I have heard two different statements made about the publishing world this past week. The first one I am sure you have noticed. “Non-fiction is in a slump.” Anyone who is a reader has noticed. There has not been anything very exciting released in nonfiction or fiction this past year or so. Nothing that has caught everyone’s attention and begged to be read by all. Nothing that has gotten everyone talking and encouraging everyone to read just to be part of the conversation.
I know that many people are talking about this and why is it happening. Then on Friday night I happened to be at a show and a simple little statement made by someone who works in the publishing world slipped out. A statement that made it all clear. “We don’t even look at a “manuscript” unless the author has an online presence.”
I actually missed about 5 minutes of what was going on because of that statement. It all became clearer for me. Publishers are not looking for anything different. They are looking to publish only something that has been heard already. If the person that they are going to publish is already an internet ‘star’ then those that would buy the book, have all heard it already.
I don’t know about you, but that maybe why we are not all talking about one book, we are talking about many. We have all narrowed our focus to only things that interest us. We only want to read about something we agree with or make us comfortable with ourselves.
Personally I miss those books that stretch me, make me wonder about the author and where they are coming from. What can I learn from them. Yes I am talking about fiction right along side of nonfiction. When did we become a nation of readers that refuses to read something that might disagree with what our thinking is?
Read something that isn’t what you would normally read. Always read nonfiction? Grab a fiction book. Always read fiction? Grab a nonfiction book. Something anything that will get us out of our funk of not having something new and exciting for us all to be talking about. Maybe this will wake up the publishing world. Maybe they will begin to listen to readers. Those that buy and read their books. Those of us who want good books, not just what is trending on the internet. But something that will stretch us and help us grow as a person. Something that might just leave us a bit uncomfortable with our own little way of thinking and help us understand where the other person is coming from.
Thank you for listening,