Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Taking charge

The publishing world is, as most people know these days, being swept by changes and nobody knows how it will work out. The popularity of e-readers jumps astronimcally almost every month--still a small percentage but the growth is amazing; many small presses are turning to print-on-demand technology, which gets better daily; and the big six or eight publishers left after conglomeration are increasingly unwilling to consider new authors or to promote their authors. They want the big bucks that only a few big names can supply--George W. Bush comes to mind, because his book will sell mega-thousands, maybe a million.
Most of us don't even have our eye on stardom--we write because we write and, yes, we'd like to be published, and we'd like to make a little money. Agents, however, want to make big bucks, just like the big publishers, whose day may be fading. All of this is turning midlist authors, newbies, and some others to small presses and e-book publishing, which can make big bucks. There's been lots of the Guppies listserv and a new listserv named GuppyPressQuest (both closed lists) about taking charge of your career rather than, as one writer put it, standing outside the stadium waiting for a scalper (read agent) to sell you a ticket. Well, since I've been released by my agent--oh, I so wanted to do the releasing--I've taken this to heart and am working hard on several aspects: reviewing the rejected novel and also giving it to my mentor, Fred, to read, working on establishing my presence (or platform, as they say) on the web, and investigating how to get my backlist scanned into pdfs so I can post it on Kindle and Smashwords. Also reading We Are Not Alone: The Writer's Guide to Social Media, which has good hints for "establishing my platform" but is sometimes heavy reading. Still I've followed through on some--i.e., read my revised profile on this page. Also, expect some content change on this blog--more focus on writing and books, particularly cozy mysteries.
Then I decided I'd better take charge of other aspects of my life, so I rejoined Weight Watchers--I've gained nine lbs. since the low I hit before I quit the program and with the holidays coming up . . . . And I've been trying to plan for Christmas a bit for some time, but now I've made a shopping list so I can bake and stock the freezer this weekend, and Christian got my wrappings out of the attic for me last night, so tonight I wrapped a whole bunch of presents. Now must track down the gifts I bought and can't find, and get the rest of the family to give me some hints. I'm feeling righteous about all I did today--laundry, plant care, rode my stationary bike 5 miles in 25 minutes, went to a Book Ladies breakfast, had lunch with Fred. Whoosh, retirement is not easy.

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