Thursday, May 20, 2010

Orchid Territory, comical, economical

Redland is over - the Redland International Orchid Festival - the big one - as in "After Redland I'll wash the dogs, clean the ceiling fans. After Redland I'll walk 30 minutes every day...write dynamite blogs.." And now it is after Redland, well after Redland. And here we are.

Well, Redland was a great success and Dr. Motes' Florida Orchid Growing, Month by Month, now considered the bible for South Florida growers, continues to fly off the shelves. And now there is Florida Vanda Growing Month by Month...

Me? I sold about half a dozen Orchid Territories. The South Florida Comic Orchid Novel. OK, so I was busy selling orchids not buttonholing passers by, most of whom anyway, had the glazed look of the orchidist let loose among a million orchids all for sale.

And it was not so much that I had competition from Florida Orchid Growing and the new Vanda book but I had competition from myself. It seemed every warm, humorous, intelligent, orchid loving literate person passing by already had Orchid Territory.

In fact, most people stopped by not to buy Orchid Territory but to tell me how much they enjoyed it. One wonderful young woman reported: "As soon as I finished it I just started to read it again!" And she's not the first one to say that. Bet they never said that about War and Peace.

And Brenda- Here's a shout out to Brenda!- "Had to come by and say how much I loved your book. I laughed out loud all the way through!"

Actually, according to the miserable stats on novels in this day and age, I've done quite well. Most novels, according to the Times Literary Supplement, sell less than a thousand copies. Orchid Territory has sold over two thousand. And if people weren't so clubby and sharing, then I could boost that number a great deal higher.

For example, Dennis from Maine, down for the Redland Show, came by: "Oh yes, I've read Orchid Territory- laughed! It went all round our orchid society. The members loved it."

What is wrong with this picture? It's not the economics of the thing - though it would be great to get more ten dollars each time - but it's the stats. Like basket ball, it's the stats. I need to improve my numbers. If I could add on all the orchid society free loaders, and friends of friends, I could up my numbers.

I don't help the cause. I like to joke that I'll just sign my name, (no dedication,) so if the buyer is a clean reader, no wine stains, no greasy fingers -then, Ha ha! in these tough economic times Orchid Territory can be re-gifted. ("It will be our little secret!")

Instead, I should be intoning: "Neither a borrower nor a lender be.." Because without any encouragement from me it seems people are just too generous with their property. Maybe I should up the price; instead of a mere ten dollars a copy, I should make Orchid Territory thirty-five. Then there'd be a lot more "Hey! I paid thirty-five for that! You buy your own!"

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