Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Publishing Odds & Ends: Planning vs. Not Planning, Book Sales Up

I ran across a couple of blog posts that I found interesting.

First, Jane Friedman talks about the myth of planning vs. pantsing. I am attracted to the concept of outlining and planning, but I rarely actually do it - which is pretty much what her article says.
"Plotting versus pantsing is one popular version of the plan first/write later myth. This myth basically would have you believe that generating ideas, planning, writing, redrafting, submitting and publishing happen sequentially, in that order, in a linear fashion.

The myth also has its mirror image, the idea that there are some writers out there (for some reason I’m picturing them with flowing scarves) who simply cannot plan first and must write a draft then turn it into a novel. To me, this mirror image (although it’s the opposite) is simply part of the same story."
Read the entire article.

* * *

This article angered me a little because the author conflates reading with physical books. It’s as if reading on something besides paper is not valid. If ebook sales were decreasing (they are not), it’s not because people are switching to paper, it’s more likely that they’ve stopped reading books altogether. There is too much crap out there, both in print and ebook formats. E reader sales are down? That's not a problem. People are reading on other devices. I get angry when print-book bigots feel gleeful when they read bad news (usually incorrect news) about ebook sales. We should be pushing for more readers, whether paper, ebooks or stone tablets! Nonetheless, there is good news in this article for indie publishers, and in the first paragraph I quoted a valuable perspective.

"Not long ago, I came across an article with the headline “Reading is a rapidly depleting form of entertainment,” which cited recent findings from Pew Research Center that 24% of Americans didn’t read a book in 2017. Now, what I saw was that 76% of Americans did read a book.

The American Booksellers Association, which promotes independent bookstores, says its membership grew for the ninth year in a row in 2018. Sales of physical books have increased every year since 2013, and were up 1.3% in 2018 compared to the previous year." 
Read the entire article.

1 comment:

dcbrod said...

I’ve always like this E.L. Doctorow quote: “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” Of course, what sometimes happens (especially for the directionally challenged) is that on your way to San Diego, you will find yourself in Missoula. Then you have to decide if you took a wrong turn or you really wanted to go to Missoula but didn’t realize it until you got there.