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Out with the old…

‘Now the New Year reviving old Desires,

The thoughtful Soul to Solitude retires’

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (Trans. Edward Fitzgerald)

The old that is strong does not wither,

Deep roots are not touched by the frost’

The Song of Aragorn, The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien

New Year’s Eve – and I am thankfully not Ambulance call again until tomorrow night. I’ve done a lot of call over the holidays, and was on the last two nights, and had fairly little sleep on both, and busy days between, so this is not me at my ‘scintillating’ best, but I still want to wish all our readers a safe New Year seeing in, and all the creativity, persistence and success for 2019. Where the hell did 2018 go?

It’s been an interesting year in the world of publishing with Trad publishing surviving on e-booking the family silver (and one suspects making sure family (AKA the author) sees fairly little if any of it.  Those e-books they despise are often priced as high as hard-covers… because of the high cost of electrons or something. Anyway, NYC offices don’t come cheap.  And you need them in the wonderful world of electronic communication to serve your authors and readers best… oh. You don’t. Silly me.

By all signs Indy is still flourishing and growing. And yes, a handful of authors still make the bulk of sales, and the rest may struggle – but it is still more accessible and subject to readers tastes than Trad’s offerings, and the Indy share of the market has now overtaken Trad publishing.  Interesting times ahead.

I haven’t really thought about New Year’s resolutions yet, except I am not going to give up sarcasm, and I am not going to resolve to read only Women/ PoC / Genre bendery or whatever the current fashionable cause de jour is. No point making resolutions which won’t make it to bedtime if I make ‘em at midnight.

Serious comment, looking back I could have done better this year, but, short of time-travel, all I can take from it is lessons and a little writing material. Looking forward I continue to believe that the writer’s principal market remains in providing escapism, and hopes and dreams, and not a little wish-fulfillment – at least for the time our readers spend in our books… and sometimes for life. That’s both a terrific opportunity and something to perhaps think about the consequences of. I live on a remote island, and am the sort of guy I am, at least in part due to my fascination with Jack Vance’s BLUE WORLD as my first sf novel,  which built on the foundations planted by SWALLOWS AND AMAZONS.

A happy and prosperous writing New Year to all.

31 Comments
  1. Happy New Year Dave, and to everyone! ^_^

    December 31, 2018
    • Happy New Year! … You’ve already gotten into 2019, right? Here’s hoping you you n’ Dave n’ anyone else on the other side of the date line, that you’re in the best year yet!

      December 31, 2018
    • Mary #

      Happy New Year!

      December 31, 2018
  2. Draven #

    since y’all are in the future… are there jetpacks yet?

    (yes, when i lived in CA, i used this joke with east coast friends)

    December 31, 2018
    • We have flying cars (but only in cyclones)

      January 1, 2019
      • Draven #

        more importantly, where do I apply for my job on the Offworld Colonies?!?!

        January 1, 2019
    • mrsizer #

      As a matter of fact, yes there are jet packs and soon races!

      January 2, 2019
  3. Happy New Year, Dave!

    And everyone else, too! Here’s to 2019 being a great year. *Taps the screen and slurps Pepsi*

    December 31, 2018
  4. Newy Hapyear to y’all

    December 31, 2018
  5. Christopher M Chupik #

    At least we have Dave to send us warnings from the future.

    New Happy Year!

    December 31, 2018
  6. Ted Ung #

    Dave: May all your first-responder budettes and buddies have a boring night! Happy New Year MGCs!

    December 31, 2018
    • Just printed up new roster. Oh man I’m looking forward people being back from holidays..

      January 1, 2019
  7. Happy New Year, all y’all. May 2019 be an awesome one, filled with writing!

    December 31, 2018
  8. 2018 is slipping into the ever-thicker mists of memory. Which mostly means it’ll be more and more difficult to say your memories are wrong. Take advantage of it!

    December 31, 2018
  9. Happy NY to all. I have one resolution – get this damn series out this year! Just when I think I’m about ready, I have *another* brainstorm for another book that I feel should be ready to go as soon as the series sees light of day. (sigh)

    December 31, 2018
    • Sometimes you just have to set a schedule. And if you’ve got a three book series, one a month gives you three months to finish that fourth book!

      Happy New Year!

      December 31, 2018
      • Pam, I’m writing Book *7* now. Formatting, cover art are what I’ve been working on when these evil Muse missions strike to make me wanna write more. I suspect I’ve been warped by G.R.R. Martin and his glacial release pace. I don’t want fans to want more books and be ready to necklace me when the next one is not ready to go,

        December 31, 2018
        • Well, there, you see! You’ve got six months to finish the seventh.

          Yeah, cover art is not a fav of mine. Nor formatting. However, if you want to string things out a bit, a book every other month is pretty good. The purpose of publishing every three or four weeks is to keep your name on the “new books” list as long as possible, for name recognition.

          December 31, 2018
  10. Happy New Year, and may 2019 be less exciting than 2018. Please?

    December 31, 2018
    • Mary #

      Dull is fine. I LIKE dull. I could use more dull in my life.

      December 31, 2018
    • Amen

      January 1, 2019
  11. BobtheRegisterredFool #

    Well, I could deliver on a promise to read only the fashionable stuff. If I was far too sick to be reading.

    December 31, 2018
  12. Uncle Lar #

    May your land be fruitful, the sea bountiful, and the ambulance callouts minor injuries at most in this coming new year good friend Dave.

    December 31, 2018
  13. As a side note, I’m confused as to how Tradpub is any better than Indy regarding a few bestsellers and multitudes of strugglers.

    December 31, 2018
    • For one, indie doesn’t punish the author if he sells too well. Two, indie doesn’t stiff the midlist writers in order to pay off the best sellers (as I recall someone got caught doing a few years ago). Three, indie has the long tail so this year’s “well written but slow-mover” can keep gaining sales and fans over time, something tradpub doesn’t allow because of their turn-over. I wager too that if you look at who is the indie best seller money maker over time, there’s more change than among traditionally published best sellers. Not certain how you could track that, since really practical indie publishing and sales only got started a decade or so ago, but my gut feeling is that more authors have more opportunity as indie than as tradpub.

      December 31, 2018
      • The only advantage the Trad has over Indie is the _possibility_ that they can get your book onto a bookstore shelf. Oh sure, they do some editing and the formatting and you might luck out with a good cover . . . but is it worth giving them the lion’s share of the money?

        December 31, 2018
    • It isn’t. Same pattern BUT with indy the readers get to choose. With Tradpub it’s quite substantially influenced by editors.

      January 1, 2019
      • Uncle Lar #

        And those editors invariably come from a small incestuous pool of Ivy League educated coastal elites who have long since lost touch with the interests of the majority of the reading public.

        January 1, 2019
  14. Happy New Year!

    January 1, 2019
  15. Happy New Year! Swallows and Amazons forever! 🙂

    January 1, 2019

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