Monday, October 7, 2019

Supply And Demand In Publishing

I thought that I would bring a lot of you writers back to reality for a bit this Monday.

Like most writers, the odds are, you live a pretty solitary life. You write your books and this is the entire focus of your life. This is all you really see. So, when it is time to fire off your manuscript, there is a belief, whether conscious or not, that if the project is good, it will immediately be scooped up. We also know that when we have sent out our project to our critique groups, we got feedback within 1 week.

For those of you who self-publish, this same thought pattern runs through our head. We, finished this amazing book and once online, we are ready to "make money."

Ahhh, but here is the twist, and it returns back to the infamous concept we learn in basic economics: Supply and Demand.

The reality of the situation is that SUPPLY is far exceeding DEMAND in this market. There are more authors than readers and their are more authors than slots in any publisher's line up. Let's look at a couple of examples:

I thought I would start at this level. A literary agency will simply have a limited number of slots depending on how many agents they have and what they represents. They can only spread themselves so thin. They will stick with their known commodities and anyone who comes in new must provide something new and something that fills a slot they don't have. Here at Greyhaus, that is really a situation. I have authors that are really producing well in historical romance. While I am always on the look for new authors, you have to provide something these authors do not provide.

Remember, publishers only produce so many books a month. It costs money to produce a book and they aren't just going to release an unlimited number in a month. What authors also forget is that each publisher "rents" space at retailers for their releases. Those shelves only hold so many books. Again, a publisher might have a lot of books, but there is only so much space.

But what about the online community? That should take care of the overload? Right?

Sorry... supply and demand is kicking in again.

As I started out with this, there are more of you than readers. First of all, readership is just not there like it used to be. As someone who is strongly involved in literacy, I wish this was not the case. But it is. People are more concerned about binge watching shows on Netflix than reading. Sure, we can put an unlimited number of books out there on the internet, but your book will simply be lost in the crowd.

Let me explain it this way...

AMAZON -> Kindle Ebooks ->Contemporary

1-16 of over 50,000 results for Kindle Store : Kindle eBooks : Romance : Contemporary

And this is the result...

If you are an unknown author, good luck...

I am not going to sugar coat anything here. This is a tough business. It is cutthroat and you have to be damn good to make it. This is not an issue of your marketing, but it comes down to good writing.

It also comes down to being in the right place at the right time. Your story has to hit that publisher, or that editor, or those readers at the right time when they are looking for your book.

I wish there was an easier way, but sometimes, it is good to just hear the truth.

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