Sunday, February 20, 2011

Gandalf would know what to say...

So Whitcoulls and Borders in NZ have gone into voluntary administration. I wailed and gnashed my teeth when I first heard the news. It had an inevitability about it all so I wasn't terribly surprised but my first reaction was 'this can't be good for authors'. Of course it can't be good for their staff or for local publishers either. With 60+ shops this represents a lot of people who might be without jobs if they can't trade out of the hole they are in. And local publishers rely on income from the big bookshops (although I imagine its been none too reliable over the last year or two). If publishers rely on them and we rely on publishers you can see how this all might be a problem for folk like me. I am more philosophical about it all today. Gnashing my teeth will only result in gnashed teeth - probably not a good look in the long term. The bottom line is this has happened and feeling glum about it helps no one. I can't help wishing however that my writing career wasn't happening (or trying to happen) in these tumultuous times. Why do there have to be such upheavals in the publishing and bookselling industries when I am trying to make my way in them. I guess Gandalf might have something sage to say about this but for the moment I am listening to this talk by Margaret Atwood (via agent Rachelle Gardner's blog) and thinking she makes great points but are the people who might make a difference listening? I shall continue to do what I think I do best (besides making chocolate cakes) and wait and see what happens next.

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