Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Where have all the readers gone?

Here's my IWSG for June...

WHERE HAVE ALL THE READERS GONE???
Has anyone else noticed a trend of more authors and fewer readers?

More authors is great, with self-publishing there's no waiting to hear from agents or big publishers. But, as a reader, I feel some writers are publishing too soon and aren't taking the time to do a thorough job, which lessens quality. That, combined with the volume we have to choose from, it's harder for us to find a good book... (Please note, I am all for self-pub! The authors I know that I've read are doing an awesome job!)

As a writer, I fear the newer generations, though being forced to read, read, read in school, are coming out as non-reading adults. Many adults I know don't like to read or don't have time. They love their electronics for communication, entertainment, diversion, etc - y'all know how addicting it can be. So what's it gonna take to get people to read more and electronic device less? An apocalypse that wipes out electricity??? I miss the good old days of only five to ten channels, cartoons only on Saturday mornings, favorite TV shows on once a week, and corded telephones for home use only! I loved to read and still do whenever I can, and I use my e-devices to read, too!

What do you miss about the good old days? 
Any suggestions on how to make it COOL TO READ??

PS - here's where my BROKEN BRANCH FALLS TOUR is this week (with giveaway!):


6/1 Meli Landry character/case study - cliques
6/3 Katie Teller story inspirations
6/7 Lexi (Book Bliss) what makes a solid review


And lest I forget, I wanted to give a shout for Tyrean Martinson!
Her book, CHAMPION IN FLIGHT is out!

A year after she won the battle for Septily, Clara feels trapped in Skycliff by the Allied Council. As the last pieces of information about the Healing Caves fall into place, Clara is attacked by an assassin. Covert Drinaii mercenaries and the Council aren’t going to stop Clara from her quest to heal her broken blade. As Champion of Aramatir, she must act.
Meanwhile, in the joint kingdoms of Rrysorria and Wylandria, the youngest and still cursed swan prince despairs of ever being whole again. In a moment of anger and desperation, Liam discovers a blood link between him and a dark sorceress. 

Clara won the battle for Septily, but her battle isn’t over.

Champion in Flight is the second book in The Champion Trilogy.

40 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

There do seem to be a lot of books these days. LG had posted a link to an article on how we are losing the ability to read. The next generation scares me if that happens.

Julie Flanders said...

I wish I had some ideas. The thought of losing the ability to read is so depressing. I love the digital age but reading your post also made me miss the old days!

Congrats to Tyrean!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

As someone who enjoys reading, I have definitely noticed that it's harder to pick a good book since there's just so darn many these days. I usually rely on book review sites in order to decide which ones I will read.

sydneyaaliyah.com said...

That's a great question. It broke my heart to hear that my nephews hate to read.

mshatch said...

I concur on all points! Too many people think they can whip out a book and throw it up there and make a million and too few people taking the time to put out a quality product. Writing a book is a process, not something that can be accomplished in a month or two.

And oh yes, I miss those days too when books were a major form of entertainment in everyday life. I love gadgets, too, but I can't imagine living without reading.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Technology has given us so much, but it's also taken a lot of things away. I make a point to curl up with a book - or an ebook - for a little while every day. It centers me, and takes me back to when I was a kid and could sit and read for hours. :)

Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

cleemckenzie said...

One positive is that most of the writers are readers. We have a group of people who gobble up books almost as fast as they create them.

The Silver Fox said...

It does seem like too many people are publishing their first drafts, doesn't it?

L. Diane Wolfe said...

LOL! I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks that. If everyone in the world publishes a book, who will buy all of those books?

Elizabeth Seckman said...

All good points. I have to say, most everyone who is reading your post is not the people you are talking about. They are obviously plugged in and learning if they are doing the blog thing. It's like the dwindling number of parents who actively support their kids. I said that at a booster meeting and a busy (but present) mom apologized...I had to tell her, you are here- you are not who I am talking about. The people who should not be publishing yet, my bet is they've never even consulted another writer.

Jenni Enzor said...

I find it hard to keep up with all the books coming out--there's so many I want to read. And while I've read some amazing self-pubbed books, I think what you say is true about the quality at times.

I'm not sure what the answer is about creating more readers. I think the emphasis on testing in schools and electronic devices have something to do with it.
I don't allow my kids to have electronic devices or watch much TV, and they both read a lot.

I miss the good old days too, but I'm trying to make them happen still, by limiting my electronic time when I can.

Nick Wilford said...

I hear you on this. I'm not really one for Youtubing, Netflixing, gaming - in fact, I find I watch less TV all the time! Hate to sound like an old man, but I do think it's too easy for kids to get addicted to that stuff. I even see it in my own kids and I encourage them to read all the time. They're great writers, so it's a shame. You should get into schools and capture the young generation's imagination!

D.G. Hudson said...

Those readers are probably writing books, too. Isn't everyone? It's kind of funny to hear this complaint now as this inequality has been building since self-publishing became available. Those who are published traditionally moan about it a lot.

There are good books in trad or self-pubbed versions. What the over-abundance does is make it very hard for debut authors to make a dent. . .so more self-publish. And, around we go. . .

M.J. Fifield said...

Hey, your IWSG badge is Portland Headlight! That's so cool! (Sorry, I used to live near there.)

I am fortunate that the next generation in my family are an avid bunch of readers. They love books.

But, sadly, not all of the younger generation is like that. I had a student once who came in hating to read. I turned him around by the end by showing him there were more books out there than what the school required him to read.

Sarah Foster said...

I guess I'm one of those weird people who liked being forced to read in school. I liked all the analyzing, figuring out the themes and symbolism and whatnot. It helps me to be a better writer.

Rena said...

I know what you mean about the future generation. All I can say is that it only takes one good book to light a fire under a generation of readers. I know adults who don't read, but I also know plenty who do. I do worry about the mass of self pubbing writers who get to that stage before they're ready. On the other hand, there might be gems there. It's hard to know what will spark the imagination of millions. (Fifty Shades of what??)

lifepostbrainhemorrhage said...

I used to worry about my daughter when she was young. She hated to read. It wasn't until adulthood that she became addicted to reading. She borrowed one of my Stephen King books and that was all she wrote. Now she takes books out of the library 3 or 4 at a time.

Have a great day Tara and BTW, I absolutely am IN LOVE with the cover of Broken Branch Falls.

Caffe Maggieato said...

I think it's simply easier to find other things to do in this day and age and reading is suffering for it. We want things/information faster and in easily digested media (why read a book when you can watch the movie, etc). Is reading a dying form with the next generation? It is a sad thought indeed.

IDK if I've said it last time but I just LOVE your cover for Broken Branch Falls!

Lisa said...

So true about the readers, and I won't get on my soapbox here about why I think ALL self published authors should be professionally edited. Suffice it to say, ALL traditionally published writers are professionally edited before their books go live. Why should SP authors be any different? And it would sure give "us" a better name... I don't think there is only one answer to your question about youth reading. I think it's going to take a lot of change in the manner in which they read as well as the form. Just because someone prefers Mangas over the classics doesn't mean they aren't reading. I think some adults/media judge by this criteria.

Juneta Key said...

First, I want to say I love the new look of your blog. The last couple of months have been chaotic, and I have not visited blogs as much as I did. Love the look.

I am a voracious reader. My fave authors cannot produce enough, fast enough to keep me satisfied, so I think if you win your readers all that other won't matter so much.

However, the next generations are different. Our whole school systems are changing. Can you believe they no longer teach cursive writing? That is not just an intellectual skill, it is also a motor skill and attention to detail skill. What are they thinking?

I think that is one of the biggest problems, and why kids are not the readers they use to be. They are cutting out play time. Did you know there are studies that show play teaches survival and coping skills? It also teaches problem solving.

So I do not think it is the deluge of new authors that are the problem, although they should care about the quality of their product more. I think it is a symptom of our society in general.

I think we as authors carry the flame, and hopefully things will right themselves in change as we learn, grow, and find better ways.

It is the rebel that brings more change, and usually against the normal--outside the box. It may take generations or century to see true change and acceptance once the rebellion is launched. It is why our society for all its flaws is great and terrible at the same time.

Wow, that was a long winded reply, but you got me to thinking, lol.

Juneta at Writer's Gambit

Carrie-Anne said...

I always loved reading, having had hyperlexia at age three, reading several grade levels up, and largely having graduated to adult novels by age fourteen. It's hard to understand young people today who hate reading and think it's stupid and boring. I also don't understand young people who need a fad like Harry Potter or Twilight to get into reading, or the claim that "at least kids are reading," even if it's the same books over and over again, or only massively popular books.

I think it's good there are books for reluctant readers, but I hate seeing that becoming a trend across all books in general. I get that reluctant readers appreciate more white space, shorter books, small chapters and scenes, etc., but that doesn't mean every single book merits those devices. I also think it's great that graphic novels have become so popular, since that can be a really good introduction to serious reading.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Congrats to Tyrean. I think we as parents have the responsibility to teach kids that love of reading. I'm not sure I miss the old days except that everything was cheaper.

barbarahartzler.com said...

While I agree on some level about the scary decline in people calling themselves "readers," I do think there's more interest in books because of the movies made from them. I notice this uptick especially in my genre, YA, and am glad for the extra boost.

I think I'm still stuck in some old technologies, no smart phone, only a Kindle rather than a tablet. And I like it that way. It's nice to have a life outside of devices. :)

JoLynne Lyon said...

I get discouraged, too, seeing how much material is out there. But I've started paying more attention to those pages I used to skip: the acknowledgements and the copywright page. If they mention an editor, that's a positive sign!

Christine Rains said...

I do fear the next generation. I have cable, but I still read and read and read. I don't know what to do except letting folks know how much I love to read.

Stephanie Faris said...

I think you've touched on something that will be a problem in the next few years. The traditional publishing process was like a funnel...only select people made it on shelves. If everyone can publish, who will be left to read it all? Although writers are the most avid readers...

Tonja said...

My kids all love to read. They love their devices, but there's no doubt they love to read too. We all prefer to read the book before seeing the corresponding movie.

I do think we owe it to readers to write outstanding books.

Rhonda Albom said...

I am raising two avid readers, so they all haven't gone :)

Tara Tyler R said...

i love the discussion! great points raised here!
writers are the best readers!
writers should keep writing to put great stories out there!
readers can be found in new places now, not just reading hard copies!
and parents can set limitations on the devices, giving kids (& themselves) the option and time to read more! (i do this tho it's very hard! and in the summer we have a goal chart for reading plus assignments from school)

Suzanne Sapsed said...

I've always loved reading, but despite seeing me read as they were growing up, none of my boys are interested in reading. But I think you're right, short of no phones, i-pads, computer games, I have no idea how to get people to connect to books.
Suzanne @ Suzannes-Tribe
x

Chemist Ken said...

Yep, the times are changing and I'm not sure I always like the change. Having an e-reader lets me read more books, but I miss the way some of the older books let you into the story a little more slowly, instead of having to throw you immediately into the action. I loved the Harry Potter books, but if you believe the experts, they wouldn't make it in today's world. Too bad.

TBM said...

I'm amazed by the number of people who don't enjoy reading. It's such a shame. I couldn't live without reading.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Funny, I miss the old days too... I guess our whole generation does. It seem time is speeding by us so quickly because we have so many options and so many things to keep up with. Before it was just school, work, dinner, family time, TV.... that's it. No computers were around when I was a kid. EEEK! Can you even imagine what the kids today with do if they didn't have all their electronics?

WE read, played games, and watched the ten channels. LOL have to laugh at that one.

Reading is certainly becoming harder to do. I know I don't read as much as I used to because of so many other obligations...

Kimberly said...

I miss the days when I had lots of time to read. :)

Misha Gericke said...

The only thing I think can be done to make it cool to read is to keep writing cool books.

Maybe that sounds counter-intuitive, but I can count on my two hands the amount of avid readers my age who were avid readers before Harry Potter came out.

S.K. Anthony said...

Oh my gosh, this is so true! I do miss the good old days, sigh.

I've always enjoyed reading and hope my toddlers become avid readers themselves. They're not allowed much TV and I read to them daily; fingers crossed it works as good brainwashing lol.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks you so much, Tara!!!

And yes, I feel the same way about readers and writers. I try to encourage everyone I know to read - not my books, but any book. I write up little e-mails with summer reading suggestions for friends every year especially when someone actually asks me what I recommend.

I'm thinking I need to start posting more about books on my blog or on facebook, and keep talking about it.

Michelle Wallace said...

You're right! there seems to be more writers than readers.
I still take time to read aloud to my grade 8 & 9 learners during a classroom lesson (even though they're supposed to do a lot of reading at home... )
I even resort to "bribery" to get them to read. Reward them with a treat... chocolate/fudge seems to work...

Nicole said...

YES to all of this! I talk about reading whenever I can, especially with younger kids. It seems like the STORIES still grab people, but that they're not as likely to go out and seek ANOTHER story, even if they found one they liked. That's concerning. But on the plus side, I think new publishing options for writers mean there are new avenues by which to entice new readers. Not only to intro them to our individual books, but to intro them to a passion for reading in general!

Beverly Fox said...

I myself am guilty of reading less with tv and computer time taking up a lot of free time which honestly should be spent reading. I think you've tapped into a shift in terms of how humans entertain themselves- one that affects the race as a whole rather than any one particular sub-section. I'd like to think we'll find ways to invest our time in reading before an electricity-destroying apocalypse, though...
Congrats to you on Broken Branch Falls and to Tyrean on Champion in Flight!!!