Snowflakes in a Blizzard
Technology, as everyone knows, is forcing all sorts of industries to adapt to new realities. The book publishing industry is no exception.
From the advent of online book-sellers to e-readers to print-on-demand, it’s never been easier—or cheaper—to buy books. And there are a lot of books to buy. With the rise of self-publishing, anyone with a story can tell it. That, of course, is good. But as Darrell Laurant writes on his blog, all those books are “bad news for individual writers, because the chance that someone will randomly pick up or click on a particular book has decreased exponentially.”
A couple of years ago, Laurant, a former journalist and author, created a blog he hoped would connect readers with authors whose books don’t typically get the publicity accorded those published by the likes of Simon & Schuster, Penguin, or Harper Collins. “I find most of the books that interest me by going to the websites of small publishers,” Laurant told me. That’s how he found DOGLAND—he was perusing the offerings of my publishing company, Ashland Creek Press, a boutique press out of Oregon that publishes works whose themes emphasize environmental protection and animal welfare. Curiosity piqued, Laurant emailed me and asked if he could feature DOGLAND on his blog.
One of the things I love most about the blog is its name: Snowflakes in a Blizzard. “I chose the name,” Laurant writes, “because getting noticed for a writer in this market—especially a new, unknown writer—is like a snowflake trying to stand out in a blizzard.” Amen!
There’s no way to know how many people buy the books Laurant features, but he has more than thirty-two-hundred followers, so he must have a pretty good record of featuring books worth reading. So I urge you to check out Laurant’s blog and to spend some time sifting through snowflakes. You may find one that piques your interest.
Jacki Skole is an award-winning journalist, author and adjunct professor of communication. A graduate of the University of Michigan and Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, she spent a decade as a writer and producer at CNN before turning to teaching. Jacki launched WRITE Now to assist students in writing the college application essays that will chart their future. Read More...