Now, back to Adam’s blogs and thoughts…
Rather than blather on, I’ll let you read Adam Fenner’s three posts yourself on his website. Please read them these, in order, then come back here for further discussion.
You did read Adam’s blogs, right? Good. He presents some interesting and compelling data and draws some interesting conclusions. He clearly put a lot of time and energy into his research. If you’re interested in seeing his data in more depth, click on word “link” at the bottom of each of his blogs to look at the raw data. I recommend looking only at his PowerPoint presentation and avoiding the Excel spreadsheets. The Excel data is a bit overwhelming.
What are we to get from all this? Well, Adam summed it up nicely with his closing statement in his third blog post:
“I suppose the message I am trying to send is that each author needs to perform a critical analysis of why they write. If it is for vanity, but you enjoy it, go for it. If you are writing to make a profit be an informed producer, look at the industry, perfect your craft and develop your readership. Do not just be another consumer.”
This obviously is not what self-published authors want to hear, and I’m sure many will choose to disregard or disbelieve it, but look at one point Adam made in his third post: readers are not reading more because there are more books out there. This makes sense because the availability of more books doesn’t mean we have more time to read, only that we have more choices to pick from.
Yes, we are competing more than ever, but the good news is that, as self-publishers, we have the power to compete that we did not have before. We were stopped at the publishing stage and never had a chance to try. Look at it this way: As long as there are readers looking for good book, we have a chance to rise to the top and push out the competition that we previously lacked. We no longer have those endless “Sorry, not for us” rejection letters from agents and editors. We can bypass them and let the readers decide.