Sunday, December 02, 2012
Open Letter to Writers, Publishers, and PR Folks
First, what scares me. I'm retiring into the teeth of the worst economy of my lifetime, and I have absolutely no confidence that anyone in Washington, of either party, has the ability to fix things, including the fellow we have just re-elected for another four, long years. I've also been hit with unexpected news that the insurance I was counting on for most of 2013 is more than doubling in price, from the roughly $900 per month I expected to pay for my wife and myself, to $1807 per month. Happy retirement! Good luck, little nest egg. But, enough of that, this is a book blog.
Now, what I'm feeling guilty about. Book Chase is accomplishing more than I could have reasonably expected it ever to accomplish when I made that very first post on January 20, 2007. My initial goal was simply to find people who shared a love of books and reading to the degree that I love reading. That wasn't happening for me locally and, when I finally stumbled onto a couple of groundbreaking book blogs, I saw the light. There really are people like me out there - thousands of them - and the Internet is where they live.
The first year was spent making friends, sharing links, and developing a book review style that did not reveal too much plot but still managed to tempt people into at least giving my favorites a shot at their own To Be Read lists. I was reviewing books I purchased or got from the library, with an occasional request from an indie author thrown into the mix every so often.
Then, things started to get wild. I started hearing directly from indie authors and publishers every week...then every day...then maybe twice a day...and now 15-20 times a day. And the books I was offered got better and better. They started coming from some of my favorite major publishers, giving me access to review copies of books from some of the writers I had been reading for years, if not decades. I prided myself on answering every email solicitation I got, even if it was only to pass on a book being offered for review. Then, I started deleting a few without taking time to respond because there were just too many of them. Now I can only respond to those solicitations I want to accept, and I know that I am missing out on some very good books - and that my silence is probably offending a few people.
What I want to say publicly is that I know it's happening. I enjoy nothing more than spreading the word about the books that might just slip through the crack if a bunch of people like me don't take the time to talk about them amongst ourselves. But there's just me...one-man shop and all that. I'm running as fast as I can, but I doubt that, even in retirement, I'll ever review much more than 130 books a year (I have similar interests in live music and post videos of performances I attend to YouTube as SamHouston23 - and that involves time and travel).
So bear with me indie writers, indie publishers, major publishers, fellow reviewers, and those of you who read here on occasion. I do it because I love it, and I'm not about to give up on all the fun I have doing it...just not going to happen. I still want to hear from anyone with a good book to push; I live for that. It's exciting, and opening the mail still feels like Christmas. I can't believe things are working out so well for me as I move into retirement - at least, I won't have to worry about how I'm going to support my reading habit.
Keep those emails coming - let's see what's next.