Borders on Queen Street in Auckland City is gasping its last. My daughter and I had a little time to kill before going to see Tintin at the movies on my birthday on Boxing Day so we wandered in and took a look. I stared at the children's novel by someone I know marked down to $2.00 a copy. I felt relief that only one of my books was in the sale and the price wasn't too hideously low. Then I went and bought a YA novel by another NZ author marked down to half price. I am a lowly paid author and a reader too and I guess I'm not apologising for buying a book at reduced prices. I can't and wouldn't stop folk buying my books at reduced prices. I would be a fool to think this might never happen to my books, and there always remains the chance that I find a new fan this way. When I can, I buy books from my local booksellers. Sometimes I buy from Amazon for my kindle or from Mighty Ape (they offered me a discount for my birthday and they had one of the books I couldn't find elsewhere - it was a no-brainer), today I downloaded a free e-book off Amazon which I didn't feel too bad about - I think Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his estate have done well out of me over the years, and done exceedingly will in general. I try to spread the love around, and sometimes I am the recipient.
The Boxing Day Sales in general saw a positive increase in spending - a good day for retailers. But I couldn't help thinking how tight their margins might have been to lure customers in. Once all their bills are paid I hope they have enough to keep going. As has been said recently in the blogo-sphere (e.g. via Beattie's Blog) bookshops (and other retailers) can survive if they are smart/innovative about how they sell books (and other products) compared with the Amazons of this world. I'm rooting for them. Amazon has its place but it doesn't do everything a customer might want.
What can you do? Keep being the kind of writer you want to be. If your manuscript is rejected, it didn't fit with the publisher's programme or didn't quite make it through every hoop they needed it to jump through. If your book tanks, is remaindered or goes swiftly out of print, that's business. Sometimes business sucks. Perhaps you might be a bestseller or sell overseas, be reprinted or win an award. Yay!!! If you have written the stories that matter to you, in a way you feel proud of, then whatever 'life' your story has, you know you wrote the stories you wanted to write. Trends, fads, and publishers might come and go but your stories will always have your name on them.
Educational Resource: A Winter's Day in 1939
- Educational Resource: The Were-Nana
- Educational Resource: The Half Life of Ryan Davis
- Educational Resource: Made With Love
- Educational Resource: The House That Went to Sea
- Educational Resource: A Winter's Day in 1939
- Educational Resource: While You Are Sleeping
- Educational Resource: The Song of Kauri
- Educational Resource: Fuzzy Doodle
- Book List - Complete List of my Publications