Monday, June 10, 2013

"Baby, we were born to write...."(sung to the tune of Springsteen's Born to Run)

You would be easily forgiven if you have been feeling rather gloomy about the current publishing scene in New Zealand. We have been delivered several blows in short order - the departure of some or all of the Pearson Education and Harper Collins operations from these shores. The recent merger of Penguin and Random will undoubtedly have some repercussions for the total number of titles published here. And just over a week ago the publisher of my YA title The Half Life of Ryan Davis closed up shop. Pear Jam Books has ceased to operate. My book is however still currently available on-line at most e-tailers, under my own imprint, at the very reasonable price of US$2.99 - just in case you were wondering. I may also at some point have some print copies available (publishers, don't knock each other over in the rush to ask me about obtaining the rights).

It is all rather depressing if, like me, you feel you were born to write. We turn in ever decreasing circles.

Well the problem with that is the stories just keep jumping up in front of me to get my attention. 'Hey, hey, look at me. Look how cool am I with my plot and my setting. See my great characters? Aren't you just busting to find out how we are all going to end up?' My stories know me too well. I am a gullible fool and I conspire with these tricksy things to get them down in print and send them off into the world looking for a home. And that's the thing. Just because traditional publishing is under stress. Just because the landscape of social media has changed how we discover, devour and discuss literature. Just because everyone else is obeying the stories hammering away at their conscious and there seems to be an ever growing flood of books overwhelming readers. None of this should stop me writing. The only thing that should stop me writing is myself. When the love is gone. If ever.

I keep thinking, I will find a way through. Readers have enjoyed my books in the past. Why shouldn't they continue to do so if I work to deliver good stories. There will always be a way to get stories from writers to readers. Hopefully there will be ways for writers to be paid for their work. These things might happen in different ways to how they used to. The trouble with gloomy depression is that it doesn't facilitate forward progress. So I am ditching the gloom. And soldiering on...

2 comments:

Jane Bloomfield said...

That is stinko news about Pear Damn, I mean Jam. Commiserations. And here's to soldiering on...

Emma Pullar said...

I really enjoyed your blog. I feel the same and will keep writing because it is my passion. I agree, put the gloom behind us and keep writing fab stories. :)