Concrete Pillars

A Bestseller’s Tarnished Award – Part 2


Author Bio

A Bestseller’s Tarnished Award is, as you read in Part 1, an allegory – a tale that uses symbolic fictional people to express a true event in my life as a writer.

You already read about my sixteenth book – the young-adult romance novel with the title Date with Responsibility. You read why I wanted it to win the bestseller award.

Date with ResponsibilityYou can order a downloadable copy of the entire novel by clicking on this picture of the book. I think you’ll want to see what caused our involvement with the two wizards, so go ahead, and order it now before you forget. Just click on the book picture.

Good. Now you’re ready to continue reading the allegory I wrote about the February 14, 2005 Valentine’s Day gift that led to: 

A Bestseller’s Tarnished Award

~ The Allegory (continued)

Happily, the pauper and his wife began the wizards’ course.

  • They read class notes carefully before each class
  • They listened closely to the two wizards during class.
  • They studied class notes again after each class.

They threw themselves into preparations from the first day, determined to do everything exactly as taught, and with every ounce of ability they possessed.

By mid-May, according to their best calculations, the old wife would be an international bestselling author!

Wonder of wonders, they read in the wizards’ updated notices that instead of “almost zero” cost, the course now was to be “zero-cost!”

Certainly, there was the cost of five long-distance phone calls to hear the teleclasses, so it wasn’t entirely zero-cost, but the old crock behind the stove still held enough for the five calls.

The weeks passed swiftly, the couple worked hard, and by mid-April, they were ready to begin the 28-day countdown to their bestseller book campaign.

28 Day Countdown

28-Day Countdown

Long hours of each day, the old pauper scanned the kingdoms notices, seeking those strangers who might be supporters of their bestseller campaign.

Long hours of each day, the old wife fought her quiet nature so that she could call the strangers, begging each one to please send her notice of the bestseller campaign to other strangers. “Aggressive begging,” the old pauper called it, and many rejected the old wife’s plea, but a few listened.

The long-distance calls to strangers eroded the promise of zero-cost and consumed the last penny from the crock, but it had to be done. It was part of the two wizards’ plan to create a campaign that would have the old wife’s book…

“…soar right up to the top of the charts; seamlessly and harmoniously.”

Those who listened to the old woman’s pleas asked her to send copies of her book for them to read. Each copy had a cost, of course, and the postage to send copies throughout the kingdom began to mount, but it had to be done. It was part of the two wizards’ plan.

Those who received the book had to be called again – sometimes often before they made a decision – which increased the phone bill, but it had to be done. It was part of the two wizards’ plan.

Grandma iPhone

Time to Call the Wizards

At the end of April, the old pauper’s wife scheduled a call to one of the wizards, and discussed the bestseller campaign.

“How many copies of our book,” she asked, “must we sell to reach a top-ten ranking?”

The wizard explained that 500-600 copies would be needed just to become a bestseller, and 1,000 copies or more to reach a top-ten ranking.

“How many strangers must receive our notice to sell that many?” asked the would-be bestseller writer.

“One million,” came the answer, “but if you call this specific queen, she will sell you hundreds of thousands of strangers’ names.” The wizard gave her a name and a phone number for the queen.

The old couple declined, however, and redoubled their efforts.

They followed the strategy exactly as taught by the two wizards.

  • They got the wizards’ approval on a campaign launch date.
  • They got the wizards’ approval on everything they wrote for the campaign.
  • They completed each step within the recommended time frame.
  • They secured more than enough supporters, with more than enough names of strangers to whom they would send notices.
  • Above all, they worked hard to maintain a “can-do” attitude. After all, this was the chance of a lifetime!
Wizards Forgotten Costs

Did the Wizards Really Forget or…?

The two wizards seemed to disremember something before the program began, however – something important about added costs.

Taking the next exciting step in their bestseller campaign, the old couple notified a printer in a kingdom that shared their kingdom’s northern border, and placed an order for 1,000 copies of the book: Date with Responsibility.

The two wizards showed disapproval. “Only 1,000 copies?” The author should ask the printing company to be ready for a second, rush order of a thousand once the initial 1,000 copies sold!

The couple had no cash left in the old crock behind the stove to pay upfront for the first thousand copies. Oh well. Their credit card would have to cover the order until books sold in the campaign. It would max out the credit card, but they had to do it. It was part of the two wizards’ plan.

The printer printed the books beautifully, shipped them to a fulfillment house – and sent the couple a bill for printing and shipping costs.

The fulfillment house delivered 500 copies to the kingdom’s giant bookseller – and sent the couple a bill for storage and delivery costs.

The wizards suggested that they send gifts to supporters – another cost was incurred, but it all had to be done. It was part of the two wizards’ plan.

A second credit card was maxed out, and then a third.

The sales letter was ready – ready to urge thousands of people to buy several copies of Date with Responsibility during the next 24 critical hours. It enticed them with a promise of added gifts worth many times the value of the book itself as well as their purchases.

Supporters had promised to send 2.5 million strangers short notices directing them to the old couples’ sales letter. Those short notices had already been provided to the supporters a few days before.

Early on that campaign morning, the pauper’s wife re-sent the notices, ensuring supporters had not misplaced the previous ones, and reminding supporters to send the notices at exactly midnight, please.

Late that afternoon, the pauper’s wife sent large gifts to the supporters, hoping it would again remind them to send the notices at midnight.

Then, as midnight began to creep across the kingdom, the pauper and his wife sat down before the magic screen that would track the bestseller campaign’s progress.

A supporter’s frantic call came in – they needed to make a correction in a proffered gift.

The old pauper completed the correction, tuned the magic screen to the view of the giant bookseller, and found their book’s title: Date with Responsibility.

(continued in Part 3)