Writing into 2012 ... Favorite Quotes!
As 2012 approaches, I feel a wave of optimism. I don’t believe there has ever been a better time to be a writer. I’ve been writing most of my life, starting as a kid making up stories in my head, and gradually graduating to writing a full length novel in my twenties. That was twenty years ago. I’ve seen the publishing business cycle through numerous trends. I’ve seen smaller distributors succumb to their bigger rivals and the same for smaller publishing houses. In the last decade publishing was about conglomerates, big companies owned by even bigger companies. Decisions about what to publish were made by key players at six big publishing houses and a few national chains. But somewhere around 2009, the publishing world started spinning, and it hasn’t stopped since.
Self publishing opportunities have exploded allowing writers to connect directly with their readers through the help of supportive online retailers like Amazon, B&N, Apple, Kobo, Smashwords, Sony, Diesel, Google, Overdrive, etc. The digital ebook has brought back to life books that had gone out of print or simply couldn’t be accommodated on the shrinking book shelf space. And new readers are discovering the joy of reading again simply because of the cool digital format. I love paper books as well as ebooks. As a big reader, libraries and bookstores have always been my favorite places. But I can see that the world is changing and just like music, we’re going to see readers finding new ways to read books. As long as they read, I’m happy!
I’ve been able to take advantage of the self publishing opportunities, and I’ve had a tremendously successful year. I saw nine of my books hit the USA Today and NYT bestseller lists, including SUMMER SECRETS which hit #1 on the NYT Bestseller List for Ebooks. To date I’ve self published over 1.3 million ebooks … which is shocking and amazing and humbling all at the same time. It’s been a wild and exhausting ride, but I’m looking forward to more excitement in the new year. I am going to be self publishing some ebook originals starting with my WISH SERIES. The first book, A SECRET WISH, is part of B&N’s NOOK First Look program so is out now and will be available at all other online retailers on January 9th. I’ll also be releasing another book from my publisher (Pocket Books) in July of 2012, THE WAY BACK HOME. It will be the last book on my contract. And right now I’m weighing my options as to whether I will continue solely with self publishing or if I will get involved in some type of publishing partnership.
As a veteran author, I’ve seen what publishing houses can do for a writer and what they can’t do, or choose not to do, depending on where you are on their list. But I think some of the tried and true is changing … we’ll see. As I said, I think it’s an exciting time to be a writer. No matter which path an author chooses, there are now new opportunities to explore. I do believe that traditional publishing contracts are going to have to change in order to keep successful authors on board. But that’s a blog post for another day.
I thought I’d kick off 2012 with some inspiration for those of you who write … or who are thinking of writing that book you’ve got in your head.
Because no matter what you think about the business of publishing, at the heart is the book, the story, the idea that drives a writer to put words together, to plot, to try to write something entertaining, provocative, thoughtful, emotional … and all the other goals that drive us to tell the tale!
Here’s a list of my favorite top 10 writing quotes that never fail to remind me that the journey to the end of a book can be stressful and hard and can make you crazy, but it’s a journey every writer shares.
1. “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” Ray Bradbury
2. “If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” Toni Morrison
3. “I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter.” James Michener (I’m with James on this one – I love to edit!)
4. “As for my next book, I am going to hold myself from writing it till I have it impending in me: grown heavy in my mind like a ripe pear; pendant, gravid, asking to be cut or it will fall.” Virginia Woolf (Wow! Love her use of words!)
5. “I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.” Oscar Wilde (In other words, the day’s success can’t always be judged by how many words you get down!)
6. “The faster I write the better my output. If I’m going slow, I’m in trouble. It means I’m pushing the words instead of being pulled by them.” Raymond Chandler
7. “Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” E. L. Doctorow (One of my all time favorite quotes since plotting ahead of time is not my strength.)
8. “Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” T. S. Eliot (Great reminder not to let fear paralyze you!)
9. “You can take for granted that people know more or less what a street, a shop, a beach, a sky, an oak tree look like. Tell them what makes this one different.” Neil Gaiman (Yes, exactly! Sometimes we get caught up in the mundane generalizations and forget the beauty is in the details)
10. “Don’t tell me the moon is shining, show me the glint of light on broken glass.” Anton Chekov (Beautiful!)
I hope 2012 brings all of you much success and joy whether it be writing, reading or some other pursuit. Happy New Year!