Monday, December 03, 2007

Ho Ho Hum

So, there was the whole thing with my publisher refusing to buy book 5 of the series because they didn't think sales of the previous books were strong enough to justify it. Okay, I could sort of accept that, even if I didn't like it, but that just motivated me to push harder to promote the books and see if I could drum up more readers. But then I saw the page they made for the next book in the sales catalog, and it calls book 4 the "conclusion" to the series.

Uh, no. It's not. The fact that they didn't want to publish the conclusion to the series does NOT make this the conclusion. So I complained. I just got their response, and it pretty much sounds like they've already made up their mind that there will be no more books, no matter what happens. Yet they also said they thought the position as the conclusion would help the book sell better and get people to go back and read the earlier books -- but then that means that they've already closed themselves off from the possibility of more books if that happens.

So now I'm in the weird position of actually wanting my books to go out of print so the rights revert to me, and then when the movie is made or I become successful elsewhere, someone else can republish the whole series in the correct genre so that people who might like it can actually find it, and then they'll get to publish the real conclusion. I'm not going to quit trying entirely because if this next book bombs, that hurts me for getting on with other publishers, but my focus now is on other things elsewhere. And if you get the Random House catalog, just disregard that headline.

This situation did not help with my attack of the Grinchies. I have, however, figured out a lot of what my problem is. They start cramming Christmas down our throats earlier and earlier every year. The malls and department stores are often decorated before Halloween, and there were radio stations playing 24-hour Christmas music in early November. They'd already shown most of the major Christmas TV specials before anyone even opened the first window on their advent calendars. After spending so much time going "Nooooo! Not Christmas! Ewwww! Make it stop!" it's really hard to flip that mental switch over to "Yay! Christmas!" Given that they start the nonsense around Halloween, if you try to hold out until December first, that means you spend more time avoiding Christmas stuff than you do enjoying it.

Supposedly, they start the Christmas shopping season so early to encourage people to buy more stuff, but I wonder if it really works. I know that I avoid stores entirely during November, and then I'm so sick of it all when it really is Christmastime that I just duck into one store, buy what I need and get out. Maybe if they delayed and let us actually build up a sense of anticipation, so that we couldn't wait for the Christmas decorations to go up and for the music to start playing, we might feel even more festive, and we'd want to go to the decorated stores more during December since that would be the only time we'd see them. I probably wouldn't buy more gifts, since my list is pretty short, but I think I might be more excited about buying things like ornaments and decorations, and I might want to spend more time in stores, which might lead to buying more stuff (and I wouldn't be avoiding the mall in November). Then again, there were all those lines of people charging into stores on Black Friday, so I'm probably not in the majority. It all makes me want to do crazy things like hand-make gifts. That still requires some purchasing, since you'd need to buy yarn to knit a sweater, unless you have a sheep and spin your own yarn, but it's different.

I kind of wonder if the Black Friday frenzy really has anything to do with Christmas shopping, or if it's just the idea of getting a good deal. Would people still camp out outside the Buy More in June if they had similar offers and opened the store earlier after closing earlier the day before?

I think I'm going to put up my tree Friday evening. Maybe by then I'll have transitioned from "Make it stop!" to "Yay!"

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