If I Couldn’t Work in the Book Industry…
and if I were not already retired.
By Jeff Salter
Yeah, I really should make clear the disclaimer that my discussion of these possibilities might sound quite different if not for the pension I receive for retiring from a 30-year library career. Without my pension, I’d be up that well-known creek without a paddle.
That said, one of our Foxes asked how we could make a living if not working in the book industry?
What is the “Book Industry,” anyway?
Just to clarify my understanding of this week’s topic, the “book industry” – to me – basically represents the creation and sharing of monographs — their production, selling, promotion, buying, and shipping. Therefore, under the limitations of this topic, I could not be a literary agent, editor, publisher, or buyer (e.g., for a bookstore). To some extent, I suppose it might also exclude parts of the Library field, at least those parts which carry over from the olden days when I was in that profession.
Couldn’t Stop Writing
But those prohibitions should not restrict me from continuing to WRITE, or READ, or SHARE. And assuming I’m continuing to write, I’d certainly want to make my stories available to others in some fashion. This could be through a blog or website, possibly. Maybe even my own youtube channel — LOL. My point being: I’d want to find some way to share my stories with interested readers, even if there were no royalties arising from those exchanges.
So What Would I Do?
We’ve established what I’m not able / allowed to do – in this exercise – and that I’d do my best to continue writing… and sharing those works in some form. But what else would I do to occupy myself?
I think I’d enjoy being a living history host / guide — to help educate / interest the newer generations in America’s military history. That would put to good use my collections of military gear: uniform items, blades, canteens, messkits, packs, belts, pouches etc. For this enterprise, I’d need a large space, plenty of shelves, lockable display cases, etc. Oh, plus parking and restrooms. And a coffee bar. Uh… and a snack stand.
Not sure who would pay me for this activity – and I certainly would not wish to be stuck in that place full-time. So I’d need some dedicated, informed, honest helpers. I’d need generous benefits and creature comforts… and a VERY flexible schedule.
A Similar Theme
Here’s a look at how I responded to a somewhat similar theme from a few months ago. In this previous blog, I mention some of my reservations about “selling” (of any type) or running any retail business, period. In this older blog I also discuss the ideas I’ve had for a retreat and/or workshop for young writers.
In case you’re not able (or willing) to read that entire blog, here’s a quote from it:
…something which HAS been a long-time dream of mine is to operate (and, I suppose, “own”) a facility which serves as a writers’ retreat and/or running workshop for young writers. There would be studio space of a type that would allow participants a neutral “haven” in which to create. There would be space for workshops — with visiting authors sharing and teaching. It’s logical there would be a space for small audiences… for “readings” of various kinds.
What about you? How would you make a living if it did not (or could not) involve the book industry?
[JLS # 439]