If you said yes, why every time I step in the local bookstore it looks like the Post Office during Christmas? I am not talking about the amount of people in line for a coffee or the stray shoppers licking the corners of magazines. Every time I step in the bookstore, I am shelling out over $40 dollars on books and magazines along with the other readers lined up at the cash registers.
I am a reader and writer. I blog online and have a dream of being published. The problem is my job is real estate and my hobby / pipe dream is writing. I would like to say I am a good writer. I have even had publishers tell me my work is great. The real problem is that publishers are not willing to take risk on new or unheard or writers. I am not just speaking for myself, but many good, funny and great writers are producing stories online free in the blogosphere in hopes of being published only to receive the same response, “We are currently only representing known authors or celebrities.”
I think the publishers are getting it wrong. What if publishers were like homebuilders? What if a customer could go into the local bookstore and select a book with a genre just for them? Today, I noticed a woman in the bookstore that was totally stumped looking for a book. Finally, the woman with the blank stare on her face looked over at me. She asked me what book I was getting. I told her. Then she asked for suggestions. I gave her a few and she thanked me. If this woman were shopping in any other business there would be a customer service person helping her with a ready product or offering her the option to build her own. Maybe in the publishing business the bookstore cannot build a book for the customer in the store, but maybe the publishers need to start watching the blogosphere, take surveys or watch patterns of behaviors online. The truth is this woman was sick and tired of having celebrity biographies and diet books thrown in her face. She wanted an intelligent, thought provoking book. Many of print publications books and periodicals are mainstreamed and full of advertisements pushing products.
Granted, there are still lots of great books and editorials being published. I just feel the publishing world is not taking the risks to create a profit. The first goal of any CEO of print publication should be to wrap the products in plastics. Stop allowing customers to read your products for free. Monthly, I purchase an international magazine that cost three times of the local brands. I pay that because I like the editorials, actually I love them. I do not mind that it is wrapped in plastic preventing me from previewing it. My own teenage son purchased a computer magazine from the United Kingdom, because it had more products reviews. It also included an indepth look at concept technologies as opposed to the American magazine full of advertisements. The American magazine was about the view of one computer giant compared to all the competitors while the other magazine gave an unbiased look at all technologies available.
Over all, this article is my firsthand experience of the products I see publishing world placing in my local bookstore. I have to hope that maybe someone in the American publishing world will seriously consider this article, push the envelope, and create great editorials and literature. Take risks. Stop feeding the readers with advertisements. Take chances on new writers. Print facts. Take aim at silenced topics. There is more to publishing than advertising. There are new artist like the Fitzgeralds and Hemingways alive today writing free articles in the blogosphere. Give more writers (and me included) smaller publishing contracts. Get more books on those shelves where you have placed those homogenous celebrity books. Readers want to read. Writers want to write.