Before we started fulltiming I was into classic cars and had several. One was a beautiful customized 1958 Chevy pickup that had won trophies in a lot of car shows. I wanted to put new tires on it and took it to Big O and they told me it would be about three hours. So Terry and I spent some time browsing in a few stores, then had lunch. This was before we all carried cell phones.
When we got back to the tire shop two hours later the truck had not been moved. The manager said the battery was dead, but even when they tried to jump it, it would not even click when they turned the key. I went out and it started right up. They could not believe I had done that since none of their guys could get it to start. I asked if they had pushed the starter button on the dash after turning the key on. They had no idea what I was talking about, and once I showed them, they all had to try it. Kids today, they don’t have a clue.
I was reminded of that again yesterday when I got an e-mail from a young couple, ages 27 and 25, who want to go fulltiming for a year or two before they settle down and decide what they want to do with their lives. They don’t have any money and were asking me if I knew of a dealer or a private party who would carry the note on a new or late model motorhome. They added that they would prefer a diesel pusher, but would “settle” for a high end gas model. Like I said, not a clue.
Yesterday was a very good day for me. My new book, Big Lake Honeymoon, went live on Amazon, Nook, iTunes, and other popular online e-book stores. By the end of the day it was at #6,715 of all of three million+ Kindle books on Amazon, and #99 in the Mystery, Police Procedurals category. And it even got its first five star review, from blog reader Ron Bunge.
Monday I received the proof of the print copy of Big Lake Burning and it looks good! It’s available for purchase now on Amazon in both print and e-book format.
Gypsy Journal subscribers have noticed a difference in their renewal notices this time around. We are only accepting one year renewals on our printed subscriptions at this time. As I’ve shared with you before, due to increased printing and postage costs, at this time we are making 7¢ on each copy that we mail out. And the U.S. Postal Service is looking at a rate increase the end of this month.
So what does this mean to our subscribers? Nothing at this point. However, from a purely business perspective, we obviously cannot operate the print edition at a loss forever. Which leaves us with three alternatives; raise our subscription rates, focus on advertising sales to offset the rising costs, or go strictly digital. None of them are a perfect solution. We have paid print subscriptions that extend into the next three years, and we will honor them, of course.
I’m a dinosaur, I love the feel, the smell, and the texture of a newspaper. But there may come a time when we have to make a decision on the future of our printed edition of the paper, and when that time comes we don’t want to have a lot of long term subscribers that we have to either refund money to or try to convert to the digital edition.
And, let’s be honest, we’re both 62 years old. Loading and unloading thousands of papers, stuffing envelopes, and hauling them back out to the Explorer to take them to the post office won’t be getting any easier. We love traveling and publishing the Gypsy Journal, and we have no plans to stop. Will that be both a printed and a digital edition down the road sometime, or just the digital edition alone? I can’t honestly say. Only time will tell.
Have you entered our latest Free Drawing yet? This week’s prize is an audiobook of Crazy Days in Big Lake, the third book in my Big Lake mystery series. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.
Thought For The Day – The universe is made of protons, neutrons, electrons, and morons.