Weather Hurts Book Sales
This is a interesting article for me because we lost power last week for five days and I read a lot. Although we have a generator, it can only be used at certain times for the most important things. So even though I was able to work for about four hours each day with the generator I still had a lot of down time next to the fireplace without full power and I caught up on a lot of reading. I purchased six books online that week, in digital format…e-books. I read them on my iPhone. (It took a better charge with the generator than the iPad.) I know others in the same powerless situation who did that same thing. So I can’t help wondering what the numbers are for e-book sales last week, too, because this article only talks about how brick and mortar bookshops lost money with print books due to the weather.
Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe in Ashville, N.C., tried to keep its regular hours, but closed at 2p.m. on Wednesday ahead of the snow storm. Thursday it opened two hours late and closed at dark. The cold was also a problem, and the store canceled its Mystery Book Club meeting on Monday night because of it. Weather forced it to cancel its Sci Fi YA panel yesterday as well, which was to have included Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufman, authors of These Broken Stars; Jodi Meadows, author of the Incarnate series; and Lissa Price, author of Enders. Bookseller/book buyer Caroline Christopoulos described yesterday as “reflectively quiet” and said that business was “quite slow.”
One more reason why I doubt I could ever go back to reading print books again.
Catherine Ryan Hyde Now Hybrid
I’ve posted about Catherine Ryan Hyde, author of bestselling novel, Pay It Forward, (and many others I’ve loved)several times here on the blog. Even though we write in completely different genres I’ve always been a huge fan of her fiction, and she inspired me to branch out on my own to indie publish a few books. That wasn’t an easy decision for me because I’m the kind of author who craves the input from publishers…and from the whole publishing process. I’d rather just write and let them worry about everything else. I truly do let them get away with anything just so I don’t have to deal with it. I’ve always been that easy to work with.
But times are changing and I had to see what indie publishing was like for myself. One reason is that I have four completed novels ready for release at this time and I have NO idea when they will be released. I submitted them as far back as August and the ONLY book I’ve had released since September has been Cowboy Christmas Miracle. One romance novel is over 100,000 words long. Why the books haven’t been released I don’t know. But I’ve learned in my years in publishing not to ask. Publishers…all publishers…do what they want and authors have very little control in that respect…especially unagented authors like me. I indie published because I wanted control, for my readers and for me. It wasn’t because I’m unhappy with publishers. I have no regrets and I’ve always had good relationships with my publishers. So I did a little research and saw that authors like Catherine Ryan Hyde were now experimenting in the indie world of publishing themselves and that made me feel more comfortable about it.
For those who don’t know, the term hybrid is an author who is published by trad publishers and also indie publishes his/her own books. Why this article makes it sound so surprising is a little interesting to me, because Ryan Hyde has been open about her indie publishing and she even wrote a book with author/blogger Anne R. Allen titled, How to Be a Writer in the E-Age and Keep Your Sanity. I posted about that here back in 2012. I’ve also posted about Anne R. Allen many times. I read their book and loved every word of it. In fact, I still revisit sometimes to check things out.
The article in PW about Ryan Hyde discusses what motived her to get into indie publishing.
Agent Laura Rennert, at Andrea Brown Literary, who represents Hyde, said the idea to self-publish her client came out of both curiosity and necessity. Although Rennert said that “99.9%” of her clients are traditionally published, she and her fellow Andrea Brown agents wanted to know how to self-publish, so they could “optimally help [their] authors… if this was something they wanted.” The trial with Hyde, who Rennert noted is very prolific, was with a book called Second Hand Heart, which is published by Transworld in the U.K. Although it was a test—Rennert approached Hyde with the idea of self-publishing wanting authors with “a sense of adventure, a willingness to experiment, and [who] are active on social media”—it wound up laying the groundwork for a turning point in Hyde’s career.
You can read more here. If you are an established or new author thinking of indie publishing it’s a worthwhile read.