Saturday, October 18, 2008

Financial crunch...not a tasty breakfast cereal

Justine Larbalestier recently discussed one of my pet peeves on her blog - why do publishers feel the need to change spelling/common english idiom for different markets. Isn't that how readers learn about other places and cultures? I blogged recently about this in 'Our reading makes us world savvy'. All the posters to this comment by Justine felt pretty much the same way on the topic. It seems authors aren't keen on the practice. Is there any way to stop or reverse this sad habit?

A few of my other favourite blogs (Kristin Nelson, and http://bookendslitagency.blogspot.com/) have mentioned the current recession and the potential impact this is/will have on publishing and authors. Kristin was reasonably optimistic, bookends not quite so cheery. Many of the posters to the comments were hopeful. Books are still a reasonably priced luxury that don't require ongoing costs like batteries or an electrical supply or the latest game, and keep on giving unlike a coffee at the cafe or a trip to the movies. On the one hand I want to be optimistic too because I don't really want to give up this writing gig (as tempted as I am at times of intense frustration with the industry and/or myself) and I want there to be more books out there with my name on them and I don't want the publishers to face hardship. However part of me knows that less disposable income will mean less sales of every product. And the fact that this financial crunch is partially driven by people spending beyond their means suggests that there should be at least be a decline in retail down to a level where people are spending responsibly. I still think books are a good investment, especially for children. And there will always be book lovers who can't wait for their next book fix and need to consume them regularly to stay healthy and sane. Health and sanity are important! Libraries might see greater patronage. I think most, if not all, libraries in NZ stock my books - yay. As someone pointed out recently however, books were still being written, published and bought during the Great depression. To help the book industry I intend (within my means) to keep buying books and reading them. I also plan to keep writing and submitting and to keep hoping that the recession won't cut too deep and the recovery when it comes won't be too painfully slow. In the end I can't fix the problem so I just have to make the most of what is in front of me. Remember, there is still a bestseller list and books are still turning up on it, both here and overseas. Someone is still buying them.

2 comments:

The Scarlet Tree said...

Apparently, comedy always does well in bad times...

maureen said...

and everything escapism....