It’s a silly idea, I know.
But I couldn’t get it out of my mind.
I wanted to find a way to sell my writing. And yes, of course I’ve been submitting my stories to publishers. In particular, I’ve been submitting the short sweet ones to children’s publishers.
At the same time, though, I just wanted to get my writing out there, and try selling it. So I came up with a genuinely silly idea. Very silly.
What I’ve done is started to put my writing up for sale on Ebay. What I do is, I write out a story by hand put it in an envelope, and then put an Eisenhower dollar inside the envelope as well. Then I put the story on sale for a dollar (you can check it out by clicking here).
Yes, of course I have delusions of grandeur now that I’ve done this. I love imagining that soon, people will want to own collectables from Derek Leif. I’m smitten with the idea that this will become a sort of meme, something that will be sought after.
And at the same time, I’m not kidding myself.
Look, the reason that I throw the buck in with the envelope is because I know full well that, at the moment, my chances of selling a piece of writing to total strangers who don’t even know who I am is slim. So put in the buck, and say okay, you buy my story, you get your buck back. This way, it sells.
I know, I know…it sounds as if I’m devaluing myself.
Yet…there’s the whole auction thing.
I just love the idea that people are bidding on my stuff. I know, I know…right now, they’re just looking at it, and saying hey, an Eisenhower dollar. Those things cost, like, a buck fifty on Ebay. I’m saving money.
I’m sure this is what people are thinking.
I haven’t made it easy for myself, either. Instead of putting this up for sale in the currency subject heading of Ebay, I’ve put it up for sale in the collectable writing section. In other words, the chances of someone just stumbling onto this are slight.
Yep, the only way that people are really going to find out about this is through this website, and in all likelihood, that means that only, like, a dozen or so people know about this. In other words, there’s the distinct possibility that many, many times that I do this, I will sell this stuff for a buck, and no more.
And believe me, I know full well that I lose money on this. The Eisenhower dollar, as I said, cost a buck fifty, or thereabouts. There is postage. There is the cost of the stationery I write the stories on, and the cost of the envelope into which I put everything.
It’s so much fun, though.
There is something genuinely wonderful in knowing that someone, somewhere, is getting a piece of my writing, and something even more wonderful in knowing that someone will be holding a piece of my writing in their hand—written by my hand—and will be reading it.
Of course, I know that there’s always the possibility that the person will just throw everything out and pocket the dollar, but hey, that’s life.
I’m also well aware that a good number of the folks who buy these things will do doubt be friends who think I’ve lost my mind, and are taking pity on me.
And yet…it doesn’t matter.
It doesn’t matter because above all, there is this overriding aspect about this that stands above everything else: it is something that I said that I’d do, and I did it.
I’d been talking about doing this for ages, the same way that I talked about blogging every day, and the same way that I talked about submitting my writing. After saying I’d do all those things for longer than I can remember, I am now doing them.
Hence the fact that I was right chuffed when I saw that some crazy person actually bid on this. Yes, they bid a buck…but that means that I get to send a piece of my writing to that person, whoever that person was.
I love the notion of this person being a total stranger. I love the notion of them looking at my story with a smirk, and saying hey, what the hey, I’ll read it. I love the notion of the person then reading that story, and saying wait a minute, this guy is good. I need to check out his website.
So yeah, every two weeks, for the rest of my life, I’ll write out a story, take a picture of it, fold it up, put it in an envelope, put in an Eisenhower dollar (or some other such amusing thing, such as a Mercury Dime), seal it up, put the postage on it, and then put it up for sale on Ebay.
It’s fun. It’s amusingly silly. And most important, it is something that, for a long time, I said that I’d do…and now I’m doing it.