I returned to the States at the beginning of the current economic crisis and tried to find a job to no avail. No one wanted to hire a fifty-something woman who’d been out of the workforce for nearly a decade. After a series of odd (very odd) jobs that included selling books at Barnes and Noble, grant-writing and pulling espresso shots at Starbucks, I started to work my backlist, a task made much easier by the advent of digital publishing.
Consider the multifaceted impact of the digital revolution. It’s affected every industry, but none more than book publishing.
From start to finish, digitization has had an impact. Readers are familiar with the process of digital book buying, easier than conventional book purchases. From the author’s point of view, digital manuscript sales are far easier than hardcopy sales. When I first started writing we had to print out and mail paper copies of manuscripts to agents and publishers. Even entering a writing contest required printing out reams of text, taking them to the post office or FedEx, and paying serious money to send them off.
Even now, a few agents require hardcopies. These dinosaurs will die off long before the next meteor touches down, because submitting a manuscript in hardcopy can cost hundreds of dollars once one considers the number of agents and houses out there.
My divorce settled and I tried to settle down, too, but the money worries continued. So I took my last $5K and left the country again, heading for Thailand, a place where one’s dollars go very far. I earned a certification in English language teaching and spent most of the next year in Asia.
I taught toddlers English in central China, which was a revelation for so many reasons. I loved to travel and discover new places, and for the most part, that has been fun as well as instructive. China was instructive but not fun. A developing country, China is coming very far very fast, but life there is a hassle in many ways. Try to imagine life in a place where you can’t drink the water that comes out of your kitchen tap. You can’t wash fruit or vegetables in it—doing that is like bathing your food in E. coli. I didn’t understand or speak Mandarin. There were few expats in my town, meaning that I was alone an awful lot.
The upside is called Temptation in Tartan.
Best-selling, award-winning author Sue Swift, a.k.a Suz deMello, has written over fifteen novels, plus several short stories and non-fiction articles. She writes in numerous genres including romance, mystery, paranormal, historical, contemporary comedy and erotica. She’s a freelance editor who’s worked for Total-E-Bound, Ai Press, Liquid Silver Books and Etopia Press. She also takes on private clients.
Her books have been favorably reviewed in PW, Kirkus and Booklist, attained the finals of the RITA and reached the top ten on a bestseller list.
A former trial attorney, she resides in northern California. Her passion is world travel, and she’s left the US over a dozen times, including stints working overseas for many months.
Right now, she's working on her next manuscript and planning her next trip.
Her blog is at http://www.fearlessfastpacedfiction.com. Find her reading picks @ReadThis4fun on Twitter, and befriend her on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/SueSwift).