June’s arrived, and I think a little update on our sales progress is warranted.
First of all, though, where I’m coming from: I seem to have found myself in an even smaller beach town than Mancora. I’m in Huanchaco, a little place about six hours north of Lima on the west coast of Peru. Pretty deserted here, for the most part; from what I can tell, high season’s over and the Peruvian winter is closing in. It’s still amazing weather, but the pueblo’s got a bit of a ghost-town feel to it, which actually suits me just fine. The streets are quiet, not too many gringos aside from myself, lots of room and time to think and walk.
After a victorious first week, when all the friends and family came out in full force, traffic to the site’s fallen a bit, and sales, understandably, have lessened. While all of this is to be expected, I can’t honestly say I’m thrilled about it. I know: patience, patience; but I’ve always been a bit wanting when it comes to that particular virtue. A secret corner of my heart can’t help but yearn for a massive tidal wave of attention, adulation, and critical acclaim. It’s insane, but I think it’s probably natural, too, so I’m not all that embarrassed about admitting it.
The internet is such an interesting phenomenon, for while it’s highly public, but it can be highly private, too. Particularly when you have a product that you’re trying to tell the universe about, it can seem very quiet out there in cyberspace - like you’re yelling into a soundless black void. And then on the other hand, when you have a compromising picture posted on Facebook or something like that, then the World Wide Web feels as loud as a bullhorn, and as public as a stadium urinal.
Right now, my internet sensation’s one of relative solitude - which isn’t a bad thing, necessarily. Especially when you’re trying to produce content, a little anonymity goes a long way - it gives you a kind of freedom to fail that’s hard to attain when you know you have a larger audience. I had an online journal in 2001-02 that over time grew to be very well-read; at a certain point, I remember pulling back, and divulging much less of what was really going on in my life. Whether that’s a psychological phenomenon that’s particular to me, or something that’s more generalized, I don’t know. I just recognize that right now, I could say a hell of a lot of things, and fear not even the faintest of recriminations.
. . .
Sooner or later, though, you have to break through and meet people. And that’s what we’re trying to do. Our main job right now (and when I say “our,” I’m referring to myself and Shane, my publicist and project manager, without whom I would be quite lost) is to let more people know about the book. It’s an interesting, challenging journey. I have it programmed somewhere deep within me that it’s foul to try to promote yourself - something about ego, and pride, and the embarrassment that comes with going up to someone, puffing yourself up to them, and experiencing the rebuff of indifference or outright cold rejection. (Probably why I don’t get laid a little bit more often.) But the desire in me to sell the fuck out of this book and, from there, to eventually make writing my living - which is to say, to do it professionally - is strong enough that I’m going to have to overcome that tendency to shrink inwards.
And actually, it’s going well so far, in terms of publicity. We haven’t hooked the very largest of fishes (a friend of a friend is a producer on the Howard Stern show, and he’s put my name in the hopper - fingers crossed on that one, which is all you can do), but there are some very promising cross-promotional venues on the horizon, which is super cool. I’m also contacting smaller bloggers, like myself, and trying to tell my tale and get them interested and excited. When you do break through and find a like-minded individual, it’s really fun.
On that note, Shane recently discovered this guy Zak Sabbath has also written a book about working in the porn industry. His tome is being published by Tin House (Portland) and it includes along with the writing some excellent drawings that he did on sets, both as an actor and just as a random-mohawked-artist-dude-sitting-in-the-corner-because-he-loves-
to-draw-naked-girls. I was prepared to dislike the book and Zak himself - just on the basis of competition and jealousy - but I exchanged some emails with the dude, read his website, and it turns out he’s quite articulate and cool. So I wish him luck with the book and expect to read it when it comes out.
So, it’s a slow road - until it’s not. While we’re in this gathering-momentum phase, I expect to be blogging about everything under the sun - stupid shit, funny shit, unfunny shit, and minutiae-based shit - like what I’m eating. I’m eating some strange stuff over here in Peru. Last night, late on Sunday night, I finally rousted myself out of my room, and went to get some dinner. But all the cafes were closed, so I had to make do with the meat that was being fried up over makeshift barbecues on the street. They had chorizo sausages, brown-meat shiskabobs, and . . . fried chicken feet. I went with the fried chicken feet. Good choice, kid. Fatty, salty, rubbery, bony, and bizarre.
It’s an odd life I’ve carved out for myself here. Sooner or later I may have to get a job, but for right now the money’s holding out okay. I spend about $600 a month in South America, more or less. It doesn’t leave a lot of leeway for doing adventurous shit, but I get by in a comfortable fashion, three meals a day, candy bars and cigarettes. And that’s all I really care about. I’m living sort of in the cracks: keeping to myself, pondering what’s to come.Read More | No Comments