A few weeks ago, I went to a book signing in St. Louis.  It was sponsored by a local Independent bookstore, Left Bank Books.   For twenty dollars, you received a cocktail, Q and A with commendable author, Suzanne Rindell and a signed copy of her recent novel, The Other Typist.  The complimentary, autographed copy of the book would basically cover the price of the ticket—not to mention meeting the author face-to-face and well, I’m always in for a free drink.

It was slightly depressing when only around twenty people showed up for the Rindell book signing. After speaking with Left Bank’s owner, I also found out that they not only didn’t break even on the event, they actually lost money. Yet another, boo-hoo.

I recently Indy published a novel myself, and have been diligently trying to market my new book, Ghost Light by going into local bookstores and libraries to see if I might possibly do a signing. A small bookstore in my hometown has agreed to have me read there, several others have never responded and a few have politely declined.  I wondered why my local community would not support a new author.  After attending the Rindell event, I understood why.  Suzanne is an established author with an agent and publicist. Not to mention, her book is published by one of the big dogs, Penguin. What hope would I have as a new author, with no proven track record who had independently published? In an ever changing digital world, it’s been discussed if the book itself will someday cease to exist. And if that were true, book signings would as well.

I have a Kindle.  I purchased it as a “need to know”—morbid curiosity you might say or what’s the hubbub about? But, despite my new e-reader—I’m old school when it comes to books—I am a lover of dingy-yellow-leafed-slightly-smelly library books just as much as I adore the way a brand-new-crispy-paged-novel feels in my hands. I would miss those things. The idea of the book and everything that comes with it becoming extinct—lost in a digital world, makes me a wee bit sad.  How about you?