Monday, January 13, 2020


 Dave Ramsey, author of The Total Money Makeover and other books that promise financial peace, found the perfect word to describe technology and the constant adjustments that all people must make in order to use it.  That word is “Yuck.”  In EntreLeadership he also describes the contemporary workspace that is supposed to be free of all paper, pens, and clutter.  What technology promises is theoretical idealism or Yuck on steroids for blind and visually impaired consumers and writers.

Here are the instructions I received when I could not access royalty statements (reports) on KDP:

“The graphic display is the default display, also called the Sales Dashboard. It shows all sales, both print and e-books. The words Sales Dashboard are just above the graphic. To the right of those words is a link labeled Month-to-Date. Click on that for the actual numbers. By default, it shows e-book numbers for the current month. You can select print books, and you can switch to the previous month.  Another way to see the numbers is to let the mouse cursor hover over the vertical bars in the graphic display, the bars showing the books sold that month. A popup appears with the numbers. There's also a link labeled Historical which shows a lot of older data, all in graphic form, and with that display you can also let the mouse cursor hover over a vertical bar and have the numbers displayed.”

 After I found the reports that were Excel spreadsheets, I called the help option by using my phone and talked to a real person.  “Can’t YOU just tell me the total number of books that sold?” I asked.  Of course he could—and did.  Because I am a professional, I assume that he was laughing and smirking at the title of my book and not at me.  (I enjoy these brief moments of delusion.”

 Two successful writers, Stephen King in On Writing and Dave Ramsey in EntreLeadership, cover all of the information fiction and nonfiction writers need to know.  The 2020 Writer’s Market has chapters about business plans, brands, and blogs.  A market list for grants and fellowships given in The Writer Magazine January issue indicates that self-published and E-books will not be considered for most awards.

This information is only yucky if you expect to make writing more than a hobby without building and possibly paying for a team that includes a proofreader, personal assistant, accountant, entertainment and tax lawyer, social media manager, graphic designer, editor, driver, and narrator if you did not marry someone who can wear all or most of these hats.  My book did well enough this year and finally earned enough in royalties to cover the investment I made in a professional editor, graphic designer, and marketing tools.  The Writer’s Circle at the Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired keeps writing a fun activity while I search for job opportunities in my chosen field of higher education.

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