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My drug of choice is writing--writing, art, reading, inspiration, books, creativity, process, craft, blogging, grammar, linguistics, and did I mention writing?

Sunday, June 8, 2014

3/4 of a Million!!! Thank you. Yes YOU!!!

Now if you'd all just send me two dollars.....
A few months back, when I was probably kvetching about the deplorable lack of groupie threesomes, Uberdude handed me a book. "A friend of a friend wrote this," he said. "I bought it more to be supportive of a first time author than any genuine interest. Ever even heard of it?"

It was one of those consumable fantasy books that come out by the truckload about a farmer who fights a dark lord with the help of a plucky scoundrel. On the front cover there was a picture of a beefy dude with a glowing sword flanked by a roguish looking elf holdind a small crossbow like a pistol and a sorcerer woman who obviously thought too much clothing would hinder her spell casting ability--especially when it came to her legs and chest. In the background taking up most of the cover (as if it were dominating everything) was the vaguely translucent head of an evil looking knight with an intricate helmet, no doubt chosen especially for how intimidating it looked rather than its combat effectiveness. A fortress with unfathomably huge walls was on the left side. (Seriously, this book might as well have been titled "Star Wars, But Not in Space.")

I shook my head. "Never."

“How many people have read your blog,” he asked.

At the time, the number was pretty close to half a million, and I told him so. I added that not every page view really meant someone had actually read something. Some just came for the pictures of herpes.

"And how many copies do they publish of books like this?"

It was a big six book, so I told him the minimum was probably in the neighborhood of 20,000 copies, but for a genre book by a first time unknown that was so clearly telling a pretty derivative story, I couldn't imagine it being over 50k, and that was really stretching it. Print media isn't any different than movies or television in that regard. Some stuff is just whipped out because it'll probably make its production cost back and not because it's anything special.

“So,” he said, “more people have read you than have read this guy. At least ten times more people, but probably more like twenty. And just between you and me, Chris, this book was pretty awful—I bet you a hundred times more people have read you than have read past about page 25 of this.”

Uberdude is pretty into traditional publishing, so his point was to make sure I knew that if "this guy" could do it, I surely could, but his point was well taken. Some days I really feel the fact that I don't have a book on a shelf that I can point to and say "I wrote that motherfuckers! I am totes a legit writer, yo!"

But other days I remember Uberdude's lesson.

And today is such a day.

Yesterday, probably while I was learning that Buffet Fortuna here in Oakland is a poor substitute when one leaves the house hoping for dim sum, I passed 750,000 page views. Three quarters of a million readers. That's a lot of readers.  It's more than the populations of Detroit or Ft. Worth (like, you know, cities you've actually heard of). Next stop: San Francisco! Awwwwww yissssssss!

Yesterday's ball sucking numbers aside,
and Buffet Fortuna's ball sucking attempt at dim sum aside,
this is pretty epic.
But as always when I hit a major milestone or bellwether, my thoughts turn to all of you. I couldn't have done it without you–without you coming back, sharing articles, subscribing, following my work, and helping me get out there. So thank you all so very, very much.

You are the amazing ones here.

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