Dear Writer-Friends,

I've been self-publishing since 2011, and I've shared the knowledge I've gained in two books: the Indie Author Survival Guide, Second Edition, and For Love or Money. I'm not an indie rockstar or a breakout success: I'm one of thousands of solidly midlist indie authors making a living with their works. These books are my way of helping my fellow authors discover the freedom of indie publishing. Write on, writer-friends!

S.K. Quinn, Independent Author of Science Fiction

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR QUICK START GUIDE TO SELF-PUBLISHING and to be notified when the 3rd Edition of the Indie Author Survival Guide releases!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

What? We're Doing It Again? Ch 9.1 Bookstore of the Future

(This is an excerpt from my Indie Author Survival Guide, available on Kindle and Nook.)

What? We're Doing It Again?

You've published a book. Maybe even sold a few. You've marketed and networked and survived the social media quicksand.

Now go do it again.

It may seem impossibly overwhelming to hear those words. How can you keep up this pace? How will you survive when you've barely gotten through this book launch, and only then on a steady diet of cheetos, fruit loops, and day-old coffee?

Breathe. It does get easier. The second time around and the third will still have butterflies doing combat drills in your stomach, but by the 17th title, even that goes away (don't ask how I know this). But seriously, you will become an old-hand at this publishing business faster than you expect. That's when you get to lift up your head and peer into the future. To make adjustments to your Five Year Plan. To begin to flex your freedom muscles as a writer. To really embrace what you're doing: building a career as well as a business.

Have a latte and savor the moment.

Then put your nose to the grindstone and write another book. It's why you're doing this, right?

Ch 9.1 Bookstore of the Future
I write futuristic science fiction, so a lot of my Google searches end with the words "... of the future."

These days everyone's walking around with a device in their hands (iPad, iPhone, iPluggedIn), and it increasingly feels like the Future Is Now. Being a gadget person, I'm not averse to any of this (quite the opposite), but I wonder what will happen to bookstores. I used to pedal my bike to the local mini-mall, where an independent bookstore was tucked in a tiny space next to the Sav-On. Every week, I would spend about half an hour scanning the Science Fiction shelves searching for just the right book to spend my allowance on. I used to dream of having a room in my house, wall-to-wall with books.

As recently as two years ago, I shopped at the bricks-n-mortar bookstores as much as possible, hoping to keep them afloat. Then they converted half their floor space to toys, and more often than not, I couldn't get the book I wanted. Sure, they could order it, but hey, I can do that from my house! Without paying for gas (or shipping, since I'm a "member"). It drove home for me that giant bookshelves of books was possibly the least sensible way to gain access to stories and would one day (soon) become a museum exhibit of the way that books used to be distributed. That sentence will make some people shudder, but instead of becoming mired in nostalgia, I pictured the real Bookstore of the Future. The one that just might keep the brick-n-mortar stores in business.

And what I - author, reader, book lover - would want it to be.

I want a bookstore that looks like an Apple store on steroids.

I want a digital store front, with animated touchscreens in the children's section.

I want a place where a group can gather around a screen for a skyped author visit.

I want a personalized search bot that finds me all the books I will love.

I want my obscure, hard-to-find, nearly-out-of-print book printed in the shop while I sip tea.

I want a cozy place where people gather to have their writer's and book club meetings.

I want to sit in an overstuffed chair by myself or with a friend while we talk books.

I want a place that welcomes local authors as well as touring celebrities.

I want a place that hosts writing competitions for youth.

I want a place to go for classes on literature enjoyment, analysis, and creation.

I want a community gathering place that celebrates all things literary.

I want a place that serves coffee in the morning, High Tea in the afternoon, and wine-and-cheese at night.

I want a section where I can play and learn about the latest book-reading gadgets.

Will the name on the outside of this Bookstore of the Future be Amazon?

It wouldn't surprise me.
But no one has a lock on the future - it's there for the grabbing by the one with the most imagination.

As an author, reader, and book lover, I would come to a store like this.
And I think a lot of other people would, too.

(This is an excerpt from my Indie Author Survival Guide, available on Kindle and Nook.)


  1. I agree! Love the sound of that kind of bookstore!

  2. Why don't you open one- sounds like you have all the right ideas.

  3. That sounds like the PERFECT bookstore. Ever since the Borders closed by me, I've only been in a bookstore once or sad. I used to go there just to hang out!