Friday, February 3, 2012

Questions, Questions...

I'M CONFUSED. It's not a bad thing necessarily. It just is and I'm used to it now. I'm often confused. But for your health and well-being, I'll narrow my confusions down to just two for now. 

First, I'm seeing the term, "Indie" flung around a lot these days. It seems that it means different things to different people. (Or maybe it's me.) So, is an "Indie Author" someone who has published a book with an independent publishing company or someone who has "self-published"? Or both? I'm not sure. If you know, please enlighten me. 

The second quandary is much bigger and has global impact, evidenced by the daily emails I'm getting from Shelf Awareness and others. It deals with the Amazon online book selling method versus the brick and mortar traditional bookstore selling method. My questions: 
  • Which, method is better for our economy? 
  • Is there room in this country or world for both? 
  • It seems every day I hear about another bookstore closing. People are blaming Amazon for cornering the market. Are people losing jobs or are the jobs just shifting? 
  • Which method of book purchasing do you prefer?    

The ramifications aren't just felt by the consumer. Many authors are choosing to self-publish because they've found traditional publishers aren't biting. And there are authors who are quite vocal about their preference for self-publishing and the full control they have over marketing and royalties this method allows. 

From Pinterest
But many bookstores won't carry books by self-published authors. This leaves these authors relying on Amazon  and other online bookstores for sales, which grows Amazon and ends up hurting the bookstores.  

So whose fault is it? The bookstores? Amazon? The publishers? Sikes. I'm dizzy! 

And then there is the whole e-publishing model. Kindle sales went through the roof over the holidays. As more people shift to e-readers, the bookstores suffer. 

Gazing in your crystal ball, what do you see? It seems that a giant hand has flung the whole industry into the air and it hasn't quite come back to earth. When it does, will there be a harmonious collaboration or will there continue to be an us vs. them mentality?

After writing this post, I was alerted to this post by Poets & Writers, further illustrating the ongoing quandary or as some say, "war." 

In closing, I thought I'd lighten the mood a bit by offering this link. The 20 Most Beautiful Bookstores In the World. As a passionate gardener, my favorites were, Cafebreria in Mexico City and Bart's Books in Ojai, California. Which is your favorite?  

As Always, 



4 comments:

  1. Hi Grace. I am a writer with 2 books published with a traditional publisher, and I love book stores. You raise some important questions.
    As far as "indie" I think that applies to independent bookstores that aren't part of a chain.

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  2. Hi Grace. ;-) It's not someone from Indiana, then. ;-)
    Good questions... hopefully people are reading.

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  3. Hi, Grace;
    I couldn't get your link to work :(( I do love a gorgeous bookstore.

    Personally, I think publishers are in jeopardy, just like travel agents were 15 years ago. As time goes on there's less and less need for them.

    And, I'm very embarrassed to admit this (since I vowed I'd never do it) but I downloaded Kindle onto my iPad and I'm totally hooked. I've been burning through a book a week since I keep my iPad in my purse and read more often during the day. Now I could do that with a printed novel but I just never did. Perhaps it's the new-ness of it.

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  4. Hi Grace,
    It's embarrassing for this gen X-er to admit, but, I'm old school. I prefer a book in hand. I don't have a Kindle or Ipad at this point. I know the day is coming though. It's sad, but I see it down the line. When authors can control their sphere, it's a trend more and more will hit, because, who wants to be ignored by a publisher? Cheers, Jenni

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