Let's call this a late summer hello even though it's September, school is back in, and there's football. Still, there's no fall colours in my Ottawa neighbourhood yet and I choose to cling to summer until the literal start date for fall on Sept. 21.
I will keep this short, sharing news on sales, a fall tour, and recent praise for Father Rick Roamin' Catholic from the Whistler Book Awards.
My corner of the social media universe exploded last week with news from a Penguin Books antitrust case noting that 50% of books published sell fewer than 12 books.
April Henry @aprilhenrybooks OMG In the Penguin Random House/S&S antitrust trial it was revealed that out of 58,000 trade titles published per year, half of those titles sell fewer than one dozen books. LESS THAN ONE DOZEN.September 4th 2022 3,541 Retweets23,929 Likes
Common sense, and my modest author experience, immediately had doubts about this claim. I discovered this blogger's reality check. "This claim took off with the usual suspects—conservative pundits claiming publishing is too “woke” and self-publishing evangelicals saying every author would make a fortune if they ditched traditional publishing—but the publishing professionals I know said this claim is very fishy. (I’m pretty sure publishers would go out of business if 50% of their books sold less than 12 copies!) So this statistic isn’t true..."
Lincoln Michel's blog goes on to define a book, what getting published means, and what constitutes a sale. Regardless of the important distinctions, these are hard times in the publishing business with the consequences entrapping authors as well. I meet authors not getting published or selling few books. I meet authors who were happy to write and publish a book. Sales be damned! I do know firsthand how the pandemic has cut into sales big time. My Soar, Adam, Soar sold more than 5,000 copies in pre-Covid days. I appreciate that accomplishment, a "bestseller" status in the modest Canadian publishing industry. Father Rick Roamin' Catholic is going to take much longer to get there, but I am determined to try. My first book's sales were enhanced by a 35-city book tour. That has been drastically undermined with Zoom, virtual readings, fewer festivals, and, worse of all, enormous barriers in reaching people online in their new social media bubbles. Facebook is a prime example of far fewer real people on our timelines. It's why I try to get family, friends, and social media followers to share my book news. It's not easy. I appreciate every, single share and the publicity I get. The book in paperback, hard cover, and e-book formats continues to be available or for order at all indie, Indigo, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon stores.
I am packing for the Bestival music and arts show in Kitchener-Waterloo where I have a storytelling and reading this Friday, Sept. 16, 5-6:30 p.m. at 660 Belmont Ave. I"ll have both my books for sale and I will join the other Bestival Reads event later Friday night to grab a table for signing and sales. Please let any friends in the Kitchener and surrounding area know about Bestival.
I took most of the summer off for a much needed break but I enjoyed the Bonnechere Library Authors Festival night in Eganville. It was my tenth stop for a reading on this scaled back tour.
I am finalizing other events for October and November for London, Midland, and Kemptville. I am open to other invitations from communities, organizations, and book clubs. It's best to sign up here on my www.rickprashaw.com site to get news on upcoming book events.
Whistler Book Awards
While Father Rick Roamin' Catholic didn't win, there was effusive praise from Whistler Book Awards. It always intrigues me what hooks readers and reviewers. I felt that these comments go to the heart of what I wanted to say in the memoir:
"Rick Prashaw's well-written and researched memoir is a cri de coeur for substantial Roman Catholic Church reform, and a confession from a beloved former priest. Prashaw skillfully weaves heart-rending personal stories with historical and cultural anecdotes as he tells his “crooked straight” journey to heaven’s door.
The author is an excellent communicator and his final homily when he shared his news with his congregation earned him standing ovations at every Mass. When Prashaw decides to leave the priesthood, he writes "The next morning awake in bed I was smiling. A quick check of the room confirmed no locusts, boils, lice hail nor other swarming biblical pestilence of any kind had visited me during my sleep.”
I was charmed by the stories of his "loud Catholic family" and a mother and father who loved each other. They were THE influencers for growing his faith. Righteous but not in a bad way. “We were laboratory rats to be injected with a catechism, votive candles, prayers, rituals, incense and a road map to heaven." Lovely writing!
Who will enjoy this book? Catholics. The Catholic churches form a denomination within Christianity and, with around 1.3 billion believers worldwide, are the largest Christian grouping. Especially grumpy lapsed Catholics disgusted by all the scandals plaguing the Mother Church .
The beloved priest who is a wounded healer. "Becoming" a Christian not "being" a Christian. It's a lifelong struggle, but the arc can bend toward goodness and grace."
Please continue to support authors, libraries, and bookstores. I"ll share my writing plans for 2022-2023 in the next newsletter. Meanwhile, I hope in these challenging times that you have a fall full of life, laughter, and gentle kindness.