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Posts tagged ‘bookstores’

On booksellers and evil muses

To say the last few weeks have been interesting is putting it mildly. We’ve seen Barnes & Noble, after years of speculation, finally selling. The publishing world was rocked by the news and it will be years before we see how the sale finally shakes out. Indies and traditionally published authors alike are being impacted by the sale–we simply don’t know how. Will B&N still exist a year or five years from now? Will it still be a platform open to indie authors and, if so, will we be able to submit directly to the bookseller or be forced to go through a third-party platform like Smashwords or Draft2Digital? Time will tell but, until we know more about the reorganization, caution is called for.

That said, B&N isn’t without hope. Keep that in mind as well. Read more

The Publishing Merry (And Not-So-Merry)-Go-Round

Let’s face it, publishing is little more than a legal, and non-lethal, form of Russian roulette. If you want to go the traditional route, you are rolling the dice at so many levels you probably have a greater chance of being hit by lightning. If you go the indie route, will you be able to grab enough of the market to make it worth your while to spend the time writing the book? No matter which route you take, the ride gets even bumpier. But, if you look closely enough, there are high points as well. The only thing that isn’t certain is how it will turn out for you. Read more

A microcosm of bookstores

We’ve talked a lot about bookstores in this blog. It’s perhaps no surprise – not only are we authors, we were readers before we started writing. I suspect most of us, myself included, started writing in no small part due to running out of reading material. For me, this was in part a byproduct of not having enough money to buy books whenever I wanted them, and not having transportation to the public library whenever I wanted to go there. Not to mention that I have ‘read through’ the collections of at least two small libraries, being a child of very *coff* rural areas. But now I am an adult. I have a decently paying dayjob. I have a vehicle all my own, and the wherewithal to buy as much gas as I’d like…

And I rarely go to the bookstore. It’s sad, really, what life does to us.

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Choppy waters ahead

I’m going to start out by saying I’m sleep-deprived and cranky (well, crankier than usual) as I sit dow to write this. I’m in the final push to finish everything necessary to get Nocturnal Revelations ready for publication. I’m in the middle of preparing a new entry in the Honor & Duty series. I have a stack of files that is literally a foot tall sitting on my desk for other projects in the pipeline. So I have little patience for some of the crap I’ve been seeing lately on blogs I follow, in social media and in the media in general. Consider this your fair warning. I’m swinging for the fences and getting some stuff off my chest. Read more

It’s Kate’s Birthday

So she’s run away to have some fun. At least I hope she has. In the meantime, here’s an echo of my post today over on my personal blog. B&N is showing that old is new or new is old or some such thing.

Barnes & Noble “New” Concept a Return to Old

I’ve not made a secret of the fact I worry for the future of bookseller Barnes & Noble. For the last decade, I’ve seen signs the company is in trouble. It goes beyond the revolving door in the executive suite. It goes beyond the problems traditional publishing is having. It is a combination of a large number of factors that, ultimately, almost all rest in the board room. But at least the company hasn’t given up. That’s the best I can say. Read more

Innovation

Innovation

Telling stories around the campfire. Plays and puppet shows. Scrolls. Books. Movies . . .

The only thing that changes is the technology. A the bottom is still an enjoyable story. Or not. Some things do fizzle, after all.

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Halloween Tricks and Treats

This Halloween brings with it the usual tricks and treats in the industry. AAP and traditional publishing is touting a fairly small increase in sales as a huge gain. In the same breath, they crow about the continued slowing of e-book sales (without admitting that slow down is only in trad sales and mainly due to high purchase price). Depending on your point of view, those bits of news can be tricks or treats. Two other news items are definite tricks or, as I like to put it, “What the [expletive deleted] were you thinking?” moments. Fortunately, there are some treats out there.

Let’s look at the “tricks” first.

B&N continues with their efforts to shoot themselves in the corporate foot. It’s no secret they have been behind Amazon when it comes to e-book readers. The Kindle came out Nov. 19, 2007. The Nook e-book reader was available for pre-order for the first time on Oct 20, 2009. That is a delay of almost two years before BN realized it needed to get into the game. It has played a game of catch-up since then and is now throwing in the towel. At least that’s the way it looks. The most recent victim, er indication, is the Nook Glowlight Plus. For those not familiar with the Glowlight Plus, it is BN’s alternative to the Kindle Paperwhite (in a side-by-side comparison, the Paperwhite, the Paperwhite came out on top. The only reason the Oasis didn’t was the price differential.) However, it now appears that BN is phasing out the Glowlight Plus. If you try to buy one, I hope you are willing to pay for a refurbished model because BN isn’t selling new ones. Nor does it appear there is a replacement reader or updated reader coming down the line to replace it. Is this the first tangible example of how BN is going to abandon at least the hardware side of e-books? If so, how will this impact their e-book platform, both for traditional publishers and for indies?

The second “trick” comes from Australia. Gould’s Book Arcade in Sydney has been around since the Vietnam War. Back then, it was a gathering place for antiwar protesters. From what I’ve been able to learn, it’s well-known for its used books as well as remaindered, rare and out-of-print books. But, like many bookstores around the world, it has been facing financial troubles for some time. Now it appears the store has three months before it either has to close its doors or move to a new location. None of this is new in the industry.

What makes this a “trick”, at least in my book, is the attitude of the store owner. Unfortunately, it is an attitude I see all too often in not only the publishing industry but in life in general. Claiming that she is a socialist and “I don’t understand capitalism,” Natalie Gould wants someone to swoop in and save the store. In fact, she would have no problem with local government buying the store, saying, ““If I was (Sydney lord mayor) Clover Moore I’d buy the building. They (the city council) have got plenty of money.”

I would lay good money on the fact Gould has changed little, if any, of the way the store operates over the six plus years she says she’s struggled to keep it open. Reading her comments, it is clear she sees the store more as a place of protest, a gathering place and piece of local culture rather than as a business. She wants to keep having her fun on someone else’s dollar. This failure to adapt to changing demands — or, or perhaps and, in this case the change in the neighborhood — she dug her heels in. Now she wants someone to come in a bail her out. Doesn’t this sound a lot like traditional publishing and it’s failure to adapt to changing consumer demands? Traditional publishing (the Big 5, especially) dearly wants things to go back to the way they were decades ago. Instead, readers are looking elsewhere for their reading enjoyment. They aren’t paying the high prices for e-books from the Big 5 and its ilk, instead turning to indie authors.

Now for the treats.

I’m a fan of a number of the old horror films. One of my favorites is The Haunting. This 1963 film stars Julie Harris, Claire Bloom and Russ Tamblyn, among others. It is based on the book, The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson. The movie airs tonight on 8:30 CST on Turner Classic Movies. This isn’t one of your heavy special effects movies or hack and slash movies. It is one, however, that scared the crap out of me when I was younger and still gives me the chills, especially when it comes to the performance by Julie Harris. I highly recommend it. I also recommend the book, as well as Ms. Jackson’s The Lottery.

Then there’s always Poltergeist. Who can forget Carol Anne saying, “They’re here”?

Finally, I have three titles on sale through today in honor of Halloween.

Witchfire Burning (Now on sale for $2.99)

Long before the Others made their existence known to the world, Mossy Creek was their haven. Being from the wrong side of the tracks meant you weren’t what the rest of the world considered “normal”.

Normal was all Quinn O’Donnell wanted from life. Growing up on the “wrong side of the tracks”, she had been the only normal in the family. The moment she was old enough, she left and began life as far from her Texas hometown as possible. Now she has a job she enjoys and a daughter she loves more than life itself. Their life is normal, REALLY normal, until her daughter starts calling forth fire and wind.

Quinn knows they must go back so her mother can help five-year-old Ali learn how to control her new talents. But in Mossy Creek nothing is ever simple. Quinn’s mother has gone missing. Secrets from Quinn’s past start coming back to haunt her.

And the family home is more than a little sentient.

Can Quinn keep everyone — particularly Ali — safe? And will she ever get back her illusion of normalcy?

Skeletons in the Closet (Now on sale for $0.99)

Lexie Smithson’s family had never been what most folks would call “normal”. They had more than their fair share of oddballs and loners and even crazy cat ladies. Most families in Mossy Creek did, especially if they lived on the “wrong side of the tracks”. But things took a decidedly sharp turn to the left of weird the day Lexie’s sister came home from school, complaining about how Old Serena Duchamp had given her the evil eye. When her mother decided it would be a good thing to confront the town’s resident witch, Lexie knew life would never be the same. How could it when their loved ones began returning to the old homestead the day after their funerals. Lexie knew she should be happy none of her neighbors reported mutilated cattle or corpses with missing brains. But that can be hard to do when your loved ones have passed but not passed on.

Skeletons in the Closet is a novella set in the Eerie Side of the Tracks universe. It is the first of a series featuring Lexie, her family – both living and dead, not to mention furry – and their friends.

Nocturnal Haunts (Now on sale for $0.99)

Lt. Mackenzie Santos has seen just about everything in more than ten years as a cop. The last few months have certainly shown her more than she’d ever expected. She’s learned that real monsters don’t always hide under the bed or in the closet. They walk the streets and can exist in the best of families.

When she’s called out to a crime scene and has to face the possibility that there are even more monsters walking the Earth than she knew, she finds herself longing for the days before she started turning furry with the full moon.