Whether you’re a reader or a writer or both, it’s a great time to be a book lover. Never before in the history of the world has reading and writing been so easy.
You used to have to go to a bookstore or library if you needed a book, and then, there was a chance the book you wanted wasn’t in stock. Now you can go on line and have the book delivered to your front door. Even better, you can click a button and have the book immediately downloaded to your reading device. These options are especially nice if you’re handicapped and have trouble getting out of the house. If you can’t see well, you can choose a larger font on your device. If you’re blind, nearly everything can be found in audiobook these days. And if you’re a voracious reader, you can download and consume the next book faster than it would have taken to drive to the library or bookstore in the old days.
And let’s not knock the bookstore, which provides a better experience for readers than ever before. Not only do you typically find a coffee shop attached with yummy sandwiches and pastries to consume while you read and browse, but you also have more choices in books. New genres, such as steampunk, continually evolve into being, and bookstores have whole shelves dedicated to them. The young adult category is a prime example. A genre that once was lucky to have a single shelf now has an entire section of multiple shelves in most stores.
And don’t even get me started on literacy. Suffice it to say that more people can read today than any time in human history. This certainly makes it easier to be a book lover!
If you’re a writer, you have a better chance of making a living at it today than any previous decade. First of all, the process of writing has been made easier with technology. Obviously, not having to write out the manuscript by hand in multiple drafts is a plus, not to mention the ability to add, delete, find and replace, and merge formatting, among other perks of using computer software. The research process is a cinch, too, thanks to the internet. It’s no longer necessary to travel to learn the intimate details of a specific location. Need to know about a particular date in history? Google it. Need a dictionary, thesaurus, style guide? Google those, too.
In addition to the process of writing, publishing is also easier than ever before. If you are not lucky enough to find an agent and a traditional publishing deal, you have more options than writers as recent as five years ago. Smaller publishing companies empowered by advances in technology can help you, or you can assemble your own team and do it yourself. Professional editors, cover artists, publicists, and other industry professionals can provide you with all the tools you need to succeed. And there’s so much free information on line that can tell you what you need to know to make it happen.
Once you produce your book, whether by traditional means or by self-publishing, you can help your readers discover it more easily than you could five or ten years ago. You no longer have to hope bookstore browsers find your books on the shelf or see your ads in a magazine. Social media and email help you reach readers. Services like BookBub and Ereader News alert their hundreds of thousands subscribers to your book, and, just like that, your book is out there, being read.
The fact that more and more people are making a go of it as a writer shouldn’t deter you, either. Because more and more books are more easily consumed by readers more quickly than ever before, the market can sustain a higher saturation point. In addition to the ease of consuming books, there’s also the cool factor. It’s fashionable to be a reader and to have read the book before the movie comes out. So even people who might not be natural readers are jumping on the bandwagon and buying kindles and nooks to keep up with everyone else.
More readers, more writers, more books. How can this not be a great time to be a book lover?