Thursday, March 25, 2010
A SMALL (???) LIST... NOT REALLY
1. Ron Nurmi contacted me about registering (for this Blog) and wanted to know how to do this. Well, I looked again and he has a point.
a) If you leave a "comment," and you aren't aren't registered Google will tell you and ask you to verify which way you want to be seen. (My guess is this helps identify troublemakers, screechers, commies, and meatheads.) Too many believe this kind of nonsense is caused by kids, while I think it has to do more with those who feel left out and angry about something and that could include more than kids or even men.
b) If you want to be a "follower" of the Blog, I think you click on something in the "upper left corner." I hope I haven't put you into a complete daze. Ron says he uses Google Reader, whatever that is... maybe something that follows Blogs or other certain entities. I think you can sign up to even have this Blog emailed to you.
2. Dr. Julian Wan wonders if I would consider putting my catalogs online at some kind of download server site. I admit I didn't think about that. I've always had a concern about putting any of my stuff somewhere else where I couldn't control it, change it, or delete it. And then there is NO control (that I know of) which tells me who my stuff is really going to. Let me explain a bit:
Some years ago I vaguely recall two instances of people using MY stuff. One was cutting out my reviews and laying them on books or tables to give people an idea of what the book was about. Flattered? Sure. But I didn't receive a cent for my labors. I asked him to stop and as far as I know he did.
Another reseller was doing something similar and I had to admonish too, especially since the guy's wife hated my guts!! (I had never met her--didn't know her from Eve). He told her to cool it!
3. Another guy stole my mailing list (he worked for me!) and used it to promote his own stuff on the side. Naturally he didn't know some of my customers as well as I did and one of them told me. He also had the nerve to tell me I didn't handle my customers like he would have (and one of the reasons he went broke and is not around). I literally spent 20s or thirties of thousands of dollars to garner these names-- but it is OK to copy them down while I am out at lunch!
I like to keep control of everyone's info. I neither sell it nor give it away. When I sold Chessco some years back I did not include ANY credit card information. I asked my wife why people do these things and she said, "jealousy on the cheap."
4. I wanted you to be aware that March 31 is coming up fast and that is the deadline for getting your Gold Card. Last year I sold 14, and this year, 19 so far. It would be kind of neat to make 20, but my real point is that starting April 1 to the end of the year it will be $100. In this way it makes my 19 people belong to an "exclusive club." I already know a number of people who so far this year have paid for their card several times and still saved Big Time. With the proliferation of ChessBase DVDs, and I already know several more titles coming out (including Nigel Short) from CB, this would not only be a great way to save some bucks, but I do offer EXTRA SPECIALS that only go to Gold Card members (after all they have stuck their neck out for me and I reciprocate!) Plus there are always later-in-the-year gift times we don't think about until the last minute. And there will be a further discount on the next semester of The Chess Reports.
5. I have now transferred all of my regular inventory to my work area and it helps me keep a better eye on what to reorder--so I am doing that today! Some hot items (I shouldn't do this, but I like to kick the hornet's nest and see how fast I can run): Starting Out: the Reti; Build a 1.d4 Repertoire (Davies DVD), Revolutionize Your Chess by Moskalenko, San Luis 2005, and Sokolov's The Ruy Lopez Revisited. The last three are still in stock, the first two are being reordered... and some others whose names I have forgotten.
6. Sales of "The Chess Gospel According to John*" have been very good. Soon I will be advertising to dealers.
7. Overseas dealers WANT more of THE BUSY MAN'S CHESS OPENINGS VOLS. 1 AND 2, AND #3 (a LOT more!). #3 will be out in a few weeks. I am still debating about if and what equipment to buy to speed up the process.
It sounds like it ($$$) is coming in by the wheelbarrow load, but I still have loans, property taxes, etc. all standing by with their hands out. The only way to get ahead is to be so busy you don't have time to sleep--and then you die of exhaustion. So, some "fixes" are in the works. Wish I could hire an employee, but the profit margins are way too slim.
8. Oh yeah, soon it will be time to renew subscriptions for Semester #9 of The Chess Reports. More thinking about how to go about that. I'll have some answers in next Friday's issue, #103.