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Posts by Amanda

Another Indication the Industry is Behind the Times

Let’s face it. The last two-plus months has impacted the publishing industry unlike anything else in a very long time. Oh, we’ve heard the noises from some of the Big 5 that their numbers are up, but a close look at the numbers and you see something doesn’t add up. For one, the numbers they are touting can’t include returns because bookstores aren’t open. They also, if true, put the lie to the old formula publishing continues to push–that they need brick and mortar stores to survive. Those stores they’ve said must continue have been closed. Customers have, at best, been able to order a book and drive up to the curb to have it delivered to their car. There has been no browsing the stacks, no impulse buying. Even so, don’t expect a change in the business model when we are no longer being told by the nanny state that we have to stay home and our businesses can’t open. Publishing has proven over the last several decades that it is perfectly happy living in the past and has no desire to change things just because our lifestyles and reading habits are changing. Read more

Creativity in the Time of Shutdown

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of being told to stay home, stay distant, stay safe. No, this isn’t a political rant, at least not too much of one. After all, I’m basically anti-social and prefer not being out in crowds. But I’m also contrary. Tell me I can’t do something and, by golly, that is exactly what I want to do. This time of Covid-19 is no different. So, instead of running through the neighborhood screaming like an insane person, I’ve put my energy to work doing things around the house I’ve been putting off for far too long and, in doing so, realized this was exactly what was needed to jumpstart the creative juices. Read more

Getting Down to Business

So, your butt’s in your chair and your fingers are poised above the keyboard. Music appropriate to your current work-in-progress is playing and you’ve slipped on your noise-cancelling headphones to cut out the sounds of your kids, your spouse, your animals, whatever. Your muse is happily rubbing her hands together, ready to get work.

And it all comes sliding to a halt as your back-brain slams on the brakes. Do you have all the research done? Do you know where the story is going? Do you have all your software updated and ready for formatting, etc? Popcorn kittens! Read more

Open Floor

My apologies, everyone, but real life is kicking my ass and has been for the last few weeks. I’ll be honest, I simply don’t have the mindspace right now for a post. So, I’m turning the blog over to you until this afternoon when the Kilted One takes over. Ask your questions, suggest topics, just do me a favor and steer clear of politics unless it deals directly with publishing. I think we all need a break from it right now.

Until next week.

Back in the Saddle

Last week, I wrote about how I needed to take back control of my work time and close out the noise. The complications of living during this so-called pandemic were taking a toll on my writing. Who am I kidding? They were taking a toll on my life, just as they have on everyone else. Even though I’m basically an introvert who doesn’t mind staying home, being told I can’t go somewhere chafed. Social media is filled with horror stories (from all sides of the equation). The media is telling us we’re all going to die. Hell, I even saw a story today where a zombie movie director was cited as an “expert” on the body language of protesters over the weekend. Is it any wonder I haven’t been able to get any work done?

Oh, the ideas have been there. But to say I’ve had an extreme case of popcorn kittens is putting it mildly. I’ve made notes on four different books. But that’s all. Actual words haven’t been happening, at least not in any consistent quantity, much less quality. I simply couldn’t focus long enough to make it happen.

So yesterday I decided enough was enough. Maybe it’s knowing Texas is slowly opening back up and the hope that soon life will return to some semblance of something close to normal. Read more

Taking Control

Let’s face it. Everywhere we turn these days, we’re being hit about the head and shoulders with something having to do with Covid-19. There are the doomsayers that forecast this will be the worst pandemic in the history of man. It will kill more people, make more sick and there will be so many Typhoid Mary’s walking around that we will never see a time without the virus until there is a vaccine. Then there are those who believe this is some sort of conspiracy formed by all the governments or technocrats or someone in order to take over our lives. Somewhere in between is the truth. The virus can be very bad for those who catch it. The overreaction of the government on all levels is ruining our economy on the short term and potentially on the long term. The media is using it to cast more blame on Trump because of Trump Derangement Syndrome. And somehow, through all this, we have to carry on.

For certain things, it’s easy to carry on. Food has to be bought–and either picked up or delivered unless you want to brave the stores yourself. The house has to be cleaned. The animals have to be cared for. Family members and friends have to be checked on. Those are the easy things. The harder, at least for me, has been focusing on work. Read more

How Will Publishing Look After Covid-19?

Let’s start with a singular truth many of us don’t think about when considering the publishing industry. It consists of much more than the publishing houses. There are distributors, like Simon & Schuster which is now on the auction block. There are the various contractors who work for publishers, including editors, proofreaders and even those who design the interior and exterior of a book. There are the bookstores and online merchants. Each of these have been impacted over the last decade plus by changes in technology, changes in reading habits and by Amazon and other online retailers. But nothing will impact them like Covid-19, thanks to actions taken by local, state and national governments. Read more