A unique blog dedicated to covering the worlds of book publishing and the news media, revealing creative ideas, practical strategies, interesting stories, and provocative opinions. Along the way, discover savvy but entertaining insights on book marketing, public relations, branding, and advertising from a veteran of two decades in the industry of book publishing publicity and marketing.
Thursday, May 17, 2018
Are There Too Many Books – Or Not Enough?
writer – or book reader – do you find it burdensome and overwhelming that 3,000
new titles flood the marketplace daily – or do you find some type of solace to
know that no one can read much more than 1% of 1% of that sum?
writer you loathe competition at such a frenetic pace. To know that every 25 seconds another book
has been released is mind-boggling and makes the author feel
insignificant. Your book is one of
literally a million new ones made available this year. You must wonder: How will my book get discovered? Why would they read mine vs. any of these
others? How do I get media coverage for
my book when all of these books are also vying for attention?
if you look more closely, you start to break it down by things such as
genre. Your business book competes with
other business books and not erotica, children’s books, or celebrity
memoirs. Even within business books,
your leadership book doesn’t compete with a tax guide, or a book about personal
probe further. Which books are written
well, penned by someone with legit credentials, and is packaged nicely on the
very subject you wrote on?
of those books, how many are being actively and intelligently promoted to the
news media? We just went from a million
competitors to a few hundred, maybe not even a few dozen during the year.
consumer, you can almost go through the same process. You have to choose which book you want based
on a number of factors, starting with the genre and book topic. If it’s a book you need, you’ll seek out
those in a certain space, such as books on how to treat back pain. If it’s a book you desire or could like, the
choices are broader. You may go erotica
one minute, sci-fi fantasy the other, or cookbook tomorrow.
even if you stick to a narrowly defined genre like books about parenting teens,
you’ll find lots of them, both new or published in the past few years, as well
as classics in the field. You will have
tough choices to make. It could take
hours of careful evaluation before you even narrow down your choices.
knowing all of this, I ask again: How
does it make you feel?
writer, you should be relieved to know your book can still find a readership,
but maybe you should feel cautioned.
Before you write your next book, carefully evaluate the competition so
that your book will be better, different and more useful than what already
consumer and reader, realize that even if you read a book a week, a day, or an
hour, you’ll only touch a tiny fraction of what exists. And yet, that sampling can come to represent
many similar books, so the books you expose yourself to may in fact represent
tens of thousands of books with fairly similar content.
are too many books out there – and yet not enough. We seek to make better reading choices while
looking to write books that are better than what exists. It’s an interesting challenge – and a game that’s
getting tougher to win.
you should write a book about all of this – but would anyone discover it and
“People seldom read a book which is given to them.The way to spread a work is to sell it at a low price.”
--Samuel Johnson quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson (1791)
“The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shock-proof, shit detector.This is the writer’s radar and all great writers have it.”
--Ernest Hemingway, in interview in Writers atWork (2nd series, 1963)
“Printers are educated in the belief that when men differ in opinion both sides ought equally to have the advantage of being heard by the public; and that when truth and error have fair play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter:hence they cheerfully serve all contending writers that pay them well, without regarding on which side they are of the question in dispute.”
--Benjamin Franklin, ‘Apology for Printers’ (10 June 1731) DON”T MISS THESE!!!