Monday, January 16, 2006

Newark (Delaware not NJ) gets another bookstore.

Saturday I went to a book signing at Lieberman's Bookstore in my home town, Newark. Lieberman's is trying hard to let folks know they are not just a textbook store, after years concentrating on textbook business. I would not have thought to stop in to Lieberman's if I had not been in Rainbow Books and Records, just across Main Street in Newark, when the owner or manager came by to talk with the manager at Rainbow. I learned there and then that Lieberman's has remodeled, restocked, and turned itself into a nifty little college town bookstore. Mostly new books, a few used, with textbooks still sold in the back.

So when my partner in the Pious Ladies business, Debbie, told me that Terri Brisbin, whose historical romances she has reviewed online, was coming to Lieberman's, I had to go. Accompanying her was Mary Kennedy, YA author of 30+ books, many for Scholastic.

The two were delightful. They weren't familiar with the SF and Fantasy market but gave me a lot of insight into how things work in Young Adults and in Romance. The best of it? The best was to learn that the publishing industry was the same across genres. The love of books and the love of the deal go hand in hand. Publishers want solid sell through numbers; editors love the written word, are swamped by manuscripts, and live lives that are both more and less romantic/lucrative than would seem from the outside.

The pleasures of reading/writing and the pleasures of publishing/editing are connected and cannot be separated, despite the scorn some folks have for "filthy finances" and want it all to be about the LITERATURE. We baby boomers took a long time to come to appreciate the virtues of good business. But if everyone to whom money allegedly does not matter leaves it to those to whom it does, how much more rapacious will our industries become than they already are?

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