"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Karma: Theosophy - the cosmic principle according to which each person is rewarded or punished in one incarnation according to that person's deed in the previous incarnation.

It's a word we throw about a lot without thinking. Specifically the "karma's a bitch" line we use when people mess with us. I'm guessing that a lot of people say that without actually meaning they believe in reincarnation.

I myself believe in reincarnation while I'm still alive to learn something from it. So when I think about karma, I think about being the best I can be in this moment, because I may need someone's good will in the next.

Part of my job as writer-publisher is marketing my books. I try not to do this by shouting Buy My Books all over the internet, or spamming my friends and relatives with invitations to buy my books or otherwise boring the universe with the same broken record.

What do I do instead? Well, for one thing, I spread the word about other authors' books. I share their latest release news, I leave reviews, I offer my site up for blog tours. While I don't ask for reciprocation, the authors who return the favor have a special place in my heart.

For another, I do events. Book festivals, craft fairs, etc. I show up on time, I am considerate of the other sellers, I'm polite to customers, and I thank my hosts. Again, I don't ask for anything special in return, but if I've come back to a place for several years in a row, I'm thrilled when they know me and give me a better spot or some other little reward for my loyalty.

I'm at a point where I don't know what to do about authors who take and don't give, and festivals who treat me like my loyalty to them doesn't matter. I'm still about good karma, about showing up and doing my best. Do I cut my losses and give my good will elsewhere? Or do I keep finding that reason within myself to continue to give them my support?

Is good karma its own reward? What do you think?

1 comment:

kabell4 said...

If you like the festival, but they don't really appreciate you, still show up and do your best because there was a reason you first became part of that festival and hopefully that reason is still valid. If you don't like the festival (i.e., it feels too much like work) and they don't appreciate your participation, cut your losses and give your good will elsewhere. There are more places that need your good will than you have the ability to give. Why waste it where no one appreciates your gift of good will and support?

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