Sunday, August 8, 2010

That was the week that was. Or TW3 redoux

Fifteen minutes of--what? Fame, that's what! Local fame, at least.
Yeah, I got the royal treatment from my local press last week. My international romantic suspense A GIRL'S BEST FRIEND came out in trade paperback last month so I told a nice reporter about it. Next thing I knew, she had me come in for an interview and a photographeer took my picture.
Forty eight hours later, guess what? My ugly mug and a very nice article appeared on the Saturday edition of the Sedalia Democrat. Front page, no less. Now I'm notorious. It won't last. Nothing around here lasts very long. But it was an ego boost when I needed one, and I had a number of people comment favorably on it.
I have a book signing at Sedalia Book and Toy on August 27th, and this will help that as well. Funny how you work for years among friends, family, and acquaintances with nary a mention of any special talents you might have. Then, something like this happens.
Well, enough of that. The fifteen minutes are up and I'm not sure I got my three wishes in. Oh wait, that's a different fable. Now that things are back to normal, I've been thinking more about the amazing changes rocking the publishing world. As I understand it, Dorchester is throwing in the towel on mass paperback traditional print publications. They want to 'pioneer' in the burgeoning electronic publication market. Pioneer? Where the heck have they been for the last decade and a half?
For those of us who still prefer a processed tree in our hands to a melted lump of plastic, print books are not going away any time soon. On the other hand, for anyone who wants to take her/his entire library along on a vacation without overloading the car or plane, e-books are the answer. I've waited a long time to see my creative efforts in a form I can hold in my hand, sign my autograph for those who want it, and point to on my book shelf. Now it's here and I can revel in it for awhile.
Really, though, the idea of having my book available for years at the touch of a button is just as intoxicating. Maybe more. POD makes that possible for print books. Electronic download makes all books available until they are withdrawn by publisher or author. Meanwhile, traditional print novels are available for a month to three months in most cases. Longer, if the author achieves a significant level of fame, though that is not guaranteed.
Nobody has a crystal clear handle on where all this will lead, but we can deduce a few facts that can act reliably as markers for the future. A quick analysis of sales figures and it doesn't take a genius to see that e-sales are up and typical print sales are down. The day of significant advances is drawing to a close, so now we write; we publish; and then, maybe, we're paid for our effort.
The maybe in that last sentence is like the proverbial back-breaking straw.
If we write for money, it's all a roll of the dice. If we write for that 'fifteen minutes', it's still a roll of the dice. If, as I do, we write fiction stories because we can't not write them. what does it matter?
I've always been an optomist, so why stop now? Write for the love of the story. Put unforgetable characters on the pages of your fiction and your readership will grow, whether they prefer to read your story from a piece of paper or the screen on a reader or computer. Put your heart into it and write like your fame depends on it. Because it does.
Cheers from hot mid-Missouri!
Pat Dale


  1. I know, I know. Optimist, not optomist. Where's spellcheck when you need it? LOL

  2. Great post, Dale, but give me the processed tree print book any day! :)

  3. Well, first of all congrats on your blog. Great start! Second, I didn't even notice the typo but now that you pointed it out...GRIN.

    I love ebooks because they are there forever or at least longer than print books seeing how their bookshelf life span is maybe 3 months to six months.

    Congrats on the interview and all of your releases and upcoming ones, Pat.

  4. Hi Dale,
    Wonderful post! I LOVE E-BOOKS, both as an author and a reader. Congrats on your fifteen minutes of fame. I didn't realize we are almost neighbors. I'm just across the line in the land of OZ. Go Wildcats! Sorry, couldn't resist :-).

  5. Hi Dale, congratulations on your fifteen minutes of fame! You so deserve it. As far as book signings, I love the print books and hope they are never a complete wash out. Af for me, if not for eBooks I would not be able to read them. My adaptive softwar converts text to synthesized speech. Monotone voice? You bet. But we can't have it all. My personal preference is audio books. Just saying. Grin. Again, Dale, congratulations on being king for the day. Best of luck.

  6. The blog looks great, Pat. Hope to see it grow with more interesting posts, especially ones about your books. Keep writing!

  7. The blog looks great, Dale. Congrats on finally starting it and also on your 15 minutes of fame. I don't care what anyone says, holding that first book in you hand is a thrill as is the booksigning. But I do think we'll be just as thrilled with the ebooks when they come out. I agree with you about not being able to not write. That's why we write. Selling those stories is icing on the cake.

  8. Thanks to all of you for commenting. No matter which format we prefer, change is the word of the day. Of course, that's always been true, but change seems to happen at a faster pace now.
    Maybe we'll hit a plateau one of these days and things will level out for awhile. I'm not sure about that, but there's not much we can do other than keep writing the very best we're capable of. Personally, I think that has always been the great levelor for mankind.
    Meanwhile, I'm staying indoors this week. Too darn hot! Six months from now, I'll be staying indors because it's too darn cold. LOL. Cheers, everybody.

  9. looking good. I'm for pod. that's always more sense to me than printing up a bunch, sending them out and ripping of the covers to those that don't sell, tossing the book in the garbage and sending the covers back for credit. what a waste.

  10. Great posting Pat. Like you I can't NOT write...or more to the point, my Muse's sanity, and due to the close association I Have to my Muse, MY sanity relies on me writing, writing, writing. I write with one entertain those I love. That list is growing by leaps and bounds. It used to be my daughter and a few very close friends...those few close friends have grown so much since my first Musings were contracted by Lea on March 28th...and somehow I think once Muse debuts, that list will grow even more.

    I don't know what that fifteen minutes of fame is like...yet...but I know what it is like to slingshot out of our galaxy with every new contract. Who needs champagne?

    I wish you the absolute best. Writers are the TRUE heroes among us for they give us the world at our fingertips.

  11. Pat, great job on your blog! I don't think I'll completely give up print books either, but now, I can't wait to get my e-reader and start reading all these stories coming out from Muse It Up! Congratulations on your interview too!


  12. Congrats on your blog! I love it! :)

    I'm partial to ebooks. Instant gratification.