It looks like some tough times are ahead for the Publishing Industry in general because of the recession that has suddenly hit the US economy. Jane at Dear Author posted about an article from The New York Observer, where it states that it will be much harder for aspiring authors to convince publishers to take them on. So, if you are starting out as an author or trying to get published, tough times are ahead. Hitting the pavement may give you more blisters than you want.
This excerpt in the article especially caught my eye:
"Endeavor Talent Agency’s Richard Abate, who has in recent months done deals for Tina Fey, Heroes creator Tim Kring and filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, called this the “tent-pole effect.” Skittish publishers, he said, will flock to books by well-established cultural figures—celebrities, athletes, etc.—which they feel they can count on to achieve blockbuster status just as those books are becoming more in-demand and harder to reel in. Publishers feel vulnerable unless they have at least one such title in their arsenal every season, and as a result they will offer more outlandish sums of money for them than ever.
Mid-list projects, Mr. Abate said, the kind of books that have traditionally attracted advances in the $50,000 range, will suffer as a result: For little-known literary authors and journalists, “the advances are going to be lower and it will be that much harder to sell them.”
In fact, he said, these books “might not even get bought. We’ll see how it shakes out, but my guess is we’re going to have fewer purchases, smaller lists, more focused lists, and it’s going to get tougher for all those books.”
Jane also raised a very good question, if this will effect romance sales? I, for one think, people will continue to buy books, especially romance because romance readers are some of the most dedicated and supportive fans of the genre that I have ever seen. For myself, if it came down to buying essentials like underwear or socks, I would sacrifice those things for a book any day. (Perhaps, I am the only one that does this?) And again if you stick to reading paperbacks, they can be quite reasonable in price, failing between the $4.99 to $7.99 range. That is the cost of a beer, a mixed drink at a bar or a sandwich you may purchased to eat for lunch. But trade and hardcovers may suffer because even before the recession, who really wanted to put out anywhere from $14- $32 for a book that is under 300 pages?
Perhaps there is no reason to worry as of yet, because C.L. Wilson posted some uplifting news on her blog last week. Her third book, King of Sword and Sky, reached #35 on the NY Times Bestseller Mass-Market Fiction list last week even with, and I quote- "the financial meldtown, Hurricane Ike's aftermath and gas shortage in the southeast."
Tought times may be ahead, but I believe there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.