My friend Humberto brought back a story from his European vacation. The main reason for the trip was to bring his mother-in-law to her father’s hometown in Hungary. Hours away in Austria, she tripped over some laundry and broke her pelvis. She spent days in the hospital, and, while insurance covered the tab, she never reached Budapest.
All this is a convenient metaphor for my recent adventure at the Book Expo in New York.That is, the self-published authors I met felt very close to their destination amid the huge, high-energy crowds that crammed into the Javits Convention Center day after day. Their enthusiasm said literature and reading are, if not thriving, off life support, and that there is a place for writers who self-publish.
Not that it’s easy, or that the route is clearly marked. While major publishing houses proudly displayed their latest literary fiction, one company that caters to a little different audience proudly announced it was celebrating “10 Years of Refusing to Behave.” The Expo had authors pushing everything from books about pet massage to paranormal romance. Sex between vampires and humans seems to be red hot, no pun.
I suppose you could try to write something trendy and make a big killing. I prefer writing the story you feel compelled to tell, marketing it the best you can, and hoping for the best.
There’s a Chinese proverb that goes, “Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.” Humberto’s mother-in-law got up, but ran out of time and so did not reach her destination. The rest of us have no excuses.
What do you think?