As I awakened in pain during the night due to some self-inflicted carpal tunnel syndrome from excessive typing, it occurred to me for the ten millionth time how difficult book promotion is. Amongst the masses of writers, is everyone writing? Who’s still reading?
Answer: To suggest that everyone writes and no one reads is an over-simplified generalization. Of course people still read. But in the world of genre fiction writing, there’s some competition amongst new authors, but what else do we compete with? Answer: Everything else, meaning video games, television, movies, sports, magazines, partying and skydiving…whatever anyone does for fun. I’ve run across many dark fantasy fans that spend their time playing WarCraft instead of reading novels (wonder if they get carpal tunnel syndrome too?).
I’m a reformed workaholic, so when it comes to free time, I understand how important and short those moments can be, so entertainment is a luxury we all can relate to. Books still have their place in entertainment, and given the ebook industry escalation, in many ways new authors have an advantage authors of the past did not have: Inexpensive publishing on line. Can you imagine how many plays Shakespeare could have written if he had a computer? Also, come new writers, with easy access to publication, follow the readers with easy, inexpensive access to reading.
Don’t get discouraged, new authors. Even when only the agent-blessed got published via traditional routes, there wasn’t a guarantee of blowout sales. Also, authors often need time to get known, and rarely make it big with the first one or two books. Yes, sometimes the world of writing feels like a world of writers without readers. Though skydiving is not for everyone, people still enjoy good books.