Before you write and while you’re writing, it’s important to keep track of what’s going on in the book industry. It always has been important, but right now, big things are happening, and it’ll help you make good decisions regarding your writing career to know what’s going on.
Today, you might be able to walk into a bookstore and buy pretty much any book you want, but how long will that last.
Here are some examples of some of what’s going on….
- Have you noticed that most bookstores are broadening their inventory? Yes, they still have books, but …
- Have you noticed that many have increased the number of non-book items they sell? (They are stocking more toys, more music, more , etc.)
- Have you noticed that many bookstores have reduced the number of magazines they offer? (Yep, they are just spreading them out to cover the racks, but there are definitely fewer…)
- Have you noticed that bookstores in your area have gone out of business? I have. The Books-A-Million closest to me closed their doors this year.
- Have you noticed that Barnes and Noble is making a big push to get as many customers into Nooks as they can and that Amazon is doing the same with their Kindle. Now, I can’t really imagine that there will ever be a time when we absolutely don’t have hard copies of books, but things are changing.
- And, things are changing in all print industries, not just with the book industry. Newspapers are thinner. Magazines have cut back the number of pages and have tried to increase the number of advertisements.
Does this mean that people are reading less? I don’t think so. I think it means that how people read is changing. More and more are reading on line and on e-readers. Some people will probably never convert to these alternative reading methods, but the new readers (kids growing up today) don’t know a time without computers, without smart phones and they are learning to read on these devices, so it’s natural that they don’t think it’s an odd way to enjoy a book or newspaper or magazine.
None of these changes will happen overnight, but as writers, it’s very important to keep ourselves up to date on what’s happening. Be in step or a step ahead rather than a step behind and you’ll be able to make the best possible publishing decisions to keep your writing career on track.