I may have turned the corner here in the romance genre. I turned this corner a long time ago in my professional life when I began looking up writers to purchase their books, instead of looking at a book and only after reading it (and deciding it was pretty good) did I then look at the author name to find more of their written material.
I generally judged a book by its cover. Heck, sometimes I still do. But I found myself perusing the book aisle this week for a particular author-Kay Stockham who I had met a couple of times and who used to be a member of my writing group (KYOWA) way back when. Way back when she was a one of the aspiring to be published authors. Now she is writing Super Romance for Harlequin. It was pretty amazing to walk into the store, look at the shelf, and see her name there. And think, "Wow! I've met her. She doesn't live too far from me!"
And she looks like she might just put her pants on one leg at a time, just like me! Hey, maybe one day I could be on the bookstore book shelf! And certainly I could be next year if someone orders my book and then waits a few days for it to come in. There my book will sit on the shelf waiting to be picked up! With the number of publishers out there, most published books never have a shelf life in a book store. They simply wait their sad little lives in a warehouse hoping to be shipped to someone's house before incineration day.
I can also get my book in a bookstore by having a book signing. Unfortunately, I have studied this process and it seems I have to actually be there in person to sign the books. To me, being the social wallflower that I am, meeting lots of people I do not know and pushing my book on unsuspecting customers seems only slightly more fun than having a cavity filled without the laughing gas. I have talked with a few people about being my stand in for a book signing (you know, getting them to sign my books and talk with people letting everyone assume they are Jennifer Johnson while I meander around looking...um...anonymous.) So, far no one has agreed to be me.
So, here we go again with the pleasures and benefits of being digitally published. I can publicize on the Internet; I can send emails about my incredible book; I can put an ad in a magazine. I can also have flowing locks of flaming red hair, violet eyes, a healthy, natural looking tan, with no razor stubble on my legs, and wear a size 6. OK! OK! A size 8! And of course, I will wear sequined dresses bought at Lara's Boutique, unless I'm going grocery shopping. Then I'll have to don the mink (faux fur, though it looks like the real thing.)
Oh, what the heck? If I'm going to live the fantasy, I might as well have someone to shop for me. Everyone knows Aspen summers are a bit warm for the mink anyway.