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.