Monday, September 29, 2014

The Local Author, One Book At A Time


I spent this past weekend selling my books, talking to other authors as they sold theirs at crafts fairs and fall festivals.

Maybe we don’t know it yet, but when you find a few good people to spread the word about your book, setting up tables and displays, standing in burning hot sun, talking to people who even after a lengthy conversation don't buy your book, makes it all worth it.

You shared something meaningful, no matter who published your book or who controls what.  

Yet the politics of publishing continues to take center stage, threatening to drown all of us in a cacophony of egos, anger and angst. 

In today's New York Times yet another article relates the fury, frustration and agendas of the book publishing industry and the pricing of ebooks by Amazon. 

A group of “literary lions” under the banner Authors United has banded together, or, rather, a literary agent with a longstanding and vested interest in traditional publishing, is bringing them together. 

In July I blogged about how publishing is big business.  http://www.susanweidener.com/2014/07/author-beware-publishing-is-big-business.html  

Yet I think if we get too caught up in the politics of publishing, we run the risk of losing the reasons why we write; as well as eroding the ambition necessary to see a book through from beginning to end, getting it in print against all odds. 

Wasn't it always about the simple act of faith in the written word?  . . . facing the blank page each morning over a hot cup of coffee and hoping to write something worthy that would touch a few folks? If it were about money, ambition, arguing over "censorship" and monopolies, I would not have had the energy to write a book.

This week I ran into a woman in the hardware store parking lot. She had come to the Women's Writing Circle and read my memoir, which she purchased on her Kindle. 

She confronted the imminent death of her mother. “I believe some things are meant to be. Your story came to me at the time I most needed it,” she said, since I had written about my mother's death following a stroke.

Two weeks before I spoke to 40 women from the General Federation of Women's Clubs. They not only bought my books - which is always nice - but we shared stories of Valley Forge Military Academy, growing up there, after I read from one of my memoirs. 

Several deferred buying the trade paperbacks, choosing instead to purchase my books on Kindle.

Just knowing it is available in the marketplace continues to motivate me to forge ahead with another book. I'm a local author. I’m excited to help women and men get their stories where they want – whether read in the Circle, a few copies published for family or for a broader audience.

I love the creativity I see, not just among writers, but potters, jewelers, and crafters of all mediums who proudly display their work and open their hearts to the public. These conversations and connections drive the local author as we work hard to reach our audience, one person, one book at a time. 
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