If you do nothing then that’s what happens… nothing. But, we have been busy and so have you!
Renewals to Bob’s News Letter keep coming in. That’s good because the first issue of 2015 should be out about the end of next week. It is $29.95 for 12 issues, which is $2.50 per issue. What is important to me are new subscribers too… but at the pace of renewals (subscribers in 2014) that means some who were with us, aren’t. You can catch up with the next issue but you might want to know what new titles will be coming in.
For example: Modern Tiger by Hillarp-Persson. And Soviet Chess Primer. And, something on the Sicilian. And more next week.
People are coming through with getting the first issue of Morphy’s Times & Games to see what it is like. I think it is $9.95. The reason I say “I think” is because I have so many projects started that I can’t always remember the details. And like you, when I go to publish more about the project I have to go back and look! The first issue shipped last week. Greg Delaney liked the language and Southernish atmosphere.
In issue #2 we will go after the most despised chess player in Europe (no, it wasn’t Staunton, this idiot even went after him!) I have laid out a number of different plans for upcoming subscribers and how to pay for the “whole ball of wax” on time. One huge feature of the Morphy Klub is getting larger discounts on books. Perfect for those who are outside the USA.
As I don’t know how long I can keep doing this, I would advise circumspection and add up all the benefits and you will see that joining The Morphy Insiders Circle Klub is the better deal; $270.00. You say, “What benefits?” Look through recent issues. When I behaved like that when I was a KID, my Mom called me “Lazy Bones.” She was spot on. But, I am not a KID anymore.
How do I determine what to do first in the course of the days? Simple. Numbers. If I get chatter, letters, comments etc. about Purdy’s Teaching Cat that’s what I work on because that is a manufactured product and a book goes with it. Designs have to be drawn up and executed. Books have to be in final format and printed. Printers have to be worked with. Otherwise it is difficult to tell how many to make.
There has to be some allowances for the “late comers” because if I don’t make the “right amount,” whatever that is, you can bet some will harp in the future about “not getting one.” We’re talking $25 or so here. Apparently some would rather pay $75 later on down the street. Never made sense to me.
WHAT IS PURDY’S CAT?
Purdy wrote a number of times about the “card with a notch in it which could be used in “Solitaire Chess” (which later on is what Chess Review called it). Mine will be transparent in some parts, different design.
The fundamental front cover for Purdy’s NEW My Search for Chess Perfection is completed and it is a doozy (or “doozie” whatever you prefer). Excellent stuff from Rob Long who designed the 1997 and subsequent versions in gorgeous color. I will be starting on making corrections very soon, then deciding what to add, and also making a pre-offer. The book will be large, 7×10 most likely, new stuff, corrections and probably some more pictures of Purdy, ones you haven’t seen before of the maestro. People (most) like pictures so I’ve never understood why the best known chess publishers almost never do this. The answers most likely are money and research, something none of them want to get caught up in. It’s always amazed me how many “new” pictures of Marilyn Monroe or Albert Einstein keep cropping up, and for that matter, Bobby Fischer.
At the moment I am putting together another catalog which I hope will pique our chess types interests. It won’t be a one-liner like Malcolm Pein does, giving no information. Or like USCF Sales, which is a joke. Mine will have a slight introductory slant to each section. This catalog will be part of the $19.95 cost for getting catalogs and lists throughout the year to you. Some are catching onto that. As I said somewhere recently, doing a catalog is a pain-in-the-rear and it uses up lots of time, and running to the shelves to check on something. I don’t know about you but that is expensive and the catalogs should go to those who can appreciate that. New people don’t always appreciate things like that because they are too used to having vendors send them stuff for FREE! There is no free. Maybe the receiver gets free but the sender doesn’t.
Recently one guy spent time telling me in an email about what everyone else is doing, and he couldn’t get the message through his skull that, “I am not everyone else” as I was around before almost any of the ones he thinks I should copy!! With me you get personalization which you don’t get from anyone else in the reseller business. Personalization is a long word to spell. But, wouldn’t you like a straight shooter, someone who deals in the gold of honesty with you, and who if they make a mistake is not afraid to admit it? I thought you would.
Just got an email today from someone who misses my old monster catalogs (twice a year even!) and who wonders why I don’t do that anymore. You see, he dropped off my radar for a bunch of years, re-found chess, and wants me to pick up where HE left off! The world kept on turning! That’s what happened. You took a time out.
Some think I must be like Scrooge McDuck. I must have a vault of COIN and employees to keep the business running while they went away. Send me an order! The reason that most new businesses fail within a couple years of starting is that the “new guy” has no idea of what he/she is doing because they don’t understand the ramifications of “business.” Not at all. When they say they bombed it was because of not having enough money. Well, that is not the only reason. They failed not because they had no commitment but because they don’t understand that “people don’t owe you anything.” Because you are in business doesn’t mean they will flock to you.
Years ago I knew a very smart woman, a nurse, high I.Q. and she had a gift for writing and being brilliant! She told me about her business idea and about putting it on the internet and she thought she would make a pile. I asked her an “innocent enough” question: “Where will you get your customers?” She looked at me blankly and said, “From the internet” (as if to imply I was a fool for not knowing this). But I persisted (“fools” do that), “So how are they going to know HOW to contact you because heretofore they don’t know about your idea, you, or its implementation. There are millions of web sites out there. What will make them choose you and how will they find you?”
She never started her idea (which was a good one!) I asked her a few years ago about it and she hadn’t done anything. This is the way most folks are. See the next paragraph.
Recently I made a proposal, somewhere, about selling expensive OLD chess books and helping the buyer to turn them into a modern book whereby they could sell several thousand dollars worth of books. Only one person responded (to quote myself, “This is the way most folks are.”) and he seemed quite eager to get on with the show. One day I got 5 emails from him! Eager was he? I should have smelled trouble.
Of course he had no money now to buy the book from me but he would have it in a few months. Actually, I was OK with that. But before I could create a contract, he wanted to know this and that and I was not eager to say much until we had a contract and that was good because he backed out because he said we had a “clash of personalities.”
Actually, that wasn’t it. He couldn’t stand to be told anything even though he knew absolutely nothing about book publishing. I guess some are still impulsive. It could have been a great project and as an editor I gave him a great rate (half my usual) to get him started. But the whole project went sideways because I wouldn’t let him (he who had no money) tell me how to help him.
I am still willing to work with someone else but only on a basis of total trust. I didn’t think that was too much to ask.
This, by no means, is all I am working on. I still have Russian masters to finish up, the Pizza Pal, The Nimzovich Defense, etc.
Remember the Chess Gangs of New York project, 12 mini books? Probably 400-500 pages, etc. I had preliminarily talked to someone high on the totem pole of chess publishing. It looked like we had a project destined to go through and get TPi on the map again. You get your hopes up and you see other stuff which has been published by them and you stick your finger in your throat!
It unravelled when one of the persons involved seemed to remember nothing about it, and another editor said he told me or his buddy “No” and “Didn’t you get a copy of that memo?” No, I didn’t. I question whether anyone got a copy of it. People’s word in the new world of greed and mind changing means nothing anymore. Their memory is worse than mine!
In this big wide world of “mud,” there are people who should be on their knees EVERY night thanking God for their job that pays their rent, buys them groceries, etc. and prevents them from “digging ditches” because they would be dead meat on their own.
Teaching Women? It worked rather well! Very well.
Amazingly, 7-8 years ago I was asked to teach women in a school of cosmetology about marketing. I don’t know where they got my name, but I was approached. I took the job. It was out of town, 60 miles each way. Students had to buy a ridiculous book on marketing which cost $150. It was a total piece of fluff and useless material by two guys who had gone through 12-13 editions! (I guess they couldn’t ever get it right). One project that I asked the ladies to complete for their final grade was to “make up your own cosmetology business,” choose a name, what you offer, where it would be, etc. I was in heaven when I saw what these gals turned in! Well written plans, great ideas, realistic, etc.
They were paying $15,000 per year to study all of this stuff. I told them about a book at Borders on the cosmetology business for $15! I hope they all succeeded in real life. So-called “average people with guts.” Some terrific ideas. There’s still hope for this planet!
While there is more, this is enough for right now. Subscribing to Bob’s News Letter will keep you up to date. $29.95. First issue of 2015 late next week. Most of it is already done, 16 pages. Send me a book order, save 25%. That’s a promise, no reneging. Do business with a company who cares about their customers even if it takes me a while to answer their emails. When you ask a question, think about the possible answer before you send it. Letters with an order in them get answered first! Stands to reason doesn’t it?
P.S.: Rusty Miller told me recently that someone (not just me) is using the name “Chess Butler” on Facebook. He said he thought the name might really be the guy’s name! Really, and why is it showing up now? This guy doesn’t want to be an individualist, just a bastard as if this world doesn’t have enough of those. Has he ever looked at all the names in Washington, D.C.? I have seen, as a name, people use CHESSCO in their email address instead of their own name. One of these days something similar will happen to them and then the “humor” of this will wear off. As someone once wrote, “Karma is a bitch!” For sure, it is.
PPS: One more. Did you read today about a guy (moron) who is making copies of one of the “sharks” Katy Perry used in her Super Bowl routine? He blames lawyers and everyone else! Not his fault he ripped some one off. Could’ve made costumes of a bear, or tiger but what does he do? Copies the shark. Won’t tell you here what I think, but guys like this give business a bad name.