Improving the Book Market
I recently blogged about the present book trends:
I concluded that the market has shifted in strange directions, and many traditional categories have downsized. To help this bleak situation, I am giving myself wishes to improve the book world.
I understand my wishes need to be realistic. Otherwise, I would wish to be a bestselling author. However, I must consider another aspect. Let’s say that I disklike mystery books. Presto-Change-O. Now, everybody dislikes mystery books, and that category disappears from bookshelves. Did I make other books better because mystery authors are free to concentrate on other areas? Did I free up more book store shelf space? What if I eliminated a more popular category such as romance? Such a wish would help nobody even if they disliked a category. Mystery authors have passion for their genre and would not apply the same passion toward other areas. Bookstores always change what books they display, and adding or removing book categories will occur no matter what categories are popular.
In my prior blog, I concluded readers are getting what they want to buy. Their choices include popular old titles and thousands of new books. Even little fish like me can get into the game. Today should be book paradise, and no wishes are required.
However, we still face challenges. For example, I want to read a book about the 747 jetliner. I searched Amazon, and 20 books popped up about that single subject. The problem is that each description is nearly identical. Let me be clear about what kind of book I desire to read. I do not want a fact-filled book because I can read Wikipedia and download colorful pictures without a book. I want to read a story about that plane. Those 20 books all mirror each other.
Years ago, I read the book “Operation Drumbeat” about WWII submarine activities. The book contains a real-life story. Let me rephrase. It is a crafted book that includes a factual tale told from a historical perspective. (As opposed to a list of facts.) The author had a passion and imparted his vision of events into their work. I consider this to be a labor of love and not a shotgun blast of historical facts.
What is stopping one of those 747 authors from creating an inspirational book? That is a tricky answer. Such an author would have to be committed to their bold project. Years ago, a publisher would say to an experienced author, “I want you to write a 747 book. Here is several thousand dollars. Interview a bunch of people and take lots of pictures. Then, spend a year writing a splendid book.” In two years, the publisher would recoup their investment by selling many books. Why? It would be a story that hooks people beyond 747 enthusiasts.
eBook authors like me cannot take two years off work and spend thousands of dollars writing a book about a subject with 20 existing books. Readers have lost that professional edge because intense books are no longer economical. The remaining big publishers only look at written books they know will sell.
Is my wish to bring back big publishers? We must face their absence. The same is true with big newspapers, and soon the large television networks. Should I wish to eliminate established authors or established books? No, I like prominent authors and outstanding books. They give me something to aspire to and are entertaining.
My wish is for Kobo, Barns & Nobel, Amazon, Goodreads, and Apple books to promote new authors. People doing a book search should see new author results right next to established authors. I would also prevent established publishing houses from re-releasing classic books as if they were new. I work to develop a new book, and it is not fair when I compete against a classic book labeled as new.
Will my wish come true? It’s not looking good.
You’re the best -Bill
January 20, 2021
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