Books can transport, us through the vehicle of our imaginations, educate us on subjects new to us or familiar, and enliven our lives in a way that neither TV nor movies (nor even the stage plays I love) can.
Currently I am working on editing an author’s book that is to be published next month (by another publishing house—not Roundtable). It’s science fiction, which is a genre I’m not that familiar with, as sci-fi never held any fascination for me, either to read or to write. But working on this book has gotten me thinking about the genre overall. Inarguably, despite the fact that I am not a fan, it has a wide following. Why?
As a prolific author—I’ve had over 100 books published since 1993—I understandably have a number of different publishers, of which Roundtable is one. And as an author who wants to sell the books she writes, I do what I can to promote them, including going on various radio shows—mostly podcasts (internet radio)—to talk about my books. Just last week I was extolling the recipes in STEALTH LEFTOVERS, one of my cookbooks (cookbooks are just a small part of my output), which was published a few years ago by Roundtable.
There is much to love about the freelance writing life, but one of the perhaps under-appreciated aspects is how much you get to learn about a wide diversity of subjects.
So I was supposed to do a booksigning and reading—two picturebooks from two different publishing houses (neither one from Roundtable)—and I thought I had all my ducks in a row. Since the books weren’t returnable, the bookstore that was the venue for the event said I would have to pre-purchase and bring the books in myself, a condition they had stipulated for my previous signing there, and therefore one that didn’t take me by surprise. I ordered the requisite number of each of the two books from their respective publishers and sent out notices to my “local list” (friends, associates, clients, and others I know who live in my area), alerting them to the signing and saying I hoped they’d show up.
If you’re a fellow author or thinking of becoming an author, I hope you’re comfortable doing public speaking. The two kind of go hand in hand.
That’s not as true for short-form writers as it is for book authors. But book authors often do public readings from their books to help get the word out about them, and nonfiction writers in particular (and fictioneers to a lesser extent) also appear on radio and TV.
I don’t remember now where I read it, but I just recently read somewhere a comment on the memoirs of two famous people of the past. It seems that one “invented” a boat that didn’t really exist, while the other left out any mention of numerous sexual affairs he had had.
Variety is the spice of life—and I definitely like my life “spicy.” I would hate to have a career in which I did the same thing over and over all day, every day, day in and day out.
“But, Cynthia—you write and edit. All day, every day, the same two things,” I can hear you saying to me now. You’re wrong, however. Continue Reading
Today is February 14—Valentine’s Day. So I’m sending love to all you readers out there.
Where would we writers be without our readers? We’d be “playing to an empty house,” to borrow the vernacular of the theatre.
If nobody read our books (and articles and poems and essays and miscellany), we’d soon be out of business. We’d have to find “job jobs”—we’d have to be bank tellers or teachers or store clerks or security guards or flight attendants or sales reps…which, in fact, some writers are already, working their day jobs and then writing at night with whatever energy they have left. But we’d ALL be in that boat without our readers.
You readers out there not only contribute to our financial well-being but give us an outlet and an audience for our creativity. And we love you for that. Hence this Valentine.
Want to show us you love us back?
Buy a book!
Happy St Val’s Day!
A connection that may or may not be real occurred to me recently, and I thought I’d run it by you. How much truth do you think there is in this statement: Many people who are dissatisfied with their lives prefer reading fiction over nonfiction because through fiction they can escape to alternate lives. Many people who are happy with their lives prefer reading nonfiction over fiction because they have no need or desire to escape their own realities.