“What is your Happiest Holiday Memory?” from SugarBuzzMagazine

Yvonne here… I was recently honored to be asked to contribute to a Holiday write. There are many cool responses and stories from personalities, poets, rockers, punks and pretty people in this sweet and sentimental piece. My epic response is the very last one. Happy Everything Everyone… only Love. ~ydlv


“What is your Happiest Holiday Memory?” click here for the full article on SugarBuzz Magazine

“What is your Happiest Holiday Memory?”
By Lucky and a Host of Friends

Chaos reigns supreme during the days leading up to Christmas. It seems no matter how early I start there is always so much to do and so little time to do it. The shopping, wrapping, decorating and preparing takes its toll and damn near negates the real meaning of the season. So I’d like to take some time, reflect and refrain, and think about times past and my Happiest Holiday Memory.

The year was 1993, four days before Christmas. Financially I had hit the skids despite working a full time job and a second one (DJ at The Rainbow Bar and Grill) to boot. Money was real tight, food, rent and a few Christmas presents took priority over fluff. My son, whom mainly lived with his mom, but stayed with me two or three days of the week,  kept asking me “Daddy, how come you don’t have a Christmas tree?”. How do you explain to a four year old that you can’t afford one? In a way he seemed to sense all was not quite right at Dad’s place.

That night I went to work and upon walking into the back kitchen, Tony, one of my bosses, said “Hey Lucky, don’t forget to pick up your Christmas bonus.” Now I have worked all my life and I have never had a Christmas bonus of any sort. It was a check for $50. It might as well have been for $50 million I was so happy.

So as soon as I could I cashed that sucker and hit a small tree lot on Highland, just down the road a way from the Hollywood Bowl and scored a decent tree for $35. I took it home and decorated it. I will never forget the look on my son’s face when he saw that tree. I secretly cried like a baby. I treasure those memories despite all the hardships, and will always be thankful.

Last year I sent out a question to the masses and the response was so amazing that I decided to do it again this year in hopes to discover a treasured memory of friends and colleagues.

So without further adieu, “What is your happiest holiday memory?”  keep reading!


It’s Publishers’ Greed, Not E-Books, That’s Pinching Authors

09/28/2010 by Jim Naureckas

Jeffrey Trachtenberg, writing for the Wall Street Journal (9/28/10), reports in “Authors Feel Pinch in Age of E-Books” that electronic publishing is ruining authors:

It has always been tough for literary fiction writers to get their work published by the top publishing houses. But the digital revolution that is disrupting the economic model of the book industry is having an outsize impact on the careers of literary writers.

Priced much lower than hardcovers, many e-books generate less income for publishers. And big retailers are buying fewer titles. As a result, the publishers who nurtured generations of America’s top literary-fiction writers are approving fewer book deals and signing fewer new writers. Most of those getting published are receiving smaller advances.

Trachtenberg gives us what he presents as the economic realities–as usual in such articles, reality as viewed by the big publishing houses:

The new economics of the e-book make the author’s quandary painfully clear: A new $28 hardcover book returns half, or $14, to the publisher, and 15 percent, or $4.20, to the author. Under many e-book deals currently, a digital book sells for $12.99, returning 70 percent, or $9.09, to the publisher and typically 25 percent of that, or $2.27, to the author.

The upshot: From an e-book sale, an author makes a little more than half what he or she makes from a hardcover sale.

Left out of this, of course, is the publisher’s investment in each book–which is obviously much lower with an electronic copy that doesn’t require printing, storage or shipping. According to the New York Times‘ calculations (FAIR Blog, 3/2/10)–which are based on a $26 hardcover rather than $28–the net profit on each hardcover copy is $4.05; the net profit on a $12.99 e-book, if you use the Journal‘s royalty figure, is $5.54–or $1.49 more profit than with hardcover publishing.

Suppose royalty rates were increased so that publishers made the same profit on an e-book as on a hardcover book. That would give the  author $3.77 per e-book sold, as opposed to (by the Times‘ reckoning) $3.90 for a hardcover sale.  As the law of supply and demand will tell you that it’s possible to sell a lot more copies at $12.99 than at $26 or $28, it’s clear that authors could maintain or increase their standard of living in a digital world–if publishers weren’t intent on grabbing a bigger slice of the pie.

Update: See also James Ledbetter’s take on this in Slate (9/28/10), “The Journal Asks Us to Weep for Literary Novelists.”

Follow Jim Naureckas on Twitter @JNaureckas.

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