Cheap as Chips

I don’t follow many blogs, because I’m not a sociable sort. The ones I do follow are followed sporadically. Over the last few months I have been almost entirely absent from WP as I struggled with a bad leg and worries about mortality and, of course, Covid.

Anyway, I’m back now. One of the blogs I generally follow is Charliecountryboy. He’s just had his first book published. I have ordered it, but not yet read it. It will, I’m sure, be good. It may even be excellent. In a few weeks we will know . . .

It is nice to be associated with genius, even if I am not one myself.

He made a point in one of the comments on his post that £6.99 seems a lot for a first book. Well, a portion of chips with curry sauce and peas cost us £7 last night. Yes, £6.99 is more than you can get a lot of books for but it has taken 20 years to write and it is cheaper than chips.  It’s also cheaper than having a doctor sign a death certificate or an accountant or lawyer do anything. Why are writers so reticent about putting a monetary value on their work?

(An aside – we also heated pies in the oven – the chips were just an accompaniment, and it was easier than doing them ourselves. We are lazy, but not so broke that we have to share a bag of chips, or so morally bankrupt that we would actually consider  chips, peas and curry a meal.)

It’s the same in the shop. People come in or ring and ask for advice and valuations. We have a wealth of knowledge, just like a doctor, accountant or lawyer, but people rarely seem to think it is worth paying for.


29 thoughts on “Cheap as Chips

  1. Rebellious

    Great point, many people would be extremely wary of spending money on books, courses, or any other reasonable investments, but wouldn’t even hesitate to buy something with short term value, like food.
    I think the bias is called query theory, where we prefer short term consumption over long term value, but I could be wrong

  2. ganga1996

    An entire set of cooking pots cost 60 dollars and we shop around for weeks to buy on sale, but go to a restaurant and just have a meal for 60 dollars! It is really hard to appreciate anything that doesn’t fill one’s tummy . Hopefully time will come for writers and poets to be appreciated again. Social media and television channels are giving taking away that rush given by books. Keeping fingers crossed!

    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      Several years ago, when we were still working with the Ecocentre, I was asked to stop branding the farm Twitter posts as Quercuscommunity because it was confusing. When I looked into it, the farmer’s sister had taken on two friends to write content for the farm website. They got, £25 a week to create 2 or 3 posts and did it by retweeting my work from Twitter. There are a number of questions there . . .

      1. Lavinia Ross

        I am sorry that happened to you. That would be maddening. Yes, there are a number of questions there, and I am guessing you never received satisfactory answers to them, or compensation.

  3. tootlepedal

    I take my hat off to people who can write a book. It takes enormous stamina and talent. I tried writing a novel once but even I could see that it was terrible so I stopped.

    I reckon that a poke of chips and a tub of curry sauce make an excellent meal. If I lived closer to the chip shop, I would have it often.

  4. charliecountryboy

    Aww, thank you, I guess it’s the fear that people will hate it, so if they haven’t paid much for it they won’t ask for a refund 😂 Thank you for your kind words, link and of course the purchase 😀 And you were missed 😉

    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      Every time I have a poem published I look at it and think “That’s rubbish!”. It must be a lot worse when you’ve written a book. The trick is to have confidence. Remember that you stand out as somebody who actually wrote a book – many of us just daydream about it.

      1. charliecountryboy

        I guess so, I think 🤔 (that’s not confidence is it? 😂) I once read that Hemingway said, “90% of what I write is rubbish 10% is genius.” So I’ll take 5% isn’t too bad 😂

      1. quercuscommunity Post author

        That’s why I always try to keep several subscriptions to poetry magazines going – they need the money more than I do, even if it’s not much money, it”s encouragement.

  5. Bitchy After 60

    Most readers don’t understand what it takes to write and publish a book. They would spend a couple hours looking for free version on line or somewhere else and complain that they don’t make enough to afford to buy it. A large majority of writers have to have a another job to pay their bills. The Giller Prize is a Canadian Literary award. The man who created it used to say that for the price of a meal out you could purchase the books. Then suggest that people purchase and read the books instead. He has passed away a few years ago, but his daughter repeats his words every year at the annual awards ceremony. They make a good point.


Leave a Reply