I’ve heard a lot of complaining about the fact that nobody reads anymore. The complainers are wrong. People are reading quite a lot. They’re just not paying for their content. Instead of books, they’re reading blogs.
So, this novelist has to wonder: should I really keep working on novels?
In two months, with no professional editing, fairly minimal effort and zero promotional activities, over twenty thousand people have read my blog. At least that is what wordpress tells me.* My guess is that I’ll be lucky if my novel (see the BUY MY BOOK page above) sells more than a few hundred copies despite the support of a great publishing team and years of hard work.
Now, sure, the book will make me some money and the blog is free, but let’s be real. If I were out to make big bucks, I wouldn’t be writing at all. And, surely, blog advertising would be a more lucrative source of income, should I put effort into finding some paying advertisers.
But no one (with any intelligence) writes fiction because they hope to find wealth. Most of us want to write something worthwhile and find readers. The readers, apparently, are out there for blogs.
So, what do you think? Should I give up on the efforts to publish novels and dedicate myself to blogging from now on?
If you’re guessing that my affection for the old-school will win out over good sense and evidence, you’re probably right. Right now, from my desk, I can see a tower of print books, a stereo with both a cassette and record player and a lava lamp. I am hardly an early adopter in any area—not even mood lighting– and so I’m extremely unlikely to be among the vanguard of professional writers turning their backs on the traditional publishing model.
But I’m open to persuasive argument from my smart, media-savvy readers.
Some of you, I know, are writing or hope to write novels. How come?
*Yes, I, too, suspect WordPress inflates numbers to keep bloggers hooked.