Friday, May 21, 2021

The State of the Loon • 21 May 2021

Challenging days turn into weeks, and then grow to fill a month. RLP sales remain wildly erratic, and the deeper I dig into trying to figure out what’s gone wrong and how to fix it, the more cynical I become. I understand the issue now. I just don’t like the conclusions that flow from having developed that understanding.

I’ll have more to say about this in the next few days, but not today.

For what it’s worth, as of today the Plan of Record is that we will release Stupefying Stories #24 on July 1st, 2021—after we have made the changes we clearly need to make in our marketing strategy. Those changes need to be in place first, or else we’re just flinging the book out there and hoping someone notices. While that approach has worked for us in the past, the past is a different country. We don’t live there anymore.

Accordingly, we are making some fundamental changes in the way we go to market, and we need to have these done before we release SS#24. Otherwise, I may as well pile the money up in the chiminea and set it on fire.

On the home front, this month has also been challenging and frustrating. My wife resumed IV chemotherapy on May 3rd and my calendar quickly filled up with appointments, consultations, further testing and medical imaging workups, etc., etc., etc., etc. We spent a good deal of time learning about kyphoplasty, the fascinating straight-outa-sci-fi medical procedure depicted in the above illustration. Basically, kyphoplasty involves drilling into your vertebra, inserting and inflating one or more tiny balloons to restore the vertebra to some approximation of its original shape, and then injecting the bone full of acrylic cement to fill the voids and stabilize it.

Ultimately, though, we were informed that she is not a good candidate for this procedure. Kyphoplasty apparently works best for patients who have suffered traumatic injuries due to recent accidents. For someone whose spine has been turned into Swiss-cheese by years of cancer and radiation treatments, it’s a low-percentage procedure.

And life goes on...

—Bruce Bethke


~brb said...

Q: Why July 1st now?

A: Because we need to have the finished books in the hands of the authors before the release date if we are to get authors to help promote the release. With SS#23 and Amazon's remarkably sloth-like order fulfillment process, by the times the books arrived in the hands of the authors, it was like, "Oh yeah, hey, that has finally arrived. Looks good."

Not quite the level of enthusiasm we were hoping to generate.