Thursday, February 5, 2009

Are books recession proof?

Considering that the credit crunch first began to nibble about a year ago, before taking a right mouthful after August, you may be surprised to hear that according to official figures just released, a total of 120,947 brand new books were published in the UK in 2008. That's 4% more than in 2007.

Of those 120,000 odd, about 20% were novels. The rest were non-fiction books, clearly demonstrating that non-fiction books are easier to get published than novels.

Students attempting assignment 10 which asks you to devise an outline for a non-fiction book should not be put off from what may seem a large task. Yes, writing a non-fiction book is more involved that writing an article, but the benefits are you only have to write the proposal first and send that to a publisher. Many of my non-fiction books have been accepted based upon the proposal and first chapter only. With a novel, you have to write the whole thing first before you should start approaching agents and publishers.

Above is the proposed front cover to my next book "The Bluffer's Guide to Hiking" which is scheduled for publication later this Spring, when hopefully the weather will have cheered up and people will want to get out into the great outdoors once more!

Will all these new books coming out, it's easy to think that books are recession proof - and you could say that they are. Historically, during a recession, book publishers continue to publish the same number of books. People will cut back on spending £50 for a day out, but they might still treat themselves to a £7.99 book instead which will give them many hours of pleasure. Where publishers tend to cut back, is on the advance payments.

So if you've written several articles about one specific topic, or you've undergone an experience that you think may offer support to others, why not consider writing a non-fiction book? Once it's been published, it will live on for eternity in the 6 largest library collections in the UK, no matter how many more recessions come and go.

Good luck.