eBooks Get Passing Grade! Except for one thing…

Thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of people this gift-giving season will receive a Kindle, Kobo, tablet, or some other device that allows the user to read eBooks. I would’t be surprised if many of you are reading this on an eReader. And aren’t you lucky!

No more hauling twelve paperbacks in your suitcase. No more waiting in line at your local bookstore. Your book is delivered to your device in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the price of buying books the traditional way. Even borrowing from the library will be easier one day. No book would ever be out on loan and unavailable!

I personally believe that the print book is doomed. Today its folksy advocates wring their hands and fight for tradition but in a generation adults will get their reading material exclusively online. Their kids will look at print books like kids today look at typewriters.

The margins for publishers are too good to resist. How can you compare the cost of creating a file and running an eStore to the cost of printing, binding, wrapping, and shipping?

And then there are the authors. Sure, the per book royalty rate is much less on an eBook but with eBooks selling at such low prices they might make up the difference in volume. They can even forget the publishers all together and run their own eStores!

One of the biggest pro-eBook arguments involve the environment. Millions of trees would be spared. And that is a great thing.

But I would also suggest that the emissions that result from the manufacturing of these devices wipe out acres of trees at a time. And that’s something to worry about. Perhaps the next generation of eReaders should come with an oxygen mask.

The eReaders have my support entirely, except for the potential increase to environmental damage.

If you’re a writer, write. And if you’re a reader, keep reading. We need you!

Richard Todd is an author, blogger, and Social Media guy. Plus a few other things that get lost in the clutter. Visit him online at www.richard-todd.com.

What’s this Blog About Anyway??

Good question. Especially for those of you who have recently subscribed. And thank you for subscribing, by the way. It means everything and you’re certainly welcome here.

This blog is primarily about writing and publishing. Not that I’m another Hemingway offering valuable writing advice or some Doubleday executive with the secret to publishing success. I’m simply an author who hopes to convey insightful, practical advice to help guide you to your publishing goals.

I’ve been there. And I love mentoring people, like I do with my Raincloud Reading Series. I can’t say I’ve influenced any J.K. Rowlings…yet. But you never know; the next Rowlings could be you.

This also is also for my readers that enjoy a glimpse into the world of publishing. And if they read these pages and get inspired to pick up a pen, I’d be delighted to no end. Then they can really benefit from this blog!

If you’re one of the thousands of writers who are struggling to land a publishing deal, have a look at my Adventures in Self-Publishing blog series. Or if you are already published and want a little free exposure, check out my Introducing series for new authors. Contact me if you’d like to be featured too. Like I said, I’m here to help.

You’ll also get glimpses into the  personal challenges that I’ve faced while trying to balance life while keeping up with writing (not always successfully). Maybe you’ll see something you can relate to.

Thanks again for subscribing. I’ll work hard to keep your attention. And have a great Holiday season. There’s lots to look forward to in 2012!

If you’re a writer, write. And if you’re a reader, keep reading. We need you!

Richard Todd is an author, blogger, and Social Media guy. Plus a few other things that get lost in the clutter. Visit him online at www.richard-todd.com.

Blogging for Blogging’s Sake

Some people blog for a living. And I say good for them. As long as they love to write, they’ve got the best job in the world. As the old saying goes, “Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

I’ve often thought I’d enjoy writing for a living. I had brief stint writing for Soulshine Magazine and some special features for newspapers. But if I learned anything from these experiences it’s that I don’t want to write for a living. Or at least for someone else five days or more per week.

In other words, I only want to write when I have something to say. This blog, which I try to update at least once a week, is a perfect example of this philosophy.

I believe that if you believe in what you write, you will touch your readers. It sounds like a no-brainer but there have been times win I sat down to blog but couldn’t think of anything interesting to say. So instead of forcing something out, I walked away. The fact that it was forced would surely show in the writing. And I like to think that my readers would pick up on that.

So, fellow blogger, be careful not to bore your reader with material you wrote just for the sake of doing so. You might force yourself to write it but nothing is forcing anyone to read it.

If you’re a writer, write. And if you’re a reader, keep reading. We need you!

Richard Todd is an author, blogger, and Social Media guy. Plus a few other things that get lost in the clutter. Visit him online at www.richard-todd.com.

They’re Called Starving Artists for a Reason

Remember that old sitcom ‘Good Times’ starring Jimmie Walker as J.J.? There’s a funny line from the show that’s always stuck with me. If I remember correctly, the painfully skinny J.J. tells someone he’s an artist, to which the person quips, “I can tell. You look like you’re starving!”

Great line. And all too true.

Artists have always lived on the fringe of society. Some are shunned due to their poverty. Others keep odd hours that revolve around their productive moments. Still others are what society might term as insane. But for this article we’ll stick with the financial angle.

In the middle ages lucky artists were revered by both royalty and the upper-class populace. Their paintings, writings, and music immortalized them. DaVinci, Byron, Mozart…all names still familiar today.

Yet I can’t help but wonder how many artists existed back then that died penniless and now forgotten.

Times haven’t changed much, except that big business is now the middleman between the artist and their audience. Try living off of book royalties unless you’ve built a huge audience like Frank Patterson or developed a monster franchise like J.K. Rowling. Walk into your local bookstore. Thousands of authors are represented. How many do you think live off of book royalties alone?

The biggest wake-up call for me was during a book signing in a Chapters store. One of the store employees showed me the shelf containing her eight novels. And she was signed to a good-sized publisher too.

At least she’s working in an environment she loves and can pitch her books directly to the customer. How many of us can say that?

So for all you writers out there, don’t quit your day job. At least until you sign your first movie deal.

On a side note: I’d like to thank everyone for their support during this recent time of sorrow. Your kind words were definitely appreciated.

If you’re a writer, write. And if you’re a reader, keep reading. We need you!

Richard Todd is an author, blogger, and Social Media guy. Plus a few other things that get lost in the clutter. Visit him online at www.richard-todd.com.