Once upon a time, convenience stores offered few choices of beverages for the thirsty traveler – hot coffee or cold soda or beer. Now you walk into a mini-mart and you can choose from an array of different coffees, hot and iced, sodas, waters, juices, frozen drinks, etc. When these alternatives first came on the market, they were from companies we probably never heard of. We gave them a shot and discovered new favorites.
Same with music. There used to be a time you walked into a record store and your choices were limited to what the store’s buyer decided to stock. Indie music was only found in friends’ garages and at a couple seedy bars downtown. New faves were pretty much decided for you by what was played on the radio. Now you can browse through iTunes, get recommendations based on what you’ve previously bought, check out others’ playlists, search the social media sites and find bands you probably would have never heard of through the old way.
Fortunately, this is the way of books! Libraries and local bookstores are incredibly awesome, but they have limited space. Their buyers must choose which books to stock and usually those choices are limited by what’s in the catalogs they receive. At one time, indies could try to hand-sell books straight from their car trunks to local booksellers’ hands, but often weren’t successful. Without the big budget for traditional marketing and advertising, indies just didn’t have enough reach to be able to sell many books.
The Internet, as we know, has changed all that. Now indies can reach readers directly. Now readers can take a chance on an author they never heard of and if they find a new fave, they can spread the word quickly and rampantly. Not just to their local community, but around the world!
The point in all this is that writers have new ways to get their books into readers’ hands and readers have new ways to discover authors and broaden their reading scope. It’s a win-win!!! And I say all this because of a post I wrote on my other blog about the need for us all to be Team Writer. Because Team Writer equals Team Reader!
I love the stories written by good indie friends, such as Michelle Gregory and Brenda Pandos and I cheer on those who take the indie plunge, such as Anne Riley and C.K. Webb & D.J. Weaver. I tell everyone I know who likes YA to read small press authors Lani Woodland and Meredith S. Wood and I do what I can to spread the word about Jessica Bell’s upcoming release. I cheer on big pubbed authors such as Elana Johnson and Tawna Fenske (can’t wait for their debut novels!) and celebrate with the writers who go the trad route, like Carolina Valdez Miller who recently landed an agent.
All of these are books and authors I either already love or can’t wait to fall in love with. These writers took different roads to publication. None are right or wrong. And if each hadn’t taken the path they did, we wouldn’t have these wonderful books to enjoy. So let’s celebrate Team Writer! After all, a win for Team Writer is a win for Team Reader!