Friday, August 12, 2016

Death of a Crappy Salesman


Welcome to the latest update on “Saturday” the book, where you’re GUARANTEED to catch the hottest updates on a book that came out like a year and a half ago. I guess what I’m saying is that reading these updates is about as informative and helpful as reading a musty old TV guide with Bee Arthur on the cover.

Speaking of breaking news: I’m going to start posting these updates on the 15th of the month. I figure it will be loads easier to ignore these long-winded diatribes if there’s a predictable date attached. I’m also thinking of sending these through a different venue, so instead of coming through Kickstarter I’ll probably send them through MailChimp. They would still have updates on “Satudray”, but they would also include what I’m working on right now, including new illustrations and updates about my new book (the one about puberty). What do you think? Are you interested in something like that?

If so, sign up here:

In other news: I doubled my sales on Amazon last week! Pretty incredible, I know. I’ve now sold a total of two berks. But I don’t want you to treat me any differently now that I’m a massive, break-out success. Yes, “Saturday” is selling like hotcakes. At a militant gluten-free, anti-capitalist commune. I also received an email from Amazon that basically said, “Your books ain’t exactly flyin’ off the shelves. Want them back?” There’s nothing quite like the largest retailer on Earth delivering a bracing dose of humility right to your doorstep.

I’m…uh…I’m bad at the whole selling thing. I’m Willy Loman sitting gloomily in the audience of a Ron Popiel infomercial. I’m Shelley Levene frowning in a Silicon Valley conference room. I haven’t even heard of half the words these tech bros are bandying about. I have no idea what “synergistic” means and I don’t *$%#@ care.

I’m about to say the most un-American thing I’ve maybe ever said. Joe McCarthy is about to roll over in his grave (he was a jerk anyway). I don’t like hotdogs. No, wait…that wasn’t it. Freedom Sticks are delicious and help build strong stomachs (because they’re made from them). What I meant to say was I don’t want to be a salesman. I don’t like it. I’m not good at it. I’m not interested in being better. And every minute I spend trying to polish the turd that represents my sales acumen is a minute I’m not doing the thing I probably should be doing. The thing I actually want to do. The thing I’m halfway good at: Making new things. I want to spend my time drawing weird, fun, different books. Full stop.

Of course, selling my work is part of what allows me to make new things. Money, it turns out, is somewhat completely crucial to continuing to make new stuff, live indoors, and eat regularly. Some might argue that, however distasteful, selling is an inevitable and necessary part of the show. Selling is a little like radio commercials. Insipid, asinine, embolism-inducing radio commercials. However much they make you want to rip your radio out of the dashboard, grind it into dust with your teeth and then spit the dust into a volcano, commercials pay for the music or programs you listen to.

So here’s the plan: I’m going to dial back the selling part a bit. Not completely, but enough to free up more time to keep making new things. Things like this:

I’m not giving up on selling the book. I have a few things left to try out. For instance, I’m going to try to get a digital version of “Saturday” out in the world to hopefully let more people see it (even though I think print is the best way to read it). I’ll also do book events now and then.

But Life is short. Too short to spend time doing things that make me miserable. And if ever there comes a reckoning point before or after someone pats me on the face with a shovel, I’d rather say I made more things than sold more things. Bang up job so far.

So, just to recap: Iff’n you want to hear the latest about what I’m working on, mosey on over to this address and sign up:

I thought about just dropping all the email addresses I have from the Kickstarter campaign, but something about that feels creepy. I know signup means an extra step for you (sorry), but I’d rather ask you to opt in than add another email to your inbox without your permission. In the words of the sage, Wilford Brimley, “It’s the right thing to do.”

Sign up and you’ll keep getting “Saturday” updates AND see whatever this odd shut-in has been drawing lately. I’ll share projects, sketches, and my dumb, dumb thoughts. And they’ll come right to you once a month, like the worst paperboy in history. What do you say?

PS: It embarrasses me to say anything sincere or heartfelt. It feels like letting a stranger look through my refrigerator, and I’m ashamed of a lot of the stuff in there, like Freedom Sticks. But here goes anyway: I remain, as ever, grateful for your support. There’s no two ways about it: I wouldn’t have been able to get this far without your help. You helped make this book into an actual thing you could hold in your hands. That means everything to me. Thank you. Thank you. Ask your doctor if Freedom Sticks are right for you. He or she will definitely say no.