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One Tough Game
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While running around the internet a few days ago I came across a couple of items, one after the other, which struck me as oddly related. (But then I have a weakness for imagining connections, like the nineteenth century astronomers who connected the dots on Mars to form canals).

The first thing I saw was that Kinks guitarist Dave Davies is going to have a solo album, Chosen People, re-released by Wounded Bird Records , a small label specializing in reissues. I'd never heard of the company. Take a look at some of the bands they have in their catalog: Argent, Bad Finger, Mott the Hoople, Brownsville Station, Butterfield Blues Band, Dave Brubek, Commander Cody...well, there's no point making a list since the ones that might surprise you would probably be different than the ones that surprised me. Let's just say these are not obscure artists. I mean, heck, bands like The Dictators are big for some. (or Dave Davies...)

I had thought the recording industry had already reissued on CD every burp ever committed to vinyl but apparently not. I'm amazed that the original labels weren't interested (or so it seems) in making a lot of these albums available.

Almost immediately I found an entry on writer Lee Goldberg's blog about the reprinted titles he sells through iUniverse. These three titles are about unsold television pilots. When they were published previously, through a regular publisher, they garnered a fair amount of attention in the national media. Lee published his royalty statement. Last year, in their fourth year on iUniverse, the books sold a total of 114 copies.

Now Lee Goldberg is a man who writes hit television shows. He writes mystery novels and TV tie-ins. He has books out with Dick Van Dyke on the covers. His iUniverse books sold 114 copies.

Dave Davies' band has had number one hits. He is in the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame. His solo album is being reissued by a small independent label I'd never heard of.

What is the moral? The entertainment business is not accounting, or teaching, or plumbing or any normal profession. It is one tough game. It is tougher than most people can even imagine. Which is probably why writers will persist in the delusion that all they need to do to achieve fame and fortune, is have a book printed up and when instant success doesn't happen (and it almost never does) the disappointment sets in.

In the real world, even people with the incredible resumes of Lee Goldberg and Dave Davies have to fight for a share of the audience. As for where the mysteries Mary and I write fit in, when I think about it realistically, I'm amazed how many books Poisoned Pen Press has sold for us.

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