A simplification of the word rare regarding collectibles is, limited quantity or scarce. I have a few items meeting this definition, and some things headed that direction.
A special 1799 silver dollar given to me by a departed friend is quite rare. There were several minted but only a few survive. Twenty or more Alaska drug store bottles in my possession are quite scarce. Only five or six are known of the Iditarod specimen.
A prized book by author, William Guthman, is extremely rare and valuable. I’m blessed to have a copy in my library. The rarity comes from a limited amount being printed.
Years ago, I looked into writing screen plays for movies. I was immediately turned off in seeing that writers need to belong to the Screen Writer’s Guild. That was an immediate let down. The same with writing music. There’s even a Song Writer’s Guild.
What these guilds amount to are hands sticking out wanting a share of your talent and money. They’re nothing more than a hungry buzzard circling overhead, much like Colonel Tom Parker was to Elvis Presley.
The same greediness exists where writing books is concerned. It’s hard to get new publications noticed unless you have a publicist or agent. There again, more fingers are lurking in the shadows wanting their cut. Thankfully, I don’t write strictly for money as some writers do. I’d be better off flipping cars or houses if financial reasons were what powered me.
I get offers all the time from companies and individuals professing to be promotional experts where selling books is concerned. I screen my calls carefully and never pick up. They’ve went so far as to track down my children and friends, asking if they knew how to get hold of me.
I was once asked why I didn’t reach out to these professionals. One person said I could sell a lot more books if I did. I look at it this way. I didn’t seek their help composing my material, and I don’t need it now.
I’ve even had some criticism where my writing is concerned. When you’ve lived in Alaska as long as I have, snide remarks have a way of getting back to you. One self-acknowledged expert on Alaska history criticized a book that I wrote on Mattie “Tootsie” Crosby. “He should’ve never included religious viewpoints!”
What this fellow failed to realize is that I was led to do so. I’m not sure he’d even know what that means. I took the time and effort to put this book together strictly because it came to me one night while sleeping. Mattie “Tootsie” Crosby wanted folks to know foremost, that she was a Christian. Her letters to a newspaper that I accidentally came across dictated such. Earlier articles published on Mattie Crosby failed to disclose anything dealing with her faith.
If my books never make a best seller list that’s okay. In one hundred years, they’ll join the ranks of rare collectibles much like that 1799 silver dollar, Iditarod medicine bottle, and William Guthman book. I’d much rather have a few publications in this category, than a thousand, sitting on secondhand store markdown tables throughout the country.
I truly wish I could be here when my future grandchildren inform their friends, “My great grandpa wrote this book and it’s rare.”
That alone will be priceless!