Saving Author Alice J. Wisler from Extinction
By Alice J. Wisler
I love books and I love to read them. In my house, I have numerous bookcases stocked with books friends have autographed. I have books that helped me during the rocky days after my son Daniel died. At any time I can open these books, read a portion for reference or for entertainment. Books and I go back to that dusty library at my elementary school in Kyoto, Japan. There was nothing like being able to check out a large illustrated book in first grade and a Nancy Drew mystery in fourth grade. I loved to turn the pages, smell the musty scents and escape into worlds created by talented authors. Somewhere during those formative years I desired to write books.
Jump ahead to many decades later and I am living my dream. When Rain Song (my novel about a young woman from Mount Olive, North Carolina, who comes to terms with her past in order to live her future), was published in October 2008, things looked good. I enjoyed book signings and reviews and sales that were at 25,000. How Sweet It Is (a story of a woman who deals with forgiveness in Bryson City, North Carolina) arrived on the scene in May 2009, things still looked good. I didn't like the cover of the novel as much as I liked Rain Song's, but was glad that didn't stop people from reading about Deena, Jonas (one young reader asked if he was real because she wanted to marry him), Aunt Regena Lorraine and the kids at The Center who need love and support.
And then the recession hit. And continues to plague us. And those swanky items called Kindle and Nook came along so that folks could read stories without actually having to turn literal pages.
And things changed.
I got a letter from Bethany House, my publisher. My heart sank down past my knees. How can it be that my first two novels will no longer be available in trade paperback? That within the month they can only be purchased in -e-book format? That even though Rain Song sold 28,500 paperback copies that was not enough to keep it in print?
The implications those words hold for me are vast and dark. My novels, both Christy Award Finalists, with favorable reviews in Publisher's Weekly, Library Journal and other magazines, are not going to be printed anymore.
I shed some tears because that is what I tend to do when my heart is bruised. And then, I wrote this message to ask you, my friends, readers, and fans----to act. Act as though this message is a plea or a petition, asking you to buy copies of Rain Song and How Sweet It Is. Don't wait till next week or next month. These novels will not be for sale much longer, in fact both of them are only still available at Amazon. My hope is that you will order them today (please --- not the bargain copies with markings on them; brand-new is what will make the difference). Give these paperback novels as gifts to your friends and family. Suggest them to your book clubs and reading groups. Both books are rated G and G means that they are good for:
* Gourmet cooks
* Girls who are now women
* Greasy spoon cooks
* Generous people
* Graphic artists
* Great people
And Gentle people, who take the time to read this and support the printed book industry, which unfortunately, is a dying breed.
Order from your favorite bookstore. Or go here to order these novels today while they are still available! Trust me, they will not be here much longer!
With deep gratitude,
~ Alice J. Wisler