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Distractions in Book-Land

I have enough things that I am supposed to be working on today, that I am not in fact working on, that I would slide into dismay and depression at my lack of focus. Lucky for me, the distractions that fill my time so unproductively are themselves fascinating, and all carry the seeds of future accomplishments. So let me distract you!

Douglas Rushkoff has a well-written article about why he is not trying to sell his new book through the traditional publisher market.

Wildside Press has made pre-pub versions of two of their magazines available for free download.
Issue 4 of the Sherlock Holmes magazine is at http://rapidshare.com/files/422176735/shmm4.pdf
while Adventure Tales Issue 6 is at http://rapidshare.com/files/422176143/AT6.pdf

I haven't used RapidShare before, but it all downloaded without a hitch, despite having an elderly Mac (which sometimes runs into problems working with newfangled modern pages).

In more personal space, while I continue to think that a regular "day job" is the most likely path to productivity and happiness, I haven't seen very many encouraging openings, and it's led me to sketching out what would be involved with launching a bookstore again. Reality is that the market is no more stable than it was when I closed in 2004, and I have far fewer personal assets to throw at the project than I had in 1988. More thoughts on alternate bookselling options some other time...


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 1st, 2010 10:03 pm (UTC)
I have to say one thing: Rushkoff's claim that ebooks are outselling paper books is so very untrue according to my royalty statements. They are outselling paper books at *amazon*, which is not by any means the majority of the market. Not for novels, at any rate. I stopped there because it seemed clear to me that some of the research is skewed, there.
Oct. 2nd, 2010 02:04 pm (UTC)
There were several points in his article where I thought "that is, at most, a local phenomenon" but I am fascinated with where people think this whole bookselling challenge is going, and there's been relatively little discussion of how it affects individuals (other than "badly").

I haven't seen any firm background for Amazon's claims either - are they talking more units? Or more gross income? Or more net income?

Given the six-month to year-and-a-half delay in reporting that most author contracts include, I'm betting that we will see useful data coming out of publishers before authors get much info.
Oct. 6th, 2010 02:15 pm (UTC)
I also loved working in the bookstore, but left it at 40 because I needed financial security (in the form of retirement savings). A decade later I have a tiny nest-egg and I still miss the bookstore. But! I have hope: tomorrow I have a job interview at the public library in Holland, Mich., which has a diverse population. They specifically want a bilingual librarian (Eng/Spa) so I'm trying to wrap my head around Spanish phrases. I'm hoping the job would be like a bookstore except with real pay and benefits.

I hesitate to say this, but ... oh what the heck ... I think you're crazy to do the bookstore thing again. Even with the advanced education, the outcome is both predictable and sad. If there really are no jobs for your new & improved skill set in the greater Seattle area, then IMO you'd be better off searching farther afield. Otherwise, what was the point of sweating through grad school? And if you want to take this conversation off-line, that's fine too... either way I'll do whatever I can to help you succeed. I just think the bookstore biz is harder than ever.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


after all
Alice Bentley

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