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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Shawn's Last Stand

On October 24, 2008 I lost my job.

Four years ago I thought I had a chance. I thought I'd be able to turn things around. I fought hard working towards getting another job, and towards a career in PC repair.

I was also working on the side towards building up a career as a writer and self-publisher.

Now I’m this close to losing everything again.

I’m down to my last few hundred dollars in the bank. Unemployment exhausted, savings exhausted. No job prospects, no options.

I got turned down from Target of all places. Twice.

Everywhere I go looking for work I run into excuses, excuses, and more bullshit. People want everything but the kitchen sink on these jobs. What the fuck do most of these employers want? The ability to turn water into wine? To turn stone into fucking bread? To part the Red Sea?

Others like CUNY just want to play bullshit games like stacking the deck where they pretend to consider applicants but already have who they want in place but want to make it look like they’re playing fair.

I've spent years of my life chasing these raggedy jobs and have gotten nowhere.

On top of it, I haven’t had a paperback sale in a year.

EBook sales are the only money I make these days. And that’s not enough to live on. While I’ve sold close to two thousand titles, at a forty cent royalty barely adds up to two hundred dollars.

I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep my paperback catalog in print. I’m cutting living expenses back to the core to get that $24 to keep All About Marilyn and The Temptation of John Haynes in print for next year.

Not a single copy sold in paperback.
It'll be discontinued in 2013.
 So if you want it, buy it NOW!
The poor selling All About Nikki-The Fabulous First Season Paperback will be going out of print in July 2013. Two years in print and no sales means it’s getting discontinued. If I don’t see any sales soon I may be forced to scrap the other titles in paperback the year after that.

It hurts my heart that there may be the possibility all my work in self-publishing could all go down the drain. In spite of all my best efforts to reach Black readers I’ve practically gone next to nowhere.

It seems not too many people want positive African-American fiction or African-American fantasy fiction or screenplays. My mistake was thinking Black people wanted to read different types of fiction. That’s a sad lesson I’ve learned four years later after spending thousands of dollars.

The sad truth I’ve come to learn is that Black America loves coonery, and that’s all brothers and sisters will buy, and that’s all they’ve been buying since the Harlem Renaissance. I was wasting my time and money trying to give African-Americans an alternative.

I feel like I’m in a bad spot right now. And I’m headed back towards rock bottom again.

I remember where I was from 2003-2007 living on $2 a day handouts from my family for odd jobs.

I’d rather die than go back to that again.

It was frustrating and aggravating to be that powerless. To be dictated to by others and being disrespected at every turn. Stuck in the middle of nowhere with no place to go. Begging people for help only to have them turn their noses up at me.

I realize that in a year I’m screwed if I’m not screwed right now. No one wants to hire 40-year old Black males. Right now no one wants to hire 39-year-old Black males.

Especially Smart Black men like myself. Men who bring something to the table. Men who want to stand on their own two feet. Men who improve the quality of life in their communities.

No, the only Black men who are hired in the White Supremacist job market are Uncle Toms, Simps, Manginas and Coons. People who make White People comfortable. People who are consumer whores who spend their money on bullshit.

It seems Shawn doesn’t make White people comfortable. Because he’s too smart.

The American job market in my eyes is just a sham. People talk fairness and equitability but in actuality it’s all friends, cronies and associates regardless of their qualifications. It’s a God damn social club. High School 4.0

And I’m not one of the cool kids. So I’m not getting hired.

Nor am I cool enough to get people to buy my works in large numbers.

At this juncture I feel like giving up. That it’s a lost cause. I’ve been swimming against the current for four years now and I don’t see any land ahead or a ship in the distance. At this point, I don’t have the strength or the resources to go on.

This is Shawn’s last stand. And it looks like he’s going to lose.

It frustrates me that I just can’t get anything to break. Four years later I’ve made progress, but not enough to make a decent living. I make all the right moves, but nothing goes anywhere. People don’t see a value in my books or what I have to offer in the job market.

Unless I can I can find that day job soon, this may be your last chance to read a work by Shawn James in paperback. In the past four years I’ve done my best. And that’s all I can do. It’s in God’s hands now. I don't know how much time I have left to stay in this game at this juncture but it ain't looking good...

1 comment:

  1. Have you ever thought of moving out of the black fiction market? Just write stories that don't pertain to a certain race. Just write characters as people.
    Do stories that anyone can relate to no matter their race.
    As for jobs-have you thought about teaching in public schools?
    Does New York have alternative certification programs for people with degree? I know people way over 40 who had done that and now are teaching.
    The programs (at least in my state) are free to enroll and they will take out their fees once you get hired.
    Or try being a teacher assistant as NCLB requires all TAs to have a degree.
    I know it might not make you happy but at least you would have a job and have time to work on books.