Last update on Valentine's day 2007
RED & BLACK
Dear Readers, or other interested parties,
I have not had time to keep up this page, as i had planned. I also have made no more than a few thousand dollars per year (in 2006, less than $1,000!), if that, through the sale of my books. I have been asked for articles and help on publishing or haiku-related projects, but the pay is close to nothing. After my books were published in Japan decades ago, I was paid more than fairly for articles (more for single articles than I make from my books in years!) and I was propositioned by editors. As far as I can see, it is not enough to do good work in the USA. One must hire a publicist or go out and do it oneself. Because I have kept writing, I have had little time for that. So, I must go without.
Meanwhile, the web service providers jacked up the price and despite not needing most of the features, I cannot change to a cheaper server because my website is not in my own computer and no geeks i know know a damn thing about the microsoft frontpage i work with. At present, i waste $75/month when i should get by with $25, if that. Also, because family circumstances (an ill sibling) resulted in my being situated in the woods of N. Fl., I must pay over $100/month just for a decent internet connection (hughes satellite). On the other hand, I do not have to pay rent -- unless you consider the time i spend dragging hay to cows and playing with old dogs and trapping rats and other such chores that subtract from time available for editing and selling books.
The last $10000 credit card loan taken out to be sure i could finish the next two books will be repaid in time thanks to my mom -- but i found out that the credit card company was lying about the 0% interest, because they took all the money i have paid for purchases ( including another pc because mine died that cost $ 2000 (for japanese multi-column books, a good pc is not a luxury but a necessity), and without telling me, applied it toward paying back that loan and meanwhile have charged me 13% interest. *ps The righteous people who say one should not take out a cc loan should try to live without any possessions. Banks will not loan a cent to those of us whose sole possessions are books and other intellectual properties. Unfortunately, the major credit card companies are what used to be called organized crime, but less upfront about it. I am not ashamed to borrowing or begging money in order to do good work that will in the long run repay not only the author but other people (happy readers), but the cowardly congress that legalized the cc companies' criminal behavior should not only be ashamed but arrested for participation in the same.
Enough, living hand-to-mouth is not worth writing about. I will continue Red & Black if I ever again make enough money to have to pay the IRS again!
robin d. gill
Valentine's Day, 2007
Aside from $12,500. made from an excruciatingly difficult translation in the first half of 2003, the author/publisher, who was not yet a publisher at the time, has made almost no income for years.
Unable to pay for an MRI and whatnot for a knee injury, the publisher
(or, rather, his mother) was forced to buy a golf-cart at the cost of $3,000. in late 2001
(ouch!) for transportation where, previously, a borrowed bicycle did fine.
Another $5,000. in 2002 and $7,000 in 2003 were provided by kind mother, in the person of her corporation, Grapetree Production, for which Swellfish Soup (a book) has been half-prepared. The poor son does not feel guilty, for there are cheaper places to live than Key Biscayne. To stay in her neighborhood requires wealth he lacks.
The rent for a wee apartment, with a nice view of the village green, and,
a nice swallow of dust, for the Recreation Center is being built nearby, costs $850./month.
When/if Rise, Ye Sea Slugs! starts to sell, the reader will be appraised of how many copies sell. Thanks to my printer, Lightningsource, being part of the wholesaler, Ingram, I was able to use a decent discount rate of 40%, meaning I could wholesale the $25 retail book for $15 and make almost $8/bk, because the printing cost is about $7.
Of course, the above cost does not include the $150 or so
set-up fee and $30 for the proof and the $250 or so to Bowker for the bk of
ISBN#'s and the $65/month for the website host (needed for my pr) and having
to buy Frontpage for $175. to make said website and pay $200. to the Miami
Int'l Bookfair for a half-table, not even knowing if my book will make it on
time (it did, but the book only sold enough to pay for the table!). . . the torture (how can I put a price on the mental strain of
that?) of having to learn a zillion new things (in Word and Acrobat) to
prepare the book for publication . And i see there is more, such as extra
rams, and books needed for research and my private
postbox, etc that add hundreds of dollars more i forgot to write
up . . .
RR The first two checks for Rise, Ye Sea Slugs! came from Lightningsource last month and this month. They are for $250 and $375, respectively. While I have had excellent reviews in a few haiku magazines (best magazines and best people, too) the readership is tiny, so my readers still only number in the scores rather than hundreds or thousands as would be the case had a review been published in a single major newspaper or magazine. Had I only $1000 to spare for pr, for taking a shot at the NYT or LAT, etc. perhaps I would now be making thousands if not tens of thousands per month, but I had no money and still have no money to do that and have no one to turn to . . . (Yes, it hurts like hell to think that tens of millions of Americans have that money yet waste it on burning up fossil fuel on travel and on investments that do nothing for culture.) . If Paraverse Press ever really earns anything --
-- we will also start to spend more, and this page will start to look more like a ledger;
I have been saved from having to try to up my miniscule credit or moving by receiving $7000 from my 106 year old grandmother who passed away a year a half ago! Since my total sales for the past few months have only amounted to about $100/month (10 or 20 bks a month is all one sells without reviews in major media), that $7000. might as well have been $7 million, for it means I can keep writing away until Winter.
Another reprieve, this time $7000+ in stocks from my mom. It will not even pay my credit card debt, but i will use it to pay back what i can and re-borrow since the interest is rising and i am topping out fast!
Only sold about $1000 of books in 2004. Half of it was in December. So far, my writing and publishing has made me about 10 cents/hour. 1/50th of the minimum wage. Obviously I can only try to delay health matters. But, my NY resolution is to get a phone with a jack and a call-all-you want long-distance account so i can do some radio interviews for pr. Only problem is that one health matter has to do with my throat . . .
For now, this is all I can do, for one cannot reveal nothing! r.d.g. email@example.com
PS If you would like to consider helping me turn the corner, please peak at my BEGGING PAGE. I believe it might turn out to be your best investment page, but I can only aim at, not promise the sky.