Friday, March 18, 2011
Guest Blogger: F. M. (Marilyn) Meredith
It's my pleasure to host Marilyn Meredith, who writes Dark Oak mysteries as F. M. Meredith. She's the author of nearly thirty published novels, her latest in the Rocky Bluff Police Department crime series is Angel Lost.
Angel Lost concerns Officer Stacey Wilbur, who, as she plans for her perfect wedding, is sent out to trap a flasher. The sudden appearance of an angel in the window of a furniture store captures everyone’s imagination and causes problems for the Rocky Bluff P.D. Subsequent events threaten Stacy's wedding.
Changes Happening Everywhere
by F. M. Meredith
The news is full of all kinds of upsets and changes. Of course the biggest ones are in the countries where the people want freedom and are willing to die for that privilege. People in our own country have done that a couple of times.
Now, because of budget cuts, people in our own country are protesting and asking for change.
Because the above is way out of my hands, I’m going to discuss change in the book and publishing world.
With the news about many Borders’ closures and unfortunately too many independent bookstores, it’s not too hard to figure out that there are several things behind this change beginning with the state of the economy. Buying books might not be what someone is going to do with a limited amount of cash. Of course, the advent of so many e-book readers has had an effect too since e-books, in most cases, are so much cheaper than paper books.
Because of the new readers, e-books have become more popular (remember e-books themselves have been around for more than 10 years, there just wasn’t so many easy ways to obtain and read them as there are now) the whole publishing industry is undergoing change.
The New York publishers have accepted the fact that in order to compete they must put their books out as e-book format too. What they haven’t yet realized is that the prices of the books must be lower in order to compete with the smaller e-publishers and the authors who are self-publishing.
For the author the changes presented by the above events bring about the question should he or she find an agent? Are agents as necessary as they used to be? In my own case, over the years I’ve had several agents and none managed to find a publisher for me. I kept on writing and finally decided to see what I could do on my own. Over the years, I’ve published with several small publishers and e-publishers and now I’m with two small presses who do trade paperback and e-books.
Yes, we are definitely in a time of change, but since I’ve been a writer I’ve experienced a lot of other changes such as going from a typewriter to a computer (with several steps in-between), sending queries via email rather than by snail mail with an SASE inside, sending manuscripts as an attachment to e-mail rather than the whole printed manuscript in a box with another box inside with return address and postage.
Another big change is having to do most of the promotion oneself and having your marketing plan ahead of time to submit with your query.
Promotion has made a big change. Though authors still do book tours, most arrange and pay for them. With the closing of so many bookstores, this isn’t going to be so easy.
Much promotion is done online these days with blog tours and all the social networking. Of course this takes time, but personally, I find it enjoyable.
I do have a couple of favorite independent bookstores where I always go and give talks about writing and my books. My favorite in person events are being an instructor at a writing conference, speaking to libraries and social and service groups, book and craft fairs.
As writers, all we can do is figure out ways that we can make the changes in the book and publishing world work for us.
Marilyn is a member of EPIC, Four chapters of Sisters in Crime, including the Internet chapter, Mystery Writers of America, and is on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America.
Visit her at http://fictionforyou.com and her blog at http://marilynmeredith.blogspot.com
She also has a great Angel Lost book trailer up at YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KE6scV6_rl0
Marilyn is standing by to answer questions and read your comments.