Jim C. Hines (jimhines) wrote,
Jim C. Hines

Black Wednesday and the Publishing Recession

I received an e-mail pointing out that my listing on Fictionwise now includes a pre-order for the electronic version of Goblin War, at 10% off. I was told I should blog this, and who am I to argue? :-)

So, Black Wednesday, eh? Publishing has not been having a good time of it lately. Publishers are cutting back, editors are losing their jobs, acquisitions are on hold, bookstore chains are on the verge of collapse....

A lot of writers are suggesting the best thing we can all do to support the publishing business is to buy books. I'm all for that, and I'd love it if this somehow spurred everyone to run out and buy more books. Especially if they're mine, but I'm not picky. Buying books is good for all of us.

But what about the fear? What about the fact that this is apparently a horrible time to be a new writer trying to break in, as the publishers aren't buying as many books? Or the fear that if you release a book right now, your sales numbers will be lousy and you'll crash & burn? Or if you were hoping to sell books 4 and 5 in your princess series, but if you also wanted to try for a higher advance, now is probably not the greatest time to go forward with that pitch?

There's some scary stuff going on, and it will have an impact. How much of an impact? I couldn't say. Maybe the sky really is falling. Maybe publishing is just evolving, and the next iteration will have gills and feathers and rainbow-colored scales. But no matter how things change, books and stories aren't going away any time soon.

A major bookstore chain might go under, taking a significant chunk of my sales in the process. The slow economy will have an impact on my next book, which just happens to be launching my new series. Who knows what that will do to the success of the princess books in the long run. I also feel for my full-time writer friends, who are going to be hit even harder by this. I'm sad to think it will be longer before I can consider quitting my own day job and joining them as a full-timer.

In the face of all this, here's what I intend to do:

1. Keep writing
2. Keep submitting

Because everything else is out of my hands.

Look, I spent 10 years writing and submitting and collecting far more rejections than sales before finally "breaking in". These past few years have been great, and I love the fact that I've been able to sell almost everything I've written recently. It's an awesome feeling. But there are no guarantees. I didn't start writing fiction in order to gain a stable, secure income stream. Don't get me wrong, I love the income, but that wasn't the purpose. I started because I love it, and I'm not about to stop writing because we've hit a rough patch.

The writers will keep writing. Because that's what we do.

Have a great weekend, y'all!

Way of the Wolf, by E. E. Knight
Amazon | Mysterious Galaxy
Red Hood's Revenge

Tags: writing
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