Yeesh. If I allow myself to adopt the big-picture perspective permeating the book industry, it becomes almost understandable to hear a relatively unknown author question the time, money, and effort that goes into a book. Almost. But at the end of the day, I still refuse to accept this logic. I would rather encourage writers to serve, and do what they can to preserve, the sacred institutions of reading, writing and publishing. And if that means my career as a promoter sinks with the ship, I promise you Iâ€™ll go down with a good old-fashioned book (rather than an iPod or iPhone) in my hands.
Am I being too set in my ways? Maybe. But if thatâ€™s the case, here are three fundamental reasons for my stubbornness—–
- Custom and tradition. From the Gutenberg Bible to the dime novel era to the explosion of book clubs and reading groups, the reading of published books has been both an educational and enlightening escape for more than 500 years. The experience has changed lives, expanded imaginations and brought millions of families together in the process.
- Responsibility. Book lovers like me depend on you. Dozing off with a book in my lap has been a part of my daily procedure since I discovered my first Hardy Boys mystery. Can I find those manuscripts on the Internet? Sure. If I want to drag my laptop into bed and risk sterilizing myself in the process.
- Thereâ€™s a job to do. Traditional book publishing is in ICU right now and is dangerously close to life support. We are the keepers of the watch. It is our duty to put our heads together and execute a plan to save the institution that has given us so much over the course of time.
Letâ€™s end this rant with a dose of reality. Technology has paved the way for the digital book era, and it is here to stay. As a book promoter interested in continuing my career, it would be foolish not to accept the changes taking place and advise the authors I work with to give the inhabitants of Cyberworld what they want. Anybody reading my posts of the past two years has seen that I do. But at the same time, I am holding out hope that we can figure out a way to preserve a place on our bookshelves for traditional books.
Questions about how to get your next book out there may be directed to Michael R. Drew at the Austin, Texas, headquarters of Promote A Book: 512-858-0040. You can also contact Michael via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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