Thursday, May 1, 2014

Beam My Books Up, Scotty!

by Alan

colored spiral When you have a book published, maybe several, what are your thoughts, for the future? Is the book something you hope will be found and read, in 50 years? Or do you know, going in, that you may become out of print, a thing of history...or forgotten? What is your hope?

Do I hope my book will be found and read in 50 years? Heck, I hope my books will be found and read next week! I’m a writer and, to me, it doesn’t really matter when someone discovers my work (as long as they discover it eventually!).

Honestly, I don’t think about where my books will fit in the future. I’ve got bookshelves full of books fifty years old, so I assume my books will be collecting dust someplace fifty years from now. But will they be more than placeholders on a shelf and actually be read? If I’m lucky. After all, that’s why I wrote them—to be read (and hopefully enjoyed) by other people.

I certainly don’t expect that I’ll have a thriving readership decades from now (although I suppose it’s possible). But I can’t let my future dreaming affect how I feel about my writing today. I’ll just keep trying to churn out the best work I possibly can and leave my bookwise “legacy” to those who care about such things.

Of course, as my previous blogmates have noted, “books” may never really go out of “print” any longer. In fact, digital copies of my book might just be around for the colonists on Alpha Centauri to read. I’d have to admit, that would be pretty cool.


Going to Malice Domestic (which starts tomorrow)? I'll be moderating a panel, "Putting the Fun in Funerals: Balancing Humor and Murder," on Saturday at 2:00. Join me and my fantastically funny panelists Donna Andrews, Brad Parks, Helen Smith, and Nancy G. West for an entertaining time!


RJ Harlick said...

Have fun at Malice, Alan. Wish I could join you. Next year!

Paul D. Marks said...

Alan, I think you hit the nail on the head when you say ". I’ll just keep trying to churn out the best work I possibly can and leave my bookwise 'legacy' to those who care about such things." We just have to do the best we can and whatever will be will be, though it is nice to think that we would write something that would resonate beyond just our own time.

Have fun at Malice! And now if I can only figure out what the Captcha thing says on the first try or two...

Susan C Shea said...

All this talk about the future of our books is making me glum - I'm with you, Alan. I'm still hoping someone new will discover my books next week.

Your panel will be cool - you have some very funny people ready to let loose! Have fun.

Alan Orloff said...

RJ - Next year! Paul - The Captcha thing always gets me, too. Maybe we should make the inventor of that device a victim in our next stories. Susan - I hope I don't drag the panel down!