“When we read a book, the faint smell of paper is picked up by the brain. The perception of smell triggers the limbic system…connected not just with smell but also with our memory and emotions. If you’re an avid reader who finds reading books to be a way to shred stress…just the smell of books starts to make you feel more relaxed.” www.themissingword.blogspot.com posted by ML Ware
Psychologists tell us that powerful memories are often associated with smell. Turkey roasting in the oven on Thanksgiving, coming home and smelling dinner, baking bread or apple pie. Instant hunger. If I think about it I can smell my grandmother coming out of her bath in a cloud of Cashmere Bouquet, or my mother’s perfume as she leaned over to kiss me goodnight. She smelled like lillies of the valley.
I love books. I love the smell of books. And I love libraries…they have their own unique smells and ambiance. But there is so much more to books then just the smell: trolling book stores, the wait to find one by a favorite author, the anticipation of first opening it, adjusting the pillows and sinking into the soft cushions of our loveseat, the feel of the paper, smooth or pebbly, the whisper of the turning pages. Ahhhhhh…..
I have a kindle and now a mini-ipad, but there is nothing that beats a real book.
So imagine a book of my own. The first time I printed the manuscript of The Call and put it into a binder and held it in my hands, my dream made real and tangible, I cried. Soupy I know. But I barely had a moment to enjoy finishing it before I had any number of people tell me to “just do an e-book and sell it on Amazon.”
“But I want a book…” I try to explain.
“Books are almost over,” they respond. “Soon they’ll be extinct like records, even cds, we live in an electronic download world.”
“But I want paper…something I can touch. You know a A BOOK!”
“Books are like dinosaurs and getting one published about as hard as it gets.”
“So then self-publish,” is their retort. “Fewer and fewer books are going to get published. Why take the hastle of chasing agents and hoping they’ll sell some publisher on your book. Just do it yourself.”
Ok, if you want paper, then self-publish. Paper covers rock. Well, maybe.
But it feels to me like self-publishing is the thinnest, smallest paper, and requires money (which I don’t have), an effective self-developed marketing plan, (which I don’t have) and even more self-promotion skills, so lots of time. (which I don’t have.) I can see it working in some instances. The Shack is a mega-seller that started self-published. And a new writer at Wordsmiths, my writer’s group, has a great plan. I can see him succeeding brilliantly.
So someday, perhaps, I might go that way. But I have always wanted to have it all: an agent, a publisher, an editor. I know it is next to impossible and growing harder by the minute to be published, but I can’t help it…I still want it. I want a book, and I want the confirmation that a real agent and a real editor think The Call is worth being a book.
So, an agent and an editor, two blades of a pair of scissors that for now at least cut paper.
Rock, paper, scissors…Ink! Round and round, I go. Others will choose what is right for them, but for now, for me, …back to my query letters.