It should come as no surprise to any of us that one of the biggest problems facing traditional publishing is the declining number of bookstores, especially chain stores. Part of the reason is because publishers still cling to the old ways like a drowning sailor will cling to a life preserver. Unlike the sailor, however, publishers could change their retail chain with a little innovation and a desire to adapt to the changing market. Unfortunately, over the last several decades, we’ve seen little willingness from major publishers to do anything out of the norm. We’ve also seen the same from chain booksellers and that is one of the reasons why so many of those chains no longer exist. Barnes & Noble, facing extinction sooner rather than later, may finally be getting a clue thanks to new head, James Daunt.
Or is it? Read more
The group writing blog, Writers in the Storm, Melinda VanLone recently had a different take on covers. Some of the points underline what Sarah, Cedar, and others have said – covers are not first and foremost works of art. They are tools for selling.
The second point… I’m not entirely sure about, although based on the problem on the ‘Zon with “Just what is Urban Fantasy anyway?”
“I really don’t mind if you sit this one out,
My words but a whisper, your deafness a shout.” (Jethro Tull, Thick as a Brick)
I’ve just heard that The Chronicles of Davids is being released on the third of September. I have a story in this alongside such luminaries as David Drake and David Weber (Honestly the only way I get into that kind of company is by having my maternal grandfather and my great uncle’s names. Names were few and far between in those days, and when people found one they tended to keep using them until they wore out. They weren’t like these disposable modern names, that show scuff-marks after a few years, let along centuries. But they don’t make like that anymore.) Read more
Rudyard Kipling wrote several great poems about wanderlust and the itch to look over the next hill, including “The Long Trail.” We authors are more interested in the long tail, the sales of our earlier books. We want new readers to have access to our older work, to buy them, enjoy them, tell others about them. Long tail sales can yield a pretty penny over time, and can lure new readers in as well.
(With apologies to Barry Mann)
Sarah Hoyt’s recent post on The Day the Bookstores Died (no, not the actual title; I seem to be in a pop music mode this morning) got me thinking about my own issues with bookstores; specifically, used bookstores. I think (can’t prove) that one of the factors diminishing my enjoyment of used bookstores is, ironically, something that’s probably good for their bottom line: the ease of Internet research. Read more
Writing as profession…
I was amused to read a would-be-author in New Zealand bemoaning just how HARD it was in his local paper. I’ll spare you his missive (and him the embarrassment) but he was moaning how unfair it was that living away from the big city/University scene he was unable to afford to attend the courses and meet the right people to get him ‘in’. And getting bought on merit was just too hard, because the public had such appalling taste, and the market for books written by native New Zealanders was too small.
His answer, was, like Norway (which has a fair amount of spare cash) the Government should intervene, and buy copies of books by citizens to give as gifts to the ambassadorial staff of all foreign embassies and visiting dignitaries.
I did stop laughing before I actually died of anoxia, but it was close. Read more
What will 2019 hold for authors and publishers? Change. What sort of change? Ah, there’s the rub… Read more