Contemplating the New Year

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This is the time of year when I reevaluate what’s working and what isn’t. I tend to go through my closets and weed out clothes I haven’t worn in years. I clean off my desk and file stuff or recycle it, and put away stories that aren’t going anywhere. I try to finish off a niggling project or two so I won’t have to waste any more energy on it next year. And I re-evaluate my career.

It seems the children’s book industry is changing even more rapidly than in past years. This whole e-book and app thing feels like it no longer is just sneaking up on me, but is in my face like a schoolyard bully. And what should I do, as a writer who publishes in the traditional paper markets? Do I keep my head down and continue to push forward like a draft horse wearing blinders, and try to convince myself that people still do love paper books when in reality they walk right past my book signing table to the NOOK booth as if I’m a ghost from the past? Or do I embrace the reality that NOOKs and Kindles are just so darned convenient? I mean, who wants to carry on extra weight when they travel? And who wants to build a physical library at home anymore when a whole library collection can be stored in the palm of your hand?

So the questions I’m facing are:

Do I continue to write and submit stories to traditional publishers?

Should I publish my own stories as ebooks?

And why aren’t my paper books also e-books?

I’ve got a lot to think about. And more learning to do. Let’s hope the first thing I learn is patience. The second, flexibility. And hopefully, good storytelling will always rise to the top, no matter what the medium. The ultimate goal is to continue to get paid for doing what I love.

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2 responses »

  1. Good questions, all, for the new year, Natasha. I’m betting that A.) There will always be a place for printed books; B.) That having your work in multiple formats is probably a good thing and that, C.) Good story telling should trump everything else.

  2. Yes, Natasha, we creative souls are having some tough decisions to make. The changes in publishing trends and availability of new technology can be confusing and overwhelming. Me, I love the hard copy…the feel and smell of paper, the anticipation of having to turn page to find out what’s next and the excitement that builds when I pick up a book and open it to ear fold bookmark. I like to think I’m learning when I mark a paragraph, underline a sentence or word and write comments in the margins. Ahhh, the BOOK! I agree with you last statement (getting paid for doing what we love) but, maybe, e-books are the way to go… worldwide exposure, quantity of sales and proceeds going to author overrides lower prices…sounds tempting and as a plus, creativity isn’t affected.

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