Some people don’t know what talking about the elephant in the room means, so let me explain. Sometimes there’s a topic that people don’t want to touch with a ten foot pole. It’s usually something big and people don’t want to get involved by mentioning it, or they’re afraid it will cause a family rift or an argument between friends. The point is, it’s there and everyone is afraid it’s off limits.
My elephant in the room is book sales. The huge mammal is sitting across the room, squinting at me and looking enormous. Every once in a while his trunk twitches. All I can do is shrug my shoulders.
I’ve talked to several authors lately who tell me their sales have very suddenly fallen off, and in many cases they’re almost nonexistent. What happened?
There are several theories. Some say it’s because young people aren’t reading anymore, that they’re spending all of their time playing games on either their iphones or their computers or ipads. Could be, although that breaks my heart. Books can take a reader away from the mad rush to live life as fast as possible.
Books can make you laugh, cry, get the heebie jeebies, surprise you, make you sigh over a romance, or just plain entertain the reader. Movies can do that, too, but when movies are made based on a book, there’s a lot of detail that has to be left out. The viewer is missing a lot by relying on the movie rather than the book. In fact, I’ve read books that I couldn’t put down, and then I’ve seen the movie which is based on the book. In many857 cases, I was disappointed in the movie.
Another theory is that there are too many “free ebooks” websites. That’s probably true. Why would someone pay the exorbitant price of 99 cents or $2.99 on an ebook when they can get it for free? Am I being sarcastic? Of course, but that’s just me.
Theory #3 is that there are too many authors offering books. There are too many to choose from, and too many choices cause stress. I added the “stress” part myself.
Of course there are libraries, but that’s been an issue for years and didn’t seem to cause falling book sales.
I understand that the current economy is an issue for a lot of people right now. Even 99 cents can seem daunting.
My excuse? I used to be an avid reader. My life, at one point, consisted of working a full-time job and reading, with a little TV in between. Things have changed. I now have approximately one hundred books waiting to be read. Due to circumstances, I haven’t been reading anything lately. Sometimes life gets in the way, and that’s the case at the moment.
Many of us have tried thinking of a promotional idea that’s outside the box, but most of what we come up with has already been tried.
There are two life choices that can make or break a person. One is opening a restaurant. The other is becoming a writer. The competition is enormous and one itty bitty mistake can put an end to our dreams of success.
However, think positive. Someday those kids I mentioned are going to realize there’s a whole new world to join by reading books. One day someone is going to say, Hey! Stop giving my books away for free, and someone will listen and turn to some other freebie. One day priorities will change. Things will slow down. Instant gratification will change to a restful time with a good book.
Have you noticed that I didn’t mention any of my own books? That could be because I’m not trying to be self-serving. There are so many good authors out there. Try one of their books and if you like it, buy another. If you don’t like it, move on to another author.
So let’s hear it. Why aren’t you buying books anymore? You probably have some favorite authors, so why aren’t you buying their books?
There! The elephant may leave the room now, to be replaced some other mammal and some other topic.
Until next week, read more blog posts. Think of the posts as a showcase for an author’s writing style, and try one of their books if the post entertains you.
CLICK HERE to visit Marja McGraw’s website
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