Friday, October 19, 2012

Keep Your Head Up

It's one of those days when I'd rather chop the deadheads off my roses than write. One of those days when every sentence needs to be reworked and even the three letter words look like they’re spelled wrong. But now that my roses are pruned to sticks and my garden beds are weed free, it’s time to get my head up and my fingers back on the keyboard.  
But I can’t. I’m paralyzed. At times like this, I often go online and I’m rarely disappointed. Here’s some of the inspiration I found today. (The following are quotes stolen from online writing forums--not my own words. Remember, everything that I'm writing today is stupid, mechanically wrong and misspelled, because it's one of those days.)

A few years ago--when digital publishing was but a blip on the radar--I was discussing the future of books with my hubby. He's one of those computer types with all this techie foresight. He said that within several years very, very few books, if any, would be traditionally published. Digital would be the way to go, leaving no need for publishers. The readers will decide what they want to read. (I was surprise by these predictions at the time!)
And then he said... those authors who consistently provide well written books will rise to the top.
So simple, but true.
Consistently provide well written books and your audience will find you!

I think it's like every new thing, first laughed at, then takes off, then swamped, then it stabilizes. It's like most of the rest of the internet, webcomics, forums, cookery sites, and the rest. They all had a point where the market was over saturated for a year or so, then those who just saw it as an easy-in left and it stabilized somewhat. Though I think in the next year or two we might see some interesting attitude changes to e-books.
We'll probably see a lull (or continue to see one), but I think we'll be better off in the end. Books aren't a zero-sum game. We aren't selling houses or cars that last people ten or twenty years or more. A book--even the likes of George Martin's bug squashers--are only good for, at most, a few weeks of entertainment. After that, the reader must go out and find more. And, using Martin as an example, they're not going to wait until the middle of the next decade to read again.

So, the competition might be high and sales might shrink, but I'm optimistic in the long term. As the lines between self-pub, small press, and trad publishing become blurred, people will be more willing to branch out and find the things that interest them, regardless of the source (and so long as it's well-written and to their liking).

Hunker down and get those books written. Expand your front and back lists. The next few years are going to be interesting, I think.

Every rainbow needs the rain…


  1. I needed this today to get me motivated for tomorrow. Sadly, I think 50 Shades of Gray may prove the "well written books will rise to the top" prediction wrong.

  2. There's a funny cartoon that I'll try to post. It's a picture of a horse lying in bed and fanning herself. The caption reads, they removed their harnesses and with nothing left to rein in their passion they shared an evening of unbridled sex. The horse is reading a book called Fifty Shades of Hay.
    I didn’t read, and I’m sure I never will, 50 Shades, so maybe I’m being unfair, but do you really want to write a book that will be the butt (pun intended) of tasteless jokes? This deserves another blog post.