I’ve never been one for borrowing books from the library. Admittedly, the major reason could be my complete inability to ever return a book on time. But, that’s not exactly it. I’ve never been one for borrowing books from the library for the same reason I’ve never been one for used bookstores: I like the feel of a brand new book. I like knowing that I am the first one to crack it open. The first one to fold down the pages to mark my place. The one to make those creases in the bind. The one whose handwriting lines the margins where I had to note an exceptionally beautiful line. But as I’ve ventured into the writing world, I’ve become an even bigger proponent of buying my books new because that’s the best way to support the writers I love. (more…)

Advertisements

Even though I’m still wallowing in the middle of my own personal wasteland, AKA draft #2, I’ve started to pay attention to the business side of publishing. Yes, I have a ways to go before I need to face it head on with my own work, but the fact is, I find the publishing industry fascinating, so I don’t mind learning all the intricacies of the process, from writing to publication.

The bleakness of the publishing industry is a constant theme these days. I even touched on it in my post/rant yesterday on the state of journalism. And I’ve heard and read over and over again that literary fiction doesn’t sell. You would think that would make me reconsider my work-in-progress, but the fact is, I’m not writing for publication nor am I catering my writing to what sells. I am writing this story, which falls into the category of literary fiction, because it is the story I want to tell. It is also a story I would like to read. That has always been my foremost priority, writing a book I like. If someone else should ever like it as much as I do, well, great. But as I slog away at draft #2 that’s not my focus and it’s not what keeps me motivated on those days I just want to be done with it and chuck the whole damn thing. (more…)

Pardon me while I vent on the state of the publishing industry…

I graduated from college with a journalism degree over a decade ago. (Wow, I just made myself feel old.) Admittedly, I ended up with a journalism degree because I couldn’t do an English degree and graduate in 4-years with a double major in International Relations. Now, years later, I realize that the English degree would have been better suited for me. But at the time, I was more focused on having a writing background in general, and having loved writing for my high school newspaper I thought a journalism degree would be a good fit. About a year before graduation, I realized I didn’t want a career in journalism, but I still completed my journalism degree. I chose to let my International Relations degree lead me down a different path, and for a while that path worked.

In recent years, I’ve found myself relying more on my Journalism degree to carve out a life and career that I enjoy. It turns out it was the better fit for me than the IR degree ever was. Now, I am incredibly thankful that I have it because I know it gave me a great foundation, even if it is a little rusty, for the work I am pursuing.

One of the realities of career in journalism, or writing in general, is that it is incredibly difficult field to break into or to even stay in these days. Yes, freelance gigs can be found, but a full-time staff position at a newspaper is a much bleaker prospect. Today, Gawker.com posted an AP article on a recent survey of newspaper editors which only served to reiterate the grim picture in the newspaper industry these days: (more…)

Image: OldPixels.com via flickr

Image: OldPixels.com via flickr

A friend sent me this article in today’s New York Times*:

Recession Fuels Readers’ Escapist Urges

Essentially, Motoko Rich’s article focuses on the success of the romance genre in the bookworld in the midst of the current economic realities. While other genres have seen stagnation or a decrease in the numbers of books being moved, romance has seen bigger numbers. The conclusion is that readers, amidst all the doom & gloom, want their books to have a happy ending. Apparently, the sci-fi and fantasy genres are also experiencing an upsurge. People want to escape. (more…)