A week in the life, or why so few meaningful posts?

I’ve never done the “day in the life” thing both because I’m not a librarian and, back when I had a full-time job, was either working on stuff that was partly confidential or, toward the end, working on stuff that was stultifyingly boring to anybody else.

Now I’m essentially retired, partly by choice (as in “unwilling to relocate in order to acquire gainful employment”), and “a day in the life” would mostly be boring.

But I note that there really haven’t been many worthwhile posts here lately (depending on your definition of “worthwhile,” “lately” can mean anywhere from five days–the time since my last post–to five weeks or five months. Or five years, but then why are you reading this?)…and thought a quick summary could be useful.

The “not many worthwhile posts”–and specifically the lack of any posts offering segments of “disContent” columns to encourage purchase of the limited-edition collection–has a lot to do with this post. The numbers continue to be the same. Namely, not only does it appear to be the case that nobody (except four people) gives a good goddamn about the liblog stuff, it also appears that nobody (except three people–I wonder what the overlap is there?) has enough interest in the “disContent” columns and keeping my writing going to do anything about it.

I could find this discouraging. OK, I do find this discouraging. Lots of readership as long as it’s free. Zero interest in anything that carries any price tag, even a “pay what you think it’s worth” price tag. Just at a guess: If I restored the kind of ads where I only get paid of people click on links, I’d get the same results as a couple of years ago–that is, something like $3 to $4 average. Per month, not per day.

More encouraging: there’s still hope on sponsorship front…and three publishers have shown some interest in working with me. I’m revising one proposal and considering two other proposals. Clearly, the self-published books aren’t hacking it; if I can manage one traditionally-published book every year or two, I at least keep my hand in the field at a very low level. (I’m attending ALA Annual in New Orleans after missing Midwinter in San Diego. Next year? We’ll see…)

Meanwhile, I’ll get over the discouragement; I’m a Pollyanna by nature. (Not quite a Candide, maybe.)

Update: Given the interesting stream at FF based on these paragraphs, I’ve struck them out as being secondary to the quick, hopefully fun, summary…

So here’s a quick summary of this week as it’s gone:

A week in the life…in no particular order

  • Reviewed the proofs (editable PDF) for the forthcoming Open Access: What You Need to Know Now from ALA Editions. Twice. Made three very minor proposed changes; sent back revised proofs. (Book now just awaiting CIP before going to press…)
  • Prepared a “pseudobook”/pamphlet on templates, typeface choices, type size and leading, and copyfitting in Word, and an accompanying Word 6×9 book template using 11pt. Garamond, partly in preparation for the last 10 minutes of a talk my wife is doing, partly as a draft form of a small portion of a book I’m proposing to do. (The pamphlet’s available free as a PDF, $10 as a 38-page paperback. If you download the PDF or the template, I’d love to hear comments–I don’t believe I’ll know when people download a zero-cost PDF from Lulu, and, not surprisingly, nobody’s purchased the paperback.)
  • Prepared the PowerPoint slides and accompanying notes for the brief talk, most of them screen snippets of steps in the uploading process. (Windows 7 Snipping Tool for the win!). Discovered this weekend that I’m also supposed to mention templates, so I’ll add a couple more slides this week. (The talk’s on February 8.)
  • Got back a preliminary negative response on the proposed book, with room open to submit a revised proposal. Thought about revising the proposal, but didn’t actually do anything about it.
  • Drafted a “Crawford at Large” column for Online Magazine; it’s finished, and I’ll review it once more tomorrow before submitting it.
  • Took three books back to the library (after only 2.5 weeks, not the usual 3), took three new books out. Read one of them–Plastic Fantastic by Eugenie Samuel Reich, a surprisingly engrossing story about fraud in physics.
  • Watched one old movie, the usual current and past TV shows (one per day plus the Saturday night movie), went for a Wednesday hike, and did the usual weekly stuff…
  • Didn’t do a lick of work on the next Cites & Insights…but probably will next week. Although, since I already have most of an issue (the second half of the big essay in the current issue…)

Exciting, no? OK, no…

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