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  • Innocent War (Revised Edition): Behind an Immigrant's Past Series Book 1
    Innocent War (Revised Edition): Behind an Immigrant's Past Series Book 1
    by Susan Violante

The Publishing War

Publisher Weekly announcement that Books-A-Million joined with Barnes & Noble and will not carry Amazon Publishing titles made the publishing war that has been going on under the table, public. I am not sure how I feel about this…

On one hand, I am not happy to see book stores where I spent time reading, writing, and meeting with my writer groups disappear. On the other hand, I believe that it is their own fault that Amazon became such a monster for them. As the Internet opened the doors for Indies, the big chain bookstores made the decision not to support them. The niche was left opened for grabs and Amazon made the best of this opportunity.

Then came e-books…and once again the big chains had to make the decision to evolve or stay behind…some, like Borders, made the decision too late, others made it just in time.  But surprisingly their policy of closing the doors to Indies did not change.

Don’t get me wrong, I was able to sell my books through Borders and Barnes & Noble since my beginnings in 2009. I got in though, not because they supported Indies, but because I was fierce when it came to finding the right person to speak to.  The door did slam on my face many times, but I did not take no for an answer until I had my signing, and so I did.

But the fact that I did find a way to sell my Indie books on the big stores doesn’t mean I understand their rejection policy. In the end, whether the book comes from a traditional publisher or an Indie, it gives the bookstore a profit when sold in their store. As a Business Analyst I was perplexed. If it would have been my decision, I would have opened the doors, and set up procedures of acceptance to make sure the Indie books followed quality guidelines.

I am positive, that should have they done that, Borders would still be around and Barnes & Noble would not be battling such monster. After all, we writers always dreamed to see our books on the shelves of the stores, not on a website.


The Question With Infinite Answers

Why is it that we find it so hard to open up to the people who we spend most of our days with? This is a question with an infinite number of answers.

Many say it is because we try to keep an image about ourselves, others say it is a self-protection mechanism, or even that it is just the example we are provided from our parents that we tent to imitate.

The truth of the matter is that it doesn't matter why, what matters is how can this be changed.

Today's technology has made things easier as we all create virtual versions of ourselves. We can now visit our parents profile posted on social media such as Facebook or Twitter. We can read their comments, status and tweets and make our own idea of who they are as they open up to an invisible audience. But will this idea be complete, or even accurate? Chances are that it will not...

The time to think about how we'll pass down who we are and what we learned to our successors is now. Technology has made this important part of human evolution easier by giving humanity the tools to avoid repeating historical mistakes. The internet is a well of individualized information as people record pieces of themselves and posts them for all to see, read or listen.

It is up to us to us these tools wisely to provide our youth with the complete and accurate information learned throughout our era, so that the new generation takes humanity to the next level instead of going about in circles making our same mistakes.

Our generation has seen governments and economies fall just last year because of corruption, lack of ethics and mass apathy.

So, are we going to keep wondering why we can't just open up and teach all we know to our own offspring, and fishing an answer from an infinite pool? Or are we going to choose one way from the infinite pool of resources technology is providing to pass down this knowledge and do it once and for all!


Everyone Has a Story...

Everyone has a story to tell, but that doesn't mean that there will be people lining up to listen to it. Yet, I am a firm believer that all stories need to be shared, the question is how.

Journaling is the number one method of recording our story. Whether through the old fashion diary or today's ever more popular blogs, by recording it we are taking the first step to sharing. So, what do we do with our recordings? Are they to stay hidden? Do we publish a book? Make a movie out of it?

The truth of the matter is that publishing in book format is not the right way for many stories. Some could be shared as online blogs; you tube postings, audio recordings, scrapbooks, Newsletters, Open Mic nights, and who know how many other sharing methods we could find if we get creative.

When I decided to write my first book: Innocent War I knew I was writing my father's story to share with all of his Grandkids. Without knowing it, just by identifying who I would share it with, I had established a target market, an angle and a writing style. Most of us however wouldn't know it unless we know enough about the Industry to know what to do with that information.

If I had to do it all again, knowing what I know now, Innocent War's format would have been a graphic novel. Actually, maybe I should start working on that! An action/adventure novel about a young boy growing up in the middle of WWII would have called the attention quite faster to the young audience had it been on the graphic novel format. But I didn't think of that. In all honesty I didn't think period. I was on a mission to tell the story and so I did, only to find out that my story would be just an unnoticeable dot in a sea of stories.

This is why as soon as we start recording our story we need to ask ourselves why we are doing so. If we discover we wish to share, than we ask with who, why, when and how...and then maybe get information about the literary world, book industry,...etc.

What would I do differently? I would have gotten myself a coach, mentor, anyone to help me figure out what to do before doing it.



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