Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Sorry I haven't posted anything lately. I do write a lot, but I keep it private sort of as a diary.

I'm continuing to take a break from writing. I mostly fulfilled my ambitions there: more successfully than I expected, less than I'd hoped. It is a very overstuffed market, to say the least. Hard to make any headway, especially with all the preconditions I set for myself: 1.) That I wouldn't do any promotions that were stressful, thus eliminating most promotions, and 2.) That I wouldn't do any promotions that were demeaning, thus eliminating what few promotional efforts were left. 

I kept writing as long as opportunities presented themselves. It seemed like doors kept opening, if only a few inches--but I'm pretty good at sliding through those narrow cracks. But eventually, the efforts began to stall. There were a few setbacks--mostly from my publishers not following through at opportune times, but that's the nature of the beast. 

Meanwhile, the store is doing fantastic. 

I decided to dedicate the last two years of my ownership of Pegasus Books to minding the store. I've concentrated on buying books for the store over the last couple years: Identifying, Ordering, Stocking, breaking down boxes and packing material. It has turned almost into a full time job. But every time UPS brings in 20 big boxes of books, I remind myself--that is how many books we're selling.

I originally hoped to maybe gross a grand a month in books--instead, books now account for 60% of our total sales. If I take books out of the equation, we'd be doing about the same business we were doing in 2019. You do the math. 

We are on pace for an all-time record month in July, beating last Christmas.  Five very hot days ahead of us, so we may not quite make it, but WOW.

I'm pretty good at identifying books. This isn't bragging--it's just how my brain works. I seem to be able to ferret out perennial bestsellers and then keep them in stock. 

Doesn't hurt that Magic and Pokemon are selling like crazy, that I've been able to stock the store with more toys than ever, that comics leveled off about a year ago and have been slowly going up again. Everything seems to be firing on all cylinders. 

It's late in the game, but it's also very fun and gratifying.

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Busiest I've ever seen it.

At least people-wise. Our sales are about equal to last year, but I swear we're getting more people in. Went into the store yesterday to file books, and check inventory. I got the first half done, but threw up my hands on getting the second part done. Everywhere I turned, there were people standing there. 

Kind of threw Ashley to the wolves there. She worked Monday and Tuesday and had to deal with the hordes. I dealt with the hordes on Sunday. I'll be going in most of the rest of the week just to deal with the volume of product and to help out a bit.

Can it get too busy? What a thing to complain about!

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Why go backward?

Maybe it's just me, maybe it's my age, but I'm finding that almost no book or movie holds up on second viewing. 

While watching "The Offer," which tells the making of "The Godfather," it became clear to me that Linda had never seen the the movie. So we sat down last night to watch it.

It's a fine movie, good. But my memory of watching it when it first came out is so big in my mind that it just didn't match my expectations. I've had the same experience with "The Wild Bunch" and "The French Connection," not to mention "Star Wars."  My favorite movie memories. 

I'm having trouble reading my favorite books. Andre Norton, Fred Saberhagen, and most of the Golden Age SF authors are unreadable to me now. 

Even a later (2001) reading of "Lord of the Rings," didn't live up to memory. 

These books had a time and place, a context that can't be recaptured for me. I don't tend to rewatch or reread things anyway, but this has just reinforced that tendency. So much to read and and watch. Why go backward?