• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies Sometimes I think a meteor could strike the earth and wipe out mankind with the exception of my mother’s Bridge club — Roz, Bea, Bette, Rhoda, and Jackie — five Jewish octogenarians who continue to gather for lunch and Bridge on Mondays as they have for over fifty years. When I set out to learn about the women behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, and most of all the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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I’ve Loved You For A Million Years

A guy from Amazon came to our agency to talk  about (shark music) electronic books. Turns out he used to be a buyer at B&N. And before that he was  (shark music) an agent. A little swag would have gone a long way, some free tote bags, mugs, Kindles. Just saying.  Did you all know that you can electronically publish your book like right now by clicking here? And did you know that will get 70% of your earnings. How you get readers is another issue, and one we can talk about. But for the moment just take it in: your novel could be published and available for sale to anyone who can down load before the current episode of  Law and Order is over.

They (shark music), Amazon, have some other pretty interesting programs they’re working on for e-books. I have to admit, I felt like packing a suitcase and polishing up my resume. But then I remembered the mandatory drug testing and figured I should stay put. Then the guy said he missed agenting, or was I dreaming that part? In any case, I realized that a lot has happened in the last three weeks since I rode on the back of that motorbike in Paris, but among the amazing things was realizing that I have this ringside seat to watching intensely creative people paint themselves in corners and box their way out. And how much I love my clients (yes, you too, even after that shit fit yesterday). Okay, enough. I’m starting to sound like I give a shit.

If you had one question for Jeff Bezos, what would it be?

 

22 Responses

  1. i’ve got a two-part question, mr. bezos….um, yes…what is your favorite independent bookstore in Seattle and do they ask you to leave when they realize who you are? thank you. i’ll take my answer off the air.

  2. If a book were to be cast naked into the infinite electronic sea of the Internet, how could it be guaranteed to land with a splash and remain afloat until sighted by ships that otherwise might pass it unseeing in the dark night of information overload?

  3. Mr Bezos–You recently allowed the electronic book, “The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure: a Child-lover’s Code of Conduct,” a “publication” that offered advice to pedophiles on how to make a sexual encounter with a child as safe as possible, including first-person descriptions of such encounters, purportedly written from a child’s point of view. So, I have to ask: Does Amazon have any procedures – or even an obligation – to vet books before they are sold in its online stores?!!

  4. Can you please include me in your will?

  5. How did $5.00 “used” copies of my book show up for sale on Amazon the same day that it was published?

  6. Do you know how annoying Amazon Recommendations are?

    Once, I bought a gardening book as a gift for a friend, now everytime I log on you’re recommending gardening books for me. I don’t garden!

    • Mixed feelings about this too. It’s a product-push thing, obviously–trying to add value by suggesting things you might like based on your past purchases. Some people are grateful for this feature as they find it convenient, time-saving, etc. But yeah, I too use Amazon for gift-shopping when I can’t find what I want (or, more often, what someone else wants) at GREEN APPLE BOOKS IN SAN FRANCISCO or AMOEBA RECORDS IN SAN FRANCISCO, BERKELEY AND LOS ANGELES. 😉 However I find it pretty easy to just ignore A’s recommendations. Just seems to be how things work, generally–people read superficial signs, make assumptions and operate on the basis of those assumptions–often ignoring information that arises after the primacy effect? or summat. For instance, if you’re the kind of person who frequents the same two or three cafes every week the people who work there will often slip into automaton mode and start making an au lait with soy for you once they see you in line because that’s what you’ve ordered five days in a row–when what you actually want is iced green tea or a mocha. This is called being an INCONSISTENT CONSUMER or sometimes “CRAZYPANTS.”

  7. Call me crazy, but I often think it’s less the fact of publication that I crave, than the whole “process” (i.e., agents and editors and everyone else who help make a book come alive) that would be aborted, were I to simply upload a PDF copy of my book to some site for individual download. What ever happened to that process?

  8. Mr. Bezos two million bucks means nothing real to you — it’s a miniscule part of a larger abstraction, your so-called worth — but it would hoist me and my several families out of years of life-depleting financial anxiety. I’m not talking about all the other people who need a million or two, this is just between you and me. (I ask for two only because due to back taxes and the taxes on this gift the first $600K is going for taxes, at least; and should MY AGENT get fifteen percent of this???Hmmm.) I’d pay off all my debts, including $100G I own the government and like $40 grand I probably owe my girlfriend at this point; and i’d put like $600,000 into four trusts for my kids (one fiddy each yo) and have like 700000 left to cover expenses for a few years. I’d like to buy a place on a lake in Adirondacks or better yet in New Hampshire or Maine.

    So Jeff, what the fuck.

  9. I mean c’mon Jeff really. What the fuck?

  10. Can I start selling bridges on Amazon too?

  11. Why have you got a pic of Michael Pate? You like westerns or somethin’?

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