This is going to strike someone as sour grapes, and I assure you, it isn't. If you're a sour grapes-seeking malefactor (I love that word) and what-have-you and so on and the like, go read Tom Brokaw's book blog, not mine. (Oops! My bad. He doesn't have one, or at least not one an average Joe like me can find.)
Here's my point. Brokaw just published - in paperback (the hardcover came out November 2007) - a book called Boom! Talking About the Sixties: What Happened, How It Shaped Today, Lessons for Tomorrow. It's already ranked #2,223 on Amazon and that's all pre-orders!
Man, what I wouldn't give for a platform like he has, hawking it on Chris Matthews, riding the success of The Greatest Generation, capitalizing on his - well-deserved, I will add - fame. On Hardball, Chris Matthews was going on about how all of the things going on in the sixties are timely today, blah blee blah.
Most of The Beat Handbook: 100 Days of Kerouactions is timely today (living cheaply and greenly and doing something - go go go), and a lot of it is timeless (eastern philosophy).
Yet, my sales rank is 153,275 (the lower the number, the better).
Believe me, I am ecstatically grateful for every single sale that put my book at its current number. Don't get me wrong, it's way better than being at 850,000+ (which it's also been at). But there is just something irksome about the correlation between a book's popularity and the powerful position (or lack thereof) of the book's author, sometimes (and probably not in Brokaw's case), irrelevant of the content.
I know. I know. That's the way things are.
But I don't have to like them.
And I know if my name were Tom Brokaw, my book would be a bestseller.*
So I say, launch a shot across the bow of the oppressive establishment in this country and buy a copy of The Beat Handbook! Thank you.
I'm Rick Dale, and I approve this message.
*And if my book were titled Penis Pokey, featuring scenes with holes in the pages through which you put your unit in order to complete the scene, well-known publisher Chronicle would have published my book instead of rejecting it. True story.