Friday, February 5, 2010


As an author, and I know I speak for other authors, we live to write. Period. We create stories in our heads, and, using our fingers - first pen and ink, then typewriter, now computer - we extract scenes that won't emerge like we want them to because they have a dastardly life of their own. It ain't easy, but we are compelled. It's in our DNA.

Then we have to make agents and publishers want to represent and buy our manuscripts. That really ain't easy.

Then we have to promote our novels or non-fiction works by traveling to book stores and sitting at tables looking pleased and prosperous even if people aren't flocking to us like we're Dan Brown. We promote on social networks hoping our friends don't feel like they're being shilled.

Then along comes a disagreement between our publisher and the A Number One Bookseller in the country over the price of their Kindle books. And that bookseller gets its electronic pages in a snit and pulls the BUY button on our books, thus unfriending our publisher.

What's a writer to do?

We can do nothing but sit back and wait, and, voila, Amazon declares our publisher, Macmillan, has the right to set its own prices, and eventually the BUY buttons are returned and all is friendly again.

Or is it? For now it is, but is there a next chapter?

These are difficult times for writers, publishers and book sellers, particularly brick and motar stores. Let's hope Amazon uses its internet deep pockets wisely so it's a win-win for everyone in the book business.

That's all for now.