Skip to content
February 24, 2012 / schulerbooks

Schuler Guest Author Spot: Debut Military Fantasy Author Myke Cole

Happy Friday! It’s time for this week’s Guest Author Spot, featuring Myke Cole! His debut military fantasy novel Shadow Ops:Control Point (described as Black Hawk Down meets the X-men) has been getting a lot of buzz, including from our last Guest Author Jim C. Hines!

For more on Myke, visit his website, and check back Monday for details on our Kim Harrison tour t-shirt giveaway!

By Myke Cole

It’s a tough time to be a writer. Things are  . . . uncertain.

The publishing industry is in turmoil. Books sales are down, in some cases way down. I believe mass-market paperback sales declined by a whopping 54% between September 2010 and September 2011.  Borders, an industry beacon and home-away-from-home for generations of dedicated readers, has gone belly-up. Barnes & Noble, the last remaining book superstore, isn’t looking too stable either. Some of this may be do to the meteoric rise of eBooks, but with that comes a meteoric rise of ePiracy. Why should people pay to read books when it’s just as easy to google the author and title and download the thing for free?

Self-publishing was long considered the graveyard for unsuccessful writers. Until, suddenly, it wasn’t. Amanda Hocking and J.A. Konrath blew that ship right out of the water, and just today, Amazon UK announced Kerry Wilkinson claimed the top spot for Kindle sales with his self-published crime novel.

And then there’s Amazon. Some say they are predatory, bent on the destruction of traditional publishing, demanding steeper and steeper discounts. There was the standoff with MacMillan over the agency price model. Many believe that, should Amazon find a way to simply list all titles as loss-leaders, they could wipe out traditional publishing overnight with a flick of their mighty wrist. Higher quality video games, DVR, and newer and better TV and movies erode the public’s commitment to read text.

So, yeah. Uncertain times. When you’re a guy like me who quit his day job and ran chasing a writing career, there’s not a whole lot to hang your hat on.

So I hang my hat on this: We don’t know where publishing is headed. We don’t know the real fate of the brick and mortar bookstore. We don’t know where the popularity of the eBook will take us, or how ePiracy will evolve. All of this is brand, spanking new. The best we can do is myopically pore over incomplete data, guess trends by observing anecdotes, play fortune teller.

And that’s fine, I guess. But the fact is that writing fantasy novels is the only thing I’ve ever really wanted to do from the time I was a little boy. That passion necessarily equals commitment. This is my calling, and whether or not the industry goes down in flames, I don’t have a choice but to answer.

So I hang my hat on quality. I write the best books I possibly can, and try to let everything else take care of itself.

Because great books had the rearing of me, and even if the whole world turns their backs on them, I never will. I couldn’t, not anymore than I could give up food or air.

And I offer that up to every other writer, and book-lover, and bookstore lurker out there in the ether. These are frightening times. But when someone you love gets sick, or goes through changes, you stand by them. You change with them.

Because you love them.

Literature (bookstores, paper books, reading clubs, all of it) is my lover and my family and my best friend. I will stand with it, and I will die beside it, because it made me and supported me through best and worst.

And you can’t look away from that. Not ever.


One Comment

Leave a Comment
  1. John Wiswell / Feb 27 2012 10:30 am

    It would be possible for Amazon to destroy all book publishing if they swirled it into loss-leaders. What’s funny is, they’re also the best option against Googling and piracy, because they have such a strong infrastructure to get almost any book you want quickly and, as they win their pricing fights, often cheaply. These are disturbing times, and some days they look like the end times, but I’m glad some folks are willing to stick in there. I certainly am.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: