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View Full Version : is it just me or are there fewer people writing today?



mairi
08-09-2012, 08:37 PM
Maybe it's just me but I feel like there are fewer people writing - to be more specific, I feel like there are fewer people pursuing traditional publishing nowadays? Everyone seems so caught up with all the hype around self-pubbing millionaires thst theyve decided to forego the (admittedly tortuous) process of finding an agent, subbing to an editor et al.

Im just curious if other feels the same. I used to be fairly active querying for my MS in 09-10 and I remember how almost each day there'd be a writer celebrating finding an agent and sharing it here in AW or the BlueBoards. Now - not counting the stats in QT - I have to go through the next few pages or so before I see another Ive-found-an-agent post.

Another reason Im asking this is coz my second MS has gotten a pretty good request rate from agents and Im starting to think...maybe it's because of lack of choice? I know, I know. It's the usual writer insecurities showing but Im really still curious if others also think theres been a huge drop in writers pursuing traditional pubbing.

err...hope i posted this in the right place. it's really been a while.

amrose
08-09-2012, 08:49 PM
I'd disagree.

I think plenty of people are pursuing print publication with the Big 6. I know I'm pursuing both e-pubs and New York pubs, but e-pubs have higher turnaround. Also, agents and New York pubs used to be the ONLY way. People have other options now that work for them. Not everyone needs an agent. Not everyone wants to be print published.

At this point I wouldn't consider self publishing because no one knows me and I don't want to be the sole source for marketing, editing, etc.

As far as a better response from agents in your case, maybe you're writing is just that much better, you know? ;)

fireluxlou
08-09-2012, 08:55 PM
Well there can't be fewer people writing just because they are choosing self publishing over traditional. Lots of people do still go traditional. Publishers only publish so many books a year.

You do what's right for yourself and your book, if you want to go one over the other do it. There may be fewer of those posts because people are pursuing self publishing instead.

I doubt that your MS got a lot of requests from the lack of choice but rather because it was interesting.

Kerosene
08-09-2012, 08:58 PM
I agree with amrose.

But I also see many people who simply give in and self-pub because their writing isn't up to standard with traditional publishing. They have either tried traditional and simply threw their hands up because of impatience/worry/indifference and turned to self-publishing like it's a default.
It's almost like the quality has decreased, making the traditional publishers troll the waters for something very good and forcing other writers out of the lake to pursue less venturous ordeals.

Personally, I'm not someone dreaming to make a life as a writer. I'm a good writer, good story teller. But don't have the need to pull in the publishing world and fess with the system at hand.
I might just turn self-pub, because it's convenient and I treat writing more as a hobby, then a job.
However, by no means do I agree that my writing is ever good enough to publish. But that's me.

I actually see more people writing today, then in the past. (Partly because of the YA culture. Or am I just noticing it?)

Shadow_Ferret
08-09-2012, 08:59 PM
For the question: does it seem like less people are writing -- No. More peoe are writing than ever before thanks in a large part to computers and the Internet. Takes less work to create a document these days and now more people are doing it then ever before.



To the part are less people seeking traditional publishing than self-publishing -- Yes. Again because of the ease and proliferation of Internet self-publishing websites, like smashwords, anyone regardless of ability can self-publish.

mccardey
08-09-2012, 08:59 PM
is it just me or are there fewer people writing today?

Oh, if wishing made it so... ;)

Seconding Lou - if you're getting lots of requests it's because you've done a good job. Congrats!

Phaeal
08-09-2012, 10:14 PM
I agree that the greater ease of preparing and submitting MSS has encouraged more people to write and submit. Also young people seem much more encouraged to write than they were way back in my day. Then there's the dreaded NaNoWriMo....;)

But anyway. What does it matter, more or less people submitting? If you want to pursue Big 6 publication, do it. And do it to the hilt.

gothicangel
08-10-2012, 12:10 AM
Another reason Im asking this is coz my second MS has gotten a pretty good request rate from agents and Im starting to think...maybe it's because of lack of choice? I know, I know. It's the usual writer insecurities showing but Im really still curious if others also think theres been a huge drop in writers pursuing traditional pubbing.



Don't sell yourself short. It's fantastic that your book is doing so well, put it down to your own hard work. If a publisher doesn't find work of a suitable level, they don't just drop their standards, they just publish less books.

Tepelus
08-10-2012, 12:42 AM
I plan, when that time comes, to traditionally publish, and if I fail that then try self-publishing, but I'm more scared to self-publish than to go the traditional route because I would have no idea what to do. And it is a lot of work. If one wants to succeed.

ryanswofford
08-10-2012, 07:33 AM
Man, too many people are writing these days. It makes things harder for us writer who are working our tails off trying to write something half-way decent when there are crappy writers with a few friends and a little money who somehow blow up. We gotta stay positive and keep writing...better than the crappy self-publishing wackos. This isn't to say that all self-pubbers stink. There are some greats out there, but honestly, not the majority.

Unimportant
08-10-2012, 07:41 AM
Man, too many people are writing these days. It makes things harder for us writer who are working our tails off trying to write something half-way decent when there are crappy writers with a few friends and a little money who somehow blow up. We gotta stay positive and keep writing...better than the crappy self-publishing wackos. This isn't to say that all self-pubbers stink. There are some greats out there, but honestly, not the majority.
Whoa there, tiger. There are a lot of people here on AW who self-publish -- including, I believe, James Macdonald, who is awesome in so many writerly, mentorly, teacherly, editorly, and moderatorly ways that I cannot even count them. And all self-publishers are, by definition, writers. Whether you, as in individual, like or do not like a particular self-published book is certainly an opinion you are entitled to, but please do not refer to your fellow writers as "crappy wackos". AW's cardinal rule is "respect your fellow writer."

Unimportant
08-10-2012, 07:48 AM
Maybe it's just me but I feel like there are fewer people writing - to be more specific, I feel like there are fewer people pursuing traditional publishing nowadays? Everyone seems so caught up with all the hype around self-pubbing millionaires thst theyve decided to forego the (admittedly tortuous) process of finding an agent, subbing to an editor et al.
IMO, the proportion of writers who are seeking commercial publication has decreased, but the numbers of writers who are seeking commercial publication have increased, and the numbers of writers who are seeking self/subsidy publication have dramatically increased (hence the change in proportions).

DidiBlue
08-10-2012, 07:51 AM
Man, too many people are writing these days. It makes things harder for us writer who are working our tails off trying to write something half-way decent when there are crappy writers with a few friends and a little money who somehow blow up. We gotta stay positive and keep writing...better than the crappy self-publishing wackos. This isn't to say that all self-pubbers stink. There are some greats out there, but honestly, not the majority.

Huh? How does someone else writing something ('good', 'bad', or otherwise) take something away from you? Just because some people are doing really well, it does not mean that there is less room for other writers. I really think this type of scarcity thinking needs to stop. Other writers are NOT your competition. There's more than enough room in this writing thing for everyone.

Kitty27
08-10-2012, 08:25 AM
Man, too many people are writing these days. It makes things harder for us writer who are working our tails off trying to write something half-way decent when there are crappy writers with a few friends and a little money who somehow blow up. We gotta stay positive and keep writing...better than the crappy self-publishing wackos. This isn't to say that all self-pubbers stink. There are some greats out there, but honestly, not the majority.


I have to second everyone else in the thread.

Many AW'ers self-publish and do a terrific job of it. In fact they do so well,I am trying to learn all I can from them.

Please remember that writers on AW approach their writing in many ways and not to look down on an approach that differs from your own. Respect your fellow writers applies here.

fireluxlou
08-10-2012, 09:35 AM
Man, too many people are writing these days. It makes things harder for us writer who are working our tails off trying to write something half-way decent when there are crappy writers with a few friends and a little money who somehow blow up. We gotta stay positive and keep writing...better than the crappy self-publishing wackos. This isn't to say that all self-pubbers stink. There are some greats out there, but honestly, not the majority.

Don't insult other writers in an attempt to better yourself. It's unbecoming. And it doesn't better you at all.

blacbird
08-10-2012, 10:17 AM
It's just you.

caw

scarletpeaches
08-10-2012, 01:25 PM
I can't be the only one who thinks ryanswofford was just being sarcastic, can I?

WeaselFire
08-10-2012, 04:53 PM
Another reason Im asking this is coz my second MS has gotten a pretty good request rate from agents and Im starting to think...maybe it's because of lack of choice?
Maybe it's because there's a lack of choices that are as good as yours...? :)

One editor I deal with complains that email made her slush pile triple. When it cost $15 to send in a manuscript, she had more paper but fewer submissions.

I'm like the others. I would believe that your better request rate is because it's a better piece of work.

Jeff

Jamesaritchie
08-11-2012, 12:21 AM
Maybe it's just me but I feel like there are fewer people writing - to be more specific, I feel like there are fewer people pursuing traditional publishing nowadays? Everyone seems so caught up with all the hype around self-pubbing millionaires thst theyve decided to forego the (admittedly tortuous) process of finding an agent, subbing to an editor et al.

Im just curious if other feels the same. I used to be fairly active querying for my MS in 09-10 and I remember how almost each day there'd be a writer celebrating finding an agent and sharing it here in AW or the BlueBoards. Now - not counting the stats in QT - I have to go through the next few pages or so before I see another Ive-found-an-agent post.

Another reason Im asking this is coz my second MS has gotten a pretty good request rate from agents and Im starting to think...maybe it's because of lack of choice? I know, I know. It's the usual writer insecurities showing but Im really still curious if others also think theres been a huge drop in writers pursuing traditional pubbing.

err...hope i posted this in the right place. it's really been a while.

Fewer than when? Compared to just fifteen years ago, at least four times as many manuscripts land in slush piles I see.

I'm sure quite a few opt to go straight to self-publishing now, but agents and commercial publishers are deluged with manuscripts.

triceretops
08-11-2012, 01:35 AM
Oh, gosh, I don't think so many writers sprang up in the last three years than I have seen in the last 22 years I've been at this. The ease of sending manuscripts has morphed down to a paste and click, and the editing functions allow heightened ease and swiftness. Novel length doesn't seem to go by any traditional guidelines anymore--there are 30, 50 and 80-page books out there selling for $2.99 to $4.99

But whoaaah. I just became a member of the Kindle Boards, 65,000 members and growing, and it's a huge, gigantic swamp of forums, threads, groups, chats and posts. I got lost in there. Currently users and guests were 1,500 on the boards today. This self-publishing option has spawned a writer population quake that has set off massive tremors. I'm seriously wondering if Konrath really did start this huge snowball rolling the way it is, and the potential for what it will eventually become.

I think that at no time in history has so many trunk novels, non-fiction books, auto bios, or orphaned backlist titles have come out of hiding/storage for a chance to take a new gulping breath of life. And talk about reprinting shorts, novellas and novelettes? Brush the dust off of them and blast 'em on Kindle. Many of them are very well crafted and the cover art, overall, is passable to outstanding. But I can't help but think that these manuscripts are going to be walking the streets like Frankenstein monsters and zombies, moaning, bitching for a home. And the competition is staggering to get your book up in the front ranks for any appreciably notice.

I just self-pubbed my first book to some whopping ranks and free downloads a day ago. I can't tell you what hell it took me to get there. I'd never do it again. I also feel that I got into this too late, for some reason, in the belief that all the I-phones and e-readers have reached their saturation limits and that the overflow is headed for Mummy's cornfield or the Wall-E junkyard.

Time will tell. I have a feeling that this race to the gold rush fields of self-publishing is going to implode in the next year or two--just like it happened with Demand Media Studios--too much, too fast...and too good to be true.

To quote Hans Solo, "I have a very bad feeling about this."

I hope I'm wrong, or I'm headed for the ultimate Forbidden Zone, aka the island of misfit books.

tri

G. Applejack
08-11-2012, 01:58 AM
Nope.

The actual problem is that even with the ease of point and click submissions/publishing, more writers are STILL writing better than I am. Darn you, technology!!!!!!

WildScribe
08-11-2012, 02:06 AM
For the question: does it seem like less people are writing -- No. More people are writing than ever before thanks in a large part to computers and the Internet. Takes less work to create a document these days and now more people are doing it then ever before.

This, but also, when the economy went to the toilet and a lot of people lost their jobs, they had a whooooole lot of time on their hands, maybe an unemployment check, and plenty of them thought 'Maybe I should give that novel a shot...'

I worked in magazines when the crash started, and oh my LORD the way submissions increased! I don't doubt fiction has been much the same.