These linkies come thanks to the ab Absolute Write writing board which I highly recommend for authors. Even if you lurk there's a wealth of info there from agents, publishers and everything in between which is good for when you want to check out an agent or see if a publisher is on the up and up.
The first link is Trust Them, It's a Hit which deals with numbers in the publishing industry. I spoke with other authors and often speculated why there were so many estimates being made after a book comes out. Why don't they just calculate the amount made from actual books sold instead of books sold presale to certain booksellers? I think Albert Greco, a Fordham University economist who analyzes business trends in the book world, said it best: “We estimate that out of every 10 hardcover adult books, seven lose money, two break even and one is a hit,” he said. “So, of course, this business is secretive about sales. Would you want to tell the world that 70% of your output is losing money?” Yikes.
“The publishing business has never gone out of its way to report actual sales numbers because it has no real interest in doing so,” said Albert Greco, a Fordham University economist who analyzes business trends in the book world. “It’s hard to know what’s real. If an author on TV talk says his book has sold 1 million copies, only a few people will know if that’s true.”
The average customer who walks into a bookstore is not one of them. Often, the numbers the public sees are pure hype, observers say. Even a spot on a bestseller list is not what it may seem: Readers might be surprised to learn how few copies you need to sell to be able to call your book a “bestseller.”
Another linkie comes from the NY Times called 'How Many Books Are Too Many?' on the massive amount of books being produced. About 1 book produced an hour is the estimate. These two articles make sense on the heels of the recent article that cited big time authors feeling the pressure from their pubs to produce more than one book per year. Here it is: Top Writers Feel Heat From Publishers' Presses.
The last linkie is an interesting on that hits a lil closer to home. It deals with diversity in the romance industry and tells the story of Edwina Martin-Arnold's road to publishing her romance novels. The subject of diversity in romance publishing has recently cornered the blogsophere on SBTB and Dear Author. I know I love reading and writing about different cultures and people in my stories and I especially have a soft spot for IR romance featuring AA femmes and Ca gents. Some folks may think the article takes a bit of swipe at the romance industry with it's offhand remarks but the article does say some interesting things not only about the diversity within it but the industry itself.
But the old color lines are starting to change. An RWA industry report warns of flat sales and "an aging readership whose demand for traditional mass-market format books will fall." Book readership is down generally, according to a 2002 study by the National Endowment for the Arts (TV, video games, and the Internet are blamed). Even mighty Harlequin—the industry leader, which produces more than 115 new titles a month and sold 131 million books in 2006—announced job cuts last year, after several lackluster quarters in a row. For that reason, there is money in multiculturalism, in expanding the reader base to new ethnic niches. But where are the new authors who can reach them?Good q. I think they're definitely out there but not getting as much word of mouth as the bigger names. More and more readers are also turning to writing to share their love for creating their own stories based the good stories on their bookshelves. I've been noticing this a lot from the boards and forums I frequent. And I must say I'm pretty jazzed. There's a lot of good writing out there and much potential for IR romance to really make some waves. I don't know if it'll take over in a big way like erotica or paranormal, which could be a good thing because it won't be seen as just a trend. I would like to see it become more permanent with diverse characters integrated in, say, the urban fantasy genre or paranormal. A lot of the heroines in this UF are beginning to look alike to me (and some even act alike) but that just reinforces the fact that new writers can bring something new to the table. Readers are always on the lookout for a great story that offers something new. And with the advent of the internet dialogue, readers are finding it easy to find their fave type of stories at their fave locations. I know I am. ;-)
Oh yes! And more linkie. I keep forgetting to post this one for you authors out there. Adrianna Dane has a Sensual Thesaurus on her website especially for romance authors. So if you're finding it hard to use different words to evoke a certain feeling for your characters (and I'm talking more than just the hot stuff, feelings in general) I highly recommend you guys check out her webpage.
Enjoy your Sundays!
True Blood in a few hours. Yay vampire fix!