Whatever I was going to do productive on the plane was interrupted by me reading Sh*t My Dad Says. This convinced me that I will never be a best-selling author because I will NEVER be that funny. The book is hilarious. Read it.
Thankfully for me the book was so funny that it was either quit reading or laugh so loudly I would wake up the passenger next to me. Thankful because I needed to get some work done. I’m in North Dakota where I will spend three days on a site visit to a program and then another couple of days meeting with teachers and school administrators about 7 Generation Games.
Speaking of books, even though we temporarily weren’t, I’ve been speaking with Darling Daughter Number One about co-authoring a book on parenting next year. She likes the title The Dragon Mother. Darling Daughter Number Three likes The Komodo Mother (going along with the dragon motif) . My personal pick would be How You Like Me Now?
Having one book on the market that is selling respectably well (Winning on the Ground – it’s on knocking people down, choking them and breaking their arms) I am well aware of the fact that while writing may be an art, publishing is most definitely a business. No doubt the title is going to be decided based on a focus group or some other means of determining what is going to sell.
Another book that I started on and have yet to finish was on statistics and a naked mole rat. There are a whole lot of statistics textbooks and academic journals on statistics or with statistical results. There is not to my knowledge a book of someone just rambling on with statistical shit thrown in there, plus a naked mole rat. Like Malcolm Gladwell but with more statistics, more swearing, probably worse writing, but I will have a naked mole rat (which he does not) and if I do happen to discuss eigenvalues I will spell the word correctly.
Maria and I have kicked around the idea of taking some posts from this blog and turning it into a book, particularly the ones on 55 things I have learned.
Whatever book I write next will almost definitely be done with a mainstream, traditional publisher because of an experiment I did a couple of years ago.
Many years ago, when I was traveling to North Dakota a lot, before any Internet except for AOL on dial-up, I was pretty bored in the evenings. I could only fit so many books in my suitcase and there was only one bookstore within 100 miles, then it closed and there were none. So, while I was sitting inside avoiding the snow, I wrote three books – I don’t know why, I guess because I can’t knit. I published one on Smashwords and the same book on Amazon , because I still hadn’t decided yet whether I was going to self-publish my judo book or go with a traditional publisher. What I discovered was that if you want to sell books that way you have to get out and promote them, write blogs about them , tweet about them to the point of being irritating. Otherwise, you sell about one book a month.
So, I went with Black Belt for my judo book and it is now #1 on Amazon in the mixed martial arts category, #7 in martial arts and from #17,000 – #48,000 or so out of the over one million books they sell.
You see, I don’t LIKE doing any of that marketing stuff and I like the work I do. I don’t have any mad passion to be A WRITER like all of those people who say, “If I couldn’t write, I’d die.”
If I couldn’t write, I’d probably learn to knit.