Friday, December 29, 2017

Major bookstore chain liquidates; books become dated quickly, and this hurts self-published authors

While self-publishing companies try to encourage authors to relate to bookstores, more of the chains are failing to Internet competition (as well as physical store competition from Amazon).  Wisconsin based Book World has announced its liquidation, as explained in a B Section story today in the New York Times by David Streitfeld.

This continuing development could make it harder for some kinds of self-publishing assist companies to make money.  Despite charging authors, they actually need to have some authors actually sell books with some kind of scale to remain sustainable.

Unpacking my books after downsizing and moving into a condo, I’m struck by how short the half-life of non-fiction policy books really is. A book on “marriage” written in the early of mid 2000’s is totally out of date today.

Period fiction and fantasy and some genres (romance) may be somewhat immune, but fiction authors who want to exploit current political controversies (like the Middle East, radical Islam, Russia, North Korea, China, and of course presidents) can find their setups dated quickly. The world is very different know than it was a the start of 2016. 

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