I’ve been writing for quite some time now and my third book - Reel Terror - is about to hit store shelves in October.
Nevertheless, I’m still just as confused as anyone regarding the real state of the publishing business, which like everything else took a tough hit during the recession.
On one hand, we lost Borders and don’t have many book stores left, on the other hand, the Steve Jobs biography is still on the best-seller lists, and The Hunger Games books have been selling like crazy as well.
Still, we’re trying to move to a paperless society, and you figure there’s going to be a time where books are will be download only, much like many of us read the news online and quit our paper subscriptions ages ago. But just like we still have physical media with music (ironically with vinyl being more popular than CDs), it looks like we’re still going to have physical paper books for a while too.
In fact, reading a report in the L.A. Times, I got the impression old school and new school could perhaps co-exist together, with people downloading, and carrying traditional books around. As Mike Anton writes, "Even with sales of e-readers surging, only 10% of respondents who have one said they had abandoned traditional books. More than half have said most or all of the books they read are in printed form."
The good news for us writers too is that as the Times tells us, people still enjoy reading. According to the L.A. Times poll, six in ten people said they enjoy reading a lot, and more than 20% of people polled said they read books more than ten hours a week. More good news is that young adults, 84% of them polled, from the age of 18 to 29, like to read a lot. "That’s only a percentage point less than for respondents 50 or older," the Times writes.
Older people are also embracing reading technology according to this poll as well, and it also mentions that "owners of e-readers are more likely to read more books and spend more hours each week reading."
Overall, the great news here is however the format, people dig reading, and I’m hoping more than ever. As a writer this is a big relief for me, because for some time I wondered if we were going to become extinct.
Again, there have been a lot of book stores going out of business, not to mention newspapers, magazines and websites are still going under. For example, Variety’s now up for sale, and my former alma matter, Creative Screenwriting is now officially gone. The hemorrhaging in media may still continue while the economy recovers, but the good news is that people are still interested in reading and buying books.