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Scrooge frustration

Monday 12/19/22

This is an entry of documented frustration. I set it down here today so that these facts are part of the record and people can look back on them later when they do know my Scrooge book, which they're highly unlikely to know right now.

As I mentioned the other day, a couple people reached out to me to say that Scrooge was the best book of any kind they had read in many years. These are well-read people. One of them wrote me about Stendahl.

My goal in writing Scrooge was to write the best film book anyone ever had, but also a book that was far more than a film book, and which itself was a stand-alone work of art quite apart from its putative subject, that being the 1951 film version of Scrooge and as a kind of horror movie.

Like all of my books to date, this book had no chance. The books I've done thus far will have their day later. That is the operating premise here for me in the present tense, and it has been the operating premise going back to the first book. In the meanwhile, get as many books there out as possible, has been my thinking/approach, so when this does change and people are allowed to know about these books of mine, they will all be available. Then they can be hits. And people who are getting all of it at once can say, "What the hell happened here?" Well, I have the answers to that, don't I? This journal provides a lot of those answers. Then you really have things happening. You have change. You have accountability. You have what that will bring.

Last year, around the time of the official publication of Scrooge, I secured an excerpt of the book with The Daily Beast. That's a big get. A publicist would love to land something like that for one of their authors. One of their highly connected, constantly tongued and awarded authors of no actual talent. A lot of eyeballs. I landed that for me, because no one works on my behalf, and most people work against me.

The publisher of Scrooge didn't want there to be an excerpt of the book in The Daily Beast. That's like turning down sales. I'm not being critical. I am not even really saying what I think. I am not trying to rip on anyone. I am simply saying what happened. I don't think anyone can be cross with me or think I'm a villain by saying what happened. The press went so far as to write The Daily Beast and say they didn't want an excerpt to run. It wasn't politics or anything like that. It was the idea of an excerpt.

Here we are at another Christmas. And not once has the press gone on Twitter and suggested my book as a possible gift for the holidays. When I achieve with my work and I write great pieces, this press--and all of my presses--don't so much as retweet or hit the like button.

It's like they're deliberately trying not to sell books. Or my books. A friend wrote me yesterday. He was at his in-laws. His mother-in-law really liked the sound of Scrooge, and wanted to buy the book. My friend texts me that it is retailing for $92 in hardcover on Amazon. I don't look, because it's too depressing. The soft cover, last I saw it, was $30, which is still twice too much. There shouldn't be a hardcover version of this book. It's not long and the size of the book doesn't make sense for the hardcover format. This book is slightly longer than the Sam Cooke book. Why would that be in hardcover? And why on earth would it be $92? It used to be $60, I think. My guess: it was raised for the holiday. Not that the book would even be mentioned or plugged or suggested on something like social media.

On Facebook, I'm a member of a group pertaining to all things A Christmas Carol--the novella, radio adaptations, movie adaptations--and a group all about the 1951 film Scrooge, which inspires a lot of passion in people. The film stokes loyalty and love for it, I'd say. It's many people's favorite film. It's just one of those films where the people who are into it are really into it. I'd say that the Sam Cooke Live at the Harlem Square Club album that was the subject of my 33 1/3 book was similar in that regard, on the music side. True devotion from the people who know the work.

These people in the Facebook groups would, I'm sure, love to buy this book. I'm not limiting the demographic just to these people because the book has universal appeal, but there's an easy few thousand right there.

I've never seen my book mentioned in either group where the members routinely suggest anything and everything to each other that's related to A Christmas Carol and the Scrooge film, because none of those people know my book exists. Why would they? You can't self-promote in these groups, and to me that would be bad form anyway. Beneath me. Bush league, with my standing. If someone got in the comments and said they had a book out about Scrooge, you would assume it was a book that some fan self-published. You'd be shocked if you were told it was someone who has done what I've done, and there is no one who has done what I've done anyway. It wouldn't be a good look for me. And it'd look crazy and nearly unbelievable, which also makes sense, because it is a crazy and nearly unbelievable situation, as I think a reader of this entry would agree. And this is but one part of a much bigger crazy and nearly unbelievable situation. But do you see how it's all like this? At best. All the time, too.

I'm trying to do another book at this place. For free. They didn't even say, sure, thanks, Colin, super. There's a laborious process of a great deal of work on my side. It's not a case of, "It's crazy that you of all people want to come back, but sure, if you want to do another great book for free, with your wild, wild track record of achievements, we'll take that, of course." More than one. That's how bad things are. That's what I'm trying to do, because that's what is left to me--if that. The other books in this particular series are academic jargon books by people who don't publish--for the most part--outside of the academic arena.

Mine is the only one you can read and enjoy and have it be a reading experience. I think they thought that was a bad thing, because it wasn't the same old thing and there wasn't jargon and it was enjoyable. Again, I'm not badmouthing anyone. But this is what has happened.

And it's a great book. A unique, moving, beautiful book that will change how one looks at movies, horror, the world, their experiences. You don't even have to know what that film is to love this book. And if you do like that film, it changes the nature of your relationship with the film, as some people have said to me, and even thanked me. It makes that relationship a lot stronger.

Like I said, it's frustrating.


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