(Ideas for Mark's Article Committee)The following report came from the minutes of last week’s meeting of the IFMAC -- “Ideas for Mark’s Article Committee.”
MARK: All right, the meeting of the IFMAC is called to order! Everybody plant yourself! Sit down! – Okay, Secretary Barry will now read the minutes of our last gathering. – Barry, go ahead... Barry?
BARRY: I was s’posed to take notes? I don't want to be that kind of secretary. I want to be like Secretary of State.
MARK: Barry, you make me want to weep. Anybody remember last week's meeting? Anybody?
MILDRED: Yes, you mentioned flyswatters and the bug assault gun. We liked the idea and said you should go with it.
MARK: Right! Mildred, you’re a peach. By the way, I got a little feedback on the fly article. A guy named Rick Rose said his brother got him a Bug-a-Salt gun last Christmas. Since it came from his brother, it was the cheapest one on the market. But, Rick enjoys the daylights out of it. They have fly shooting contests and everything. He highly recommended it.
CHARI: Well, that settles it. Write about your new fly gun. How has it changed your life? What does Kay think about it? People like it when you throw Kay into the mix
MARK: Funny you should say that. Kay wouldn’t let me get one. Said there was no way I was paying $40 for a fly swatter. Told me to get two of the wire-handled swatters. Cost me $2
JAMES: I can’t help thinkin’ that Kay pretty much controls you. If my wife ordered me not to buy a bug shooter, I’d go out and buy six of ‘em. Maybe you should write an article about what a pansy you are. Hold it? You already have… several times.
MILDRED: Now, now, James. There’s no call for that.
MARK: I move we kick James’s rear off the IFMAC. Do I hear a second? Anybody? Mildred? Anybody? All right then, James. You’re still with us, but hanging by a thread.
BARRY: Look, I’ve got other things to do. Polishing my headlights comes to mind. So, can we forget last week’s article and come up with ideas for the next one? Oh, and if this offends you, Mr. President, I beg you to kick my butt off the committee.
MARK: Okay, Barry, there’s no call for that attitude… nor that language. Put a dime in the jar and let’s move along. - So, ideas for the next article? We’re running out of time, committee! – Flo! Great, you’re awake. What you got?
FLO: Why don’t you write about people having pet pigs. I hear they’re smarter than dogs.
MARK: No, that’s dumb.Go back to sleep, Flo. -- Let’s cut to the chase. I need to see what you think about this. It just so happens I finally published my book. I did it myself, because nobody else would. It’s called “The Summer of 1976.” It’s about a teacher who loses everything he cares about, and takes a hike that leads him to a small town where a bunch of good and bad stuff happens that leads to a change in the townsfolk and the “Teacher Man.” What do you think?
JAMES: So, you want to use your article to promote your book? You’ve got yourself some brass—
MILDRED: James! The dime jar? Mark, I think it sounds like a sweet idea. So, say somebody wants to get your book, how do they go about doing it?
BARRY: Yeah, say some sap wants to read the thing, what’s it gonna cost ‘em? You puttin’ that in the article?
MARK: Yes, Mr. Meany Britches. It’s an e-book. You go to Amazon Books and search for me or the name of the book, “The Summer of 1976.”That will pull up a site where you see the cover and can read a few chapters. If you want the e-book, it will cost you $2.99. I wanted to sell it for $3 but they only want prices that end in “99.”
CHARI: Since it’s with Amazon a lot of people might think it can only be read on a Kindle. You need to tell them that there is a place just below the price that says “Free App.” That will allow them to download an app that will let you read it on any device you have. -- Did I do good, Mark?
MARK: Yes, Chari., right up to that last part. By the way, I think I’ll include something about how easy it is to get your manuscript published for free as an e-book at several sites on the Internet. Amazon is just one of the bigger companies. Just follow the directions they give you.
JAMES: Sure, but unless somebody has a newspaper column, how are they gonna get anybody to know about it.
MARK: James your bucket always has a hole in it. Look, there are a lot of places where you can get advice about selling your e-book. Most cost money, but some are free. Most importantly, I suggest you pray. Doesn’t guarantee success, but it will provide peace of mind. -- Okay, so what do you think? I’ll hear a motion to accept “The Summer of 1976” as the topic for the next article. Do I hear a second? Anybody?
FLO: What’s the book about?
BARRY: I’m outta here!