Books and Vinyl Records.
The covers, the textures, the background noise.
E-books and digital downloads – somehow books seemed to have managed to miss out the equivalent stages of the CD and MiniDisc.
The future is . . .
. . . Books and Vinyl are making a comeback.
But there is a difference now.
The audiences are expecting something different.
They don’t consume in the way they did before.
Perhaps what is drawing music listeners back to vinyl is the art work of the album covers, the liner notes, the lyrics, the thank yous from the band. The things you don’t get is the same way when you stream or download.
For writers the landscape is somewhat different.
In his article on Medium, ‘The 3 Biggest Trends in Publishing Right Now‘ (June ’18), Steven Spatz writes:
What authors need to understand is this: you’re no longer just competing against other authors and books in the digital space. You’re also competing with TV, social media, games, movies, and more.
Writers are competing for the attention of readers who consume stories in different ways to before.
TV tends to be a character driven narrative over a number of episodes with discernible cliffhangers at the end of each one.
Film provides for 90-120 minutes of attention in one sitting – if there is popcorn.
Games focus on first-person action where you become the main character.
Social Media allows you to comment and influence your friends in bite-size chunks.
When your novel reaches 12 hours on audio-book and your 3rd Person narrative weaves an intricate web of symbolism throughout multiple chapters, you might not get many comments.
There is a market for the above, as I’m sure some people still proudly listen to their minidiscs, but to carve out a career as a writer you might need to pay closer attention to how and what your potential readers consume.
1st Person, quick-paced, climax to every chapter, in a story which keeps you guessing and motivated to chase the story to the end, might be one place to start. I’m sure this will work in every genre.
One hundred-ish page books, where a story is told over several volumes, might be another good place.
After all, Charles Dickens published some of his novels as chapters in his weekly magazine Household Words.
And we are back to vinyl again . . .