So it’s nearly 1:30 AM on Monday and I’m coming off a 48-hour writing binge. I didn’t quite reach my goal, but I’m still happy with what I got done. I have a few more pages left to polish, but I edited most of the day today (Sunday) and I’m really happy with it. It’s solid work. I have to pack it in now, because this blog post is due and I’m tired enough to start making silly typo mistakes (if you find some in here, I hope you forgive them), but if I had more time and energy, I’d still be writing. There’s plenty more story waiting to get from my brain onto the page. Instead you’ll get an off the cuff blog post from me that I hope doesn’t make you cross-eyed.
I disconnected in order to get so much done. I shut off my Outlook and all my instant message programs. I ignored the phone. The family did all the cooking. In the vacuum created by the lack of distractions, I connected with my characters and my story in a way I needed to and I hit “the zone.” I love that. I’ve missed that.
When I first started writing in Fall ‘03, I wasn’t a member of RWA. I used the internet for sending e-mail and Christmas shopping, but that’s it. When I sat down to write, there was nothing to get in the way. What else would I do at the computer? E-mail was sparse and social networking wasn’t around yet. Or if it was, no one I knew was aware of it. How times have changed.
But that’s okay and I’m not complaining about the things that take us away from writing. As the burden of book promotion continues to fall more and more heavily on the author, it’s to be expected that the promotional avenues that are inexpensive or free of monetary cost require an investment of time instead. And let’s face it, social networking can be fun and rewarding.
Being more accessible online is just one of the many changes that have been happening in the industry since I first began writing. Looking back to those days when I first started, so much is different now.
Some of the bigger book news from last week:
B. Dalton bookstores are closing forever — Wow. I’m so bummed about that. The bookstores in malls are always a stop for me during holiday shopping. Now some malls don’t have any bookstores at all. Waldenbooks has been steadily closing for years. Soon they’ll be gone, too.
Walmart jumps into online bookselling with both feet — not only that, but they’re starting a new program called “America’s Reading List” through which they’ll be offering give 50% off or more on 200 current bestsellers. (I remember when they cut the size of their book departments just a couple years ago. This big push for books is quite a turnaround from that.) Most bookstores, including the chains (who usually sell books at full sticker price), can’t compete with that. And why is $9.99 for an ebook “unrealistically low”?
Barnes& Noble is getting ready to unveil a hot new e-reader — I’m hoping more of these devices are all-inclusive when it comes to file format. And I’m dying to see what Apple’s iTablet will be like.
What do you think will be next? How different will book selling and publishing be in a year? Two years? What do you wish would happen?
And I can’t forget this: Lorena’s comment number was selected by Random.org to win my Brava backlist. Thank you, everyone, for your comments.
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