"Publishers Weekly, 6/13/2007
Bookstore Sale Slides Continued in April
After falling 6.8% in March, bookstore sales dropped 6.0% in April, according to estimates released by the Census Bureau this morning. The decline lowered bookstore sales in April to $909 million. Bookstore sales have fallen every month this year, and were down 4.3%, to $5.10 billion, in the January-through-April period. Sales for the entire retail segment were up 3.1% in April and 3.8% in the first four months of 2007. "
If you're a writer attempting to break into the publishing industry, this particular report should give you a pause. Commerce determines what makes it to publication as much as if not more so than the artistic merit of a particular work. The continuing decline in book sales indicates that it will become that much harder to get a traditional publishing deal in an already highly competitive market.
This report shouldn't discourage you; it should provide you with a reason to consider other ways you can make it to publication. If you're reading this, then you already know that the internet is full of publishing opportunities, blogs, e-zines, websites of every style, form and dimension, live and reach their reading audiences on the internet. So while you're pursuing a traditional deal, what other irons can you put in the fire to build a portfolio of your work, and maybe a bit of self-publishing success? (Read my post about why writers should blog.)