Sunday, March 4, 2018

The Waiting Game

As most of you know, I'm in transition on the home front. Buying a house is not as simple as it used to be. After the collapse of the market as we all knew it, the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction. My lender tells me things have gotten a whole lot tighter than they used to be. So, as a consequence, I've been running to banks in West Virginia to get the necessary forms. I don't normally bank in West Virginia, but the bank I had my money in while in Ohio only extends south a little ways. So the choice was either Pittsburgh or Morgantown. These new regulations seem to have left logic at the door, but until the pendulum swings back, I'm stuck with them.

All these different regulations got me to thinking about the state of our industry today. Publishing a book is more simple than it used to be. No longer do you need to print out your manuscript, bundle it up and mail it off to a publisher or agent, who may or may not get back to you in six months to a year.  Now, if you want to go the traditional route, all you need do is attach a file and hit the 'send' button on your email. And if you wish to skip the traditional route altogether, publishing a book on your own has become so simple, almost anyone can do it. The publishing pendulum has swung in favor of the author, finally.

But this new found freedom comes at a price. There are more books hitting the market than ever before. In 2015, more than 700,000 books were self-published, and new books published for that year crept over the one million mark for the first time. What that means for an author is the threat of being buried under an avalanche of other books is greater than ever. Some of the finest voices of our generation will never be heard, while others who aren't accomplished writers achieve head-scratching success. It's a constant battle to get books reviewed by legitimate sites, and every author I know struggles daily with the best way to market their books.

The pendulum will swing back sooner or later, on both fronts. But until it does, we've got to deal with the situation the best way we can. As my lender says, "If you haven't applied for a mortgage in the last three years, you're in for an awakening." The same holds true for publishing. If you haven't been in the market for the past three years, the old ways no longer apply. I've heard a lot of established authors, when talking about how they got started in the business, quantify their remarks by saying things are different now. Not better, necessarily, but different.

This is our new normal, and as I've learned from going through the mortgage process, you adjust your thinking accordingly. The house will happen, my next book will be released, I'll make my deadline for the WIP, and life will go on. I'll still struggle with marketing, but at least I'll do so with a golf course view out my back window.

If you can spare a minute to follow me on BookBub, I'd greatly appreciate you clicking over and following me. My goal is 1,000 followers and I've got a ways to go. Here's the link:

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