Thursday, February 23, 2012

A most-welcomed bout of encouragement

... from literary agent Rachelle Gardner's blog: 6 Reasons for Writers to Be Optimistic

Guess what! The sky may not be falling after all. Yes, there are a lot of changes happening in publishing (and the world).

But things aren’t all bad. Herewith, six tidbits to cheer you up.

1. Publishers are still buying books.

If you follow Publishers Marketplace, you know that new deals are being announced every day. Some people even (allegedly) get deals for $4 million (hello Amanda Knox). While that’s not the norm, it’s a sign that big publishers still have money and still see a future for books. Closer to home, it’s nice to note that deals are still being done for books in all genres, fiction and non-fiction.

2. Agents are still taking new clients.

Yes! Believe it or not, agents still read queries, attend conferences, and sign new clients. Who knew? I myself have already taken on two new authors this year. And it’s only February.

3. Debut authors are still getting published.

Since many of you are yet unpublished and finding the road to publication challenging, it probably feels like nobody wants debut authors anymore. Not true! Fresh voices are still the lifeblood of publishing, and every year, many of them make it to the bestseller lists and “best of the year” lists. Debut authors are never a huge portion of the books published, but still make up about 10 to 15% by my (unscientific) estimate.

4. Print books are still about 75% of the market.

I know, I know, you love the smell of the paper, the heft of the book, how they look on your shelves, yada yada yada. You love your print books, I get it. Luckily for you, print books are still the majority of what’s being sold. If you want to see your book in print, you still have that option.

5. People still READ.

And now that everyone’s on the Internet all the time, people are reading more than ever. That means if you write words, chances are, you’ll find someone to read them.

6. There are more publishing opportunities than ever.

As technology drives the changes in publishing, your options for getting your work in front of readers are expanding and multiplying every day. As far as I can tell, there’s never been a better time to be a writer.

Why are YOU optimistic today?

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