Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Anticipation & Endings

I love Tuesdays in the bookstore. Usually, carts are cluttered around the store and employees are busy stacking the shelves with the new releases. There's an energy on Tuesday that inspires me. All those newly-released books--what's not to love?

Except there were no carts today. Not only that, but my particular Borders seems to have a decidedly lax opinion on release dates. While I eagerly anticipate Tuesdays like movie-lovers anticipate Fridays, my Borders seems to think a release date is a suggestion date.

Of course, on one hand it is.

On the other hand, buzz builds anticipation. Anticipation builds as the release date nears. And when I walk in the store to NOT find my eagerly anticipated shiny new books that are lazily on their way, I feel like a lover denied her climax.

And next week, when it finally decides to find its way to the shelves, I'll have a nice little pop of surprise. It won't have the same power, though.

So while I understand that a bookstore might view Tuesdays as a day most booklovers don't know about, I can't help but wonder: if bookstores took part in that anticipation, if bookstores joined in that big release day, wouldn't THEY get more sales, too? Oh well. Go enter Robert Gregory Browne's contest before midnight on Wednesday, if the book hasn't hit your local store yet. Worth a shot, eh? Anticipation brings me to endings. Now, I DO know one can't please everyone. I DO know that reader mail should be taken with a grain of salt. However, it's clear that my endings need some work. Several hint that "it can't end yet!" or "but we're going to hear the rest of their story, right?" And yesterday, I got, "I treasured every single minute reading this, until the final chapter." The final chapter was rushed. I can't say she's wrong, and I feel badly that I let her down. Is this one of the things I'm supposed to not admit? Well, I do. I mean, I'm not in tears or anything, but I am determined to do better with my endings. Any advice? My latest love is Microsoft One Note 2007. It's this sort of notebook organizer thing that is AWESOME. I can put my outlines, characters, research, and even book, all in one place with sections on top, and different labels on the right. I can even have multiple notebooks for each novel, for reading, for blogging, for everything. There's a 60 day free trial (not exactly 60 days; two more months. So if you sign up today, you get to use it until April 30th, which is almost three months!) Play with it; it's fun! I have one file called "Bow Ties." As I'm writing my novel, I jot down a little note on every little thread that needs tied up at some point. I musn't disappoint my readers!

6 bonus scribbles:

The Dark Scribe 2/06/2007 10:14:00 PM  

Okay, no big suggestions on endings, but I just wanted to chime in on the Borders/release date fiasco. I'm a bookseller at one of Borders's biggest competitors, and let me tell you--we get those new releases out there the night before their release dates (after we close). Everyone who works with me is excited about books (we sure as hell don't work there for the money--I've wondered if I could make more collecting pop cans), so we make sure they go out when they're supposed to.

Also, it seems like Borders is breaking their agreement with publishers by being so laid back. All that space at the front of the store is rented by publishers--it isn't free. So when a local author comes in and asks why her book isn't on the octagon in the front of the store, it's because her publisher didn't pay for it. Thus, by not putting books out on time, Borders is cheating the publishers (and the authors!).

Okay, that's all. Just a little rant about the business :P

spyscribbler 2/06/2007 11:23:00 PM  

I love that rant. And all the information packed in it! Thank you! I should say that SOME of the releases get out there on time. But still ... they particularly keep books in storage that aren't going on the featured shelving, but are still being released. I've had to beg for them, LOL.

Me? I think bookstores should throw a big old party every Tuesday, LOL. I might be going overboard, there ...

The Dark Scribe 2/07/2007 02:10:00 AM  

No, that's not overboard. I mean, we have regulars who come in EVERY Tuesday to buy all the new titles--not just featured hardcovers by Patterson or Connelly, either, but the new mass markets, all of it. And honestly, I feel like I'm not doing my job if I have to hunt something down, or tell a customer to wait while I hunt through the receiving room to find a book.

On the other hand, not everyone gets as excited about books as we do. Which is probably why some bookstores get away with slacking off on Tuesday :P

Holly Kennedy 2/07/2007 02:41:00 AM  

In Canada, our Indigo or Chapters stores are like your B&Ns and they're actually pretty good about release dates -- it's just that the distributors often get them to the stores a day or so later than the US release date, something that really fries me when I drive all the way into the city to pick a book up and... no book! Ah, well... What can you do, right?

Avery 2/07/2007 02:58:00 PM  

Endings -- they torture me. I'm on the second round of revisions for mine. The first one garnered from my writing partner pretty much the same comment you had. The second ending was better, but still not quite there. They say three's a charm. They'd better be right.

I think with my original ending I had my eye on the finish line, and not on what I was doing while getting there. This time I'm making sure I'm slowing down, plotting out what needs to happen, what needs to be tied up, and then chewing the life out of the end of my pen while trying to come up with an exciting and original way of concluding it all.

All I can do is wish you good luck.

spyscribbler 2/07/2007 06:02:00 PM  

Avery, I hear you. Thanks for the luck!