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The marketplace for books when I entered the business shortly after World War II consisted of a thousand or so well stocked independent booksellers in major towns and cities supplemented by thousands of smaller shops that carried limited stocks of mostly current titles along with greeting cards, toys and so on.
I maintain an ongoing survey of Internet Publishing and self publishing, so that it is now possible for any writer with a book to get it published at nominal cost or free, and to have it on sale at booksellers like Amazon.com.
Kickstarter eliminates the risk that publishers and booksellers face. They have limited resources and limited shelf space, and Kickstarter is proof to them that something is going to work.
The best booksellers are like trustworthy pushers: Whatever they're dealing, you take it.
I've mis-signed many a book Rollins or Clemens. My readers quickly become aware. Booksellers will often promote me under both names, and I do plug both at signings. Generally, the fantasy reader has no problem going into the suspense genre. It's harder for the typical suspense reader to go the other direction.
There's definitely a role for online booksellers, but they can't host events, bring people together, and form a personal relationship in the way a bricks-and-mortar store and its staff can.
Booksellers are the most valuable destination for the lonely, given the numbers of books that were written because authors couldn't find anyone to talk to.
Alain de Botton
Being a writer can be isolating. It's good to be among readers and booksellers.
I read reviews and consider myself pretty 'plugged in' to the literary cosmos, yet one of the things I love best about book-touring is the opportunity to compare notes with favorite booksellers around the country. I always come home with books by authors I'd never heard of - or books I've read about but didn't realize I might love.
I was given the ability to create stories and characters. That's my part of the long chain of writers, publishers, agents, booksellers, librarians, and a host of others who eventually deliver literature to the world. I want to do for others what Eudora Welty did for me.
In 1986 we were trying to help women get in print, stay in print, and come to the attention of booksellers and libraries. At that time, books by men mystery writers were reviewed seven times as often as books by women.
Serial killers are everywhere! Well, perhaps not in our neighborhood, but on our television screens, at the movie theatres, and in rows and rows of books at our local Borders or Barnes and Noble Booksellers.
I know many older writers who were very successful and whose books are now out of print, so you have to go to antiquarian booksellers to buy their fifth or eighth novel or whatever it is.
I've always looked at independent booksellers in a romantic light.
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