Wanted: 1,000 Star Wars Fans and Friends
I don’t even know how to start this, really, so here’s what’s going on: Remember that sort-of-funny little story about my wife’s car conking out? Well, as it turns out, we have absolutely NOT reached the day where we can laugh about it, because as I sit here, staying up late unable to sleep, there are two possibilities. Either Jenn’s car is shot beyond repair, or it can be fixed – for an amount surpassing that of one of our monthly mortgage payments.
I realize in the life-encompassing gigantic picture of things, this matters exactly squat, but in the here-and-now small picture of things, it sucks awfully hard, especially coming on the heels of Jenn unable to work for two weeks because she had pneumonia.
Even though I’ve been building a pretty decent freelance career which I love, the truth is we’ve been playing a pretty hardscrabble game of catch-up ever since I lost my job last March, and seeing 2010 off to such a largely cruddy start in terms of things I can’t control – say, pneumonia and timing chains – is exceedingly disheartening.
I thought quite awhile about whether or not to write this post, because you know, in the face of all that can go wrong in a world and a life, our current struggles seem insignificant in comparison to so many others. But as a friend of mine put it when I was venting and simultaneously wrestling with this notion of feeling guilty about venting, “Yes, they’re relatively small problems. But that doesn’t mean they’re not real.” And you know what? It’s more important to me to try and do what’s necessary to take care of my home and family than to worry about whether or not someone on the internet thinks I’m whiny.
The super-frustrating thing is how relatively little it would take to set things on track. And here’s what I’ve realized: If I could somehow sell just a thousand copies of Collect All 21! Memoirs of a Star Wars Geek – The First 30 Years through Lulu – print or download(PDF download = Just Five Bucks), it doesn’t matter – it would go an awfully long way toward making things a lot more OK than they are at the moment.
I mean, one thousand, right? Heck, even reaching out to people in just the United States, all I’d have to do would be to convince 20 people per state – less than TWO DOZEN people in each; less than ONE PERSON for every THREE COUNTIES in the country! – there are my 1,000 Star Wars fans right freaking there. And I know there are more than a couple outside these borders.
And yes, I know that some people prefer Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and I’m insanely grateful for every one of those distributed sales, too, but they bring in a significant chunk less than the Lulu direct sales, and at any rate, those take a few months to get reported anyway, while Lulu pays out monthly. And to be perfectly honest, things are desperate now and looking for a boost in April just doesn’t spark my hopes at the moment. (In fact, if you really don’t want to deal with Lulu and would settle for an electronic version of the book – I don’t have many physical copies on hand right now – shoot me an email and I’ll sell you the PDF directly.)
I am, of course, fully aware that this makes me sound like a chump, because I know damn well that a thousand is no small number – unless you’re talking about the internet.
My hope is this: Many of my awesomely supportive friends and acquaintances have, well, other friends and acquaintances, who, I’d bet, also know still more people. There is, in fact, no people shortage. And from the miracles of generosity I’ve seen accomplished online,and with the sheer numbers of people all willing to do something small that adds up to something heart-shatteringly incredible, I know that the right Tweet or ReTweet, the casual Facebook mention, the quick blog link or post in the right corners of the web are all it takes to just make amazing things happen.
To my fellow first-generation Star Wars fans, parents, and former kids of the 1980s who have already bought the book, you remain incredibly fantastic and endlessly encouraging people, and I humbly hope you’ll continue spreading the word about it somehow.
I’m not asking for amazing – I’d just like to be able to tell my wife that everything is fine, and I’d really, really like to believe it myself.