IT IS WHAT IT IS!
It’s been said that one should never write anything when he/she is in a funk. I’m in a funk this morning.
My day began as it often does with a perusal of the Minneapolis Star-Trib. On page 2 was an interesting survey-based story ‘READING AT AN ALL-TIME LOW’. According go a reputable survey and supported by the National Institute of the Arts, pleasure reading has dropped by 40% since 2004–last year less than 20% of Americans over age 18 read a book. Why was I not surprised? Books (bookstores, etc) are becoming passe as computers, cell phones, and TV are alternatives. The average American spends 2 hours and 45 minutes watching the tube.
Things I’ve observed in the past year or more:
My website activity is down. I have not sold a single book this year from my website. Worse, I don’t get any comments from my readers.
My Amazon orders are down.
*I actually lose money on an Amazon order of a new title. If you check out my books on their site you’ll find a wide discrepancy in prices of new and used titles. I get $O.00 on any used title. Add to that, hardly anybody takes the time to comment or rate my stories. Potential purchasers almost always look for comments.
I’ve lost the service of my distributor–quit the business.
Local independent bookstores die at alarming rates.
On E-Bay many of my books can be purchased for about $4.00 or less!
And, why purchase a book when it’s on the library shelves?
My last novel, TWELVE, did not sell well and I have red ink in my ledger for the first time in years.
I am on the cusp of publishing my thirteenth novel at the considerable personal expense. I think it’s my best work and considerably longer (115,000 words) than my past seven Father Mickey stories. I’ve invested countless hours and am looking now at the upcoming expenses of publication–copyright, ISBN identification, barcode and production costs which will probably drain my PJM Publishing’s checking account. Earlier this week–after preliminary editing by Gail Nevalainen–I passed the story on to Rich Dinter for his insightful critique . . . so I’m on the path to another rewrite and final editing. And, I’m on a schedule that must have finished copies available by mid-October for sales events in November. Timewise, I’m behind schedule as well. Between now and mid-August I’ll have to decide to publish or sit on the book until some later date.
The title of the last Father Mickey novel is WAITING. In the story Mickey will leave the priesthood. The question that has lingered throughout recent stories is: will Mickey and Mary (the mother of his son Michael) decide to get married. WAITING has lots of twists and lots of tension and the ending will leave some readers very pleased and others disappointed. John Steinbeck, after Grapes of Wrath, was criticized for is ending of the story. He said,
“A story never has an ending. . .” Perhaps I subscribe to that notion. Feel free to comment on this rather dismal blog. Regardless, the sun will rise in the morning.
PS: I want to retract every positive thing that I said about the TWINS in my last posting. Their performance this year has added to my funk. Be well and God bless . . .