Gone: The Good Ole Days!

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It is NOW OFFICIAL!  Gone are the good ole days!

You’ve probably heard many of us middle-aged, old-timers, and middle-aged old timers say:  “Gone are the good ole days!”  And if you were never around during these good ole days, then you probably haven’t the foggiest to that which we are referring.

  • Days when stamps only cost 10 cents a piece
  • Days when you could leave the doors unlocked in your house and automobile
  • Days when you could safely drop money and an honest person would see it and give it back to you.
  • Days when you could see a movie for less than $5.00; these same days, you could get a movie-ticket, a regular-sized soda and popcorn for under $10 (now you are lucky if you can just get a ticket for under that same price!)
  • Days when you could watch television, and the worst cuss word you heard was “hell” or “damn”.
  • Days when you could actually go to work knowing that your boss actually gave a crap for his / her employees instead of the money they brought in to the business; now it seems to be the other way around:  They care more for the money employees bring into the business and could care less what happens to the employee.  If worse comes to worst, they’ll simply just hire another one without batting an eyelash in most cases.
  • Days when politicians punished corruption instead of engaged with it.

I could actually go on and on.

You may be wondering what brought up this longing for the good ole days.

Unfortunately for me, personally, gone are the days when a writer can expect support from his local community.  Two days ago, I contacted the Montgomery Advertiser and found out from the dank, rotten mouth of Allison Griffin that self-published writers are in a subclass and do not “rate” the coverage that traditionally-published writers are often afforded…at least here in the Montgomery, Alabama metropolitan area.  This opinion is likely shared by WSFA, the local television station here.  I sent in my press release and called to confirm its receipt, and the fellow to whom I spoke sounded as though he would have had more interest sitting on a toilet after guzzling one of those quart-sized bottles of Texas Pete.  And I do not understand this lack of community media support.  Somewhere, I missed the damned memo that we are pariahs to the writing community!

I can name several instances of EXACTLY why we self-published writers arguably deserve MORE local support than traditionally-published writers:

  • First of all, and foremost, we NEED it more than the traditionally published writers.  In most cases, we have limited funding and do not come from money the way many of your most successful traditional writers do.  Money seems to travel in certain successfully unfair circles.  Those who have it seem to be a magnet to others who have it.  The opposite could be said as well.  Those who do not have it usually repulse those who have it.  Maybe you guessed the best definitive word for this:  SNOBBERY!  Here in the Montgomery area, it is alive and well!
  • Self-published writers have to work a hell of a lot harder and invest a lot more money to become successful.  And in most cases, this investment comes at a large cost being that we self-published writers mostly do not come from money.  Traditionally published writers have teams to handle each separate aspect of the writing business (e.g. printing, publishing, marketing, etc), whereas the self-published writer has to either handle each aspect himself or pay someone to do it.  As a matter of fact, when I dreamed of being a writer as a teenager, I erroneously thought that writing was 80 percent writing, and 20 percent marketing.  Now I realize that it is the other way around.  At the rate I am going, I will have to spend four times marketing my book that it took me to write the damned thing in the first place…and this is only to see a “reasonable” rate of return for my investment of time and money, which were both at a premium to begin with!
  • Many traditionally-published writers no longer live in the community for which they ask for support.  For example, is it unheard of for a small-town writer to move to the big city and land their first and subsequent book deals from a huge-named publisher?  I think not.  And this is because most of us self-published writers have loyal and unbreakable ties to the place we call home.  We refuse to sell out in the name of the almighty dollar.  And for this reason alone we UNDENIABLY deserve public support.

Please do not get me wrong.  I am not saying that traditionally published writers do not deserve public support from their hometowns and / or anywhere else for the matter of that.  After all, I’m not the one who put them into a subclass and spoke looking down my nose into the telephone receiver.  You have to talk to the Montgomery Advertiser’s Allison Griffin about that…but good luck getting in to see her.  I waited more than 15 minutes in the lobby of that god-forbidden news-rag in an effort just to see ANYONE about journalistic and book promotional opportunities.  I was finally given the number of one of their executive editors and told to call.  I guess gone are the days when you can go into a business and actually be seen by that whom you originally asked to speak.

As I said before, SNOBBERY IS ALIVE AND WELL in Montgomery, Alabama!  And the first chance I get (after my Mom passes away here in Alabama), I’m taking my ass (along with the rest of me, of course!) back to Memphis, Tennessee!

My day will come.  And I may end up getting picked up by an agent who will realize that I know my fecal matter.  And I may end up becoming published by a traditional publisher.  But it will certainly not be because I came from money…hardly the case!  I could never have been so fortunate.

But when that day does arrive, I will remember the kind people I met along the way, like Bryan Henry of WSFA (who has really tried to help me but found that certain decisions were out of his hands).  I will remember them and give them courtesies that I feel they earned long before I ever was able to say:  I MADE IT!

Note:  I proudly stand by everything I have written here today.  If you wish to contact Allison Griffin and / or the Montgomery Advertiser to condemn their behavior, to tattle on me, or whatever other reason, I encourage you to do so.  Here is their number:  334-261-1580.  The snobbish Allison Griffin can be reached at algriffin@montgome.gannett.com by email.

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