Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Ellen Hart writes:

Will ebooks kill the old publishing model? Is the novel you're working on any good? Will you receive another contract? Why aren't you getting more foreign rights deals? Does your agent really have your best interests at heart? Are your sales growing? Will the rotten review you received last weekend toss your career off a cliff? And on and on and on. We all know the drill. We all have many of the same thoughts circling around in our minds.

Here's today's burning question: In the midst of today's publishing chaos--and your own professional stresses and strains--how do you stay focused on writing?


Msmstry said...

Even though I'm the ultimate gadget freak, I don't think I'll ever be a big e-book reader. I can see their allure for folks in the fast lane who travel widely and can load 10 or 15 books onto their reader to enjoy during a trip—but my lifestyle is simply not that fast.

I read at the breakfast table—would crumbs and jelly mar the e-reader's screen? I read in the bathtub—and I frequently drop books into the water. Wouldn't that short out an e-reader? I leave books on the sofa, in my chair, and on my bead. (I escorted a touring author who told me he'd sat on his e-reader after unpacking. He had to have a replacement shipped to him at his next stop and he was without reading material until it arrived!) I've never yet destroyed a book by sitting on it.

Then, there's gift-giving. I often give books—books I've enjoyed reading myself and that I target to the individual who's receiving them. I enjoy wrapping them—each book separately in coordinating papers—and then stacking them and tying the stack with ribbon. Somehow those e-books just wouldn't be the same.

My 89-year-old cousin called while I was writing this. He asked about my take on e-books before saying, "I've just got to have that book in my hand!" Well said, Bill.

Peg Brantley said...

Writing is an escape, much like reading. For a given period of time, I can leave an uncertain world for one I can control.

And, speaking of stresses and strains . . . met with our CPA yesterday to give her our tax information. She's a huge Ellen Hart fan!

Anonymous said...

This is the first thing I see every morning on my computer log-in screen:
Writing is the most important thing I can do today further my career. No one else can write for me.

Rosemary Harris said...

I don't think too specifically about most of the issues in publishing right now. I've just got to keep my head down and keep trying to get better as a writer and build a readership. And whatever I can do to help my publisher do that, I'll pretty much do. Writing is work for me..kayaking is escape!

Re ebooks - I got my husband a Kindle for Christmas and as expected he still reads both paper and e. It's really not that much different to a reader than hard cover and paperback.
He has a fast lane side, but another that just wants to sit in the big brown chair and read and he loves being able to push a button and get a book.

Andi said...

Hi, Ellen! Andi Marquette here. I write and publish across genres, so fortunately, if one isn't speaking to me, I do another. And if I'm having some kind of focus issue, I listen to myself and if it's a day to do nothing but watch big, stupid, shoot-'em-ups on TV, then I do. If it's a day to read a book, I do. If it's a day to do other things, I do. The muses let me know when to write, and I've discovered that even during the busiest, freakiest days, if I have to write, I will. Even if it's just for a half-hour or an hour. I think of it sometimes like working out. Gotta do it because it makes me feel better.

Ebooks--a discussion for another time. I do try to have my stuff published as ebooks and I offer them as reads to people who aren't familiar with my work and are willing to try it. If they're willing to read an ebook, it saves me postage. :-)

Andi Marquette writes stuff. Go see at