Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Of Commodes and Commodification

By Steve Weddle

You know all those RED CARPET shows they have for the Grammys and Academy Awards and all? How they devote all that time to the packaging of the thing being sold? I kinda get the feeling that's what we're doing with our recent discussions about books.

Look at those shoes.

Did you see what she said about 99c ebooks?

Print or digital? Paper or plastic?

We're talking about books, not writing. Not stories. I mean "we," here and not "you people."

But for a second, maybe we can worry a little less about price-point and a little more about plot.

Here's why we talk about ebooks and pricing and self-pubbing -- it's quantifiable. It's easy.

We can have arguments about ebooks. I can say a thing about PDFs being more available than pieces of paper. I can say something I know I'm right about. It's provable. I think that's probably why we've got so many blogs and tweets and updates about a thing we can get our hands around -- because we can get our hands around it.

We're talking about moving widgets, after all.

I didn't start writing so that I could read blog posts on marketing. I didn't get up early in the morning, crack open some Raymond Carver, and dream of the day I could post my thoughts about price point. But this is where we are. And it's goofy.

Is it important to know that lowering your ebook from $4.99 to $2.99 will increase your revenue by increasing total sales? Damn right it is, especially if you give a damn about the revenue. And you should.

Is it important to know whether a blog tour helped more people find out about your debut romance? Damn skippy. You're devoting your time, your effort, your writing to this thing.

I'm just hoping those of you with talent spend as much time writing your fiction as you do tweeting links to your blogs about ebook market strategies. Heck, I hope we all at DSD do, too.

So the next time you're getting worked up about some publishing crisis, as Dave mentioned yesterday, you might want to think about taking that time and energy and devoting it to that story you never have time to write. I'll try to do the same.

Not for me to spend 5,000 words blogging about how you need to write your opening sentence, but using the same energy to get our own stories written.

That said, I think some of the best work we can do out here on the Internet is to point folks to books they should read. That in mind, check out the newest (Feb 14, 2012) from Hilary Davidson, THE NEXT ONE TO FALL.

"Lily Moore is one of the most appealing 'amateur' sleuths I've encountered in years. The vivid sense of place - Peru, in this case - is everything one would expect from a seasoned travel journalist like Hilary Davidson, the story is deliciously twisty, the characters engaging. I know I can't be the only reader looking forward to more Moore." - Laura Lippman, New York Times bestselling author of I'd Know You Anywhere

"An atmospheric mystery with an ending that packs a punch. Lily Moore is a passionate and tenacious heroine." - Meg Gardiner, author of The Nightmare Thief

"Hilary Davidson knocks it out of the park. If this book doesn't get your motor running, have someone check you for a pulse." - Reed Farrel Coleman, three-time Shamus Award-winning author of Hurt Machine


Anonymous said...


-Dave White

Thomas Pluck said...

Shut Up And Write :)
damn good advice.
Thank you.

Beth Balmanno said...

So, like, close out Twitter and Facebook and just have my word processing program open and write??? DONE.