We all take it for granted; it's one of the standard addresses I always go to when browsing the net for a book or DVD, (we're not rich enough for a Blue Ray yet).
Whatever, the thing is that it's only now that I've started to think about how cool it would be to see my work proclaimed on its functional yet familiar pages.
"But why now?" You ask.
Well, "Gods Will Be Done" have released their new CD on an unsuspecting public. "The Book of Blood" was issued to great critical acclaim, and can now be bought in selected record stores or on the Interweb thingy.
Now, admittedly, I have a vested interest in this band doing well as any success they reap will automatically provide a side wind of glamour for my modest tome. However, that is not the real reason why I bring this up.
(OK, OK, it's ONE of the reasons)
My main motivation is to highlight how much we accept as a given certain things and yet these same circumstances can be the pinnacle of another's desires and ambitions.
Let me explain.
How many times have I, or you Dear Reader, simply skipped through the considerable list of books on Amazon's very user friendly pages, without ever sparking a single brain cell as to the effort that went in to each and every one of those binded gems?
Each book represents a person's aspirations and dreams; each title a slice of the writer's life that can never be replaced in time and effort given. Have you ever thought about how much joy was derived by that army of invisible writers when, for the first time, they saw THEIR name listed with the other ten thousand faceless authors?
I never have ,until I saw GWBD's CD being sold on the net. That's when I thought about it for the first time, and I'm one of the people vying to be included in one of those lists! How can you, Dear Reader, be expected to ponder such Zen concepts when you have no persoanl interest what so ever?
... And what does that say about how shallow I am??
I have sweated blood to get a foot in to the Book marketing world; a journey that has taken literally years to travel and I'm still not even on the first rung of the literary ladder.
For me, to see The Division of the Damned being sold on Amazon would be the culmination of years of trial, endeavour, research, experimentation and hope. I have experienced so much disappointment, frustration and powerlessness with agent rejection and dismissal that, sometimes, only a 1930's American Dustbowl farmer could have outbidded me on the Misery Cup.
I'm not craving monetary success here, though that would be nice. I'm simply talking about me, Reggie Jones, ex of Tan y Lan council estate, North Wales, who left school at 16 and has worked every day of his blue collar life, achieving an ambition that seems so impossible in this hard hearted, nepotistic, discriminatory and overly exclusive business. Getting his book published.
Put like that, it all sounds so unattainable, doesn't it?
However, all is not lost and inspiration can be found in the most unexpected of settings. Seeing my mate's CD being sold by a multinational corporation like Amazon has given a lift to my ambitions. To know that I helped write the songs, (all be it with lyrics that nobody will ever read because quality libretto is not the mark of a good Thrash album,) is toasty consolation for the paucity of success with my manuscript.
It also makes me want to see my own work, created 100% by Big Ego me, being sold on some bland but practical webpage for the princely sum of €10.50, plus V.A.T. (free delivery with all orders over €20).
It could be said that hubris sometimes veils itself in the cloak of our ambitions, so am I being laughably over confident in my abilities?
I don't care to be honest. What have I to lose? The manuscript is there, it's not going away and if I'm hit with another rejection I'll just send it off again.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel and perseverance is the train that'll take me to it.
Well that's the way I see it anyhow.
PS. It's a ridiculous name for a website really, when you think about it. A website that sells books, made of paper, made of wood from the rainforest… is that some kind of sick joke?
"Amazon: Forest decimation a speciality"
No, that's unfair.