Fragments, revisited

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Jeff Cann has achieved the improbable. He has taken an honest look at himself. The twenty-four stories that comprise this book range from serious and sad to funny and uplifting. And they all include an element of raw, self-analysis. These well-crafted stories each stand on their own, but together they form a mosaic, a picture of a life in transformation.

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Kindle Direct Publishing, the Amazon subsidiary where I published my book Fragments, a memoir has a graphic interface, a bar chart that shows how many books I’ve sold each day. The chart encompasses sales over the past month. I’ll sell a book, and a bar appears on the right side of the chart above the most recent date. And over the next thirty days, I’ll watch that small bar march slowly across the screen, moving a step to the left each day for a month. Then it’s off the screen, usually leaving a blank chart.

At some point, I’ll sell another book. Next week, maybe next month. My longest drought was about sixty days. But I check the interface every day–sometimes twice a day. Yes, it’s pathetic, but it’s who I am. When I sell a paperback I earn $2.34. When I sell an eBook, it’s $1.33. So if you do the math, I’m earning less than twenty dollars a year.

Susan does our taxes. Yes, I’m an accountant for a nonprofit organization, it probably seems more natural that I would do our taxes, but Susan owns a Limited Liability Company (LLC). This is the business structure that she has operated as a massage therapist for the past eight years. It adds all sorts of complexity to our taxes. While I have a good understanding of business finance and a penchant for numbers, complexity and I don’t mix well. I’m simply unable to follow written instructions. Susan does our taxes.

The other day: “Jeff, you netted $18.64 as an author in 2018.” And so I thought: what’s the point in selling my books. I can’t even take my family out to McDonald’s on that income.

As a blogger, I offer my writing free of charge every day. It’s a source of pride and excitement for me. I love it when my stats show that someone has stumbled into my blog and read a dozen posts. I love getting comments and likes from bloggers who found me through the WordPress Reader. I really love getting emails from people thanking me for writing a blog. This is all way more important to me than my annual salary of $18.64.

In the spirit of building readership, I decided to offer my book Fragments, a memoir for free as long as Amazon will allow it–which is five days. I started yesterday, so through April 9, download this book for no charge. And if you like it (or even if you don’t) send me an email, leave a review, let me know that someone read my book.

9 thoughts on “Fragments, revisited

  1. Most great writers died without being appreciated in their lifetime or becoming rich. Sales figures are not a reliable indicator of good writing. You write good stuff, therefore you will be unappreciated. If you want to sell books, write “Fifty Shades of Jeff” or a bodice ripper. (Not necessarily true, but it is time to go out for coffee.)

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