This month receipts tripled for Phoenix Ark Press, tiny figures it’s true, but still alive, so perhaps there is some way to snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat. I and the website may go down, but your cannot kill the spirit of a Phoenix, that’s its whole mythic point! I don’t think people should buy books out of sympathy, only for their own quality, but if, somehow, Phoenix can be associated with the true spirit of artists and writers, good and committed ones at least, in a world increasingly lost in noise, branding and marketing, then something has been achieved. A Pyrrhic victory so far in terms of my personally wanting to earn, to be well published, to have many readers worldwide, but some voice beyond the usual cynicism too, and with a desire to tell the truth, even when difficult. I wanted to throttle someone who, when I was trying to raise investment, snapped back the old mantra, ‘what’s your USP?’. In business speak it means unique selling point. I thought of writing a play about the whole, strange, sad tale called DANGER USP, punning on the old BBC series about unexploded bombs, Danger UXB. Any good author, like any good human being, is their own ‘Unique Selling Point’, but the machine so often kills the human. I suppose Phoenix’s USP is a true story, a battling spirit, some fine articles from others, the generous support of readers who have heard, and some not half decent poetry too. If I had got that needed financial backing, you would have seen energy and ideas explode out of this place like a tornado! DCD

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