The multitude of possible paths to publishing fiction is an ongoing preoccupation of mine. In the past few weeks I've been encouraged to see two writers, talented friends of mine, each make their work available to a growing readership.
Recently Jason made an Amazon, kindle edition of his novella length book The Mailbox available to readers. It has been gaining slow traction and getting good reviews. The Mailbox a fledgling writer's life unfolds cinematically from a compelling trailer park melodrama into full-blown nightmare. Jason's gift for description places the narrative squarely in North Central Florida, as if the story could live nowhere else.
And then there's my novel, Good For Nothing, and it's slow march toward finding a readership. A lot has happened since I summarized the situation in my last post. On the heels of the sale of the UK rights to Skyscraper, I've met several members of the publishing team, finished initial edits and am waiting on line edits. We've been corresponding a lot about cover design and marketing strategies. A hardbound edition should be available in September with paperback to follow in January.
My industrious agents are gearing up to present the manuscript to North American publishers again starting in August. I've been introduced to a member of the agencies staff I've not worked with before, Beatriz. She is putting together new materials in a visual dossier intended as a marketing tool specifically for the film industry.
I was speaking with a well known novelist (if you follow the FictionDoldrums you can guess who I'm referring to) and she mentioned how much more difficult it has become to follow the traditional publishing path, the one that I am currently on. Despite the availability of digital books, significantly fewer titles are being sold now than a decade ago. Commercial publishers are in a circumstance that forces them to focus more and more on sales and less on supporting, nurturing and grooming talented writers. The only antidote, it seems to me, is an active consumer class willing to seek out good work in whatever form it takes.