Sunday, September 30, 2012

Owning a bookstore isn't conducive to writing.

You'd think owning a bookstore would be conducive to writing.  But you'd be wrong.

Take away the fact that if you own a bookstore (or any small business for that matter) you're spending most of your time and energies just trying to survive.

You are also surrounded by books.  Books, books and more books.  That should really encourage  you, right?  But it has the opposite effect on me.  Does the world really need another fantasy?  Another mystery?

Then you go to the distributor sites and you see hundreds of thousands of books.  Even worse, you go to the liquidation distributors and see thousands of perfectly good books being dumped. 

There was an article today in the Bulletin about Sixto Rodriguez, who put out a couple albums years ago that didn't sell and he was dumped by his label and he went to working for the city.

Unknown to him, he had become a huge star in South Africa -- a "legend" even.

So the article goes on to detail how which things get noticed and which don't can come down to statistical anomalies. 

Certainly, I see evidence of it every day in my store.  Wonderful books are ignored, crappy books are purchased. 


But you can also turn that around.  There are hundreds of thousands of books being published.  Hey, maybe I can get in on that.

My focus back in my earlier writing period was on Getting Published.  Quite honestly, following the huge hurdle of actually writing the book, and getting it ready, and sending it off, that's about as far ahead as I looked.

Oh, sure.  I had rosy visions in my head of everyone reading it, praising it, movies being made, la de da.

I remember the first time I ran into an unpublished author (who remained unpublished I believe) whose focus was on best-sellerdom.  I wondered if I had my priorities wrong.

Anyway, as I've said before on this current attempt of being a writer,  (well, maybe I am a writer if what one does is what one is), that I need to write through the doubts.  Not compare myself to anyone else.  Just do the best I can with what I got.

Do the book first.  Market it second.

Now I'm looking at these huge lists of books and telling myself that they are different, all written in idiosyncratic ways, and the publishers are looking for things to sell.

So I tell myself.

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