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Art or Coffee?

October 28, 2010
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The highs and lows of being a new author requires my ultimate flexibility.  I have learned to avoid pre-conceptions about selling my work, where to try to sell my work, who will buy, do people really mean what they say…  Basically, everything does not seem to fit into a logical framework.  So writing is art and art steps outside of logic, so get used to it, I tell myself.   What did my friend Poppy DeGarmo say?  “Art without commerce is only a hobby.”  Well, this is my new life, so I better get on the commerce part.

Photo by Poppy DeGarmo

The thing that has been most difficult for me to accept is the unwillingness of independent bookstores to carry a book published by an independent publisher.  It seems so incongruent.  But, alas, the bottom line is that the independent bookstores are fighting to survive and don’t risk on the little people.  I get that.  It is analogous in my mind to voting against a candidate that you don’t want to win, even if the person you are voting for is not who you want.  When, I wonder, can we step outside of these choices?

I have been calling independent bookstores all over the western states and have met with the same block, yet out of the blue, even when I thought, well this bookstore is way too small to consider me, a lovely woman in a lovely town, who manages a lovely bookstore, says yes.  In this case it is a woman named Emily at Copperfield’s Books in Calistoga.  After hearing a no from a store in Portland, OR, that I thought would be a yes, I decided to call Emily to see if our event was still on for November 6th.  I was afraid to make the call, but I did, because authors must be fearless.   Her response was just what I needed. 

So, I think the bottom line is that if we want to have diversity beyond what is packaged for us, if we want our neighbor, our acquaintance, our possible future friend, to be creative, then we can support that creativity with commerce.  I think about all the 3 and 4 dollar coffee drinks I have purchased in my lifetime and realize that I can instead buy a piece of creative work and make that coffee at home.  But what about my favorite independent coffee shops……   Oh my!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 28, 2010 11:35 pm

    Art and coffee? I thought they were one in the same.

    Dr. B

    • October 29, 2010 1:38 am

      Many qualities in common, I agree. Good coffee, bad coffee, awe inspiring coffee. I once gave it up, for an entire year. Life is better with coffee.

  2. October 29, 2010 3:25 am

    Julie, this is a lovely post and oh so true. Thanks for sharing and best of luck with the book. Cqn we order it on line?

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