Saturday, March 8, 2014
Clown Shortage Makes Me Wonder If There Will Be An Author Shortage
The circus was coming to town recently and the local paper commented on how there’s a clown shortage. Just a decade ago the national trade organization for clowns was 3,500 members. That number plummeted to 2,500 today -- a 40% drop.
It sounds like as older clowns retire or die, younger ones are not replacing them. Could the clown become extinct?
Clowns are still popular but the market obviously is not clamoring for them. Kids' parents don’t necessarily hire clowns for their parties. Instead, kids will have ice skating parties, Lego parties, and parties involving American Girl and other brand name or game attractions.
I haven’t yet hired a clown for any of the 15 birthday parties I have had for my kids. Maybe the clown needs a role model. I don’t see any famous clowns on TV – not even in cartoon form except for Krusty the Clown (a character that spoofs on The Simpsons).
If clowns, a staple of American society for many generations, can fall under threat, could the author be next?
The cycle of more books published each year has to slow down and even reverse itself at some point. And as fewer books are published and fewer people enter the book world – especially if one’s ability to make money from it wanes – there could be an author shortage one day.
It sounds hard to believe. Probably won’t happen in our lifetime – but it’s not impossible. If the book becomes devalued in price, fewer writers can afford to survive. Or if other forms of content or entertainment become popular, more people will look to create them, rather than write books.
For now, we still have clowns and plenty of writers. For some, it seems like they are one in the same.
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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014.