I like the word customary instead of tradtional. Does that fit your fancy?

    Romance stories on the internet is a little differn’t then other types of stories though. I mean, the internet was invented for porn (I don’t care what Al Gore says that’s why it was created and he didn’t invent it). So, having a webiste where you can go read stuff to… um, get you in the mood isn’t really invative.

    I always thought of books as the one thing that was still American made from the planning to the making. Do we not exsport enough books to other countries that the publishing companies wouldn’t be affected as much as other businesses?

  2. Might book sales also depend on the type of book? I mean, in doom and gloom times, wouldn’t romances sell better than some other stories?

    Surely someone out there has looked into how books sell during financially troubled days. Buying a paperback is, after all, cheaper than a trip to the theater (admittedly requiring more time and effort). People will want to be entertained no matter what. The bigger problem might be that people are simply reading less.

    Maybe they happen to be reading less while the economy tanks, but that doesn’t make the two connected. Doesn’t make them not connected either, I’m just wondering thinking in circle over here while I consider my publishing chances.

    How much should this affect what I’m doing? Should I stop sending out my work? Well, the odds are against me ever getting an agent anyway even if the economy soars to new heights tomorrow. I won’t be writing a category romance regardless.

  3. @Gotham: you make a great point in reference to porn. And I think you’re right that the US is the biggest part of the publishing industry in the world, but I was just saying, according to Perkins, they’ll probably slow down anyway.

    @Mapelba: I actually think you’re right that book sales go up because they’re less expensive alternatives of escapism. Then again, if publishers slow down, there are going to be fewer books to buy. Then again, given the sheer volume of books printed every damned week, that might not be a bad thing.

    As for your other question, though, I don’t think it should affect what we’re doing. I think our job tends to remain writing the best books we can, troubled times or not.

  4. I’m no expert on whether people read more or less during times of economic hardship, but I do think that economic hardship affects people in different ways. I think people are reading and writing in much different ways than they did in the past.

    I think people would be more likely to spend their money on movies than on books. For one thing, you can check books out of libraries for free. For another, going to the movies is a way that people can be together without really being together. When times are tough, there’s an isolation that sets in and it’s comforting to be around people. But it isn’t necessary easy to connect. And movies provide a total sensory escape that books just don’t provide–no matter how great the writing is.

    I remember, growing up as a poor kid, I could count the number of times I went to a theatre on one hand. My first theatre experience didn’t happen until I was 9ish. I spent a lot more time listening to music, going to the library, and being outside.

    Now, I think I probably would have done the same things. I don’t think I would have been online much because we couldn’t afford a computer until I was 18. My access to technology would have been at the library. And that’s true for thousands of kids throughout the world. There really are two different worlds out there. One is for people who have a little money and access to technology. They also tend to have access to education that will make them literate adults. Then, there’s another world where it is possible to have those same things–but it may be delayed or grossly difficult to obtain. But I digress…

    So, all of this is to say that I don’t think writers have anything to worry about. A talented writing does more than just books. You can morph your talents to meet the needs of the marketplace. You can exploit the world of the haves and get into publishing that’s more readily available because of technology. You can blog. You can self-publish. Hell, you can do what I used to do and publish a zine on a copier. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

  5. @Alma: I think you also hit on why so many people do write; it’s perhaps the most accessible thing one can do. It’s not so easy to get a video camera. Or buy a guitar and learn it.

    But just about anyone can pick up pen and paper. And you’re right: everyone will continue to, and just figure out how to get it out there.

  6. ANION

    There are dozens of erotic romance epublishers already out there, with solid, established customer bases. Their authors (of whom I am one) earn very good money. This is not new.

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