It's going to be an exciting week. I'm due to get some drafts of illustrations for Swain's Folly from an artist in Ohio, and I can hardly wait.
Yes, the book is already out, but hey, these days it's not that hard to re-issue it with illustrations and a new cover. It's not like I'm stuck with a warehouse of books somewhere as if I were a big traditional publishing house. Nor are there bookstores to complain that the stock on the shelf is not the latest available.
In some ways print-on-demand is wonderful for a do-it-yourself writer/publisher/entrepreneur.
As always, the marketing remains the tough part. I'm hoping illustrations for the books already done will help move them along. I can go just so far designing covers with stock art and whatnot. And since the feedback I'm getting from readers shows a lot of women really enjoy the book, well, I screwed up thinking it was a guy book, didn't I? S'awright, I just doubled my potential market, and a talented lady illustrator becomes a very logical partner for this book.
Speaking of ladies and books: There's a big flap in the publishing/writing world these days about whether the snobs who produce the New York Times book review are biased in favor of male literary writers. (Most, as opposed to "female commercial and niche writers.") My response would have several layers, top one being "Who cares?" The second layer would be "It's unlikely they're deliberate chauvinists, and likely they are snobs who think they're catering to some imaginary demographic that only reads books they review. The third layer would be, "Geez, look, a bastion of smug dinosaurs who escaped purges while the journalism industry was persuading its employees, with hammers, that the collective job of the industry is to give people information they want and can use, not give them articles and reviews showing how clever and erudite the newspaper's staff can be."
And my fourth level would be, "Who cares?" I'm pretty sure I've never met anyone who uses the NYT book reviews to make a buying or reading decision. If there's any dialog about what's said in a review, it's a reviewer talking to his mirror. They are truly irrelevant. They could take the entire bloated black-tie operation and shut it down and nobody would care. They could use that money to keep some of the NYT community newspapers better staffed and better able to report on things people actually do care about, like job development or crime or weddings in their communities.
They won't, of course, because that would make sense and the NYT is after all a corporation, but still. One is compelled to point out opportunities even if the words fall tinkling to the floor in the darkening, fast-emptying stadium of succesful journalism operations.
Now back to writing the sequel to Swain's Folly. I can see I'm going to have to assign myself a deadline if I'm going to get this done, the semi-retirement bit is very seductive of my time. You all have noticed that the sunlight in September is just too good to avoid, right?