A LETTER TO MY PRINTER

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May 14, 2010

Hey Mr. Ralph, or can I call you Bill?

I’m Eric Bravo, The Culturebook dude and I have some good news.

The book is done and I’m working. That means that sometime in the next 10 days I’m going to send you the manuscript.  There is one page of color maps, in addition to the color cover.  The rest is all text, very simple and straightforward.  Total pages I’m guessing 167. It needs no editing, just a formatting check, possibly a forced line or two & make sure subheadings don’t appear too low on the page.

I’m a real stickler for how the book looks.  All it takes is a quick page by page scan to make sure there are no rough jumps or awkward page breaks, like a subheading as the last line on a page.  There are a lot of sub-headings that don’t warrant a page break.

May 14, 2010

Hey Mr. Ralph, or can I call you Bill?

I’m Eric Bravo, The Culturebook dude and I have some good news.

The book is done and I’m working. That means that sometime in the next 10 days I’m going to send you the manuscript.  There is one page of color maps, in addition to the color cover.  The rest is all text, very simple and straightforward.  Total pages I’m guessing 167. It needs no editing, just a formatting check, possibly a forced line or two & make sure subheadings don’t appear too low on the page.

I’m a real stickler for how the book looks.  All it takes is a quick page by page scan to make sure there are no rough jumps or awkward page breaks, like a subheading as the last line on a page.  There are a lot of sub-headings that don’t warrant a page break.

I try to be thrifty and pack a lot into the first few pages — epithets, table contents, preface, whatnot. Perhaps you might choose to expand each different body to each their own page and perhaps a page or two longer will add to the aesthetic.  It’s up to you.  Just make me look good.

No about the author is necessary, since the whole book is about the author. And no photo of me is necessary either since I paint a clear enough picture. The book is all about my life and it’s in the first person and every character is real. I give them all pet names.

I plan on sending you a check for 500 dollars and telling you to get started on the first 1000 units soon.  I know it will take several weeks from the initial receiving of the manuscript electronically to one thousand boxed units ready for shipment. I’m guessing over a week, less than a month.

I don’t know the final price yet and I don’t care. Whatever it is, I’ll going to pay the balance before you ship the books obviously. I don’t want to look elsewhere for a printer.  I’ve checked you guys out and spoken with people who’ve used you and I want to do this before summer.

I’m gauging the time so that, metaphorically, the money goes straight from my employer to you, as the books come hot off the press. I work for the US Census Bureau.

What’s the consensus on the census?

I wonder Bill, if you work on commission, as your title seems to be sales representative.

The reason I mention this is because, if this were going to be a one time thing, just 1000 units and then we’re done forever, I would expect you to charge me the highest possible amount you could, without gauging of course, because why extend any additional courtesies if there is no chance for a second comish? I used to be in sales. “Be interested / not interesting!” is what my sales manager always said.  My sales-manager was a stand-up comedian on the side!

I would think that if a customer planned on putting in a follow up order for say 5000 or 10,000 units hopefully within the first month – which I fully intend to do – that THAT would allow for some play in the price. Not that I’m asking for a discount. I’m not.

 I’m just saying…

I’ll tell you straight up. This Culturebook is my calling card. I hope to never have to work again.  Seriously!  You have no idea how much time has gone into this book.  Tens of thousands of man hours, I kid you not. 

Also, my first major market is SKorea, where most of the book takes place and I know I can find a printer there who will do the same job for half what you charge and I’m sure I’ll do that eventually, exclusively for the Asian market – SK, Japan, PI, etc., possibly Europe.

Dude, I’m going for translations into French, German, Spanish, Japanese, etc. before year’s end. Other printers will almost certainly be working on Culturebook in time.

I KNOW

All writers hope to write the next perennial best seller, Old Man and the Sea or Catcher or some book that tens of thousands of HS students buy new every year. Thing is, I’ve written that book, just like B.E. Easton wrote Less than Zero back in the 80’s. Bookstores couldn’t keep that book on the shelf. 

You will be printing the next independent best seller. Am I crazy confident out of my mind or do I just know a good think when I see it? Everybody likes the smell of their own farts.

You guys and me, and my buddy with the LA warehouse, and my Taiwanese business head chick, and UPS, and Used book stores throughout the US and Canada and SKorea for the first year are going to profit mucho from this endeavor. Only us! 

Everybody else is going to want a piece and we don’t have to give it to them, cuz they are not going to give ME and my friends 6-10 dollars per book, which is what I’m going to make off this endeavor.

I’m selling each book for 10 dollars cheap, like Mad Magazine used to say. 12 dollars plus tax from the independent bookstores. I’ve compiled a list of at least one or two Independent Book Stores in every major city in America. They will all hear from me. We will split the sell – 6&6. I want to keep it cheap for my customers. 

In the PI, my book will sell for 300 pesos, 6 bucks – and all the money will go to the girls who are in the book.  There’s only a few and we’re still in touch. I’ll send them books and I’ll get nothing in return but satisfaction. The girls are going to sell Culturebook out of Dryden’s coffee shop in Subic Bay and Gecko’s Bar in Angeles City, since they are both featured in the book.  The girls will split their profits.  Hopefully the bars won’t demand too big a cut.  That will be what it will be.

In SKorea, Culturebook will sell for 12,000 won online at whatthebookDOTcom and at Cheju Booktown. I know the owner’s wife. She’s Filipina. Her name is Belle. What the book is run by an American man with a Korean wife.  I’m dying to meet him.

See, publishers would surely jack up the price so THEY can make money.  Who needs them!  Not us.

I’m going to control my own distribution and sell solely on my own website forthcoming, and from Independent booksellers throughout North America, who will probably be out of biz before the decade is gone so I wanna give ‘em a good run. Get to know some of them, visit their stores, do a summer tour and do readings. Hopefully follow a band around on tour like IDIOT FLESH if I can get in touch with them.  They are all over Book One.  I’m hoping to find a band with tour dates that can coincide with my summer book tour dates, which I will make on my own cuz there is no one but me and St. Tommy the warehouse dude and Charlene  and me, and Chepe Escondido and Flibworth Thurstein.  I’m thinking far ahead.  I’ve know these guys for over 20 years.  I just met Charlene.  She’s Taiwanese.  She’s all business.

If people had to go to a used bookstore to buy my book, upon visiting the store, they may buy another book. They may see a tattered copy of Fight Club for 6 bucks. They may buy it. They may remember how cool it was to be in there and return again and again to that used bookstore on Main Street.

I love used book stores, and have all my life. I hate to think that they’ll all be gone one day. So many have closed of late like Moe’s in Berkeley. All the Doubleday’s, BDalton’s, Rizzoli’s, Crown in LA so many gone forever. There are so few bookstores anymore, other than Borders and B&N and I hate them and I DON’T WANT THEM to carry my book. WALMART neither.

It’s why I say, while you are calculating the final price on 1000 units printed with one color page – go easy!  REAL EASY!!! And make it look good. Real good!!!

Dude, I have 3 books. This is only the first installment. And they are all written. It’s one long book! This is just Part Two.  Part Three will be available in Sept and Part One will be available for Xmas.  There may even be an I-Book with pics and vids.

It’s kind of like Star Wars with the prequel and all!

Like I said, I’m going to send you 500 dollars and the manuscript. It will be a check, so you can cash it when you feel confident. I want a paper trail and I want to keep it old school. I can’t remember the last time I wrote a check. I also want that returned check as a memento. 

You will receive the first check around the time May becomes June.  And the balance shortly thereafter when the books are complete and ready to ship to my Van Nuys address.

I will have 2000 dollars by mid June, or more.  I get paid weekly.  I don’t pay rent and I own my car and I don’t drive much.  I also do all my eating at home. 

I hope the final cost of this book is far less than I imagine it may be.  Like I said, the second order will be placed shortly thereafter.  I know it is meaningless, but still, I GUARANTEE IT!  1000 units of Culturebook are going to go like nothing the literary world has seen since 1984.  That was the year Less Than Zero came out.  I think.

I’d like to see prices on 5000 and 10,000 unit orders as well.  But that can wait. Don’t tell me now.

I haven’t looked at any of the material you sent me, or even taken the plastic off the self-publishing book your company sent me.  I can send it all back to you if you want.  I don’t need that shit.  I’m never going to look at it.  I’ve got the bomb business plan and the assistant from Heaven. 

It’s MMX 2010 and my astrologer told me that this was my time. I don’t even believe in astronomy!

Here’s the deal. I work for the census. I’ve already clocked close to 1500 bucks and still working – pay is delayed a few weeks. I’m sure the total cost of the first 1000 units will be less than the proposed 220 pager quote you gave me, so I’m good. I hope.

I want to get this started.  I don’t want to work with anybody else but you guys. At least, at first. I can always change later. I’m sure publishers and godknowswhoelse are gonna start contacting me once this thing goes platinum, but I want to keep it family.

So do me right. And we can do business for a long time.

Expect a phone call.

Eric J Bravo

 www.culturebook.livejournal.com

 



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