Time and time again I have been asked why I didn't choose to self-publish my book. It's true that I may have realized a higher per-volume profit, had I done so. But I also would have had to assume all the responsibility for so many aspects of publishing (about which I know nothing) that I might never have seen a finished product. And even if I had achieved all that on my own, I would still have been faced with the extremely daunting work of distribution. Distribution would be the actual getting of books into the hands of would-be readers, a process both convoluted and byzantine. Not to mention heavy. Books really weigh a lot, as evidenced by the wee parcels I received yesterday:
That would be 8, count em, eight boxes of books.
Friends of the blog, Knit Picks are hosting a swell book party here in Portland on 11-11, for which we agreed it would be easier if I just bring along the books. And here they are. there are 160 of them in this pile. And now that they are here, all I can think is WOW, there were actually 20,000 copies in the first printing, and I am so happy that I don't have to schlep them all around with me, or try to get them to the book stores, yarn stores and warehouses where they need to be. This is but one of many, many times that I am so grateful to my publisher for all that they do. Not only are they really good at it, they work their magic without my ever knowing it. The shiny beautiful books just arrive on cue at the right place, without slightest skill or bother on my part. This meditation on the nature of all things Schleppy has brought me to the following conclusion:
More things should work like this. For example, there should be a Global Laundry Distribution Conglomerate. This GLDC would procure dirty clothes from their points of origin (bathroom floor) using GPS locators. Then white-gloved delivery personnel would return them, clean and ironed, to the appropriate wardrobe-containment unit. Imagine the well-oiled beauty of the GLDC's sock management administration: Satellites could triangulate the position of any missing single sock for instant Hosiery Reunification, which process could be tracked via internet any time of the day or night. We have the technology; why can't it be used for good instead of evil?
Or how about Coffee Service On Demand? CSOD would, by subscription, result in the libation of choice delivered to your armchair, bedside or car window. Facial recognition software could transmit your beverage preferences to the nearest CSOD agent for immediate fulfillment. How hard could that be? Honestly, we can put astronauts into space; but try scoring a half-caff lowfat latte at the wrong time of day.
And while we're at it, why doesn't my refrigerator do the grocery shopping for me? The weight sensor in my frige shelf should know when I'm running low on milk and transmit that data to my grocery, who would then know what to bring on its weekly delivery run. Nothing difficult there; no wheels being reinvented.
I think our society should start applying our vast command of technology and human know-how to some common sense endeavors. If our global leaders are looking for any guidance on how to harness the power of all we have wrought, they need look no further than their children's' kindergarten teacher, or the guy at the deli, or the lady at the local yarn store. We all know what needs inventing, what we want to take responsibility for, and what we could really do without.
I'd love to go on about this, but I have to go find somebody's sock.