A book's prejudged origins does not dictate the sum of its being

Thursday, August 09, 2007 4 Comments A+ a-

nor its appeal to readers. (Yes, my brain is dead and still trying to be philosophical :-P)

It's 1 am and I'm seriously beat, yet I have a need to blog as there are a lot of goodies going on I have to share.

Although this article is dated June 21st, here's a complete look at the Espresso Book Machine in it's full glory as display in the New York Public Library.




Oooh, aahh.

As I'm just now settling down to catch up on my blog reads of the day, I came across NB's new blog about Self Publishing. After an interesting post, I grabbed my imaginary popcorn and dove into the comments. As I read, I couldn't stop thinking about a good writer friend of mine who shared a story with me recently. I won't repeat the story (I'll give you the link to check out her blog because there is a wonderful discussion going on over there) but let's just say she was faced with a certain prejudice in trying to place her book at a local bookstore. Why did this happen? Because said owner didn't want to have anything to do those types of books (meaning where the book was published--a small press). Excuse, what?

I didn't know avid readers and book lovers sat around checking the publishers printed in the books before they bought them. And yet this resistance is happening a lot with epublishers, small presses and self pubs. My friend's book is simply amazing which, to be honest, has a mass market mainstream appeal that the big dogs seek. True, there are tons of authors out there that crowd editors and agents desks, but I can't help wondering if their works get overlooked because of the fear that it won't be a huge moneymaker. And to be honest, the publishing industry, like any other business, does thrive on its moneymakers.

Small presses often take chances on the outside because they don't have the luxury of offering tons of cash to take risks. Every book is a risk and they face double obstacles from the industry and bookstores alike. Naturally, there are good and bad books in both areas but I can't help thinking that a lot of great writers get shut out because they lack the "sex appeal", the connections, or the "platform" to back up their book.

The book industry is a roaring tiger and a scary place. But the cool thing is there is a chance to make a difference and get books directly to readers alongside other authors in the same boat. Also, I'm noticing some interesting trend gaps in the industry that I hope some writers can dive into with their writing talents. One of which my other good author friend mentioned is to making young adult books more targeted to young minority readers. I may even take a stab at the gaps myself because some readers (young and old alike) aren't able to find books that speak to them about their life. I like watching Book TV, but I do have to admit it is getting tiring watching interviews and exposes of books that only quench the thirst of a small (dare I say, elite?) readership out there.

Yesterday's chat reinforced my enthusiasm to dive into the readership and share stories, thoughts and ideas of not only my book and writing habits, but books at large. We talked about genres, authors and stories we all loved to read. We exchanged good reads and not a list of pubs, big or small, because it didn't matter. What mattered was (what should matter) and that was the story being told. It was a wonderful experience and feeling I hope to share time and time again. :-)

4 comments

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Zinnia
AUTHOR
10:51 AM delete

WOW!

Your new blog look is FANTASTIC!!!

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Rae L.
AUTHOR
11:59 AM delete

Thanks Z! I thought it was time to add some more of me into the style! :-D So, I ditched the faerie lol.

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LK Hunsaker
AUTHOR
8:47 AM delete

Agreed! I've stopped focusing on trying to get my self-pub books into bookstores because of the bias and because there is so much competition at stores that it's not worth the effort. The more important marketing, I think, is getting word to readers, not to stores. If readers are interested and the book is easily available, they will find it.

Word of mouth is the main thing to work toward. ;-) The industry may care where it's published, but readers don't.

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Rae L.
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1:25 PM delete

Right on point LK! That's who truly rules the industry and that's who we should def be targeting. :-)

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