They say a rising tide lifts all boats. I’ve been thinking about that lately, thinking about the explosion in publishing wrought by the advent of the internet, ebooks, and print-on-demand companies. It seems to me, although I don’t have the figures in front of me, that more books are being published today than ever in the history of humankind. And these are being published by more writers.
At the same time, I suspect a lot of mid-list writers are making less money that they have in the past, and a large number of the new authors are making very little, especially if they are being distributed by small presses, ebook publishers, and pay-to-publish presses.
The rising tide has lifted the total number of book publications, but I wonder if it has lifted the total amount of money that is being spent by readers on books each year. I personally suspect it has raised that total somewhat, because I find that newly published authors also “buy” a fair amount of books, both books on writing, and books by other new authors who they have made connections with. I’m not sure however, that the total amount of money spent on books in the US has risen very much in the past ten years.
For myself, the total amount that I’ve spent on books has risen over the past few years, and this is in large part due to buying quite a few more new trade paperbacks than I’ve ever bought before. I’ve bought many of these because they are written by other new writers and I want to support those writers as they have supported me. At the same time, I haven’t actually bought as “many” books lately as I used to, because each of the books I do buy is more expensive.
How about you? How has the current publishing explosion affected your buying habits, and reading habits?