Friday, March 23, 2012

It's the Best Time Ever to Be a Novelist

When I started full-time freelancing in the late 1980s a publisher advised me that more money was to be made in periodicals than in books. He was right. And when it came to books, non-fiction was a better choice than fiction. That was true, too.

That was then. This is now.

Yes, the Internet has decimated magazines and newspapers. Over the last decade I've lost a lot of (paying!) customers as periodicals get tinier or blink out of existence.

What I hadn't realized is the same thing is happening to non-fiction books. A (relatively) recent article in USA Today points out that fiction is now the genre because if folks want something non-fiction they look for that topic online. For free. They can't do that with a novel, with a unique story, but can get that story in an e-book format for less than the price of a cup of coffee or Hallmark card. (A what?)

Just as the public flocked to the movies during the Great Depression of the 1930s to have a bit of an escape from their challenging daily (real) lives, now readers are choosing fiction for an escape from the Great Recession (and all the challenges of our own era).

There's an audience looking for new novels. And there's a way (e-books!) you can get your novel out there that won't cost you a dime.

It's the best time ever to be a novelist.

Just keep writing.

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