Just to be clear, some of those decisions and requests were good ones, and I don't pretend to understand or question the motivation of the Big 5. But we all know authors who didn't take their suggestion of tossing their manuscripts into the circular file, or sitting on them in boxes under their bed for twenty years. And let's not talk about what it does to an author who has had ten or fifteen manuscripts rejected, only to see something similar to one of their WIPs wind up on the shelves published by the same house. Good books were rejected due to shelf space, or "we already bought two titles in that line," and not because the book wasn't any good.
Today, if a writer can work hard to build a readership and audience, he or she can write in any genre, even in multiple genres and do it without changing their author profile or persona, depending. Things such as merging YA and Erotica would be obvious exceptions to this. But the secret to success today isn't necessarily in a "fantastic book" as in the promotion and the readership it gains, and how prolific the author can be. Authors who can churn it out quickly, have a distinct advantage in this market. And yes, the series is king. Once you sell them on the world, you don't need to sell it to everyone, you just need those people coming back over and over again.
I was floored when we asked readers how many books they read in Romance this year. Do you know what the average was of the 80 or so people who responded to that question? How about 200 books!! And did you know that there are some romance readers who read 1-2 books a day. I had a handful that said they'd read over 1000 books this year, and this year isn't even over yet! The average U.S. Citizen reads 5 books a year. That's right, 5.
So, when you have an avid public, looking for good reads and wonderful new authors to follow, because they have this insatiable appetite for reading, why would anyone want to restrict the number of books being written?
Mark Coker of Smashwords has said there is about a 413% increase in new titles this year. Do you think that will even make a dent in the shape of things if readers are reading 300 books a year? And with the ease of getting iBooks now on over a billion new iPhones and iPads out there today all over the world, with just one click, the market is certainly expanding.
Some will argue the quality has suffered. Yes, we all know of some recent blockbusters that were poorly written, poorly edited and yet were loved to the point of making authors a household name, set for life. While it has worked for a few, I also don't advocate an author should aspire to this either. Putting out a professional book, looking professional, with professional detail to craft and editing, is still the goal. And today, we have readers who read everything from sweet cozy mystery to BDSM and back again.
So, I say hooray for choice and cross genre readerships, for series that go on for 25 books or more, for characters that blend elements to give us compelling stories in a wide variety of textures and fabric that make up the quilt of the reader's desire. The world is becoming more connected through social media, some say getting smaller. But the world is also getting more and more varied as subgenres are able to flourish in this Indie Revolution.
And I think that's a good thing.
NYT and USA/Today and Amazon Top 100 Best Selling Author Sharon Hamilton’s SEAL Brotherhood series have earned her Amazon author rankings of #1 in Romantic Suspense, Military Romance and Contemporary Romance. Her characters follow a sometimes rocky road to redemption through passion and true love. Her Golden Vampires of Tuscany earned her a #1 Amazon author ranking in Gothic Romance.
A lifelong organic vegetable and flower gardener, Sharon and her husband live in the Wine Country of Northern California, where most of her stories take place.
Sharon's 8th book in the SEAL Brotherhood Series, SEAL's Promise is available for preorder now, and will launch on Veteran's Day, 11/11/14. Lots of parties are planned to sign up for the newsletter and find out how you can be a part of this exciting time for Sharon!