*Previously posted on Book End Babes
I read recently about an editor who was speaking at a writers’ conference. He handed out slips of paper and said to the audience, “Imagine you are walking down a city sidewalk. You look down and find twenty dollars. Write down on this slip of paper what you would do next.”
The audience scribbled down their answers and dropped them in a basket. The man then began to read them out loud, one-by-one. Some said,
Try and Find the Owner
Buy A Sandwich
Other possibilities were:
Give It To Charity, Get a Haircut, Save It.
The man kept drawing slips of paper until he got to the one he was looking for: Buy A Book.
This story resonates with me because–despite how deeply I’m invested in the world of books–my initial response to the hypothetical was Save It (close second was Buy a Sandwich). It goes to illustrate how much the book industry has to compete with in order to earn dollar. Couple that with how many books there are to choose from, and you see authors’/ publishing houses’ predicament.
So self-assessment time:
- Sure, you read all the time, but when’s the last time you actually BOUGHT a book? (not borrowed it from a friend or the library)
- Did you go to the bookstore with a particular title in mind or did you consider many before choosing?
- If the former, who/what brought that title to your attention? If the latter, what made you choose the book you did?
Here’s my own self-assessment to get you going:
- About six weeks ago. THE LIFE YOU’VE IMAGINED by Kris Riggle
- I went to the bookstore specifically to get that book.
- I was aware of the title because of the author’s self-marketing on Twitter.
Let’s see what we can all do to keep America’s publishing industry alive and well, even in a recession!