As writers, our product is also dependent on retail sales to the public. A public that is now strapped for cash and worried about their own futures. So how do we handle this new, added stress?
In the past, writing has been an escape. The place I went to and lost myself in to get away from the daily worries of real life. My hopes and dreams were there. The dream of being a published author, the hope of maybe someday adding to the family income with my writing. Now, real life has invaded that hopeful, imaginary world. And now people in the industry are beginning to openly talk about the financial crisis and how it's affecting the publishing industry. Within the past few days, Bookends and Editorrent both posted on their blogs about the effect the economy is having on submissions. If anyone has more links to articles or posts on the subject, please post them because now it's like a train wreck and I can't look away. Anyway, according to these agents, submissions are up beyond anything they've ever seen, and they say editors at the big houses are reporting the same thing. People who are out of work are writing and submitting. Authors who have been cut loose are submitting. Yet, after all that, both blog posts try to end on an up note by telling us to keep writing and sending in those manuscripts because books are still being bought. All I can say is, thank God for small presses because without them, too many of us would be left out in the cold.
The market was tight fourteen years ago when I first paid my dues to gain entrance to the romance community. I can't imagine what it's like out there now with more and more authors and fewer and fewer slots. But I have a feeling that as more authors turn to other publishing outlets (small press, e-pub, vanity pub), the alternative market will turn into a veritable swampland that few book buyers will dare venture into. On the other hand, if more recognizable authors toss their hat into the small press ring, maybe it will give us more credibility. Who knows what the outcome will be. People who've been in this business for decades have been saying for quite a while that the publishing industry will have to undergo a complete metamorphosis if it is to survive. Is that time now upon us?
How are you handling the economic news that gets worse by the day? How has it affected your writing? Do you see light at the end of the tunnel? If so, please tell me about it.