I hold degrees in creative writing (BA and MFA) and yeah, I'm upset that I'm not published yet. But you know what? I write for the love of writing. I write for the love of the characters I create and the situations I put them in and the details I can create and the words that I make them say until the magic day when they talk back to me, tell me to shut up, and take over the book.
If you're in writing for the royalties or money, you're in the wrong field. Go try magazine journalism.
As someone who has often dabbled in the music industry, from college radio to record stores to my current fun as the head of the unofficial Metallica convention in San Francisco, I know how important buzz is. And as someone who has looked at the book industry and wondered how to get buzz going in such a stodgy place, I think BookCrossing is the best thing since my refrigerator with the ice and water dispensers in the door.
When people talk about a book, you can't HELP but notice. I have books that I've traded for that I have asked for simply because everyone's reading them and talking about them. You can see Memoirs of a Geisha snapped up in seconds only so many times before you want to read it yourself.
This place has exposed me to new writers, many of whom have written books that yeah, I'll pick up in my next Amazon run. I've read stuff that I thought was too generic and pulpy for me - and loved it. I've read stuff that I thought I'd hate, but wound up loving.
It's about the experience of reading. It's about the excitement of a good book.
And one day, when I get published at long last, look for me to be coming up with some sort of way to get my fellow BookCrossers involved in my fictional world.
Because it's not about the money. It's about the story. It's about seeing people excited about the story, whether it be mine or someone else's.