Friday, January 21, 2011

BOOK STORES ARE DEAD AND I KILLED THEM.....

Recently I decided to go the indie route with the release of my first novel (LOST EXIT). It wasn’t an easy decision, especially since I consider myself a traditionalist – I love book stores, enjoy the feel of an old hard cover in my hands, and get tremendous pleasure browsing the aisles or discovering a previously unknown author. As a writer I followed the path millions had taken over the years: querying agents, submitting manuscripts, looking for connections, waiting months for a response (if one even came), and trying to beat the odds to get published. But like many other writers, I have realized that this business model is dead and no longer works. The future is e-publishing. Aside from the ease at getting books into print and the benefits of making more money, e-publishing allows writers to get their stories to market much faster (and isn’t that the goal of every writer: to get what we’ve written in front of readers…).

A few days ago while wandering the aisles of a nearby bookstore I struck up a conversation with another customer. Before long it came out that I was a writer, and within minutes the conversation veered towards the topic of e-publishing. I listened to her condemnation of Kindles, Nooks, Ipads, etc. but offered my opinion that as a writer I believe it is a viable and realistic option. Her expression of horror was followed by one of outrage then indignation. She loudly proclaimed to everyone that it was my fault that bookstores as big as Borders and as small as the independent store on Main Street were crashing and burning…….

I never knew I had that kind of power.

Time to face the future: the same way that the music business has gone from vinyl to cassettes to CDs to downloadable songs….and the same way we have transitioned from quill pens/ink wells to ball point pens to typewriters and then laptops, publishing has to change and evolve. I don’t see too many people driving 1957 Chevy Bel-Airs any more, and the cars on the road today have better features than what our parents and grandparents drove -writing, like transportation, is all about going from one place to the other faster, quicker, and more efficiently. The publishing industry has to move forward, and I’m ready to be a part of that evolution.

So yes, I’m the one who killed book stores……I only wish I had done it sooner.

3 comments:

Harry said...

I think you are right Kevin. Get your stories in front of the people buying them. Kindles were high on the Christmas list for alot of people this year and they will be looking for content. Yours might as well be among the choices.

Here is an article you might find encouraging:

http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2011/01/guest-post-by-lee-goldberg.html

I'll be buying Lost Exit, good luck!

Linda said...

I think there's plenty of room for both digital and 'hard' books. But both types of business have to make improvements -- the hard publishers need to figure out how to bring more midlisters and newbie authors into the fold and change their business model, and the digital folks need to figure out how to differentiate the chaff from the what. The nice part of the hardbooks is that, for the most part, if they're in BN or Borders or your local Indie, there's been some degree of vetting these are worthwhile reads what with agents and/or editors insuring readability. That said, they tend to focus on what is sellable, not what is beautiful but perhaps too quiet or too 'difficult'.

Congrats on getting your novel out there! Peace...

ABSOLUTELY*KATE said...

Yeah, and they all said Elvis would ruin the kids and music. Sheeeeesh.

Congrats Mr Michaels on LOST EXIT making found entrances into a multitude of worlds it's intended to reach. Confound it, couldn't you have grabbed a hard cover in that indie and whumped the whiner on the head to knock some sense into or out of her screech? (that's from a pacifist, so you know it matters to silence stupidity when it's screaming)

That all said, what my esteemed colleagues up there just well said, says a lot. ~ Absolutely*Kate (whose word verifi'kation is "writt" - omens Kevin ... go for it!)