Probably a very bland title. Meh
The world is a lot more of a digital and interconnected place. When it comes to publishing stuff, I still have the mindset that it is still 1995. I was born in ’87 and wanted to be a published writer since I was 10 so that’s most likely why. I came up during a time where you had to schedule your time around the media you liked (gotta see the movie before it leaves theatres, gotta get the book before it is no longer sold on shelves, gotta wait around to hear your favorite song on the radio, etc etc). It’s not like now, where you can consume media whenever you want. Want to buy a small-known comic book at 3 in the morning? You can do that. That would have been impossible in the 90s. Want to watch your favorite music act live in Shinjuku but you live in Atlanta? If they’re streaming it, just set your clock and you’re there. Or watch the stream and pictures or hashtag of the band from the people who are there. You can do that. Missed a music video? That’s ok, just type the name into a search engine and there you go. Heck, the musician probably has the video on their social media.
It’s sometimes hard to remember that in publishing.
What provoked this was the fact that I have friends who like Neil Gaiman (I’ve read The Sandman graphic novel and own a copy and seen Good Omens, it’s not bad) and I looked up autographed copies of his book. He regularly says signing hurts his hand – because he has to sign hundreds or thousands of books in a single sitting, which is indeed painful-sounding. So that means getting an autographed copy isn’t going to be super easy. He signs genuine payloads of books but you can only buy them in certain places (Such as at DreamHaven, a book spot in Minnesota) or risk it on eBay (where it might be a fake signature – the fact that Gaiman signs with a fountain pen and a particular ink helps with verification of real or fake). It helps the bookstore, it brings ppl in because Gaiman signed books. It helps Gaiman because you don’t have to attend a signing to get a signed copy and he doesn’t have to get a crick in his wrist.
There are other bookstores that Gaiman has popped into because he likes books (go figure) and while he was there, he signed his works that they already carried. Xiran Jay Zhao has done the same – and caught static for it, which is wild. I’ve done the same. I had visited Amalgam in Philly because I just so happened to be there and they had my book Dreamer on their shelf. So, I signed it. You can sign copies of your own book, just inform the staff first and they’re usually extremely ok with it, if not stoked.
But the pandemic, tho. That keeps people inside (we’re still in a pandemic). Not everyone has access to a bookstore, not every bookstore has an easy to navigate site for autographed works and not every writer visits bookstores bunches (*koff koff*me*koff koff*). And what about people overseas? What if someone in Australia or Russia or Zaire wanted a Neil Gaiman book? Nuts to them?
Back then, that would have kind of been the case. If you don’t have access, you don’t have access. They can still order these books online (assuming there are no shipping blockades (like there are now due to literal war and/or Covid)) and have them delivered.
I kind of looked at my works and how easily signed versions are not accessible. I don’t commonly sign my works unless for a giveaway (which only happens once, usually when the book is coming out), or I pop into a bookstore (which I hardly do because oh, look, internet). I’m not on Gaiman’s level of demand but that isn’t to say that will never happen, nor does it mean that some random reader in the current time still wouldn’t like to have that opportunity.
I guess an online digital shop? So people can buy my works direct from me if they so wanted to, be it an ebook, print book, audiobook, or book-related item (I do make ’em so why not?). And they can choose if they wanted it signed (at no extra cost, it’s just a scribble & a stamp, y’all). Nora Roberts owns a bookstore and that bookstore sells a payload of her works (as well as other people works but it certainly is the one-stop shop if you like Nora Roberts works in every pen name she has ever penned in, including autographed copies). That bookstore also has a webshop, so it isn’t absurd and unusual. Unlike the physical store, it can be accessed around the world. I already have webshops for my bookbinding stuff such as sewing cradles and handbound journals on the etsy of my other blog, Black Witch, but that is currently closed because of the pandemic – because we are still in a pandemic. Either way, I have experience in running a webstore. I can make the store look any way that I want, which I like. I also like that it can provide a decent avenue for anything I create, such as stickers, pins, knitted wear, glowing things, etc. since I do indeed create quite a bit. I have a fairly creative background so it works. I can make limited runs (like a hand knitted blanket) so that way I don’t burn myself out.
Just stuff I’m thinkin about.
Leave a Reply