Friday, December 5, 2014

End of an Era

Scott called me yesterday. He was my boss for the years I worked as marketing manager for Opus Framing and Art Supplies. I loved my work there; if fitted my personality.

My first job was as a high school teacher. I taught geography and theatre. I knew nothing about either but loved both subjects. Then I became a stage manager, trained by my new employer. Then I became a phonetics teacher in Nice so I could learn French. Then I built a theatre and then I ran an art gallery and then came the job at Opus. All my life I have been doing things I had to learn how to do. I love learning.

I joined Opus just as the owner decided that direct marketing would be there exclusive form of advertising. I was hired to develop their newsletter and I decided that there would always be an editorial in it to give the store personality. I wrote the editorials but I published them as having been written by the store's owner, David. But David found people wanting to engage him about our topics and he did not like that so I started writing the editorials in my own name.

That turned out to be a blessing. Soon the 60,000+ people on the list knew my name and I soon developed a reputation as knowledgeable about many aspects of life as a visual artist.

Although I left many Opus years ago, I continued to write the editorials. And then, when I retired from working for others, I decided to collate all my editorials into a book. I stank. So I wrote a different book and called it Artist Survival Skills and published it myself. I hoped and prayed I would recover my actual expenses. I printed 2,000 books and they sold out in a year.

So I printed 3,500 more and Scott's call yesterday was to buy the last two boxes. I have about 35 of them left here at home, but every other one is gone.  They sold roughly 4,000 of them. Their customers, after reading my editorials for 27 years, knew who I was. Scott is taking me to lunch to celebrate. Why? Because the book was sold for $35 and 4,000 books X $35 = $140,000. My book was, once, one of their highest ranking SKUs.

But now all that is over. Harbour Publishing (formerly Douglas & MacIntyre) is considering re-publishing it because I don't want to re-write it and publish it again myself. No thank you. It was great, but it is over. If Harbour Publishing says, I face a big decision: To write or not to write. I am disinclined, so they may have to hire a writer to work under my guidance or the offer may die. I am due to hear from them very soon.

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