Please join us in welcoming this week’s Guest Chef, Haywood Smith!
Last evening, I attended a wonderful meeting of my local American Fellowship of Christian Writers. Our speaker was Tiffany Coulter of Writing Career Coach. Tiffany is a vibrant young woman who weathered some really difficult times, but found opportunities in the darkest moments of her life. She shared that as an example of how the current changes and panics in the writing business can present us writers with many new opportunities, if we’re only willing to seek out and embrace those changes.
For the past year, I’ve seen lots of people on loops arguing about whether or not the publishers will survive, or whether there will still be bound books when E-books “take over.”
What do I think about that?
First, I wonder where these writers find the time to argue about such things, online or otherwise. As a self-employed writer who relies on my books for my sole support, I already need at least three extra hours in the day to get everything done. I don’t have time to debate the future. What I can do is make time to grab hold of the E-pub wave and get my historical novels out there to generate some income, so I can then offer them in Print On Demand for readers who still want actual books.
It’s been a steep learning curve. In addition to editing and rewriting the original manuscripts (usually adding back in some of the color and history that was cut because paper prices went up, so I had smaller and smaller word counts with which to tell my stories), I’ve had to have someone adjust the formatting and tweak things to satisfy the e-marketers. Then I’ve had to hire someone to “platform” the text for the various readers. Plus, I’ve had to have new covers made. And buy a bundle of ISBNs from Bowker, which my Mac computer doesn’t want me to format, unless I install Firefox, which I tried to do, but couldn’t. Sigh.
But I haven’t given up. When all that’s done, and the books are out there, I’ll be in a position to get my books to readers no matter what happens with the publishers or the formats books may take.
Meanwhile, I’m also writing my new book for next year: Out of Warranty, the story of a 55-year-old widow who falls apart and spends all she has on health care, so she has to marry somebody for health insurance. With the help of a one-legged curmudgeon, she goes through a series of disastrous courtships, then ends up with a most unlikely solution. As always, there will be plenty of laughs and lots of heart as I send up the medical profession, the health insurance industry, and midlife Internet dating.
Who knows where things in the book business will shake out? The question is, what are we all going to do about it?
I’m grabbing hold for the ride. And going back to college for spring semester. And doing blogs. And editing historicals. And writing my humorous Southern women’s fiction. And thanking God for every bit of it.
It’s an exciting time, even for a sixty-two year old like me.
Haywood has graciously offered to give away a copy of her latest release, Wife-In-Law, to one lucky commenter.