DRUGS, DIRT, AND PUBLISHING

MY BOOK 001
A friend of mine who lives in my complex mentioned he had spoken to one of his cop friends the other day. “You still living in the same place?” the cop asked. When my friend said he was, the cop told him, “The drug situation is getting pretty bad in there. Every other day we go in and arrest someone.”

“Well, that sucks,” I said to my friend, which was as profound a statement as I could muster given my utter powerlessness over the situation. It’s not like I can afford to move next month into an affluent gated community. And God knows if my son wants to do drugs later on he’ll always be able to find them, but I’d rather he not be able to find them next door.

In an attempt to pretend like we’ve moved to a different place, I decided to rearrange all the furniture. I like the changes; it feels very feng shui. Granted my Prosperity section is in my bathroom—a very bad place for your Prosperity section to be as you’re literally flushing away your finances—but eh, what can you do?

The high point while redecorating was when my son knocked over a plant full of wet dirt. Wet dirt is not easy to pick up from a beige carpet, even less so when your vacuum is clogged. Ever take apart an entire vacuum? It’s a messy job. After I removed a glob of dust and hair in the hose the size of a football and then put the thing together again, I resumed vacuuming…only to back up into my wine rack, causing one of the bottles to clink against another bottle and break. The entire bottle poured into my carpet. It was one of those situations where you can’t react fast enough to minimize the damage (like when the toilet overflows).

It’s okay. You don’t have to pity me. It’s pretty much par with the way things go for me. The nonexistent optimist in me acknowledged that I was damn lucky it wasn’t the bottle of red that had broken, so all in all, I think that attitude adjustment is great progress for me in the huge, happy bubble that other people call life.

Here’s some interesting publishing news: Harlequin recently sent a survey to its authors asking them for feedback. For those writers who aren’t familiar with J. A. Konrath, you must take a looksie at his blog, because he’s even more of a ranter than I am. He’s also a big advocate for self-publishing. In his most recent post, http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-harlequin-survey.html he rips Harlequin a new one, although it appears that many HQ authors have already done so as well. I was surprised to learn how unfair the HQ contracts were to authors (signing away your rights to a book forever is never an ideal situation for the writer), but since it looks like HQ is finally being challenged, I’m hoping there will be positive changes in the future for authors—although probably not seven figures like Sylvia Day just landed: http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2013/harlequin-signs-hybrid-author-sylvia-day-to-seven-figure-ebook-deal-to-launch-cosmo-mag-ebook-program/

It’s a tough time in publishing. Things are in a state of flux and established foundations are crumbling. With the rising popularity of self-publishing, authors are claiming their power. Publishers are no longer the ones in complete control and they’re losing money because of it. So they’re jumping on the bandwagon by scouring Amazon bestseller lists for writers to sign, and forming digital imprints of their own: http://www.atrandom.com/eoriginals/index.php

I have a Nook. I even use it, although the numbers of times I have grabbed it before soccer practice only to discover it needed to be charged is why it will never be my preferred method of reading. I’m old-fashioned. I grew up with the printed page. The brand-new pages of a book will forever be one of my favorite smells. I love the feel of turning pages, finding my marked place, gazing at the author’s photo.

Perhaps if I had grown up in the digital age I’d feel differently. My sister, 20 years younger, only reads digital books. Going to a bookstore to browse the shelves is just not something she’s in the habit of doing—which is a good thing, considering physical bookstores are a dying breed. Like it or not, digital books are the way of the future.

Do you prefer the printed page or an electronic reading device? Where do you think books will be in 20 years?

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Menopausal Mother
    Mar 20, 2013 @ 10:11:03

    I have a Nook and for awhile had a love affair with it but eventually came back to the tried and true hardback. I am with you–there is just something so wonderful about opening a new book, smelling the fresh pages and being able to ear mark your favorite sections. NOTHING replaces that!

    Reply

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