Tuesday, March 30, 2010

This Week: In Diana's Head

What's up, big box store?

Many of us have, at least once, been in a book store. Barnes and Noble, Borders, Books-a-Million, Walden Books or any number of second retail and small mom and pop shops. Even if you've wandered through the local Walmart or Target's selection, you've seen what I saw today.

The same inventory/authors that have been writing and getting shelved for the last decade--or three. Don't get me wrong. I have a LOT of favorites in those authors, but something I've noticed--my buying habits have evolved, partly caused by the lack of new blood to the romance in print world.

Yes, there ARE new people there. Cheyenne McCray, Deidre Knight, Jaci Burton, Bianca D’Arc, and many, many others. But, and here's the thing: For every ONE new NY book that's released, I have dozens or more also new that are coming out in Ebook, from a collection of authors that are bringing a new voice, a new view to genres I read. Also for every two to three releases I might get from a NY author in a year, I can get as many as 4-6 or more depending on the length of book in E in that same year. And if I'm not looking for just one author, but say a shopping spree, for the 4-6 print books I would find that I would like to read, I can find 50 in E. (And I have, just don’t tell the man. LOL!)

Now I’m not saying “off with their heads” or anything of the sort. I love print books… Have bookcases full of them and I’m a regular print trader with my friends, but what I am seeing is a stagnant inventory. I understand the NY publishing model (and frankly that’s a whole ‘nuther blog), and know that what is done in E can’t be done in print. And that’s fine. It’s a different business model entirely.

But why can’t there be new voices? Why do we have the same 30 (a number drawn out of thin air and absolutely NOT based on any facts) authors in paranormal that were shelved ten years ago? I know there’s more out there. I see them all the time online looking for their chance to break out. So why can’t they? I can’t be the only reader who is tired of the dull and ready for the invigorated and unexplored.

And I sincerely doubt that paranormal is the only genre in this bind. I don’t read historicals, so I don’t know the names as well, or even contemporary, but I will say I have seen many cross over names. Meaning Author Awesome writes for a paranormal line, AND writes for a contemporary line. Does that mean she’s writing too much? There’s holes to fill and she has work available? Or does it mean that because her work is proven, they will chose her to write that book, and as many as she can to fill the roster? Which means an overflow of Author Awesome books. For many reasons, that is nothing to complain about, but there’s just as many reasons to question because that one book could have been a new voice. Could have been a new author with a new chance, a new book, a new vision.

Well, that's where I'm stopping before I start rambling. Just make a note New York, you are being watched.


susan said...

I agree with you..I like the former authors and have my favorites but there are many out there whose books never get on the shelves in the walk in stores and they deserved a chance too. susan L.

Emma Sanders said...

I totally agree. I'm not badmouthing any of those authors, but it'd be nice if newer ones would have a chance to shine. There are debut authors that have wonderful stories that NY won't publish b/c they are unknown and NY won't take the chance on them. It's always nice to get a new voice, a different type of story, from a different author. It's a little frustrating to me, actually. Great post!