Saturday, September 29, 2012

Libraries Get It

The great Alexandrian Library: "Believe it or not, one day, the scroll will be replaced by something called a mass market paperback book..."

I'm week three into the re-release of five novels along with the release of two new novels: BLUE MOONLIGHT and THE DISAPPEARANCE OF GRACE. The former by a major, Thomas & Mercer of Amazon Publishing and the latter from an indie, StoneHouse Ink. While the "Blue" E-Book edition, especially Kindle, is being pushed in a major way, it's also available in paper and audio, etc. For the time being however, "Grace" is available in E-Book only. In the meantime the new editions of my five previously published novels are moving like crazy. In E-Book primarily.

You see where I'm going with this...

In the past three weeks I've moved more units of my novels than I did in an entire first year with Delacorte. No lie. Much of that has to do with the tremendous author support I am lucky enough to enjoy from Amazon Publishing (They are so good, they even push my independent books, if you can imagine that...), but it also has a lot to do with the changing nature of publishing. E-Books have been and are now becoming the most popular way by which we read. The mass market paperback is quickly disappearing. So is the hardcover while the trade paperback takes over the roll of both.

This leaves me in a bit of a conundrum. I find myself wanting to do some in-person promotion of my books, aside from the stuff I do at several writerly book conferences every year (I never sell many books at these things anyway since they are attended primarily by other writers and all we do is have fun eating and drinking together). But approaching brick and mortar bookstores with the prospect of a book signing in support of paper being published by their major competitor is probably a road I want to avoid. And besides, book signings are always a gamble anyway. In short, they suck.

But there are other avenues to explore. Schools, universities, and hell, even book signings at coffee shops and my favorite, the local corner gin mill. And then there's the holy grail of book venues: the library. I have always been a fan of libraries and the fact that no matter what happens in terms of the evolutionary/de-evolutionary business/retail aspect of writing, the library will always withstand the test of time. A place to store many volumes, both ancient and new, as well as a place to share and exchange ideas. From Socretes to Stephen King, the library has always been a refuge for the intellectual, for the hopeful, the creative, the thinker, and the dreamer.

That clearly in mind, I contacted the head rep for my local library system, the Albany Public Library and asked her about setting up an event much like the one we did for Moonlight Falls back in 2010. This one would be in Dec/Jan in conjunction with yet another new Thomas & Mercer novel, MURDER BY MOONLIGHT, a fictional take on the infamous Porco axe murder case which hit New York's Capital region some years back. She was happy to hear from me for more than one reason. I played drums in her band a while ago, and we are friends. She was delighted to set up an event for "Murder." But just as I was about to tell her how great the trade paperback version of "Murder" looked, she said, "We're really pushing E-Books these days."

I must admit, I was taken a bit back. Me, the king of E-Books.

Libraries pushing E-Books...What a concept.

That said, my library event will more than likely be about the E-Book version of my brand new book and it will take place inside the hallowed halls of an institution older than even the world's most ancient cathedral. But then, E-Books are becoming far more popular than paper and libraries recognize this. Doesn't mean they are about to give up their paper. Just means they are adapting. Can't say the same thing about bookstores. But something tells me they'll get it eventually. Hopefully before it's too late.



  1. i love the library and try to support it in all kinds of ways (writing to promote various programs, occasionally instructing, etc.). i have plans in mind to do a book signing and even crafting events at libraries, even if it means toting a big ol' box of books there myself.

    write on, v!


  2. Thanks Elyse...I agree...Libraries have always adapted continue to do so...

  3. Nice article, thanks for the information.