Before I get into the rant that I know this post will become, let me state my credentials. In addition to my work as a writer, I am a multiple-award-winning editor. I have edited short fiction and novels since 1986. I have trained copy editors, not just for the magazines I edited, but also for major publishing companies. I have saved books destroyed by line […]
At 57, I’m finding myself in a strange position in life. My mentors are dying. Last month, Ursula K. Le Guin left us. I’ve known Ursula personally for more than twenty-five years. I never knew her well. We sat on panels together in the Northwest, although never (to my recollection) at a convention. We’d done bookstore events side by side over the years, and whenever […]
So…in this world of celebrity and the internet and data at our fingertips, should we even try to keep our business information confidential? The big companies do so. Smaller companies do as well.
Smart business-oriented writers do.
The fact that we can no longer agree on the great stuff…is the greatest thing that happened in 2017.
The biggest lesson for indies in 2017 is…
It is no longer possible for an independent bookseller in the United States to remain in business based on in-store book sales alone. Okay, maybe a handful are doing it in high traffic areas with low rents, but not many at all. The old way is no longer the new way, and unless the bookseller understands that, the bookstore goes out of business.
But readers do want their paper books. And readers love browsing bookshelves. Sometimes readers “window,” meaning they look at books on the shelves, then order them online. Readers recognize that they will discover books that are new to them in person more often than they’ll discover them while shopping online. So book people venture into any place with books.
Once I separated out the Big Five from all of the other traditional publishers in the U.S., I came to a happy realization. There are a lot of good publishers doing the kind of work we readers want publishers to do—curating books with a voice and an attitude, so that we know what to expect from the company, marketing those books to the best of their ability, and making the books available in all formats.
This post is for the hybrid writers, the ones who want to be part indie and part traditional.
What will you get if you go with the Big Five? Not money. Your book might become a Netflix series. You might become a household word. And you’ll probably still need your day job.
In 2014, I wrote a year end wrap-up, looking at all aspects of publishing. I had done that for me more than for any other reason. You see, in 2014, I wrote six books of the Anniversary Day saga and the project ate my brain. I couldn’t concentrate on anything else. I had stopped doing the blog toward the end of the saga because […]
I got really weird about a book recently. Dean and I stopped at the mail on the way out of town for a day off. On our days off, I often go to Starbucks and read a paper book. Why not read on my Kindle or iPad? Because my days off are no-screen days. Otherwise, I’ll obsessively check my email or text some friends […]