Author photos taken by Robert Abrams in Paris, France.

THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY - Rebecca Buckley's Blog
Welcome to my blog. Here I'll talk about almost anything. Depends on the mood of the day. I'll also talk about publishing, writing techniques, and editing ... subjects close to my heart. So today, anytime you feel like it, feel free to jump in ... click on the COMMENTS link at the end of a post and give your opinion. If you sign in "anonymous" to comment, it's easier, just be sure you say who you are in the content of your comment.

Monday, April 25, 2011


How many times do you go into your library and browse the shelves for a good book to read, one that you haven't read yet? One that will jump out at you as you scan the rows of titles? By the way, what constitutes the meaning of a "good" book to you?

I become bored very easily when it comes to reading. The content has to grab me at the onset or I have trouble reading on. Now I know that the inability to catch my attention at the beginning isn't always a sign that the book isn't good, not at all. For I've plodded on through boring only to discover the book was a gem. So although it's best to have those action openings -- murders, rapes, interesting incidents, exciting happenings (doesn't always have to be a bad occasion)-- quality writing will most assuredly hold the reader till the action does begin, or what have you.

One such writer who takes a lot of patience out of me is Thomas Hardy. If you've ever read Hardy, you know what I mean. He'll drone on and on about something and you wonder if continuing with the read will be worth it. Of course it will, for here we have a classic, quality writer ... and reading his words whether there is action or not is very much worth the read. This man has a way with words. Love it.

On my library shelves, in addition to the latest best-selling novels, I have many classics, in fact I collect them. Books written by L. Tolstoy, F. Dostoevsky, T. Hardy, Du Maurier, D. H. Lawrence, George Elliot, Cookson, James Joyce, Dickens, Trollope, Steinbeck, Harper Lee, Twain, Melville, Hemingway, and so forth. And of course all the popular classic writers of today.

This morning I was searching the book shelves for a book that might hold my attention, and nothing leapt out at me. Can't imagine that happening, for I love to read. It soothes my soul. I looked through the self-help book shelves, nothing there grabbed me either; looked through my writing how-to bookshelves in my office, nothing there jumped out at me; took a look at the biography shelves, even the Presidential auto-biographies, nope, nothing there.

So, maybe I'll do some writing and editing instead. Although I had wanted to take a break from both, since just finishing two novels to be published in the next few weeks.

Maybe that's the problem, after such concentration and dedication in getting the two novels into shape, and now that they're pretty much done, maybe I'm just feeling restless after experiencing the elation, then a let-down one usually feels after writing or editing a book. Could be.

Maybe I need to rest my mind, do something utterly mindless like watching the broadcasts leading up to the Royal Wedding this week. Yes, that's what I'll do. Then next week it's back to business, more editing, more writing, more reading.

So for now, the books on the shelves will be untouched, all nice and pretty in their rows, till I regroup and start all over again.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Future of Book Publishing

As I sip my coffee this morning, my thoughts go to the controversial subject of 'self-publishing vs. traditional publishing' and I wonder about how it will be twenty years from now.

First of all the eBook is gaining more and more momentum right along with the number of e-readers, the devices that allow you to download the eBook and read on the go. I, for one, love my Kindle device. Friends of mine have Kindles, Nooks, Sony Readers, etc. to use when traveling rather than carry weighty books. Now with the iPad and other tablets, even phones, the eBook device base has broadened and is steadily growing. Downloading eBooks at discount prices on a light-weight device is the wave of the future, whether you want it to be or not.

So, with this influx of eBooks comes the publishing of eBooks. Many authors are asking why is it necessary to spend the time and energy pitching their manuscripts to the traditional publishing company when all they have to do is upload it themselves to the various digital device platforms? And now there are ways to upload only once to an interface for all the devices - for example .

But doing it this way, going the self-publishing eBook direction, doesn't provide you with a book in hand, a hard copy. You know . . . an actual book for your own personal library shelves.

However, there are self-publishing companies who will see to it that your book is published in hard copy as well as eBook format. Making it quick and simple for you either way, both ways.

But, if you'd rather go the duration, submit your manuscript for acceptance to a traditional publishing company and wait and wait and wait, with the possibility of being rejected time and time again, then by all means go that route.

I'm just being realistic and honest here. Do you know how many manuscripts are submitted each year? Over two million! Do you know how many books are actually published in the U.S.A. each year, including self publications? Around 275,000. So you do the math. It's like the lottery.

But, like you, I still hang on to that dream of being offered a major book deal and becoming a best-seller, selling millions of books and being the next J. K. Rowling - 450 million in sales ... or one of the following best-known writers of all time:

Agatha Christie - 4 billion in sales
Barbara Cartland - 1 billion in sales
Daniele Steele - 600 million in sales
Stephen King - 350 million in sales
Jackie Collins - 400 million in sales
Nora Roberts - 300 million in sales
John Grisham - 250 million in sales
James Patterson - 150 million in sales
Debbie Macomber - 140 million in sales
Catherine Cookson - 120 million in sales
Ken Follett - 100 million in sales
Mary Higgins Clark - 100 million in sales

Just a few of my favorites.

But let's not forget there is the premise that persistence pays ... we've all heard that one. And with the authors above, guess what? It did pay. They persisted in their search for traditional publishers that had faith in their work. Although agents do play an important role in this.

Always, it depends on the route you want to take. It's your choice. Like I said, though, it's like the lottery, with around 200,000 out of 2 million titles a year receiving contracts from traditional publishers.

It's your call, of course, but the world of publishing is changing drastically. Do your research.