Friday, January 6, 2012

Writing for the write reasons.

When you buy, sell, and read as many books as I do, you start to get a sense of the enormous size of the marketplace. Especially if you sell books.

I see hundreds of titles per weekend being touted on the literary sites. I see thousands of books a week being offered by my distributors. And that's just the new stuff.

I don't know how this affects other writers -- I don't know, maybe it inspires them. It certainly would seem to point to the idea there is room for a writer to get published, because plenty of them are getting published. Most you've never heard of. Most you never will hear of.

For me, it's kind of dispiriting. What's the use? I see books on the remainders lists that I've heard of, that were well-reviewed, that I had thought would sell very well. I see books being discounted that have been turned into movies, that got the front page review in the N.Y. Times.

And then it seems like every other person in the door is looking for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, or The Hunger Games. I liked T.G.W.T.D.T. fine, I guess. It was kind of clunky, but I liked how different it was.

But off the top of my head, I can point to dozens of authors who are better.

I very much enjoyed The Hunger Games -- but not to the exclusion of everything else.

Anyway, as I'm trying to pump up my motivation to finish my book, it can be a bit deflating.

I've mentioned before, "writing through the doubt."

Well, there's that.

I'm trying to get back to that feeling I get when I'm writing that it deserves to exist. That there is a story there. The enjoyment part. That is what is going to have to sustain me over the next few months.

The "write" reasons, if you well.

1 comment:

RDC said...

There are far far more books published each year then anyone can have reasonable knowledge of. The biggest issue for most authors is visibility.

The biggest value that book stores provide to the industry is that they provide a level of filtering reducing the 10's of thousands of books published to the few hundred that they carry (that doesn't even go into the backlist). That reduces what potential readers are browsing through to a reasonable number.

The biggest problem with e-books is that currently the sellers are still focused on the complete universe of available books and not on how to provide tools for readers to be able to filter and select.

It was the reason that Baen Publishing makes a lot of its backlist available for free in e-book format. What they have found is that people read those and become buyers of the new releases (sales drop off on books pretty quickly so that 2 or so years after publishing the revenue made by the backlist is pretty low).