Author Bailout Proposal: Buy Books

Author’s Guild president, Roy Blount Jr, gives a leg up to book buying this season. It’s still not too late:

Clear out the mysteries, wrap up the histories, beam up the science fiction! Round up the westerns, go crazy for self-help, say yes to the university press books! Get a load of those coffee-table books, fatten up on slim volumes of verse, and take a chance on romance!

As he so obviously points out, “Booksellers don’t lose enough money, however, to receive congressional attention. A government bailout isn’t in the cards.”

Pen and ink drawing of our barn by Ron Campbell
Pen and ink drawing of our barn by Ron Campbell

With regard to book authoring, I had an epiphany driving over to the Pulaski Author’s Fair on Saturday (for which I sold just enough to pay gas for the 100 mile round trip so broke even if you don’t count the 6 hours of time invested).

But here’s my realization: The crisis of unexpected joblessness and the transition to what came next that is the heart of my book, Slow Road Home, is an all too common story in the past year of layoffs, downsizing and lost status, changing roles and sense of professional and vocational placelessness. My book, sadly, has a whole new audience.

I intend to get back out among readers again with my book because it gives hope, courage and peace to those who don’t know what comes next. It tells how one can find both meaning and new purpose, even when wandering off the familiar path of a life that has for a while come apart.

If you think this kind of encouragement would fit the needs of a friend, relative or coworker you know, you can read more about the book at and obtain the book in several different ways. For a signed copy, buy directly from me.

I’ll send it off in 24 hours. Good words to you!

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Absolutely! You’ve been there, done that!
    I had not put 2 and 2 together. Thanks for pointing it out. I will keep my eyes open for folks who might be in need of that kind of encouragement.