21 September, 2008

Wow, I was way off. And, I mean that I was so far off in my calculations for the cover price of The Faire Folk of Gideon and The Etymology of Fire that it borders on conscious denial or deliberate bungling or whatever you might want to call it. I mean, wow, I forgot how much of the cover price keeps, and I completely and utterly butchered how much it would cost to ship to them. The part that really amazes me is how easy it would have been to get Amazon's cut and the shipping price correct. And, yet, somehow I was so far off it isn't even funny. Amazon takes 55% of the cover price and not 50% as I had convinced myself. And, shipping has increased to a minimum of two-and-a-quarter per book instead of the buck-sixty that I had deluded myself into thinking.

So, yeah, currently I stand to loose about five-fifty for every copy of The Etymology of Fire that Amazon sells. Or put another way, the cover price should have been thirty dollars and fifty-six cents in order for me to earn a profit of exactly five cents.

But, who is going to pay thirty dollars and change for a copy of The Etymology of Fire? Nobody I know. Which is where the whole conscious self-delusion comes in. And, why I think I simply need to roll with it.

It was really tough to make the decision to run with the twenty-one dollar price tag. I mean I have very serious concerns that there isn't a person on this Earth who will be interested in buying the book for twenty-one bucks. If the price had been any higher, I wouldn't have done it. I simply would have gotten really bummed and not gone through with the idea.

So, I just have to go with it. Accept the fact that I'm just going to bleed money all over the place. And hope somebody buys them. That's what counts, right? People buying books. If enough people buy books, then the numbers will get better. The cost of shipping will fall as the quantity shipped increases, and less and less money will get flushed down the rabbit hole.

That's what you cling to. No matter how stupid it might be.

Now, if only Amazon would actually have copies in-stock. This is turning into a long, odd experience in-and-of itself. Not something I'm interested in going into here since the saga is ongoing. All I will say is that I've been tut-tutted by some people at the receiving end for having used the United States Postal Service.

The next cheapest option to the good-old US Post would have required an Etymology of Fire cover price of about thirty-eight dollars and thirty-eight cents, which is as close to an explanation as to why I used the US Post as I'm going to get right now.

None of which is what I had planned on typing here, anyway. I had wanted to write a note about the book editing process. Something I had planned to write in the last journal entry but forget when I made that rather impressive detour through bar-code land. Embarrassing. Funny. But embarrassing, too.

Anyway, I think The Etymology of Fire is the best written of the three books. It moves along the best and has the least detritus. It's not the most interesting of the three for subject matter. Not that how far would you go for what you believe is right isn't interesting. And, I do really like the bit where Mariama asks for the prisoner. So, yeah, how far would you go is not without interest. It just doesn't interest me as much as The Faire Folk of Gideon's issues with slavery and the search for self-worth or with The Magic Flute's tackling of repressed shame, fear and denial.

Which brings us around to The Magic Flute. The worst written of the three books. Especially toward the beginning. You can tell that the first chapter was written years before the last one. And, I didn't go do some re-writing because I've still got that thing about not re-writing and editing to a minimum.

This made The Magic Flute's typo hunt very interesting because I started with the last chapter and made my way forward. All-in-all, the writing at the end is pretty good. Things stayed pretty good as I worked my way forward; however, as I started to approach the beginning. I swear, it just started to make me cringe.

I don't mean that the subject matter sucks or anything. I just think I could have gone back over the text and maybe cleaned it some more. But, no, of course not. Warts and all.

It's embarrassing; after all, it is the beginning of the book. I just hope people like the ugly, ungainly writing enough to stick around until things get better toward the end.

Just my opinion, of course. The whole thing might suck. Oh, well. You can read the first bunch of chapters on-line. Judge for yourself.

copyright © 2008 by keith d. jones – all rights reserved
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