I am looking for something for a customer. I know I have it, I just don’t know where I put it! Sheesh.

So I started with a box in my bedroom where all “pending” things are.

First I started with a book on how to get published but I only read through that as an exercise in “What’s wrong with people?” By that I mean, someone writes a book and it is rejected by every publisher the manuscript is submitted to, except the last one! Can you believe Frederick Forsyth’s Day of the Jackal was rejected? It is my all time favorite story! I basically read it (500+ pages within in a couple days and even into nights and weekends). While I was working on other stuff, full time.

Of course we all know (?) the first Harry Potter book by J.K. Rowling was rejected by at least 12 publishers. She’s now a billionaire! Books like these and many others were rejected because the companies couldn’t find or figure out a category for them. Incredible. I think these editors just found the books didn’t resonate with them because they forgot what it was like to be a kid again. Orwell’s Animal Farm was placed in the children’s book section!!

In a box I found testimonials to my companies including pictures. There were also catalogs and common magazines which I kept for one reason or another. Believe it, Amazon doesn’t have everything. Wanna know why? I found a manuscript called the Fields Defense. The author must have caught me at a very busy time and I couldn’t respond. When things had eased up, I had forgotten about it.

Over the years I have received a number of chess manuscripts (and others) which I did not publish. Some I would publish now. What is the problem? The author never left his name, address, and phone number IN the manuscript!!! Unconscionable.

Not all manuscripts are written by know nothings nor the clueless (who might be lucky to have read a book much less own one). The Fields Defense is an example. This guy had beaten many well-known players but I don’t even know his first name! He went to the trouble of printing it out and spiral binding it, which is more than some do. I’ve received manuscripts with the world’s longest titles (beyond boring and whose purpose is self-aggrandizement) and content to match. I am thinking of a chess title which I turned down. It was no chess version of The Bridges of Madison County.

Who knows what these boxes will turn up. I am not a hoarder, but I don’t throw anything away that looks “promising.”

Right off the bat I can see clearly now (famous musical) what I couldn’t see before. Even a foreword from a well known author could help. Everyone (?) knows Andy Soltis has done a bunch of these. Too many? I’ll worry about that “bridge” (pun intended) when I come to it.

Marketing can be expensive because it involves getting the word out to a lot of different folks. It’s not just post something on the internet and voila, everyone gets fabulously wealthy. But if I have a lots of customers, that’s who I mail to, or email to.

Most these days try to publish their book ON THEIR OWN. How’s that working for them? I find, in the large majority of cases, it doesn’t work for them unless they have an indomitable spirit. That is, they don’t know how to give up. They know there is more and they are willing to do what it takes to achieve it.

Meet my new friend April!

She was getting tired of being mugged at the chessboard. She was rated around 1200 but she (like Shania Twain) was No Quitter. I sold her two recommendations for $40. I got a note from her today telling me she is winning MORE games. I know she read one and probably big chunks of the other. They gave her direction!

I am good at giving people direction. It’s what I sell, direction. I love testimonials when they prove that is working if they APPLY or IMPLEMENT! That IS the secret sauce. If you want to know more call Bob at 563-271-6657. Let’s see what happens.

P.S. A short story. Years ago I was walking up Lincoln Ave. (Chicago) in the morning when I espied something in a jeweler’s window. I had been in a buying mood because I had my credit card with me. The night before, while driving up Lincoln I had spotted a photograph in a gold frame of Marilyn Monroe. I only caught sight of it for a second.  I knew what I saw. At the time I was a “minor” MM collector. I wanted it, she wanted to sell it. We came to an agreement and I used my credit card. I still have this beautiful anniversary photo in case you are interested. Anyway I continued walking up the street and I saw a jewelry store that had a neat bracelet of small diamonds and rubies. As I said a few blogs ago, I have been pretty good at guessing the value of things. There was NO price tag showing, it was tucked under (the point of my story). I guess it was about $4500 being that I was in Chicago. Angst overtook me. Should I or shouldn’t I? We were having marital troubles at that time. I didn’t relish getting the bracelet and her divorcing me and selling the bracelet. (I knew something of her past). I thought it might improve things, but probably, only for a while. In the end, I rejected the notion of getting it. We were divorced 5-6 months later. It was a beautiful piece. About 2 years ago I saw a copy of this photo in a bar restaurant. Whoever was responsible painted clothes on her (to avoid “offending their customers?”) It looked terrible. So I thought, “Perfect customer. He can keep the one he has and I will sell mine to put into his home.” I went back a little while later, they had gone out of business and I don’t know what happened to him! Several morals in this short story. 1) Don’t put off interesting things; 2) Strike while the iron is hot. If you let $$$ be your sole guide you will probably never pull the trigger.

If you have doing a book in mind, how does putting it off help you? Since 1985 I have honed my expertise in selling books as well as publishing books. I still know how to do it. Maybe you would like to see how AND it doesn’t have to be a book on chess!


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