Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Orphan Book Rescue Society

It's a crying shame, but there it was. That poor book stood proud among the other rejects and misfit books in the Dollar Store bargain bin. It had a magnificent cover, an intriguing title, and a great story concept. What's wrong with this book, I wondered?

I turned to the back cover and read all the glowing reviews, opened to the back flap and saw the Random House logo in all its glory, along with the author's photo and short bio. Everything was certainly in place and the book was in pristine condition. No remainder marks, no stains, no dents, no curves, a straight spine. It was a brand new hardcover book in perfect condition.

I flipped to the first chapter and began reading. Sounds like a good story, a strong opening, filled with intrigue. Nice first chapter cliffhanger. Gotta have it. WTF! Why is this book in the bargain bin? Beats me. I've never heard of it though, or its author. What gives?

Then it hit me. As an author, peddling my own literary mystery novel, is this what I have to look forward to? Uh, yeah. Why should I expect my story to do any better, especially these days? Can things possibly get any worse than for a great book to wind up in the bargain bin of a Dollar Store? I thought the Dollar Store was already a bargain.

Hey, it's not all that bad though. The books weren't tossed about like yesterday's trash. They were neatly stacked and displayed with a good measure of dignity. They just looked like lonely orphans waiting for someone to rescue them. They seemed helpless. I rescued all 37 of them and took them home where they stand tall in my library. I'll keep my favorites and give the others away as gifts.

Come to think of it, some day I hope to reach this level of success in today's publishing world. The Dollar Store dollar bin. Heck, might even be a step above self-publishing.

You see, I knew there was a bright side, after all.

But, the real question is. What's an "emerging author" like me doing at the Dollar Store anyway? Oh, I get it. I'm not the next James Patterson. Right.

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