My Work

Monday, April 4, 2016

Learn Something New Everyday

I’ve always believed in the thought that one can and should learn something new everyday and not be afraid of the process. Many people don’t learn because they shy away from the thought or are egocentric to the point of believing there really isn’t anything new that they would be interested in learning.

I tried at one time to be a salesman for one of the radio stations I worked for, and while the change in career path failed miserably, I learned a little something from one encounter I had with a potential advertiser. He said to me, “I don’t need to advertise, everyone knows me and my business.”

I mentioned that to my sales manager and asked what my reply should have been. He said it happens often, and one trick he uses is to ask for the telephone book, pick a page at random and a number at random, make a call on the speaker phone and when the party answers, simply say, “We’re doing a quick one word survey. Do you know Don’s Vacuum Service Company?”

Unless it is a big successful business, most often the answer will be “no.” and the owner will hear that. Think about that the next time you’re putting together a little face book comment or tweet for your business.

This brings up something I learned recently about the publishing business. I haven’t been completely sold on the e-book concept, being a codger, a lover of hard-bound books, and a former newspaper and magazine publisher. You gotta hold it in your hot little hands, gotta smell the ink, feel the paper’s texture.

At the same time, I love to write short stories, and the real market for them is not in print magazines because few even publish short stories anymore. With fifty thousand short story writers and less than ten national publications paying for short stories, the market is limited. This is where the e-books really shine. A short story is a quick read, so taking one or two to camp over the weekend, or to the beach for the day, or on that quick flight to see your sister works perfectly.

Until my publisher, Solstice Publishing brought it up, it would never have occurred to me to think about publishing something in book form under eight thousand words. Novels generally run from about fifty thousand and up, up, up words, novellas are generally between twenty thousand and fifty thousand.

At the beach, at the weekend camp, on a day cruise across the bay, can be hard on a book, and I believe that until recently the majority of books taken out like that would be printed novels. Now, without much trouble at all, one can take one or more short stories in E format for quick reads.

Getting back to that advertising sales job, the sales manager was kind in every way when he suggested that I was a far better announcer and copy writer than I would ever be as a salesman, but I keep his thought in mind about understanding that with more than seven billion people on earth, presently, not counting our alien visitors, of course, there are just an awful lot of people that have not heard of my books. I’ve got to get busy.

Until next time, read good books and stay regular

Johnny Gunn
Member, Western Fictioneers
Member, International Thriller Writers
Will you join me on facebook from time to time?
Or Tweet with me, darlin’?

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