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Of the Gimp Hand
Why Not Write to Sell? Part 2, Self Help and Journalism
My friend David Lumsden wrote a biography of Sifu Richard Bustillo, a leading light in the Jeet Kune Do fraternity. It was a good book and sold well because it had a built in readership in the Jeet Kune Do world, a certain number of guaranteed sales. I have no such fraternity, no style, no school, no art. Indeed, David made no money on this book, but donated it to his teacher's estate. Hence, my writing on combat arts has no built in readership. Nor do I have fame as a pro athlete or credentials as some kind of martial arts guru to garner a distribution base.
My numerous books on fighting cannot sell well for various reasons intrinsic to my person and the field of information that serves as my source material, both being unpopular. For instance, The Logic of Steel demonstrated that cheap blades and shanks are often in play and that expensive quality knives almost never show up in real encounters and further, seem to offer no advantage. Hence, knife sellers, manufacturers [the very people in a position to promote the work] and afficianodos deplored the work. Had I made up some stories about certain brands of knives being used to defend against bad guys, this book might have financed a retirement.
In my broadest category, urban survival in the Harm City series, the most unique work I did was the only onsite book telling the story of the 2015 Baltimore Purge, War Drums: Forty Miles from the Big House. However, the only folks interested in such urban unrest are either “back the blue” cucks who claim, with no knowledge, that there either was or was not a general race purge depending upon their ideology, or are Black Lives Matter types who also deny a general race purge and mark the event as a sacred uprising. Again, in a bipolar world, an exposition of facts is abhorred by any who have an interest in such a touchstone event from either pole of the dualistic lie that is our shared false narrative.
There is only one self-help book I have written which has potential to sell, my best-selling site e-book, Your Trojan Whorse. I think this book could be marketed to fringe male readerships. However, that type of marketing requires a lot of promotional work. Men like Bronze Age Pervert and Jack Donovan, who have made good book sales, have done so thanks to a heroic level of promotional work which I am un-qualified for. I am not media savvy, not on social media, and am not good looking.
Men looking for masculinity advice are young and want to look up at a paragon resembling their aspirations dispensing advice, not down at the declining loser on the wrong side of life which they fear becoming. Masculinity readers like to get such advice from men in their prime with handsome looks and bulging muscles, not some worn out old twerp. I am also uninterested in promotional work. When my brother and I had raffle tickets to sell for the Cub Scouts I gave mine to him and he set a sales record as I day-dreamed on the back porch.
Hence, most of my writing work is essentially unsalable and I knew that. I did all of this information-based self-help writing and weird urban journalism for only one reason, to learn how to write and write well. I wrote some 150 books trying to learn how to write. I actually got paid about a nickle an hour learning how to write. That seems like a good deal to me as I know people who have spent a decade or more paying off student loans. I got paid to go to a school in which I set my own hours and never left my room.
I regard all the writing I did before 2017 as my amateur apprenticeship in the craft and the work written since as my professional output. For it was December 11 2017 when I decided to decline income not derived from writing and to devote myself exclusively to the art of creating readable, useful and insightful books about the human condition; books that might be enjoyed by some boy of the future who sits day dreaming on his single mother's back porch rather than completing the social credit survey necessary for him to graduate from American Lie High.
Some of my fiction writing also falls into the category of writing exercises. For instance, Hurt Stoker, a book that has sold only 4 copies in 7 years and was panned by Takimag readers who claimed I was aping a southern folk writer who I have never read or heard of. I think it was some guy named Kentucky Williams. Hurt Stoker was a character development writing exercise.
My few hundred readers at the time, counted but 30 fiction readers. These were mostly white identity militants who hate black people and liked me for telling the truth about the color of American crime. So, Hurt Stoker, features a carnival operator of color, Whiff Gleason, an actual Confederate Negro of an alternative earth where the Confederacy successfully resisted the War of Northern Aggression. I wanted to up my writing game, so serialized the book on the site. I think the first six chapters feature Whiff [a former Negro League shortstop with a115 batting average] standing on the back of a giant pickup truck with a noose around his neck put there by three Pittsburgh area NFL fans who had driven down into Maryland to lynch a negro for purely recreational purposes.
I didn't get many reads. But a good dozen people were following it. Eventually, a friend of mine, a self-described “evil racist” messaged me and asked, “Enough already! Get that Negro off the tailgate!”
I had done it. The story was an exercise in developing reader empathy for a slick-talking person of not just another race, but of an enemy kind. The fact is, Whiff is the perspective character, not the hero, who is a low-done, hillbilly, criminal, army deserter and murderer named Stoker. Stoker was waiting in the writing wings waiting for a reader to plead for Whiff's milk chocolate life of grift and gab. The three NFL fans never had a prayer. The ill-treatment of both races in this novel mean there can be no popular readership, as everybody will be offended.
For the final installment of this series, I will actually spoil the ending of The Sunset Saga, some million words of fiction with a cast of over a dozen protagonists and scores of supporting characters. For there is no other way to field the complaints by the numerous readers offended by my character development and story lines in that, my largest work of fiction.
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RolfJan 23, 2022

Well, I know you have sold at least 9 books to me. Been on a bit of a slavery jag in the last couple of years. As a small-time author myself (most S/F), I know the markets are changing. What I think you might find a market for, and what would be very useful to me as a teacher, is if you wrote the script for a graphic novel. Dark, spare, somewhere between Batman and Manga, with brutal realism. Take everything you know about the kidnapping and white indenture/slave trade to the new world and write a fictionalized account that takes an average kidnapped 8-YO from Aberdeen or London, gets held for a month (poor parents can't buy him out), give a bit of background of the enclosure and vagrancy laws, shipped over losing a quarter of the half-freight kids who are just dumped over the side, the starvation, the beating, malnutrition, the fact that most did not make it to the end of the first year, etc. add some footnoted items for numbers and sources at the end. Aim it at typical MS/HS students. The female indentures getting raped to extend their service. Make it clear they were all white. Etc. Keep the script spare (setting, action, dialog, repeat). I think it could get crowd-funded to the art, then sales after that are gravy. I know I would want several for any history classroom I'm ever in. Might make a good way to wrap up the colonial white slavery series.

Just a thought. If you have no interest or time, but would be willing to edit / proof, I might be talked into writing it myself.

In the mean time, hope you are doing well in the new year.
responds:Feb 18, 2022

Hi Rolf, James does not see comments on the site any more but I noticed it and will forward this to him. Hope all is well, Lynn.
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