Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Fricassee

Ah, Friday.

So, now that the oh-the-woes-of-our-economy tumult in the publishing industry has died down a bit (or has it?), what are your thoughts?

Is the buying of books for Christmas gifts going to help "boost" things at all? I mean, seriously? (I'm not knocking it; I've already purchased four books-as-gifts. Just, yanno, wondering.)

Might the current climate help to weed out some books that we wish wouldn't have cluttered the shelves in the first place? As in, might this -- just maybe -- lead to quality over quantity?

And as aspiring authors, do we like this thought? Even if it makes it that much harder to get our own stuff out there? (As if it isn't hard enough already.)

Oh, and just for fun: If you could ask for only one book for Christmas, which would it be? And why?

And that's enough bookish rambling for this Friday. I'm going to go heat up my coffee and figure out where my current chapter is going.

Peace and joy to you all!


  1. Er... I think that the publishing industry relies on all of the other industries (like automotive, per my homestate). If those other industries aren't doing well and we have 9-10 percent unemployment in midwest states, people will cut back on their spending.

    Yes, I'm rather down today. :[

    That said - I've been buying a lot of books for people this year. For my niece it would be the adorable Fairy books (that Tinkerbell thing). For my younger sister and next older sister it would be various books that caught my eye from the YA section (don't ask me to remember the titles - I just went by the covers. My bad). For my oldest sister and also my mom it would be some of the latest Dean Kootz books (that man is a writing machine, I swear).

    Personally speaking - I hope I get at least a couple books. I have my eyeballs on Vampire Academy and maybe Jinx.... but I'll be happy with whatever lands in my lap.

  2. Sponge, you're not feeling down today by yourself.... join the club.

    Funny thing: I have a Dean Koontz book on my wish list, the latest in the Odd Thomas series. I've read a great deal of his books so if you want any recommendations, I would be glad to offer.

  3. Fortunately for the publishing industry, my kids want mostly books for Christmas. Sorry toy industry, but the books have spoken in this house. Even my list consists mostly YA novels. Okay, who I'm I kidding. That's the only thing on my list.

  4. I've bought a book for my young brother, and I'm planning on buying more for friends.
    *sigh* I'd really like the Gray's Anatomy book (because I'm such a medical nut).
    Last time I was at Barnes & Noble, I was in holiday spirit and looking at books thinking, "All I want for Christmas, is YOU."

  5. Book for Christmas: Kristin Cashore's Graceling. Also, the book that was the ALA award...I can think of the cover, but not the title...

  6. I'd like to think maybe the bottom falling out of the publishing (and nearly every other) industry would lead to quality over quantity, but as long as loud-mouthed celebrities and politicians who are remarkably under-endowed in the dignity and humility departments continue to snatch the fancy of a good chunk of the public, I'm not sure quality has a chance. :-\

    My extended family and I do our parts for the publishing economy every year, though. I'm always ecstatic to receive another good book in almost any genre -- and frankly, if the rest of the family isn't, they can just paste a polite smile on their faces and suffer in silence. ;-)

  7. Buying books for Christmas is like giving vitamins to someone dying of a terminal disease. It won't help that much, but it won't hurt.

    If you want to do the best good for the publishing industry, buy your books locally at an indie bookstore or your local book chain, not at Walmart or Amazon who are a big part of the publishing problem.

    Fewer books from a publisher also won't improve matters because the problem is so much bigger and more complex than the number of books on the shelves.

    I have an article on the current state of publishing on my website which explains the overall situation and what it means to authors. I will publish an update on my blog at the end of the year. You'll find the first article here:

    In recent days, a number of people in the industry have blogged on the situation. Some of the articles are slow going if you don't have a background in business as well as a background in publishing like I do. Anyway, here are some links:

    Should you submit your book during this bad time for publishers?

    Agent Lori Perkins gives her take on the current dire times in publishing.

    What Makes Moguls Believe They Belong In the Book Business? An interesting article on why big business in publishing is such a flawed idea.

    A reply to that article which says that the midlist, not the big names, is where publishers lose money.

  8. I've bought quite a few books for gifts. One reason is that I'm a member of the Society of Southwestern Authors, and attend their monthly lunch forums here in Tucson, and buy books from the authors -- autographed, of course, and sometimes at a slight discount.

    What book would I like for Yule? One of mine published, please. ;-)

  9. The problem is, the publishing industry's view of quality is, "most like the last thing that made a lot of money."

    Which doesn't leave a lot of room for originality....

  10. Will purchasing books help? Well, maybe not on a big scale, but a book could change someone's life, so it all depends on who you're wanting to help.

    One book for Christmas only??
    This year, I want Sherrylin Kenyon's index of names.

  11. We declared a literary Christmas. Books, and only books, will be given.

    And if I had to settle on one book: I want a signed copy of Anathem, Neal Stephenson.

  12. I need to do some reesearch. Can I request specific editions of books, or do I need to find a valuable one not reprinted so I'm guaranteed to have one I can sell, quit my job, and write?

  13. I just got rid of a whole load of James Patterson books...I came to the conclusion that his novels are mindless worthless reads.

  14. Books and sweaters are the best Christmas gifts and I am off to my local bookstore tomorrow to do my part in support of books. I totally agree with Marilynn Byerly as regards Walmart and Amazon. (And thanks Marilynn for those links). I've often wondered at the amount of low quality clutter in bookstores. I mean, honestly, how do some of these books get published?? Will the buying of books for Christmas gifts "boost" things? Probably not. Not until more people have decent jobs like the ones certain unnamed senators are trying right now to do away with. Buy hey....hope springs eternal. Happy Christmas book shopping!

  15. Thank you Marilynn for that information!

    I think no matter what happens, the publishing industry will ease into the next phase of publishing without too much hype. Whether or not I buy a book to give this year.

    I'm so broke I can't even buy myself a book any month of the year. Saving up those pennies, though! I really do want to support the literary world I love so much. And I sure would like it if people bought my book if it was published.

  16. I think that we writers should stick together and buy book vouchers from independent book stores to give as presents. That's what I intend to do. I also tell people to buy me a book voucher. It's so easy. No fuss.

    I spend any spare cash I have on children's books for myself. I like to read the type of books that I write. I think authors probably buy more books than anyone.

    I have just received my first rejection letter. Yey! Not!

    The publisher said they enjoyed my story, but they didn't publish chapter books, only easy readers, so back to submitting more manuscripts.

    I’ve sent off six more submissions directly to publishers here in Australia. I always phone them first to make sure they are accepting unsolicited manuscripts. At the moment they are. So that's a good thing.

    Let's face it, people can't afford to go overseas for a holiday, so they stay home and lay on the beaches. And guess what they do on beaches? Yes, they read books.

    When you can't afford anything else, you can always afford a book. Or maybe go to the library.

    Books will never die. Long live authors.


  17. One book...maybe Marilynne Robinson's HOME. Or can I dream about one book per category? :-) Anyway, some of my absolute my favourite childhood Christmas presents were always "the" book (a special, meaty read) and the gummy bears to go along with the reading.

  18. I'd ask for Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers" cause it sounds so dang interesting and it's one of those books you can lend to your family and friends.

  19. I seem to be morphing into a writing nerd - obsessed with grammar and punctuation. I'd like Santa to bring me The Chicago Manual of Style.

    (You don't want to know how much time I spent editing this - and I'm not happy with it, either.)