It can’t be easy to get your book noticed these days. Anyone and his brother can slap something together and get it “published” via ebook or direct download. The trick is to differentiate it. Somehow. As an example, a book called Kindness in America probably won’t jump off the virtual shelf at anyone, so if you want to cash in, you’d need to attract some attention to it. Maybe get a good review or two. Or the author could manage to get himself shot . . .
That seems to be the surefire promotional strategy adopted by budding author Ray Dolin, according to masslive.com. He got himself in the news when he was shot by a passing driver as he began his cross-country roadtrip researching his photographic memoir documenting the inherent decency of Americans. Oh, the irony of it all, right?
Just one problem. It was all a load of bullshit.
Dolin, of Julian, W.Va., acknowledged he concocted the tale about the random shooting after he was confronted by investigators at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Miles City where he is recovering, said Sheriff Glen Meier.
Charges were pending, and the case remains under investigation. Dolin has not been arrested, but the weapon he allegedly used to carry out the scheme has been recovered, the sheriff said.
Dolin had claimed he was hitchhiking along U.S. Highway 2 west of Glasgow on Saturday when the driver of a maroon pickup pulled to a stop and shot him in the upper arm with no provocation.
Authorities later arrested Lloyd Christopher Danielson III, 52, and charged him with felony assault. That charge was dropped Thursday, although Danielson remained in custody, accused of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol when he was arrested.
So the calculus was…taking a bullet (and framing an innocent man) was more than worth all the pub and attendant book sales that would no doubt have resulted from the story of a victim of America’s violent society – if the whole story hadn’t fallen apart on closer examination, that is.
Charges are still pending against the inauthentic author and he’ll probably have his hands full with defending himself in court and paying his lawyer’s bills. It’s also possible Mr. Danielson could try to make a civil claim against him, but all of that’s down the road. So to speak. More immediately, Ray will be receiving our IGOTD trophy which no one can claim isn’t real. It may be the one real thing he has to show for the whole sorry affair.