Yes, Dorothy, your dreams can still come true

I know a lot of writers who are quite afraid of the economic crash right now.  What will it mean in terms of making a sale?  A new sale, a new series, a first sale?  Are we all just doomed?

Not so much, really.  Do you still read?  I do.  This week, I bought several books as a matter of fact, and I also went to the library and got another big stack, since I’m doing massive research for a side project that the Girls have strictly forbidden me to talk about here.   I picked up some fiction while I was there, because as I’ve said before, a kind of gluttony overtakes me at the library and I can’t seem to stop picking up books to check out. 

I bet you read books this week, too, didn’t you?  Of course you did.  Because we are READERS and we will give up a lot of other things before we give up books.  I’ll give up Starbucks (well, okay, I’ll cut back on Starbucks) before I give up buying and checking out books.   Checking books out of the library is a perfectly honorable choice, by the way.  Libraries buy books, you know, and they keep them around for a long time.  

Also, I’m sure you’ve noticed the weeping girls at the movie theaters, those same overcome young women who have made Stephanie Meyers a major bestseller. With a trio of pretty hefty books, in case you haven’t noticed the size of them.   That’s good economic news for us, for our publishers, for the bookstores who sell the books.  

Yes, there have been cutbacks and it might be that advances will reflect the fear everyone is feeling.  I have several friends who have lost editors or other publishing professionals.  

But, remember:  books tend to do well during downturns in the economy.  Publishers will still need to fill their lists. They will still need to publish new material for all of us to read.   The industry is not doomed.  We are not doomed, as readers or writers.    If you still have a dream of publication, don’t give up.  If you’re midlist and worried that it’s all going to come tumbling down, don’t freak.   You can make this economy work, too.  

Are you worried?  Talk about it in the comments and let’s clear the air.  Do you think I’m a Pollyanna? It’s okay to say so.

Girl Reading In Paris photo by  Lochinvar1

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13 thoughts on “Yes, Dorothy, your dreams can still come true

  1. Denise

    My book buying habits will not change. I know I will still be buying books from my auto read favorite authors and trying out new authors from the library. Books are inexpensive entertainment…way more hours of enjoyment than movies per story.

    Keep the faith.

  2. Barbara, I think I’ve read more books in the past few weeks than any other time. I love to read. To me it is, and always has been, as essential as breathing. Okay, as far as cost goes here in NZ we’re hit again with a dollar sliding against the greenback (last reckoning was around US$0.57 to NZ$1.00) which makes reading pricey, but with ebooks and online specials and libraries I can’t see my reading habits, or my desire to read, changing ini the least.

    From an industry perspective I can’t see massive change occurring either. I’ll join you in the Pollyanna bleachers here, Barbara, and keep cheering for great authors to produce great books that keep readers uplifted and wanting more.

  3. FWIW, way before I sold my first book I would hit deepest depths of despair when there appeared to be a buying spree of new authors at my targetted publishing house, thinking that there would be no room for me and my stories. Then, at an RWNZ conference we had the wonderful Stephanie Laurens speak, and she put it in perspective for me. She spoke of a rising tide that floats all ships, basically supply needing to meet demand. I realised that the more new authors being picked up actually increased my chances of selling, rather than diminished them. And boy, oh boy, what a change in mindset that was. So liberating.

    I think, as writers, we can only keep doing what we do, and that is keep on writing the very best books we can write.

  4. Jane Squires

    All of us empty nesters need books to fill the places where we once had activities with our children. Then the past two years while recovering, I found new authors and new books. I am working hard to get books and pass them around so others will want these readers books. As movies are cut out, books will take their place because they become like old friends.
    Also at this time I am trying to encourage a 7 and 8 year old to read who are struggling. There are parents who need a way to unwind and books definitely do that.
    Keep up the writing. I’m here to stay.

  5. No, I’m not worried. Books are a way to escape and to learn more about the world, and you can buy about 500 books for the price of an adventure vacation, so I think that’s where a lot of people are going to be putting their money. All that fun without having to leave home!

    Actually, I think instead of bailing out corporations, governments of the world should stock libraries with millions and millions of books. Just a thought 😉

  6. I did read and hear some stories about how right now it is even harder to get a first novel sold. It made me depressed for a minute. Then I realized I’ve been hearing that since I started writing quite a few years ago now. Yes, it’s really difficult to get a first book sold, for most writers. But the way to do it is to NOT give up. So I’m still trying. And still reading;-)

  7. This post made me think of what you said here. Good stuff!

  8. Liz V.

    I utiize my library and the used book store, more than purchasing new books. My husband is always buying books and will continue to do so. Although, there is a political website, I like to read on a daily basis, and they support themselves by offering “premiums”. I buy all my political junkie books from them.

  9. I love our Pollyanna bleachers! (Go team books!)

    It’s always hard to publish a first novel, but they’re published all the time. One of them might as well be yours.

    And I love our reader/readers and writer/readers. I’ve actually addressed 90% of what I was supposed to do this morning, so I’m off to run an errand and then go to the bookstore. :) Only because I want to support the economy, of course. Of course.

    Alison, thanks for the link to that post! Great reading. Great site.

  10. My book buying certainly hasn’t slowed down much, even though the TBR pile towers. I hate passing on a book that really interests me, then not being able to find it later. I’ve also done a lot more reading this year – almost double what I read in 2007, and still a month to go!

    The Twilight series BTW is actually comprised of four books, not three, and even had those of us not normally keen on vampires plowing through them (not to mention having something in common with some of my nieces).

  11. I’ll admit it. I worry. I worry because in a healthier economy my manuscripts were being rejected because they didn’t fit a certain mold or weren’t “quite right.”

    I worry because I had a book canceled in part because it no longer fit the line and probably in part due to the economic downturn.

    But, amidst the worry, I keep writing. I wouldn’t know how not to.

    But I can’t say that it’s not without a few hits to the confidence. I find myself having to smack down the internal critic a bit more– the voice that say “what if THEY don’t like this?” Whoever “they” might be. This is the time where I really have to dig deep and remember that I write because I love it.

    Some days, it’s hard.

  12. Barbara

    Barb, those worrisome voices are always there, nattering away. You know you have to ignore them. And you are a fine writer–you also know that. Somebody is going to sell some books. One of them will be you.

    Heather, right. Four books. :) I haven’t made it that far yet. I do, however, look forward to the movie sometime this week. Maybe I’d better make it tomorrow, to miss as many of the crowds as I can.

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