Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Bookstore Sales Decline At Slowest Rate In Five Years
Bad news can be good news.
Sales, as measured by bookstore sales dollars, declined by 1.6% from a year ago – but this represents the tiniest decline in the past five years. Cumulatively, sales are down 17.2% since 2008, when over $16 billion came through stores. Now it’s at $13.19 billion, as of the end of 2013.
The severest decline came in 2011, when a double-digit loss occurred when Borders folded up.
Bookstore sales peaked in 2007, with $17.17 billion. That was the year before the Great Recession hit, and before Kindles, and before Borders went bankrupt. That may seem like the height of the golden era for books.
There is so much to love and so much to hate about the world of book publishing, writing, and the world of books. In reality, just growing thick skin and shrugging off the rejection letters and bad reviews is all there is to hate about the world of books. You can't sit there and bemoan not becoming instantly rich and famous after you have banged out a novel or two or three. It just doesn't happen that way... never did. Oh, of course there is always the exception to the rule, but that happens anytime, anyplace, anywhere. In our instant good/bad news culture we always hear about it. So, don't obsess that IT hasn't happened to you, because it just might if:
You don't give up. You work at your craft. You listen to those who offer constructive critiques. You don't waste your hard earned money on frivolous investments in contests, promotions, and reviews that make YOU ante up AND make YOU do all the work.
A few years ago, I took the first chapter to one of all-time favorite novels Vonneguts Breakfast of Champions. I re titled it The Perfect Martini and sent it out to a zillion top literary agents and publishing houses. I didn't change one letter from Kurt's original first chapter. All but one rejected it. The one that caught it was a young literary agent who had just read the novel a few months ago and busted me. I wrote a piece about this that was widely circulated by The Onion on-line edition. I called it God Bless You, Mr. Vonnegut.
Why am I telling you this? Because Kurt's son Mark ( am award winning author and now doctor) himself read the story and contacted me and told me that his father once worked up a nice buzz with fellow author Jerzy Kosinski (The Painted Bird). Kosinski was as buzzed as Kurt and they did the same thing that I had done with Kurt's book to one of Jerzy's novels and that novel was only a few years old! Naturally every publisher house turned it down. I used this tid-bit in my fourth novel The Book of Eli.
In other words (pun intended), it takes a lot -- I mean A LOT to make it in this business. That's the beauty and the beast of it. If it was easy, everyone who has a novel in their desk would be doing what we do.
And they are not.
Polar Vortex 1, 2 and now 3 had an advantage if you drive a snow plow, like to watch the Weather Channel, live in a very warm climate or write novels. I'm the latter, and I am just in the process of putting the finishing touches on my latest novel Requiem for a Casanova. For more on me and my previous award winning and critically acclaimed fiction novels - - please visit my websitehttp://www.tokilltheuke.com
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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.