Saturday, December 07, 2013
Quid pro quo and Pelleted Prose
By OFW Editor:
Carlos J Cortes
Published: October 23, 2012
Every writer knows (or should know) that independent booksellers are a priceless resource for promotion. They organize events, readings and sign-ins, where writers can meet their readership and promote their work.
It makes sense that the stores strive to offset the events’ expenses by selling books, otherwise the exercise would be financially unsustainable.
Unfortunately, it appears that some people buy their discounted books at Amazon or elsewhere, and then attend author’s events (sponsored by local brick-and-mortar booksellers) to hear the readings or get their copies signed.
Politics & Prose
, a Washington. D.C. independent bookstore has blown the whistle on such an unfair practice and commented that stores would be forced to charge entry fees to those events.
A recent informal survey showed that many bookstores around the country have changed their approaches to author talks. Some stores now charge for admission to events, allowing a customer to apply the ticket fee to the purchase of a book. More and more indies are refusing to permit customers to get books signed that weren’t purchased in the store.
And here is why:
Yet we’re occasionally reminded—as we were last week when a gentleman stood in line to get signed a book he had purchased on Amazon—that some customers are not aware why it matters to buy local. Yes, the book may be cheaper elsewhere. But bricks-and-mortar stores like P&P offer programs that enable customers to meet authors, receive personal advice from expert staff, take classes with others in their communities, and join public book groups.
Yes, times are hard and money is tight, but to benefit from the efforts (and money) of others without contributing in any way is dishonest. In my opinion, writers should strive to support independent bookstores by encouraging readers to buy copies of their books at the store where the event takes place.
It’s a sign of our unstoppable decadence that once upon a time short stories were compiled, and set in paper magazines or anthologies. Later, the same stories could be packed in a digital file so readers could download them to read on PC screens or portable devices. Now, Twitter is giving publication another turn of their particular screw and proposing to publish prose in 140-character dashes.
Andrew Fitzgerald, from the Twitter Editorial Programming, Media Team, announced in his blog:
At the end of November, we’ll host a five-day Twitter Fiction Festival — a virtual storytelling celebration held entirely on Twitter. The Twitter Fiction Festival (#twitterfiction) will feature creative experiments in storytelling from authors around the world.
He then goes on to explain:
Twitter has hosted great experiments in fiction already, from Jennifer Egan’s “Black Box” to Teju Cole’s “Small Fates” to Dan Sinker’s @mayoremanuel. And Twitter has even inspired some literary criticism.
Inspired literary criticism?Live and learn. If you want to try your hand at creating an engrossing tale a couple of lines at the time, you can read the release
and can submit your work
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