny make it happen.  By the way, Penny also edited my book (how come I paid for editing at my publisher and have like over 50 mistakes in my book?) and it will have a brand new cover.  My memoir was entitled:  Sixty, Sex, & Tango, Confessions of a Beatnik Boomer.  My website and graphics guy didn’t like either the cover or the graphics and after a year of listening to him tell me what was way more cool, I’m able to say my book is: 60, Sex & Tango, Confessions of a Beatnik Boomer.  The number 60 catches the eye and intrigues.  Who knew?

I figure I know nothing about nothing.  I just finished a speech for a keynote presentation at the end of April and I though I’d better submit it to the powers that be – those that hired me at UCLA Medical Center – and let them go over it.  I have no ego involvement anymore in anything.  I’ve learned that anyone who thinks they know stuff is someone I don’t want to be around unless it’s my wizard Penny or my web and graphic guy, Chesley or my finance guy, Mike.  I love being surrounded by the experts. It makes me look good.

I adhered to that philosophy when I was launching Nevada’s first professional year round theater and surrounded myself with the best and the brightest that Las Vegas had to offer in the mid-1970s.  As a result, we launched that amazing theater and had tremendous success.  I learned that hiring the smartest people made my life easier.  But I’m a team player by nature and love the group hug.  When great brains communicate and set out the plan, we get a better product.  Everyone has a stake in the investment of whatever – a book, a theater, a film, a company, an organization.

I feel good at the end of this week even though I’m exhausted trekking up the learning curve.  It was all worth it, however, because my product is so much the better for the counsel.





Share the Post:

Related Posts