Loyalty, Trust, and Pixy Dust

Borderlands07

Borderlands,San Francisco. 2007.

There is so much change in the publishing industry right now, and my thoughts on it seemed to gel over the last couple of weekends as I got out and around, rubbing shoulders with my peers, all of them coming from different genres, different places in their careers. Some were on the rise, some were maintaining, and some had just gotten the rug pulled out from under them and were facing the familiar three- to five-year struggle to get themselves back where they were with another publisher, perhaps using another publishing style.

I’m in a good spot, but even I’m vulnerable in an environment where loyalty increasingly takes a backseat to chasing those publicity dollars, and money tells the reader what is “good” not your friends, because honestly, when a distributor of books starts creating their own product, it’s their babies who get the front page, buzz, and attention, and it’s the competition who gets pushed low in the algorithm or just simply loses their “buy” button at a critical point. For as much as a new publishing/distributor might claim to like books, readers, and advocate authors, they are there to make money like everyone else.

Which brings me back to the traditional publishing industry.

Traditional publishing has been taking hit after hit lately for being money grabbing and insensitive in the face of new opportunities graced with low overhead and little to support. They’ve been  deemed uncaring about books and even now, their authors. Yep, publishing is hard. It’s always been hard, and with the doors having been opened wide the last decade or so, there are many more people seeing their dream realized. Downside? When things don’t work out, they are disillusioned and blame the easy target.

But one thing seems to have been forgotten in the ultimate ugliness. Everyone in the traditional publishing industry is there because they love books–or they don’t stay there very long. They love reading them. They love discovering them. They love sharing them, because quite honestly, the hours are too long, the rewards too little. No one goes into publishing to “make it big.” They go to discover and share.

Which brings me to loyalty. I’m not talking about loyalty to a specific publisher or imprint. I’m talking about loyalty to the feeling of scanning the shelves, of seeing those imprints on the spines and knowing what you’ll find just by that. I’m talking about loyalty to a system that gave you the stories that took you to the stars. The stories that made you believe in dragons and space colonies, that showed you that you could make a difference, that you could fall in love. Someone believed in that story enough to force it through the gates of the publishing house and onto that shelf where you picked it up. I’m not bashing e-books, because they’re a part of traditional publishing now as much as word processing and electronic submissions. I’m talking about the system that brought you the stuff you read. Period.

So yes. The traditional publishing industry is struggling to adapt and thrive in a new climate where yes, anyone can become published and have that glorious chance to see their work loved and cherished. But I bristle at the notion that the traditional publishing industry is in it only for the money. They love what they do, and have since day one. It’s why they started, not the other way around. And that deserves a little respect, if only for the pleasure that they brought you when starships sailed beside dragons in the stacks.

I’m keeping this up for a while. Feel free to repost and comments are welcome.

41 Comments

Filed under Drama Box

41 responses to “Loyalty, Trust, and Pixy Dust

  1. Kimberly I

    I’m sure that there are many people who have been done a disservice by the existing publishing process–who really deserved to be in print but were not, but the simple truth is that there are many more who really don’t really have the quality of writing or skill to be published too. I think the new model allows far too many mediocre or poor writers to flood the market making it more difficult to weed thru and find good quality reading materials.
    With that said, I do truly enjoy the flexibility to hold a real book in my hand, listen to one while I’m driving or running or carry one around in my pocket on the e-reader app that I have on my phone. There are definite benefits to the changes in publishing today as well as drawback.s.

  2. Bill Romano

    Kim,

    I’ll qualify my comments by saying I am at best a spectator. My knowledge of publishing comes from news sites slanted towards copyright and technology, and I recognize this means my view point is probably not evenly balanced.

    That said, while I agree that respect for the industry that provided the material that hooked me on reading is well deserved; I do think that from a consumer point of view that many of the publishing companies have taken a very short sighted view of the world that appears to be very heavily slanted towards corporate profits, and not focused on what is ‘best’ for the consumer. I feel this is at the heart of some of the backlash against the publishing industry.

    I don’t know any names to name, but those making the decisions for the publishing houses to make content less available, to support fewer platforms, to create artificial scarcity, and try to impose physical world limitations on the digital world are not motivated by the love of the content. When money and passion are at cross purposes, it takes quite the visionary to choose passion, and if the owner/board/shareholders aren’t on board with the vision, it’s even less likely to be chosen.

    I’m not an ‘information must be free’ activist; I believe that creators should be paid for their work, and probably paid a lot more than they are in almost all cases🙂. From my point of view, making books available more quickly, on more platforms, so they can be read with the least amount of effort means more people will make the minimum effort, breed more fans, and make everyone more money in the long run. I acknowledge this is a very simplistic view of the world, but figuring out how to properly monetize the new, direct to consumer channels is a problem that many people are trying to solve – and a solution will come. I’m just pretty sure it’s going to a solution that will see a reduced role for publishing houses – which is at the heart of the problem.

    From your posts, from the blogs of other authors I follow, there are those in the publishing side of the industry that ARE focused on the content, on the love of other worlds, on making my experience the best possible. Those people should be respected, even celebrated. I humbly submit that those aren’t the people at the helm of the publishing companies today.

    With respect,
    -Bill

    p.s. Most of what I’ve stated has applicability beyond book publishing, into all content, movies, music, art, etc. For the sake of this discussion, I’ve tried to separate out the book industry specific comments; apologies if I’ve crossed my comments🙂.

  3. jkh

    Some wonderful opinions — almost essays — expressed here. I appreciate them all. And I agree that “self publishing” sometimes could benefit from a few more reviews and edits before the “send” button is touched.

  4. Jo

    So true, Kim….

    I know nothing of the publishing world, how it runs, or the reason why. I only know that I love going into a brick-and-mortar store and perusing its aisles. I love finding the book I came in to purchase and maybe something new that I had not seen before.

    Unfortunately, the Borders that was extremely popular in my town, went out of business. It has been replaced by another book store that does not carry the extensive inventory that Borders did. Even some new titles must be ordered at the store or on-line. It makes me sad — and I buy less.

  5. Hi Kim,

    I’m an aging engineer who’s starting a fledgling career as a writer. Folks here might call me out on it, but I’m really not doing it for the money. Mostly I just want something that I like to do and can occupy my time after I retire. That lets me stay busy and keeps my wife sane. If I make enough doing it to support my pizza habit then all the better.

    I generally agree with you that people who stay in an industry tend to love some aspect of it. The more they love, the longer they stay. But here’s the thing. The people who love it most often aren’t the people who call the shots. The people who love it most are the guys and gals in the trenches who do the heavy lifting of getting the job done. In my industry that’s the machinists, engineers, technicians and planners who see that a piece of metal somehow morphs into a precision part. In yours it’s the editors, cover artists, agents, marketers and pressman who take the book from your talented hands and turn it into something that your fans can enjoy.

    The sad reality is that the people who do call the shots, the ones who work in the boardroom, often don’t share the love of the product that you and I and the people who work with us do. CEO’s and bean counters see things differently than we do. The best ones try to balance their world with ours knowing that is the only way to ensure long term survival. The worst make decisions focused on short term profits under the assumption that by the time things fall apart they’ll be long gone. That’s a cynical outlook on life, but forty years in business has taught me being cynical is a survival skill.

    I don’t have your knowledge of or perspective on the publishing industry, so I defer to your position. But human nature tells me that, when money is involved, counting on someone’s good nature, sense of fair play or love of the business is an invitation to betrayal.

    As a side note, I’ve read every novel you’ve published and not once have I finished one without feeling that it was a good read. Thank you!

  6. Thanks Kim for sharing. I totally agree with your position.

  7. Frotee

    I second the notion that publishers do actually care very much about books, about discovering and sharing. I have worked at a publisher (well, done an internship, but you get to know these people in 6 months time), and they were all passionate about books – and shared them freely. I will never forget that lovely bookcase on the grounfloor, where everyone could bring and take books as they liked…plus the very nice ladies in sales, who had no qualms about handing out the publisher’s books to employees to read.

    Even at the distributer level, at least the smaller stores are usually very knowledgable about the books they sell and will be able to hold avid discussions with you on why this or that book is a must read. Sadly, the same doesn’t hold true for every big chain outlet – which is one of the reasons why they are suffering from the whole ebook business atm, I believe.

    I very much miss the days when I could browse any bookstore for new worlds to discover and take home – now that my english is good enough to have me despise most translations, shopping for books offline has become very difficult ;_;
    Granted, amazon’s recommendations and similar books system has introduced me to many a great author, including you Kim😉

  8. Reblogged this on Lynne Stevie and commented:
    A great take on traditional Publishing

  9. I won’t get into the motives of ppl in publishing. Frankly you know more about that then I ever will. What I will say is that I have never read from a best seller list or anything hyped up. I used to find books by going to a store and looking at the shelves near authors I already liked and by recommendations from fans of the same authors. These days I am caring for my very ill wife so our days of going to bookstores are rare indeed. But I still use exactly the same method as I ever did. I look for new authors in sections online that I enjoyed. And by getting recommendations from the forums of the authors I like. I loved one author and they had a recommendation to try your books on their forums, From one of your readers I got a recommendation for Kevin Hearne and so on. You see I think the changes are not as big as they seem. The shelves become pages and the chat in the store becomes comments on a forum but at the end of the day, speaking for myself, its really no different.

    No publisher, no matter how good or true, will ever be able to carry the depth of feeling into a recommendation that a true fan will.

    One final thing I will say is that one great thing about the publishing industry is that it keeps things polished. I think anyone with time spent looking at e-books will know how often they come across a story ruined by a lack of polish, spell checking and a hundred other things that the publishers try to do for their authors. So i personally can’t see the publishers as the bad guy because at the end of the day everyone may have at least one book in them but a lot of the time its the publishers that know how to get it out of them and onto the page🙂

  10. John Kolesa – hear, hear – twice.

  11. lizardgirl

    this just in, kindle creator amazon to buy goodreads site.
    tradition or electronic, the business of publishing is all about market share. and rightly so. if it wasn’t all we’d have is the bible, and maybe a little shakespeare :^)

  12. I can’t see your view from where I am sitting. Why are companies in business except to make money? I got long-winded about it, so I figured it was better to put in a post: http://tracycembor.com/2013/03/29/a-response-to-loyalty-in-publishing/

    • Tracy. I never said they were not there to make money. The entire post is about having a little respect for what everything is built on.

    • I spent the weekend thinking about this. I respect the people in the publishing industry greatly. Their skills and experience are invaluable, and I’m sure they love books.

      However, I cannot respect an industry where a select few people are choosing what books are in our schools and in our homes. It gets too close to a slippery slope for me to be comfortable with it, let alone have respect for it. When that same industry starts playing games with release dates to prop up print media before releasing e-books (last Wheel of Time book, for example), I feel manipulated. When I read the horror stories that established authors are enduring with traditional publishers and with Amazon, I feel skittish.

      I’m not going to laud a system that so desperately needs to change.

  13. old72jim

    Hi Ms Kim-You are totally right.I used to haunt libraries and bookstores just to look,and finding a treasure made my day! Of course, that was when I was young enough to walk easily and see the print(I have been legally blind for years and had my mobility training on how to get around w/o stick or dog,and I used a magnifying glass to read.)My only problems with Kindle are I have to blow the print up so large I only get a sentence a page,and Jeff Bezos hasn’t worked out on-line signing yet. I don’t know why not since he’s running around with spaceships and stuff.Or maybe that should be Bill Gates. Anyhoo, look at how many times Gutenberg went to prison trying to get patents on inventing printing! And you know that bannd book lists were invented right after printing, Queen Elizabeth I was considered a softy because she only chopped the hands off printers who printed stuff she didn’t like (Most rulers chopped off their heads, and we won’t go into what Ivan the Terrible did) Printers had to hide their presses and smuggle books and newspapers, not to mention most of the revolutions in France were started by printers,including 1968 when the Sorbonne students overthrew De Gaulle(Beauty is in the street)

  14. “I’m sorry, but that’s just a naive notion to think “nobody goes into publishing to make it big” and they’re all there because they love it.” – posted by Iris, March 29th

    @ Iris: if you believe this to be the case, then I would venture to say that you have probably never worked in the book business. While Kim was talking about the publishing teams that bring books to life, I believe you are hung up on the people in the board rooms that are in the business of making money. Their job, however, is contingent upon them hiring people that are talented at recognizing good writing as well as people who are talented at promoting their “stable” of authors. This means balancing the responsibilities to investors and private financing against those of a highly impassioned workforce and management team in what can only be described as one of the most passionate careers left available. Because without passion in this industry…for books, for writing, for reading and for marketing books that bring ideas to life in our imaginations, they would neither be successful nor make money…and the people in the board rooms recognize that those two things are not the same thing. It took a partnership with business to get publishing to where it finds itself today and whether civilization has climbed into bed with an angel or a demon rather depends on your point of view, but I would leave you with this thought:

    Simply because you make a decision to ride the wave of change does not mean that you will not find yourself buried beneath it. It only means that you have a chance to reach the top and ride it out.

    – J

  15. My career started at Doubleday in the 1970s. I love books. I always have. My big problem with the publishing industry is that there are too few publishers — traditional publishers — remaining. It is hard to get a manuscript read, hard to get through the electronic guards at the gates. It isn’t because of money-grubbing bottom-line driven economics so much as a rapidly changing market where electronic books are quickly overtaking print as a medium. The entire industry is fighting for its life. It’s easy to self-publish, but the competition for readership is brutal. It always was, but there was a time and I remember it well, when books didn’t compete with the Internet, video games, electronic media of all kinds. There was television, but not 1000 channels. Everyone read books. Now, proportionately fewer book readers and so many choices … It’s a rough world out there.

    I love your writing and I will always be a reader first and foremost. I’m rooting for the survival of traditional publishing. I can’t buy as many printed books as I did, but I want them to be there for my granddaughter’s children so they too will know the joy of opening a new book, getting that whiff of printer’s ink and hearing the soft crack as the spine opens for the first time.

  16. Kim,

    Unless an author not only loves the process of writing…unless he/she has a PASSION for books, they will not share the love affair with the industry that persists beyond simply struggling with the writing and endless editing that are the creative and technical side of the business.

    When I was younger, I considered trying to put a coalition of investors together to buy a children’s book publisher. I’ve worked as a bookseller, have read about different aspects of the publishing business as well as writing. I attended a federal service academy with an engineering background (hoping to become a fighter pilot followed by a career as an astronaut, following childhood dreams only to have them dashed by an injury) followed by undergrad degree in history with a minor in creative writing. I then went on to get an MBA in International Business. I have traveled a LOT and experienced life, not only for the adventure that it is, but to build characters and stories in my mind. I’ve been to four continents on four oceans and seas.

    I love everything about the book business, from the inspiration that develops to creativity to the endless struggle with edits and submissions…the struggle to get in front of the faceless names that can take your book from a concept and year of effort to something that can be held in someone’s hand and the connections needed to share it with the world in a way that would encourage people to read the words that are a product of inspired passion and (you hope) enough talent to keep people coming back for more even while also hoping your writing is strong enough to last the seeming eternity between books.

    Until the day finally (hopefully) arrives that the people who are no longer faceless names are asking you to do book tours and you find yourself speaking, reading and writing-as-you-go in the endless quest to promote and publish new works that the fans demand. Without a passion and understanding for the whole business, I can understand how some authors, particularly those starting out and going through the struggle to get where you have, who have struggled so much simply to finish WRITING their story…would be disenfranchised with the process and the frustration of those in the publishing industry to discover the most talented of those writers, agonizing over the loss of the next incredibly talented author because they simply did not have the resources to catch them before they fell through the net that is cast…a net in which the holes in the netting are becoming larger and larger.

    As people try to take their books through the process of e-publishing, I think it will help the publishing industry “see” the popularity of what can at best be described as self publishing and fan fiction. They will see not only who is talented, but who is good at promoting their writing…and that is why it is so hard to keep up with the ever-changing world of publishing in which we live…because you now not only need to be a creative thinker with a talent and discipline for writing, you also have to be someone the publishing companies would hire if they had the money, you have to be a bookseller and promoter, with a background in public relations and marketing, a speaker and yes…at times even a business person, attorney and politician.

    Today’s author is more than a talented somebody who simply writes unless they get very, very lucky and find themselves in the right time at the right place with a great idea that someone is happening to look for or better yet, can recognize. They are someone with a passion for books and for life…a passion for writing things down and seeing something develop from an idea into something tangible and can make the leap from the smell of parchment and leather to being able to see the dots and dashes…the ones and zeroes, flying around our world at the speed it takes us to type or even say a query into the ether that now joins many of us.

    The next evolution that must come is the community of writers and publishers that is committed to bringing not just our own words, but all of the words ever written to the poorest parts of the world, where unbelievably, the illiteracy rate still exceeds the number of people. Our words are meant for everyone to hear…to be shared and discussed and enjoyed or to be disparaged and pillaged.😉 Our words and ideas are for everyone, not simply those who know how to read in a world in which unbelievably, there are national leaders who prefer the populace to remain uneducated, ignorant and incapable of accessing the thoughts outside those they give them. Until the light of knowledge and access to the thoughts, dreams and inspirations of others is made available to wipe away the ignorance that exists in the world, our words, no matter how well written or intended, will not shine into the darkest places to provide hope and inspiration to others who would be writers…and artists…and astronauts…or future leaders. Rather they are more likely to be enjoyed by despots, warlords and kingpins. Words can work real world magic for everyone in the world, not simply those of us fortunate enough to be born into a world of privilege in which access to an education is taken for granted and the ability to read is assumed and required at the very beginning of a required education in a state that values an enlightened and educated populace enough to make it mandatory to learn.

    I encourage you to join “Writers Without Borders” and look into ways in which you can support efforts to bring literacy and knowledge to the people in our world too poor to buy books and that live in areas of the world in which libraries and bookstores do not exist…to share your passion with the places of the world where your books have to be read to people because they can’t understand the words themselves or because the market would not support a translation. Even there, your book would have to be translated in such a way that people would understand some of the concepts. I love your writing style and the books you’ve written…but even more than I love my writing, or yours…I love the idea of sharing stories and information in a way that won’t leave the world that doesn’t have access to the internet, cafes, bookstores and libraries behind…because I think that would be the greatest failing of civilization…to achieve such an open sharing of concepts, ideas and information while still leaving parts of the world in a darkness defined as an intellectual wasteland of untapped and wasted potential of human life.

    In war we lose the potential of those that have to some degree been educated as well as those that haven’t. Bullets do not discriminate. Yet how much greater the crime and tragedy to leave the vastness of untapped human potential in our world to waste? As great as the achievements and accomplishments of those who came before us and our contemporary peers, imagine where we could be if we eliminated illiteracy and ignorance and opened the hearts and imaginations of others in he world to what can be possible, if only…

    The intellectual wasteland that is bleeding potential is the real-world’s ever after. The demons that populate it are destroying it just as we are allowing it, no matter how unintentional it may be.

    I mention these things because ignorance abounds even among those living in an enlightened populace, but at least here, in the United States, you are ignorant only if you choose to close your mind and your heart to the endless opportunities that exist.

    – J

  17. Zee

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I looove to read. I had an e-reader and now a tablet (kindle, nook, and sony in one place). I use it to read books that I don’t want cluttering my house or to buy a book I can’t get to the bookstore for yet. Yes, I still love going to the bookstore to buy books. I have discovered so many great authors this way. I actually have digital and paper versions of a lot of books. Yours included. Nothing beats a well written well edited book. Good publishing is why me and a host of other folks out there became such avid readers. Yes e-reading is here to stay, but that doesn’t give anyone reason to attack the foundation of the industry.

  18. Iris

    I’m sorry, but that’s just a naive notion to think “nobody goes into publishing to make it big” and they’re all there because they love it. People do not do jobs because they love it – few of us are lucky enough to get a job we love – they do the job because, usually, they like it a little and it doesn’t drive them mad, and it pays the bills. The article would’ve had more strength in its arguments if you’d actually specified WHO in publishing you’re referring to. you say “publishing” and throw the term around, but who are they? Do you mean the directors, the managing editor, the copy-editor? Or did you mean the agent, who is in the publishing industry but not a publisher at all? Because I’d agree with you that agents are in it because they love books and love to discover books – authors gets about 10% of the profit that their books make and the agent gets 15% of that 10% – that’s not a lot of profit at all. But as for the publishers, you’re gonna have to be a little more specific. The integrity of a “publisher” is not something anyone can determine – it depends on who works there, and that person may or may not care about you and your book.

  19. Patti

    Having spent much of my childhood in either our local library or the mom & pop owned bookstore down the street, I must agree. I enjoy some of the self-published books now, but they don’t have the same polish a professionally edited book does… and every one of my favorite authors always has kudos for the people who edit their works.

  20. I appreciate you writing this Kim. I’m writer, and my first book is releasing in April by a small indie press. We’ve all heard the horror stories of authors having their big 5 contracts canceled for this reason or that reason. We’ve also seen traditional turned indie authors, openly wear their disgust for the legacy publishing, But what I think is great is that on the other side of this, there’s a new brand of hybrid writer coming forth that recognizes the legacy publishers love for the craft while taking advantage of opportunities in the indie world. It’s exciting that an author can do both. That’s a good thing.

  21. Hollows Fan

    I understand where you are coming from. I hope that traditional publishing will continue to embrace this new e-world without loosing sight of the printed tactile works. I think there is room for both.

    The issues I have with the current e-book industry is that it isn’t built on the same concept as a printed book. When I buy a physical book and read it, I then have a choice to store it on my shelf or share it with friends. Inevitably, if I enjoyed the book, I will share it. And they in turn will share it. This is how I got several friends and my sisters to be addicted to your books.

    Now look at the current e-book publishing model. The DRM-free books are dangerous for publishers as it leaves room for too many people to just put up books on download sites for free, bumping them out of potential sales. I get that, but the current model sucks.

    I am now an avid e-book reader and I still buy your books for full price. But now, I don’t have the option to share your books (unless I unlawfully decrypt the DRM) – note that B&N “Lend me” feature is inadequate. In addition, the published book costs quite a bit of money for the publisher, where the e-book is a one time cost and once that cost is covered, there isn’t any additional costs for the publisher (the stores will have continuing R&D costs, but that’s no more than the costs of running a chain of brick and mortar book stores). So, why am I paying more in some cases for the e-book than I would for a printed book? This irks me.

    I do have a solution for the first problem, but it involves the e-book readers and distributors to come together and stop fighting each other for domination, and instead take the time to look toward the future of e-books. Each book should still have a ‘DRM’ on it (one that isn’t as easily cracked as the current e-books). Then, when that owner is done with the book, they can transfer the book to a friend. This transfer process should work between any device and in theory, the distributors can charge a nominal fee of like $.50-$1 or something per transfer. Consider the fee similar to the price you’d pay for a book at a garage sale or flea market The transfer can have an option to be considered on “loan” so that it can be retrieved from the original owner at any time or returned by the loanee without a return transfer fee. Essentially, keeping chain of ownership. If done well, each reader can put their name on the e-book with their rating and comments for the next reader.

    I look forward to authors like you embracing this new era while understanding that printed books are still needed. Thank you for being my favorite author and writing such compelling stories. I am a bit saddened to hear that your next book is the last in the Hollows series. However, I look forward to seeing what you have to write next!

    • Amazon lets you lend books to your friends for two weeks at a time. It’s an unlimited lending. I don’t know about other organizations since I tend to stay with Amazon, but they do let you lend books when you have a prime account with them. And borrow, too.

    • Kat

      They only let you lend certain books, and it costs an additional $80 a year for their prime account. That is hardly a solution.

    • John Kolesa

      Nook allows lending and it isn’t based on a premium account but rather anyone you know with a Nook. You can also share up to five devices on the same account, so family members (provided they are all okay using the same e-mail and billing info) can share the same account.

    • Perfect solutions are few and far between. I think my prime subscription is more than worth it. But you’re right . It isn’t free. Just a good value. I am not very mobile, so I seek ways of getting what I need with the least physical stress. Prime. has made my life easier and more fun. Or I could rail against the unfairness of life. All I want to point out is there are imperfect solutions that work in our flawed world.

  22. Carol

    I have two ereaders ANd thousands of books!!!! Heaven for me is a BOOKSTORE any bookstore Anywhere were there are lots and lots of books to touch and sniff and run my hands over (Yes I am one of those) Browsing in a bookstore and discovering new authors and series is wonderful. But I can’t afford all those books OR the space for them (or so my husband says…well and most of my friends he! he!). So ereaders have a good place too!

    • Michelle Renae Hvorcik

      Finally! I am not alone! The smell of tons of books in a room is peaceful and euphoric to me. I’d love my own library too and though you are right about cost I’ll be a pauper for paper…

    • Carol

      I love your phrase ‘ pauper for paper’ !!! I will use that if I may? I read everything, newspapers 2 a day, 3 on Sundays, and every magazine going except celebrity gossip and only the odd fashion one. A good description of the reading ‘fan’atics….who follow authors blogs and have hundreds,even thousands, of saved websites, blogsites etc etc. Lets call ourselves ‘Fan’atics and Paupers for Paper!! He! He!

  23. Holly

    I remember the first time your books caught my eye on the shelf. I used to spend hours in Borders perusing the shelves and picking up book after book and reading at least two pages to see if it would be something that peaked my interest. I loved doing that. I’m heartbroken that I can’t do that anymore, that I can’t spend at least two hours a week among the books searching for something new. It took me awhile to be semi ok with e-reading and the only reason I am ok with it now is because I do the same thing, but in a different way. Thankfully most authors have websites that you can go to and read an excerpt. So instead of being among books and perusing for hours I now do it online. I’m still able to find the obscure author and devour all their books, and maybe if I wasn’t online I wouldn’t have found them. I keep the tradition going of perusing for hours for books, just in a different way than we are used to. I have to, reading is an absolute passion of mine and if I wasn’t able to keep that tradition going I’d go insane. I’m grateful you do what you do, and deal with what you have to deal with. I’m grateful to all authors who keep it up, because if they didn’t I’d be out of luck for perusing and reading…

    • Anne

      If you still want to browse actual books and don’t have any bookstores open near you any more, you can always try the local libraries, where you can not only browse for hours, but borrow and read them for free. Also, most Amazon books not only have excerpts to click on but also you can get a chapter or two sent to your kindle for free.

    • Not to throw cold water on anyone, but most small libraries are in serious trouble. Here in the Valley, libraries have been battling for funding to simply stay open. Voters will reluctantly allow there has to be a budget for schools, they vote down funding for the library every time. It’s a pity. The libraries do wonderful work and for many kids, they are the only place they can study in peace.

      Throughout our towns, libraries have reduced hours to such a degree they are no longer part of the inter-library system (bad). Our library was the first free library in the US – our one claim to distinction — and it’s is hanging on by a fingernail. My husband and I donated our entire audiobook and video library to them, as well as a few thousand hard bound books. Visiting is a lot like visiting old friends who moved away.

      The library is full. It can’t accept more anything without expanding. They can’t get funding to maintain the building (circa 1816) much less expand. Small towns are struggling. They have always struggled, even when times were better. Not enough tax money to support all services. Big city libraries are better funded. But much of America is like us and libraries are closing. Through the dozen or so little towns in the Blackstone Valley, other than B&N at a couple of malls, there is only one “real” bookstore in the Blackstone Valley. Even in Boston, the independent booksellers are mostly gone, small ones lone vanished. It is a changing world and a poor economy. It affects everything and everybody.

  24. Christa

    I couldn’t agree more…. I have an e-reader and am an avid reader of all things published, whether self-published or from a well known publishing company, and it saddens me greatly that so often now people are disrespecting the publishing companies… Self-published works are just that, they usually do not have the polish and finesse of something that has gone through the editorial process. So to imply or claim that they are just in it for money is absolutely insane. As a reader I recognize that those that go into publishing do it for the love of the book not the love of money!

    • Christa

      I should add that the closing of most of the independent and physical bookstores is a very really and very upsetting trend. I cherish and love my time spent in bookstores and much like Holly, love the process of finding new books by simply perusing the library or bookstore.
      Carol – I to am grateful to the e-reader as a way to own more books without having to add on to the house to expand my library.

    • Anne

      Try a library.

  25. Lucy Harris

    The whole 50 Shades thing just left me cold. Not only was the plot almost non-existent but the actual writing wasn’t that great either. Kudos to the author for getting more ladies reading but I think it could have done with a bit more spit and polish….

    • Carol

      I agree, the writing wasn’t that great, but I enjoyed the books. It also brought me to Sylvia Day and at least a dozen other authors AND some I will avoid…..Yes if it gets people reading and talking about reading that can only be a good thing…..

  26. Kim,
    I couldn’t agree more! Thank you for your post.

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