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.
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 […]
I mentioned a few posts back that I would have a lot of news this fall. And I do. It stuns me. First, let me thank all the people who have supported the Pulphouse Kickstarter so far. As I write this, we’ve hit two of our stretch goals and are halfway to the third. The first stretch goal guaranteed an extra electronic issue of the […]
I remember how overwhelming it was for me to make the transition to mostly indie. I’m not entirely indie. My short fiction is still hybrid, as is all of my work in translation. But I can’t see any situation where I would ever go back to a traditional publisher for my novels. The contracts are awful, the lack of support profound, and the benefits nearly nonexistent.
The traditionally published writers who are being cut loose or who are being offered terrible deals are just beginning to realize this. And they’re at a complete loss as to what to do.
I feel for them. I really do.
In dealing with movie and TV producers, and foreign rights publishers, and pretty much anyone who wants subsidiary rights to my book, I hold all of the power in the negotiation.
I know, I know. A bunch of you just did double-takes. How can I have more power than a Hollywood studio?
Brand loyalty—name loyalty—is something that we writers desire, but it’s not something that we can simply will into being. And it certainly doesn’t come about by bribing your reader.
Yes! News! (And more exclamation points than I probably needed, but still.) For some reason, all of my deadlines piled up in 2017. I spent the first four months in a weird, but efficient frenzy. The only thing that went by the wayside was keeping you all informed of new publications. This, of course, means that the news has piled up as well, and I’m […]
I was staring down the barrel of 2017, trying to figure out my writing projects. And I realized on Tuesday that the reason I couldn’t just dive in on Monday was because I hadn’t…oh, crap…defined myself.
I had defined myself in general. That’s easy. I’m a writer first, and to me, that means all the writerly things I do and have done from the old Star Wars book to new fiction I’m writing (from the romance short to the Diving universe to the historical mystery I just finished for the next Lawrence Block antho) to this blog and all the nonfiction.
But I somehow did not handle the specifics of being a writer very well in 2016.
All of us who indie publish our work are pressed for time. And even if we’re early adopters, we don’t adopt every change. We can’t. We make a cost-benefit analysis of each innovation to see if it’s worth our time to upgrade.
Okay, I’m not completely a slacker. But I’ve been slow in updating you on all that’s been going on. That’s partly because I’ve been writing a Diving Universe novel that kicked my butt all winter. I finished draft one yesterday. Yes, I said Diving Universe. I started out writing a novella to explain something to myself, and ended up with at least 100,000 words. (That’s […]