Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Numbers

   - Where are you going?
- A bookstore. I'm doing an opening to sell a client's new book.
- What kind of client?
- A poet.
- A good poet?
- She's well known in Israel.
- How many copies does a well known poet's book sell?
- 500. Tops.
- 500?
- For poetry, that is good..
- My stories on the internet have been visited over 200,000 times.
- In how long?
- 3 years.
- Israel is a small country. And people pay for my clients' books. You give away your writing.
- Maybe it's harder to give away writing than sell it.
- Why?
- You can only sell something that can't be got for free.
- Of course.
- You and I could go live in the desert, and pay nothing. Why don't we?
- Are you serious?
- We don't because we think we need a different kind of life. And when we get to the city, we find the people there don't want to make room for us without our giving them something for it. But they could've simply made room for us.
- Why should they?
- Why shouldn't they? Only one kind of person wants to profit from another person's need. Another kind of person likes to satisfy others' need.  If some city dwellers made room freely, those wanting to profit would have a hard time. So to sell, there has to be some uniform demand and a uniform character to profit from that uniform demand. Ok?
- What are you getting at?
- If I want to give away writing I will find the same conditions of uniform demand and uniform insistence to profit from demand. People won't take it from me just because it is free.
- Why not?
- Same reason people live in the city and not the desert. People are interested in each other, in what they think, what they do. Popular writing becomes more popular by being on lists of popularity, popularity attracts more popularity. People think they must have what others think they must have, and the people who supply it think they ought to make a profit out that uniform agreement. If you write something and try to give it away, that is like going out into the desert and talking to the sand and sky. There is no one there to hear you. You have to break down the walls of the city with your writing.
- How?
- By flooding the market, by eliminating scarcity with stories that have no sign of uniformity.
- Flood the city with desert sun. And that works?
- 500 readers of paid for poetry. 200,000 readers of free philosophy.