Who Reads Books?

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Millions of books are being written every year.  They are published by traditional presses usually through an agent, small presses where you don’t need an agent, presses that help you publish your book and then there are writers like me who do it yourself.  Like me.  I am called an indie author and publish through Create Space a division of Amazon.

Whenever I get together with other authors, I ask how they are published.  Most are indie writers. Some with small presses.  Now and then one has a traditional, medium sized press.

So who reads books?  According to a Pew Survey taken in October 2015, 27% of adults said they had not read a single book in the last year. That equates to 55 million adults. On an average American adults read 12 books per year. If you read 2-3 pages a day you’d read four books a year, says Pew. I belong to a library book club and I  read or scan one book a month to report about.

With those interesting facts in mind, I wonder  why I continue to write.  An author acquaintance recently mentioned to me that she writes as it gives her “artistic satisfaction.”  I feel that is as satisfying an explanation as any.  And to a great extent I feel she is correct.  Generally no one is making a great deal of money. More like pocket change and the fun of meeting other writers, and socializing.

I watch the BBC series “As Time Goes By” in which Lionel wrote a book about his earlier  years in Kenya.  He goes on a promotional tour and makes the rounds of bookstores doing signings, etc.  At one point in a conversation he reveals that he has made $32 pounds or dollars over the past  year.

Other things to consider today when you publish a book in the traditional way, is that the publisher takes a percentage, and if you are so lucky as to have an agent, she takes a percentage and so you still end up with just pocket money.  Like myself, my acquaintance has had a couple of publishers go out of business because they could not make a go of publishing and selling books.  Mine, T.S. Denison, fell prey to the second Bush administration when they cut funds to school and public libraries.  That was Reggie the Goat. which would you believe still is available to purchase in hard washable cover from Amazon.  In some way, that sounds like a vicious cycle.  Check it out on Amazon.  .

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