Remember the record store?
In the wake of Writer's Guild Pres Scott Turow's death of the great American author rant printed this past week in the NY Times, I thought I would take a roll call of those professionals and professional organizations whom I had the pleasure of working with back when I was first published by one of the Big 6 Mega-Houses more than ten years ago now.
--The acquiring editor...GONE
--The acquiring editor's boss (the editor-in-chief so to speak)...GONE
--My marketing manager...GONE
--The office in the Bertlesman building...GONE
--The independent bookstore where I did my first signing..GONE
--The major chain bookstore where I did my second signing...GONE
--The other major chain bookstore where I did my third signing...GONE
--The other, less popular major chain book/CD/DVDs store where I did my fourth signing...GONE
--The post office from where I used to snail mail my queries and manuscripts...GONE
--The book page in the local newspaper...GONE
...Okay you get the point...I'm sure there are a few people and things I've missed here, but when you look at the evidence in bulleted fashion you begin to understand the ever changing nature of this business and why authors such as Mr. Turow (and he is a great author for certain), who more or less cling to tradition, are a bit glum about the future.
But be it the climate, geography, society, technology, the orbit of the earth around the sun, or simply the recipe of Coca Cola, things change. Existence is not static. It's always moving one way or another. We don't read off of cave walls anymore. We have Kindles for that.
Some of the people I've worked with, published with, played with, laughed with, gotten gloriously drunk with, even played music with along the way were pretty great, and many have moved on to greener pastures, mostly in other industries. I'm greatful for the opportunities extended to me back then. Only one person I know of remains an editor at a big house. So you see, as writers, we must always be flexible and willing to adapt. Or, in the words of a fellow author, we must find ways to survive.
I'm an American author and I've survived and then some.
I'm still here. Gonna be here for a while longer.