29 March 2011

"The pain will be written on every page in tears..."

I rarely engage in these writerly literary debates you see on just about every damn social network a writer can be on.  You know the ones: Outlining vs. pantsing.  Writing for money or writing for "Art?"  Literary vs. genre.  Start your online author platform now or later?  Great taste!  Less filling!

Only two of these sorts of issues have gotten me thinking.  I've settled one of them, at least in my mind: I'll never feel sorry for anyone who got skewered on QueryFail and Slushpile Hell. Because (a) I'm more than happy to learn from their mistakes and (b) You want to NOT be skewered on there?  Then STFU and read submission guidelines, you f**king child!

Whew.  Now that's out of the way, I can move on to the second thing...
And when I write the book about my love
It'll be a pop publication, tougher than tough
When I get down on the pages all I missed
It will shoot to the top of the best-sellers list
When I write the book about my love

-Nick Lowe, "When I Write the Book

But when I write the book... where will I be able to sell it?

I won't bother linking to the plethora of blogs and articles about the death of the book store.  First, the indie book store.  Then, the big box book store.  Because of e-readers.  Or, because people don't read.  Or, because indies and big-boxes would eat each other. Who knows?

I, apparently, live in a town that could not only lose one of its major independent book stores (which is actually going to be resurrected... again), but also lost its Borders.  We still have a Barnes and Noble, but for how long?

R.I.P. Borders #507

More importantly, to what extent am I to blame?  Oh, sure, I know I couldn't have bought enough books from either place to have saved them.  I mean, my attitude. 

Peep this: I was drooling to get my hands on a copy of Karen Joy Fowler's latest collection, What I Didn't See and Other Stories.  My local indie bookstore had it--it'd been my go-to for most of the fantasy/slipstream books I've ever wanted. Found out Borders had a copy, too.

But I'd gotten myself a Nook for the holidays.  My intention was to subscribe to all the 'zines I'd ever wanted to subscribe to--most of them are in .epub format these days.  But, so was What I Didn't See.  So I caved.  I took consolation in the fact that at least I was ordering the collection from Weightless Books rather than, say, B&N.  But still.

Maybe I'm just moving with the times, watching the end of an era.