This weekend has been a busy one between Sarah's writers workshop and the author event last night at the library. I feel like the walking dead this morning and my brain still hasn't kicked in even though coffee has flowed in copious amounts into my body. So, that witty yet deep post I know I would have done is still imprisoned somewhere deep in my brain. Instead of trying to pull it out kicking and screaming, I thought I'd throw out some links of interest and see what sort of comments they stir up.
For those following the soap opera in the boardroom at Barnes & Noble, the New York Times has this article detailing the fight. It's a good article on the motives -- or potential motives -- of the parties involved. The question here is, do you believe Burkle is in a shadow fight to take over the B&N board or not? More than that, if there is a change in the board, is it too little too late?
One of the best pieces of advice I've seen in the blogs in a long time comes from agent Kristen Nelson. In her blog, she recounts how, at a recent conference, she recounted the stats on how many queries they get, how many sample pages they request and from that how many clients they actually sign. It is, in her own words, "daunting" for new writers to hear these stats. But her advice is unique and something I agree with whole-heartedly:
Then I tell them to cover their ears and say, “la, la, la I’m not listening” because what it boils down to is that these stats should be white noise to you aspiring writers. You can hear it, but it’s in the background. Know the stats so you have a keen understanding of the reality behind the business of publishing but then don’t let it stop you.
If you love writing, if you are passionate about it as your dream, then you are going to write no matter what. Publication is one possible end result but whether that happens are not should not be the only determiner of why you write. You write because you have to. It’s like breathing. Absolutely necessary.
Besides, you never know when toughness and persistence will finally pay off so don’t lose sight of that!
On the e-book front, the Association of American Publishers has posted the sales figures for July
The Adult Hardcover category was down 15.2 percent in July with sales of $74.1 million, although sales for the year-to-date are up by 10.2 percent. Adult Paperback sales decreased 10.1 percent for the month ($111.1 million) but increased by 8.6 percent for the year. Adult Mass Market sales decreased 11.0 percent for July with sales totaling $60.6 million; sales were down by 13.1 percent year to date."E-book sales continue to grow, with a 150.2 percent increase over July 2009 ($40.8 million); year-to-date E-book sales are up 191.0 percent.
Does anyone else see a trend here?
Finally, Laini Taylor has a great post about writers needing cheerleaders. She comments that, " Before editing. Before almost anything else but snack-making, we need to be convinced and reminded that we are GOOD." Check out her post and see if you agree.
So, what are your thoughts? Do you pay attention to agent and publisher stats? Do you have a cheerleader and how important is it that you have someone who pushes and prod and cheers as needed? And what about B&N, bookstores in general and e-books? The floor is now yours.