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Friday, August 20, 2010

Small Press/Availability in Bookstores

I've been reading quite a bit on two different themes in publishing these days. One is the rumble among many that CBA needs to make room for more than just the standard fare (ie. go ahead and publish the big selling Amish books, or suspense novels or romance novels, but try for some sci-fi, some non-romance, etc.). The other theme I've seen a lot of lately is changing technology and the continued rise of the small press.

To me, it seems the two are ultimately linked together. I understand why a publisher would put out a lot of Amish-based books. They sell. Ditto for romance in its various forms. That's a no brainer.

But as discussed previously, I'd like to see a few more choices in addition to those tried and true sellers. That's where the small or indie press comes in.

I've been reading about Marcher Lord Press' publishing model. You can visit their website at For me personally, this isn't the press of choice because I do not write speculative fiction. But the publishing model is interesting.

There's just one problem with all these publishing models. The availability of books in actual bookstores.

Sigh. I feel like a dinosaur that's about to go extinct. But I can't help it. I would much rather go to a bookstore and browse and select my books than do the cold, sterile shop online thing.

But it has become very rare that I find a book I'm looking for at the bookstore. In fact, the last several times I've gone to the bookstore I didn't find the title I was looking for. And these were not just small press books. Even books by big publishers such as Tyndale, Barbour, Bethany House and the like don't always have all their books on the shelf.

And it's much harder still for small press books. For example, I was very interested in purchasing a copy of Max Anderson's Lost Island Smugglers, by Port Yonder Press, but did not find it either in Family Christian or Borders.

Not finding books in bookstores makes me very grumpy.

Unfortunately, I don't think this situation is ever going to improve and this bookstore browsing dinosaur is much closer to extinction than she cares to admit. Heavy sigh.

I'm not opposed to e-books or other technology changes. A lovely lady at church let me take a gander at her Kindle and I can see how you can become hooked on reading in that medium. And someday, when I have the money, I'll take the plunge.

But it will never replace my need for the hands-on experience at the bookstore. And I find it strange that, in this rush-rush, gotta have it now world we live in, that now I am forced to wait LONGER to get a book, because I have to order it online. Whereas, in the old days, if I was dying to have a particular book, I simply went to the bookstore and got it. No instant gratification any more! GRRR!!!!!!!

And in all of this, I'm struggling more as a reader of fiction than a writer of fiction. But like it or not, I'm going to have to move with the tide.

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