Shifting Sands and New Resolve

There’s much in the news about publishing these days–the rise of self publishing, predictions of the demise of print books, predictions that print isn’t dead, and commentary saying the golden age has come and gone in typical modern, high-speed fashion. What sometimes gets lost in all this is that writing is not publishing. I feel somewhat heretical saying this in an era when “how to write” columns focus on creating author platforms or formatting ebooks, but it’s true. Publishing is a business and always about commerce. Writing can be, but isn’t inherently. Sometimes writing fulfills other needs.

As a publisher, Float Street Press has focused on putting out good (interesting and in our opinion, worthwhile) books and not enough on commerce. That’s because it is really more of a writer’s collective than a real business. As such, the shifting sands of the business end of things, changes in the terms of service at Amazon, the rise and (more often) collapse of their rivals, the erratic and abrupt rise of subscription services, all came about while we were attempting to build up an organization that produced books with covers that better represent the stories inside, to find unique and interesting ways to reach readers.

Oh, we followed in the footsteps of others and turned to Facebook ads, and promotions, and such… but half-heartedly and not very well.  So that is ending.  Rather than put on gloves and go toe-to-toe with people who are, frankly, much more savvy about marketing, and even acquisition (not that hard) we are changing our strategy.

Fortunately we are a collective, not a business. We have no serious overhead. We have a love for books and a passion for good writing. So where does that take us? Honestly, all it means is that we stop worrying about selling. We will stop promoting entirely. We will make books available, work with friends to help their labors see the light of day (in the best possible package) and write and produce books. They will be made available through the usual outlets, in case people do want to read them. But because we know of no way to cut through the noise level, we will stop wasting the time and money trying to do that.

Here is an example of what the future holds, with us working on our books and helping other good books get published.

Javaid Qazi is a fine writer of literary fiction (has there ever been a category so doomed by its very name?) and we’ve published several of his books. We were intending to publish his newest AN UNSENTIMENTAL EDUCATIONwww.amazon.co.uk but decided instead to let him market his entire catalog himself. You won’t notice the difference, but it simplifies all our lives. The book is out today and available for 99 cents from Amazon for an introductory period (and available in paperback). It’s available through Kindle Unlimited as well and I hope you will check it out.

A clash of cultures… a trial by fire

Freshly arrived in the United States from Pakistan, Ravi Daliwal, a young college student, found a world that was bright and promising. His horizons seemed limitless; his hopes and dreams were without boundaries.Working in Silicon Valley he found dazzling, yet the work unfulfilling and the world around him soul destroying. Now his wife has taken their infant daughter and left him untethered and footloose. Turning to alcohol and casual sex he finds relief but he finds himself wondering how his life took such a bleak turn. When and why did life become a dreary round of dull work, brittle relationships and meaningless hedonism?

 

A darkly erotic world

We’d like more of our readers to get to know Kurt Dysan. His first story, A BURGLAR IN MALAY is available in ebook and paperback from all the usual suspects.

Burglar in Malay

It is an erotic story that takes place in Malaysia, just as the title suggests. It is an erotic crime story, in which lust for stolen jewels competes with more basic lust.

We recently published his second, titled LUSCIOUS THIEF. The cover was done for us by The Cover Collection and we love it.

 

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Another erotic crime story of multiple deceptions, betrayal and lust, it examines the very real weaknesses of even hardened criminals. To let you taste his stories, this short story will be free on Amazon from April 5, 2014 April 8, 2014.

 

Crime and passion

We’ve just released a new story by Ed Teja on amazon called A Mexican Divorce.

How is a girl supposed to have fun on vacation when blackmailers are going to try and make her pay them for pictures of it all? And what will Bart say if he finds out? Of course she can’t little thing like a greedy blackmailer ruin a perfectly good setup.

mexican divorce It’s only available as an ebook for the moment, and only on Amazon. There are more in the queue, however, and you can expect to see an anthology of short mystery and crime fiction soon.

 

In other news, we’ve added a mailchimp signup form to the site. If you’d like to be kept informed of books by our authors, special deals and occasional free stories, please sign up. We won’t cram your inbox full of junk.

Booksignings

I love bookstores. I don’t just mean the ones that carry our books either. Even as the tidal wave of ebooks washes over us (well actually we are body surfing on it–not wanting to miss the ride) I love to go into stores and look at books. There is something special about opening one and reading that first page, even if you put it back. Physical books might not be the most efficient use of resources, but they sure as hell are inspiring. Just holding a book in my hands is wonderful.

It isn’t the best time for bookstores in general, but some are doing well. Without getting into any particular debate on their future, we are turning to them now to promote our books and, in the process, generate business for them too. Of course, all bookstores are not author friendly, so it is a matter of working with the willing. Fortunately, a lot of independent bookstores do love books.

Jim Beckett andThe_Invention_of__Cl_Cover_for_Kindle I are scheduling signings of our book THE INVENTION OF CLAY MCKENZIE. On October 26th we will be at COAS Books in Las Cruces, NM from 10 am to 12 pm (during the farmer’s market) signing away and talking with readers.

We are scheduling other signings as well and will announce them as we get closer to the dates.