The reasons for this blog: 1. To provide basic author information for students, teachers, librarians, etc. (Please see sidebar) 2. I think out loud a lot as I work through writing projects, and I'm trying to dump most of those thoughts here rather than on my friends.

Monday, May 25, 2009

I'm having to remind myself that I almost never get any writing done at the end of the school year. I feel rather empty, writing-wise, like I'll never write again and maybe it would be better all around if I didn't. However, I know that the well always refills, and I think it's just the end-of-school busyness combined with having to meet w-f-h deadlines, which means I have to squeeze out some writing even though there's no time or room for it. I had to work yesterday even though my mind could not get into a creative place at all. Same today.

A couple of worrisome outside/business type ideas have reared their ugly heads lately. One is an article/opinion piece I read talking about Kindle and how most Kindle books are $9.99 and that's not enough for Amazon to make a profit--they're losing money on it, the article said--and they have to raise their prices but the readers won't go for that. Then the article said that the publishers were being squeezed between readers who won't pay over a certain price and authors who are asking for bigger and bigger advances. The article made it sound like the good-hearted publishers just want to provide cheap books to the reading public, but the greedy authors won't let them.

(I had more to say about this but, in an unusual fit of wisdom, deleted it.)

Then on the other hand I saw a site where people are scanning in books they've read and offering them up for download. The authors get nothing from this, and the publishers don't either. It's stealing, the same way people have been stealing music and movies for years. Only it's just now hitting us. And I don't know how I feel about it. I like the exchange of ideas and information on the internet. I love the incredible ease of being able to get hold of things that teach or inspire.

But the big thing--the big, BIG thing is--authors (and artists) have to have roofs over their heads before they can create. They have to have food. And they have to have time to dedicate to creative thinking. It's not always just a matter of sitting down and doing the work; it's also about the brain having time to process and absorb. Brains are exasperating things; they don't always leap into gear just because their owners have an hour-long time slot before having to be at work.

So anyway, re. the internet, all I know is that nobody can stop the changes that are coming; the music industry has tried and failed. It looks to me like people are willing to pay for what they get off the internet, but they won't pay much. Some might say that the solution for authors is to skip the publisher and offer their work straight up, on their own, but the truth is that mss need more than one loving hand and eye to achieve full potential.

(I had more to say about this too, but deleted it as well. I'm being so good today. I deserve a package of Zingers.)

I do wonder if at some point the Internet will right itself. It's such a free-for-all right now, it's like being in a crowd of people all shouting at each other. Surely it will eventually sort itself out.

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