Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Stephen (Steve) Campbell is the host of two podcasts, The Author Biz, a weekly podcast focused on the business of being an author, and CrimeFiction.FM, a three day a week show focused on the crime genre. What follows is his guest blog.

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Are small publishers the new curators of remarkable genre fiction?

“Do you remember which network brought the television show, Mad Men, to screens around the world?  How about Breaking Bad?

“Do you remember your friends telling you that you had to check out those shows? Then once you saw them, didn’t you want to tell everyone who would listen to watch as well?

“These programs didn't come from one of the large, over the air networks. They came from a small cable network, AMC.

“We all have that desire to share the things we find remarkable, whether it be television shows, restaurants, or books.

“I host a podcast called CrimeFiction.FM where I interview the authors of new release mysteries, thrillers, and suspense novels. As you might imagine, I'm exposed to dozens of books each month.  Some of those books are ok, some are good, some are great and a few are ‘tell your friends’ great.

“Most of the last category, the books I tell my friends about, aren't the ones you see when you're racing through the airport. They’re not on that table you see when you walk into Barnes & Noble.

“In many cases, they come from the smaller publishers that focus on the crime and thriller genres. I’ve begun to think of these publishers as the curators of remarkable genre fiction.

Why it’s different with smaller publishers:

“The Big Five Publishers have a business model, and a cost structure that requires huge winners. Editors are looking for books and authors that will sell at a certain volume, so they're not able to take as many chances as they may like.

“So, instead of releasing that great new book from a talented, but lesser-known author, they'll ask one of their stars to publish two books a year instead of just one. They can project, with a fairly high degree of confidence how many copies the second book will sell.

“The lesser-known author's book is shopped around to other publishers until it finds one willing to try something different. Or, maybe the book is self-published by the author herself.

Books you want to share with your friends:

“I just released the 50th episode of CrimeFiction.FM, so that's 50 books I've read and discussed with authors so far this year.  Of those 50, six were "tell your friends" great for me.  Small publishers published four of the six. One was self-published, and only one came out of the Big Five.

“Of course, I'm not the be all and end all for deciding what makes a remarkable book. There are critics out there far more qualified than I to make those decisions. But when it comes to my definition of great - the "tell your friends" great, I’m the only one who can make that decision when it comes to telling my friends.

A great week of reading:

“My nascent theory that smaller publishers were publishing some of the best genre fiction began to develop in late April.

“I’d read some good, well-written books, but nothing was hitting that "tell your friends" level. Then I started (and finished) METHOD 15/33, an oddly titled book from debut author Shannon Kirk.

“It was one of those books that was so good I didn’t want to start another one right away. But, I had other interviews scheduled, so the next day I turned to my next book, THE DEBTOR CLASS, by Ivan Goldman, (published by The Permanent Press).

“I remember sitting down to read Ivan’s book while my wife was at the grocery. I planned on reading for an hour – tops. I finished the book sometime after midnight and went to sleep. 

“These two books couldn’t be more different.  One was a thriller featuring a pregnant, sociopathic teen.  The second, a dark, quirky, laugh out loud funny book, set in a collection agency of all places; exploring the effects of the recession on different classes of people in America.

“I’m on a serious reading roll now. I’d finished my ‘required’ reading for the week a few days early, so it was time for some pleasure reading. The next night I pulled out something from an author I’d always enjoyed. One of those authors who consistently launch books onto the New York Times bestseller list. After 20 minutes, I put the book down watched some television. I tried again before going to sleep that night, but it was a non-starter. 

“So what’s going on here? What was the difference between the two books I couldn’t put down and the one I couldn’t bring myself to finish?

“Well, there were several, but rather than get into the details of the book, I’ll use another television analogy. Reading the first two books was like watching early episodes of Mad Men. These books took me to places I hadn’t been before. The third book, which did turn out to be yet another New York Times bestseller, was like watching a mid-season episode of Castle

“The other difference was that the two books that kept me reading were from smaller publishers that focused on the type of books I enjoy reading. The book I didn’t finish came from one of the Big Five.

“Am I saying that the only place to find great crime fiction is through small publishers? No, of course not. There are some fantastic books published by the large publishers. But from this reader’s perspective, it’s the smaller publishers who are providing real value by curating remarkable genre fiction.”

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I hope you will share your thoughts and comments both on this website as well as with Steve at

COMING NEXT WEEK a blog from Victoria Southerland, the founder and editor of ForeWord Magazine.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015


The following blog comes from William Wells, whose story needs no further introduction or explanation.

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“Mozart began composing at age three. Terence Tao scored 760 out of 800 on the math portion of the SAT exam when he was nine, received his PhD from Princeton at 21, and was appointed a full professor at UCLA at 24. Picasso displayed extraordinary artistic ability in his childhood. Bobby Fischer was a chess grandmaster at 15. Saul Kripke, the noted philosopher and logician, taught himself ancient Hebrew at the age of 6, read the complete works of Shakespeare by 9, and mastered the works of Descartes and complex mathematical problems before finishing elementary school.

“The Permanent Press published my first novel, Ride Away Home, in August 2014, when I was 68. The cutoff age for child prodigy is ten. Even so, waiting 58 more years to get into print does seem a bit tardy. However, blooming late is not unique. Laura Ingalls Wilder published her first book, Little House in the Big Woods, when she was 64. Grandma Moses started painting in her 70s. Nola Ochs made the Guinness Book of World Records for being the oldest college student, receiving her bachelor's degree from Fort Hayes State University in Kansas when she was 95, and then starting on her Master's degree.

“I tried writing novels when I was younger. The first attempt, while reporting for the New Haven Register, was—of course—a coming-of-age novel, with The Catcher in the Rye in mind. Fifty pages in, I knew it was going nowhere. Over the next years, through my 20s and into my 30s, more stories were started and abandoned. I stayed busy with other things: serving in the Navy, being a top 40 disk jockey, a newspaper reporter, writing speeches for the governor of Michigan, writing a syndicated cartoon, and founding and running a custom publishing company. My wife Mary and I raised two sons.

“Of course, I could have made time for writing fiction. Scott Turow wrote Presumed Innocent on the commuter train on his way to and from his job as a trial lawyer in Chicago. Best-selling crime fiction author John Sandford started out working as a newspaper reporter in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and wrote books at night. Elmore Leonard's day job was writing copy for a Detroit ad agency. James Patterson did the same in New York. For whatever reason, I didn't do that.

“Finally, at 64, I made a New Year's Resolution that didn't have to do with diet and exercise: I would approach writing the way I did with my other endeavors, by treating it as a full-time job. By the end of that year, if I hadn't written something I liked, whether or not it was published, I would stop thinking of myself as a writer. I'd have to accept the fact that "author" would not appear in the first paragraph of my obit.

“I began studying the process by reading interviews with prominent writers and books about writing fiction. I looked up what literary agents and editors had to say about what it took to make a good book and get it published. I reread novels I liked and took notes on why I liked them, and I studied best-seller lists to try to figure out what was working in the marketplace (keeping in mind the dictum that you should write the book you want to read, without regard to what is popular at the moment).

“I discovered that I didn't know a lot about how to write a good novel. What I learned was:

1. The purpose of a first draft is to finish it. Then you have something to work with. Don't worry if it isn't good because it won't be. Hemingway said, inelegantly, "The first draft of anything is shit." Anne Tyler said, "I would advise any beginning writer to write the first drafts as if no one else will ever read them—without any thought about publication and only in the last draft to consider how the work will look from the outside." I was comparing my first drafts to the finished work of the world's best authors. That was like taking one violin lesson and then auditioning for Julliard. Rookie mistake, one of many.

2. John Sandford was asked in an interview why so many other newspaper reporters who try to write novels fail. He said he thinks it is because it is difficult to make the transition from a newspaper-length article to the long form of a novel. There is no rule about how long a novel must be to be taken seriously, but clearly it is longer than an article about a meeting of the Old Saybrook, Connecticut, Zoning Board of Appeals, which was part of my beat while working for the New Haven Register. You have to change from sprinter to marathon runner. That was, in fact, the biggest challenge for me. I'd get fifty pages in and feel that I’d never make it to that distant finish line. But the dictum about just finishing that first draft got me through.

3. It’s all in the rewriting. Draft after draft until you are satisfied that it can't be any better. And then do another and another. Early on, you grow tired of the characters and bored by the story, and you just want to put the manuscript in the mail to your editor. But you can't.

4. Understand that you will never be satisfied with a manuscript. But at some point specified in your contract the publisher can start charging you for changes, so you stop.

5. Don't wait for inspiration. Just show up at the keyboard and get on with it. In my other jobs, I didn't ask myself every morning if I felt inspired enough to go to the office that day.

6. What works is the same as with any other undertaking: nothing gets good without consistent, long-term effort. In one of his books, Malcolm Gladwell wrote about a study that identified the fact that you have to practice for a minimum of two thousand hours to achieve excellence in anything, be it a tennis or heart surgery. No one just shows up and is world-class—with the possible exception of those child prodigies.

“I'm nearing 70. I've finished three books, so far. My first was a literary novel, Ride Away Home. An editor told me about The Permanent Press, and the book found a home. The next was a psychological thriller called Face of the Devil. Dagger Books will publish it this summer. The Permanent Press will publish Detective Fiction, my take on the crime fiction genre, in 2016. I'm now at work on a sequel.

“I've found that the most difficult issue to deal with when writing books at any age is that, in order to replicate a version of real life on the page, you have to shut yourself up alone in a room and miss what's going on outside. This becomes more of a problem as you approach an age when you are no longer buying green bananas. That is the theme of one of my favorite poems, The Circus Animals' Desertion by Yeats. Toward the end of his life, Yeats expressed a measure of regret at having spent so much time on his art instead of experiencing life in the street: ‘Players and painted stage took all my love/and not those things that they were emblems of.’

“My oldest son Adam is in the commercial real estate business. He also paints, plays guitar, and studies philosophy and world religions. I was talking to him about that dilemma. At my age, I said, instead of sitting for hours at the keyboard, burning the days, I could be out playing golf or trolling for tarpon in the Gulf or drinking daiquiris at Sloppy Joe's in Key West.

"So why not just stop writing and do those things? Adam asked. I said that when I don't put in my time writing, I feel an uneasiness, a vague malaise. So you write because you have to, he said. ‘Yes," I answered. ‘Then you're an artist,’ he said.”

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I hope you will post your comments below and feel free to contact Bill Wells directly at

NEXT WEEK we’ll be publishing a guest blog written by Stephen Campbell, who is the host of the podcasts: The Author Biz, a weekly podcast focused on the business of being an author, and CrimeFiction.FM, a three times a week show focused on the crime genre. Be sure to tune in as Steve’s blog raises the question “Are small publishers the new curators of remarkable genre fiction?”


Wednesday, July 15, 2015


In August we’ll be releasing David Freed’s fourth Cordell Logan mystery, The Three-Nine Line. It’s been a very successful series, combining high in the sky adventure (Cordell, like his author, is a pilot of a small plane) along with a wicked sense of humor, which you will appreciate when reading David’s blog. It also provides serious comment on the elements needed when structuring a mystery that many will appreciate as you read on...

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“When I was eight, I enjoyed a brief but ultimately unprofitable flirtation with kleptomania. If it wasn’t otherwise nailed down, I stole it.

“Small inexpensive toys shoplifted from the shelves of the local Hested’s (what would now be the Dollar Store) were my usual booty, but I was not beyond stealing elsewhere, and for others. On Mother’s Day, I gave my mom a lovely perfume atomizer made of violet colored glass pinched from Rexall Drugs, along with a card congratulating her on being pregnant. In fact, my mother was not pregnant at the time and I really didn’t understand what the card meant--some kind of gently humorous sexual entendre, as she explained it to me years later. All I knew was that it was indeed a Mother’s Day card and that I had to stuff it down my jeans pronto, along with that atomizer, if I was to make it out of the drug store clean. My mother found the card endearing as she did my innocence in not understanding its message. She also found it mystifying that I could have afforded so generous a gift on a weekly allowance of 50 cents. But I am getting ahead of myself.

“One day, after having my latest cavity filled, I walked out of the dentist’s office with a full-size, plaster cast model of somebody’s mouth secreted under my jacket. I knew the moment I saw it that I had to have it, sitting there as I was, alone in the chair after the dentist went off to go look at X-rays or whatever it is dentists do when they are not torturing you. The mouth, I was convinced, would make the perfect anti-hero to my vast collection of plastic army men, most of which I’d also stolen. Can you imagine the fun, sitting on your bedroom floor with the door closed and waging war against two-inch soldiers with a giant human mouth? I certainly could! Those gnashing jaws. Those jagged, misshapen teeth. The ultimate monster.

“A few weeks later, shortly before my ninth birthday, I walked home from school to find my mom, a bookkeeper, sitting with my dad, a street cop, in the living room of our suburban tract house in Denver. This was highly unusual. My working class parents were rarely home in the afternoons, and certainly never together. The set of their own jaws and the anger in their eyes told me that something was amiss, and indeed it was. My mother had gone into my closet to put away clothes and stumbled upon my cache of ill begotten goods. My father promptly took me down to the basement, made me lower my pants, and whipped me with a leather belt. He then took a ten-cent, balloon-powered plastic robot on wheels I had pinched from Hested’s, crushed it under the heels of his black cop shoes, and told me that the wreckage of that toy would be my only birthday present. Then, my mother drove me around town and made me give back everything I’d swiped--less the robot my dad had destroyed, of course, for which she reimbursed Hested’s ten cents, deducted from my piggy bank.

“Other than my wife’s heart, I never stole anything ever again.

“What’s all this got to do with writing mystery-thrillers, you might ask?

“Well, for me, everything.

“For the protagonist in a mystery novel to investigate and ultimately solve crimes over the course of 300 pages, persuasively and with more than a patina of authenticity, the author who creates that protagonist must possess at least a passing understanding of how a criminal investigation plays out. In that regard, I feel well-grounded. Aside from having a cop's blood coursing through my veins, I spent nearly 20 years as an investigative newspaper reporter, covering all manner of law enforcement and military affairs, and later worked extensively within the national intelligence community, before segueing to writing crime fiction. Several of my closest friends are former cops or military special operators. All of which is to say that relating to or thinking like one of those good guys comes more or less naturally to me. It’s having to think like a bad guy that makes my head hurt.

“There’s an adage in fiction writing that for a hero to ultimately prove himself heroic, the anti-hero must be equally strong, if not stronger. The most compelling fictional bad guys are so clever and cunning, spinning such elaborate webs of deceit, as to seem at times invincible. This, of course, is before the hero, relying on all of his acumen, ingenuity and, often as not, a big-ass, semi-automatic pistol, sniffs out the clues and deconstructs the deceits before bringing the bad guy to justice and the reader to a logical, satisfying ending. This is where I sometimes run into trouble.

“As a journalist, I’ve interviewed my share of felons, from homicidal gangbangers to psychopathic rapists to thieving, white collar dirt bags with law degrees and Brooks Brothers suits. Not one of them to my knowledge ever conjured a criminal enterprise so sophisticated or cunning that it would have made for even a sub-par mystery-thriller. In other words, I can’t model my creative writing on the nefarious affairs of the real-life villains I’ve known because their enterprises were simply too straight-forward and not elaborate enough. Thus, I am left to make everything up, to put myself in the shoes of the murderers I must construct them from whole cloth, to give them warped but logical motives that permit them to pull triggers and plunge knives. I am obligated to cover their tracks until my hero can systematically uncover those tracks. Unfortunately, all of this having to be killer-like is hard work. I’m inclined to believe that whatever criminal impulses I may have once possessed—impulses I could definitely use today--were literally spanked out of me in that suburban basement. In this, then, I sometimes struggle as a writer of mystery-thrillers whose mission is to field a savvy crime fighter as well as the credibly crafty crooks he must stop.

“But, that, I suppose, is half the fun, and more than half the challenge.

“I remember crying and being overcome by embarrassment when my mother drove me back to the dentist and made me return the plaster cast mouth. He was a tall, reedy man who wore glasses with opaque frames and a weird kind of tunic that buttoned up the side, and he was not happy, which was not surprising given my thievery and his occupation. I read somewhere that many dentists are unhappy. All that saliva, I suppose. In any case, he shared his smoldering frustrations at having spent hours searching high and low for the mouth after I’d swiped it, then told my mother that it would not surprise him if someday I ended up in state prison.

“Who knows? That dentist may end up someday as a criminal in a mystery novel, with that plaster cast mouth as a murder weapon.

Now, there’s an idea.”

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If you enjoyed David’s blog and have anything else you’d like to add, please post it on this website. You can also reach David by email at And should you wish to contribute to these weekly blogs, contact me at 

NEXT WEEK we’ll be featuring William Wells’ blog, LATE BLOOMERS...another offering from another novelist.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


Daniel Klein is one of the most charming, funny and creative guys I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. Four years younger than me, he graduated from Harvard where he received a B.A. in philosophy. After a brief career in television comedy, he began writing books, ranging from thrillers and mysteries (starting with two Elvis Presley comedic thrillers, Kill Me Tender in 2002 followed by Blue Suede Clues a year later.) In 2007 he hit pay-dirt when he and his chum from Harvard, Thomas Cathcart, wrote Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes which made The New York Times Best Seller list, followed by two other sequels. In 2012 he wrote Travels with Epicurus, which became a London Times Best-Seller in England. These became International Best Sellers.

But Danny is more than that. He’s also a playwright and did so well with these non-fiction books that “I could afford to publish two novels with The Permanent Press for their small $1,000 advance.”  The first was The History of Now in 2009, which won ForeWord Magazine’s Silver Award for Literary Fiction, followed by Nothing Serious in 2013.

Before turning this over to Danny, it’s important to tell you this. In the early 1950s, Procter & Gamble produced a boxed powdered soap called “Duz” with the tag line, “Duz does Everything!” claiming the soap worked in even in the hardest water. One doesn’t know whether the product was named because of the slogan or the other way around. Regardless, it was a very familiar radio commercial for the over 70 set.  When I read Danny’s final line I told him “nobody under 60 that I spoke with knows anything about Duz.” But rather than fiddle with it, I let it stand with this explanation.

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 “Several years ago I was asked to be on the jury for an art colony’s admissions.  Hundreds of writers had submitted short samples of their work in hope of winning a week or two at this rural enclave where they would have their own cabin, meals, and the company of other deserving artists.  My (unpaid) job was to read their submissions.

“The sheer volume of manuscripts I needed to read was daunting, so after a while I lightened the burden by turning the process into a game: guessing which writers had an MFA in writing. (The correct answer was in the bios on the last page of each submission.)  

“I batted 100%.  In most cases I could spot an MFA in just two paragraphs.  The dead giveaway was the tortured metaphor.

“I have been skeptical of the value of MFA programs ever since.

“Much of what I have learned about the craft of writing came in on-the-job training.  Back in the 1960s and early ’70s, I made a living doing odd jobs in television in New York; I wrote quiz questions and stunts for game shows, routines for stand-up comics, and between-song patter for singers.  At one point, the networks started to produce their own movies, then called Movies of the Week (MOWs), and they were handing out script assignments to just about anyone who came up with a promising idea – even me.  They paid very well.

 “But I didn’t have a clue of how to write a film script.  Indeed, at that point my only experience writing dialogue was a play I’d written in college in which I shamelessly and clumsily aped Samuel Becket.  So I sat down in front of my black-and-white television set and studied one MOW after another.  Then I quizzed a couple of experienced TV movie writers about their methods.

“I soon learned the single most important lesson for the job: pay close attention to the commercial breaks. There were seven of them per movie.  This meant that the movie’s two hours of air time only entailed a one-and-a-half hour script.  But more significantly it meant that the viewer had seven opportunities to switch channels. This station-flipping option needed to be discouraged big time.

“The key, then, was to construct a plot with seven discrete cliff-hangers—intriguing, unanswered questions in the story that required the viewer to stay tuned for the next ‘act’.   This applied to mysteries, love stories, historical dramas – the lot.  A viewer deeply invested in ‘What’s next?’ doesn’t switch to the middle of an ‘I Love Lucy’ episode or even to a variety show.

“I soon discovered that this actually made the construction of a script easier. I would start by dreaming up a series of ‘What’s next-s?’ of increasing consequence until the final, super ‘What’s next?’  These commercial-break dramatic moments would often be altered as I began writing, but I would have been lost without this scaffold at the beginning of the process.

“Years later, when I began to write genre novels—medical thrillers and amateur sleuth mysteries for Doubleday and St. Martin’s Press—I still had commercial breaks on my mind when I constructed my outlines.  I had learned a valuable practical lesson in craft by writing those MOWs, a lesson I somehow doubt I would have learned at the MFA program at the University of Iowa.  (Yes, I know, those programs are for literary writers, not for commercial writers like me.)

“And then there are the lessons in invention that I learned while ghost writing books for psychotherapists who didn’t bother keeping case records…but more about that after this word from Duz.  Remember, Duz does everything.”
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I look forward to reading your comments on this blog directly and also by email. You can also reach Danny by email at

NEXT WEEK  it’s David Freed’s turn on the eve of our publishing his fourth Cordell Logan mystery, The Three-Nine Line

A Final Thought: If any of you readers want to contribute to this weekly book blog, or know someone in the industry who would like to do so, let me know by emailing me at


Wednesday, July 1, 2015


From Chris Knopf: 
Predictions of imminent calamity at the hands of the digital revolution are aplenty, yet exemptions seem to be popping up in unexpected places. Notably, independent bookstores have begun to rebound and surveys show that millennials believe physical books are superior to electronic for retaining important information.  This might explain why eBooks haven’t swept away the physical product the way iTunes upended the CD market and online streaming video killed off video stores.

Another pleasant development is the continuing vitality of libraries. At least in my corner of the world, they’re doing better than ever.
I haven’t studied this on a national level and I’m sure other people have different views, but in the two towns where I hold library cards, we have beautiful new buildings, dramatically expanded services and herds of happy patrons.  I have a few theories on how this happened:
The Great Recession put pressure on book-buying budgets, driving regular readers to the libraries for purely financial reasons. But once there, they enjoyed the experience, and kept coming back as things improved.

Rather than running from the perils of digital competition, library management embraced high tech, installing their own banks of broad band workstations, racks of DVDs and tech-savvy research assistants as a natural extension of their traditional role in dispensing reliable information.  Again, once engaged with the library for digital purposes, people naturally scooped up the physical books within easy reach, sustaining the habit.

Consuming media is not experience-neutral.  One of the reasons video didn’t destroy movie-going is because no matter how elaborate your home theater, it’s just not the same as going to a place where you buy popcorn, sit in a big room with other people and watch a giant screen.  Reading on a Kindle or iPad is just not the same as handling a printed book.  Libraries helped remind us of that, and thus fostered continued love of the traditional book.

The libraries I know have evolved into community centers. Humans are pack animals.  We naturally congregate with like-minded people, in this case, those who are curious and seeking intellectual enrichment.  By providing a venue for speakers, book clubs, historical expositions, study groups, even political debates, libraries have moved to the center of civic society.  I never turn down a chance to do a reading at a library because I know there will always be a decent turn out. This is because the audience is composed of serious readers who regularly attend author appearances.  

Librarians provide world-class customer service.  Do you know of any other profession more tireless in helping you obtain the information you seek?  For the librarians I know, it’s not a job as much as a calling. They love research and discovery, and take immense pleasure in sharing the bounty their institutions have accumulated.  Before Google, my go-to source was a toll free number at the New York Public Library.  I’d call them with some arcane question and they’d happily spend hours chasing down the answer.  That spirit is still very much alive and well, and you could do a lot worse than recruiting a librarian to aid in your quest for knowledge.  

All of this for me is cause for celebration.  As I write this, hordes of librarians are in San Francisco at the annual ALA Conference, and I suspect more than one wine glass has been appropriately raised to the good health and cheer of the local public library.   

From Martin Shepard:

Recently I spoke with an older librarian I know, who will shortly be retiring. She “wholeheartedly agreed with the assessment that local libraries have morphed into Community Centers and that their aim is to serve their communities in any way they can.” But she also sees some worrisome trends developing. While appreciating the fact that “local libraries are pouring funds into splendid additions and renovations, the space is often allocated to private meeting rooms, children's playrooms, media rooms (DVDs, music CDs, books on CD etc.), one result being that bound books, unless they are the latest best sellers, are being squeezed to the sidelines and that many tech savvy visitors come into the physical library simply to use their computers or read the newspapers without having to buy one.”

She goes on to say that at her library “the ratio of loans of DVDs to books is about two to one and there are many patrons who never touch a book.  However, this is not true of the children's department, the most vibrant area of our local libraries. Here books go out twenty-five at a time and parents are justly proud of their offspring's listening or reading abilities. While this drops off for many once they learn computer games, nonetheless the joys of reading have to take firm hold at an early age.”  

I personally think that this gentle lady worries unnecessarily, though the “squeezing out of non-bestsellers” is a legitimate complaint. Still, one can appreciate the fact that a third of the loans are actual books needn’t be worrisome at all, for many of these book loans come about because of all the other services a library provides. In my opinion this should be cause for celebration.

This is particularly true for us at The Permanent Press, since the major buyers of our books comes from the library market due to librarians who read the pre-publication reviews for our titles that appear regularly, and frequently, in Booklist, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and Library Journal. It is their appreciation of quality fiction that has helped many of our writers gain attention in the market place, which they surely deserve.