Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Magnanimous Javelina

I have blogged about this before, but it bears repeating. Please, Shakespeare or Henry VI or Dick the Butcher or whomever, let's not kill all the lawyers first. Or ever, really. For starters, I am one. Laura is one. I'm married to one. A number of my close friends are lawyers. Apparently we run in packs - like javelina. Only without the hunting, killing, and maiming with those demonic, razor-sharp tusks. Okay, shake it off, Kris. Those years in Tucson took their toll. At any rate, as I noted In Defense of Lawyers, most of us have plenty of qualities that justify continued existence. We are funny, we know a lot of the rules, we can throw a latin phrase into almost any conversation - okay, fine, that undercuts the argument, but you get my point. And recently I was reminded that certain of us are downright magnanimous.

I was reading a blog post by David Kazzie, he of The Corner, So You Think You Want To Go To Law School, So You Think You Want To Write a Novel, and perhaps most significantly, The Jackpot, a legal thriller that should definitely grace your Kindle. David Kazzie is something like our male doppleganger. Only a little - okay wildly - more timely, driven, and - fine - successful. So maybe he's not our doppleganger at all and we're just flattering ourselves. Point is, he is an attorney who writes fiction and blogs about his process. He is insightful and funny and generally inspiring and published The Jackpot on Kindle within months of when we published The Pecking Order. The post I recently read was a detailed account of his experience with a Kindle Direct Publishing program he used to promote his book. The results were incredible and The Jackpot eventually broke into the top 100 paid Amazon books. This program is available to all of us who have published on Kindle but some of us didn't pay much attention to it. In fact, from the reaction to his blog post, most of us didn't. We just cruised along mildly embittered that our book hadn't yet trended on Twitter or otherwise gone viral a la that traveling pants book, somehow manufacturing hope in the fact that we had sold at least one a month since it had been published (yeah, do the math, that's 12 a year). But mostly we were just bitter. Kazzie admits he was headed down the same path before he discovered this program. And he could have treated it like his own special secret, hoarded it from the rest of us for some perceived competitive advantage, let us all wallow in our e-book marketing desert, but instead he chose to share his process. To write a road map for the rest of us. To be magnanimous with those folks who he could justifiably consider his competition.

We followed his road map and in three days, the The Pecking Order downloads tripled. It didn't break into the top 100 paid Amazon books, but many more people are getting to know Abby and Adam, the Pecker and the Blowhard, and Babies Don't Spit Up and Motorcycle Man, Man Slippers and Sweat Rings. For that, we thank Kazzie, and for his belief that there is infinite space in the universe for art, and that the pursuit of creativity, unlike law firm life and family, is never a zero sum game.