Monday, October 29, 2012

Pimp My Hundred Bucks - Part Five


Ok, so last week as your eyes drove away from my blog to more important things like real life, you left me like a kid who had been dropped off at the wrong kid’s birthday party. I’ve been eating their food and using their bathroom and have only just figured out that I don’t have a clue who any of these people are… and still no one else has noticed.

I have been the first to admit that I find myself in completely unfamiliar territory when it comes to business. The dreaded “B” word – “bu – is – ness”… it passes very uncomfortably through my lips.

Years ago I went through a boiling surge of musical creativity; I wrote songs about love, life and about being a loser. Every poor soul with ears who came within a guitar pic’s throw of me and my six stringed torture-tool was forced to endure my latest hit, which came as a deluge of passionate wailing and trademark angst; and yet to my very great surprise (now, not then) I was often asked for an encore.

People would say to me, “Why don’t you do gigs? Why don’t you get a manager? Why don’t you marry me?”

The excuses I gave never came close to the truth – apart from being too scared to really take the plunge, I wasn’t mentally equipped to deal with the “business” of pushing my music to the finishing line of success.

More recently having published on my blog site little nursery rhymes I have written for my children the questions above come back to bother me (well, except for the marriage one, children’s writers don’t attract that sort of attention…) and the truth is, apart from being a great big girl’s blouse about it, I don’t feel up to the “business” of marketing my “product”…

And yet here I am, slap in the middle of an enterprise that has become, in its own tiny little way an actual business and I have no idea how to manage it beyond what I am already doing. I’m like a blindfolded man trying to sell forks in a busy crowd, not only do I not understand the best way to sell people forks without stabbing them, I can’t do my accounting either.

I know this all sounds very negative. I just want to be completely honest about where my head is at, as well as my heart. Emotionally I feel like a bit of sentient drift wood on the sea shore, thrilled to bits every time I catch a wave but then feeling the drag of the outgoing tide – I make a great sale here, I feel the sting of listing fees there… I make another great sale, I upset a customer for posting it late…

I have always been the artist, good at creating the clever thing but never really being clever about what to do with it.

Well, this is my school with a student base of mostly one, at least I don’t have to worry about other students pulling down my grade and I don’t have to feel embarrassed about passing wind in the School Assembly because I’m the only person there who’ll notice…

Regardless, it has been a thriller of a week and I have more money to satisfy the hungry bank account with!

I have also figured out why my figures were all wrong last week too – I was tricked by imaginary money, having forgotten that some of my customers from the previous week had already paid me, so when I added up my total for the week, I added what I had already been paid twice! Once again a lesson in not paying attention!

So this week, I won’t make that mistake again!

Between last Monday and today I was victorious in the selling of nine books:

NIV Study Bible - $20
Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray - $5
Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle - $3
Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden - $3
James Clavell’s Whirlwind - $4
James Clavell’s Tai-Pan - $4
The Seventh Scroll by Wilbur Smith - $3
The Stand by Stephen King - $6

Giving me a Total of $54 to add to my efforts!

Normally I would replace these nine titles with 18 “new” titles but I decided to replace them with 61 titles instead, just to be a little different…

Actually I took my wife and kids to the Star of the Sea School Gala in the Auckland suburb of Botany, and of course, ignoring the bouncy castles, candy floss and various other temptations, I went straight for the books and, well, what a treat! Maybe it had something to do with it being a private school and maybe most of these books came from well-to-do homes that probably had bookshelves made of real wood, but the selection at this fair was incredible!

The weird thing was that when I entered the classroom turned sea of books, I found myself breaking into a sweat, my heart started to beat like the heart of an ancient mammoth hunter, I could smell the blood of the books beating through their papery arteries, I could sense their fear at being bought by the wrong person, each page crying out to me to catch them in my plastic shopping bags… either that or I had just had a really strong coffee that morning!

At first I plucked out books by authors like Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke and even good old Spike Milligan. I had about 12 books in my clutches and was prepared to spend $22 on them, when suddenly my ears pricked and I heard the girl of the stall say to another customer something about a bag of books for $2! I quickly raced to her side and asked if I heard her correctly and she said, “If you stick around another five minutes that’s what we’re doing…”

Needless to say, I stuck around. I seized the paperback game in four plastic bags for only $11 and the result was my car boot bursting at the hinges with 61 books to add to my stock!

Just to avoid confusion, the first three bags cost me $6 and then, when the operators of the stall realized how much money they were going to make, they increased the price to $5 a bag… either way, I would have gladly spent $15 for the lot! Heck, each book cost me less than 19 cents each!

But back to the present and the issue of numbers, after accounting for listing fees, success fees and the purchase of fresh books I now have, and I can safely say this figure is correct this time - $142.35.

Only $357.65 to go until I can roll around in 500 $1 notes!

I also have approximately 181 books in stock with 130 of those currently listed on Trademe!

So until next week, please “like” this blog and share it around, it really makes my day when you do! Please leaves some encouraging comments too, that way I’ll know that real people are reading these…

Don't forget:


Click Here to read Part Six of this series!

Click Here if you would like to follow my progress on Facebook!

Click Here to read this series from the beginning!

Click Here to read my awesome last series, Pimp My Twenty Bucks

Click Here to view my Trademe Listings


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