People often ask me why I wrote How to Play the Harmonica: and Other Life Lessons. This is a tough question, because there were several reasons:
- I wanted to make billions of dollars
- I wanted to be more famous than Paris Hilton
- I wanted to stop the human race from destroying itself
Now that I have accomplished these goals I could sit back, put my feet up, and heave a big, self-satisfied sigh. I could go over to Barney’s on Shattuck in Berkeley and order one of those amazing chocolate-strawberry milkshakes, sit out on the deck, and watch the pretty girls walk by. But I am not going to do that either, because there is still important work to be done.
Here’s the thing: I can’t get the word out about my book all on my own—I need you. If you think about it, most of the biggest-selling books of all time got there because people were coerced into buying them. Dianetics is one good example. I mean, look at that cover! In the publishing business we have a technical term for covers like that: u-g-l-y. And yet Dianetics sells and sells. Why? Because Tom Cruise goes door-to-door selling it. People open their front door, see Tom Cruise standing there, and say, “Wow! Tom Cruise! You’re really short!” Then they feel bad, buy the book, and become Scientologists.
Another example is The Boy Scout Handbook. This is a more attractive, fun, and useful book than Dianetics—many people actually feel considerable affection for it—but let’s be honest—it didn’t sell millions of copies because boys pestered their parents to buy it. No, this too is a case where coercion was the primary factor that put sales in the millions. For one reason or another you wind up in the Boy Scouts. Maybe you’re gay and you want to wear a scarf around your neck—I don’t know. Anyhow, if you’re going to be a Scout, you have to buy the handbook. This also applies to the Bible, the Koran, The Secret, and all the other Oprah picks.
Which brings us back to my book, How to Play the Harmonica: and Other Life Lessons, which has been endorsed by Dr. Jane Barry, who happens to be my cousin. Dr. Jane Barry is a doctor, and her endorsement means the purchase of my book will now be covered by most medical insurance policies. But we can’t stop there. We, and by we I mean you, must get up out of your easy chairs and go door-to-door urging your neighbors to buy How to Play the Harmonica: and Other Life Lessons. You are not doing this for me—you are doing it for the good of The People of the United States of America. You are doing it for the good of all humanity. The photo illustrating this blog was taken by my son Daniel and his girlfriend Dilek in Taiwan, and it shows that the message of How to Play the Harmonica: and Other Life Lessons is spreading around the globe, and that is a good thing, even though it is a little red book.
Remember, every time you sell my book, another angel gets its wings. You wouldn’t want to prevent an angel from getting his or her wings, would you?