After reading an article about it on the internet, what do you think will happen to the overall impact these changes (and restructuring) will have on the first-time author's chances of getting into bookstores?
Link: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070322/bs_n鈥?/a>How much of an impact will the store closures from Borders and Barns %26amp; Noble will have on 1st-time authors?
It's definitely a new ballgame. However, I don't know if the trend will be all bad. It's sad that first time authors will have a harder time getting on bookstore shelves, but as the stores themselves become obsolete it creates more room for the enterprising writer to sell themself. The latest book I plan to buy is Fieldwork, and I found out about that on Myspace. In fact, for all of it's silly surveys and wallpapers, Myspace has been a great place to find out about authors, musicians, and filmmakers, all of whom I don't know that I would have heard of otherwise. I think that the shift of bookstores to carrying only what they think will sell well will hurt the chances of a writer becoming the next big thing. But at the same time, the switch seems to encourage the growth of the niche market, so that while our young author might not develop into the next Micheal Chrieghton or Stephen King, it may perhaps allow him/her and more of their kind to make some sort of living off of writing.How much of an impact will the store closures from Borders and Barns %26amp; Noble will have on 1st-time authors?
I spent several hours walking around a B and N today. It was shocking. What's displayed is tried and true stuff and anything else takes its chances on the shelves listed with your name in alphabetical order. You have to take your chances that someone is going to see your title, like it and pull it off the shelf and look at it. The odds arent very good- especially if you end up down near the bottom.
Because of space considerations and cost of square footage, many have started charging a premium of up to a dollar to place your books on the prime tables near the door. Sales talk. Just wait - in July the whole first floor of a two story B and N will be Harry Potter oriented.
The option new authors are having more and more is to depend on internet sales. But that means doing a ton of self promotion which is 1)expensive and 2)time consuming meaning its difficult to work on a follow up book.
People tend to buy what they know. For instance, I saw very people just browsing in the Sci Fi Fantasy section. They were there seeking specific titles. I didnt see anyone take a book off the shelf, read the notes on the cover and put it back and take another. Meaning no one is browsing. They come to the bookstores looking for specific titles and buy just that. I went there looking for two books myself.
It takes time and effort to surf through a couple hundred sci fi books for something that "looks interesting" and people just dont have that time anymore. They go looking for what they read about in the papers and what other people recommend.
Yes, for the average new author it is hard. For instance I know a very good author. Their first book was a wild runaway hit. It made it onto bookclubs as the pick of the month, NY Times bestseller list for a few weeks - the works. It is a great book. Now, they are struggling to promote the second book (same characters - continuation of the first book), even offering to make appearance at local book discussion groups in person or by speaker phone. It's very sad because the second book is great too, but largely ignored. Maybe Harper Lee had the right idea by only writing one. Pax -C