Tag Archives: ebooks

A Life Without Bookstores?

The mere title of today’s blog sends me into cold sweats because I am a lover of books. I shudder to think what a life without bookstores would be like. A few words that instantly come to mind are: cold, sad and depressing.

We didn’t have a lot of money when I was young, so I didn’t venture into a bookstore until I got my first job in Manhattan. Entering that store was an out of body experience for me. I spent more lunch hours than I care to admit, surrounded by books, rather than living breathing co-workers.

As a writer, it’s important to keep up with your genre, and the quantity of new releases can add up quickly, so, I broke down and bought a kindle last year. I find it extremely helpful especially when traveling, instead of packing five or six books, I can pack more clothes.

Here we are a few year’s later after the battle of the big bookstores, and I can’t help but find it ironic that after putting all the small bookstore’s out of business, these large conglomerates have also put each other out of business, leaving us with one bookstore chain.

One.  And I can’t help wonder how did this happen?

I talk to a lot of people who don’t buy ebooks. They want a print version. Not everyone owns a computer, and not everyone orders books on-line. So I think its always going to be important to supply readers with what they want. To do this, I have a hard time thinking that Amazon will be enough.

And one bookstore chain? Nope. I don’t think so.

Last week, a very good source told me that B&N closes twenty bookstores a year in the U.S. alone. Well, call me an optimist, but I think it’s time for the re-birth of the small bookstore. It’s time to get back in the game, boys. Whether they offer a little bit of everything, or specialize in certain genres: Children’s books, Romance, Mystery, Thrillers, Suspense, etc., I think people would welcome them back with open arms.

What do you think? Do you miss your local hometown bookstore? I know I do.

Best,

Cathy Tully

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Is Editing Important?

My husband and I had a disturbing (to me) conversation. The subject was self-published books and the failure of some authors to edit their work.

Don’t freak. I’m not against self-publishing.

I’ve downloaded self-published books and found some excellent reads. But I’ve also paid $0.99 and felt like I’ve been totally ripped off. Some authors take care to have their work professionally edited or at least proofread by someone competent in grammar, spelling, and punctuation before asking people to pay money to read it. Others don’t even seem to know how to use spell check.

As an OCD-ish writer, I’m appalled at the latter type. I’m not talking about a couple of typos or some formatting issues, but numerous grammatical issues on every page.

Had they never heard of the Chicago Manual of Style? The dictionary?

With the ease of self-publishing, it feels like the slush pile has moved from the agent or editor’s desk to the internet. It’s now the consumer’s job to determine which books are worth of their time and money. Before I download a self-pubbed ebook (even a free one), I check out the sample pages to see what’s what. But I don’t do this very often for the same reason I don’t shop at Nordstrom Rack. I don’t have the time to sort through the rubble to find the gems.

I can read through the occasional typo. This blog post may have a typo or two. Typos even find their way into fully edited, traditionally published books, but I find a plethora of errors distracting and annoying. Most word processing programs do a decent job of proofreading automatically. Not bothering to use these functions is plain lazy.

But let me get to the part that disturbed me, my husband’s assertion that most people don’t care about any of these errors. I’m picky because I’m a writer. The average reader just wants to know what happens in the story and routinely skims through sentences, paragraphs, sometimes whole pages.

Anyone else feeling nauseous at this point? I’m agonizing over every word that goes onto the page and readers really just want an outline of what happens? Is this true?

Help me out here. Readers, do you care about spelling, grammar, etc.? Does it affect your enjoyment of the book? Writers, what do you think? I’d really love to hear from some self-published authors on this, too.

Does grammar matter or has it gone the way of hand-written letters and perfect penmanship? Are spelling and punctuation irrelevant?