My Gainesville, Florida, friend/writer/playwright Jani Sherrard sent an interesting New York Times magazine article about Jonathan Franzen, he of literary fiction fame. It mentions how sales of his books have fallen off, and discusses possible reasons. That led me to an Alex Shepard article in The New Republic commenting on the Franzen article. Shepard says in part: ” …these numbers also reflect a troubling decline in literary fiction more broadly. The Association of American Publishers reported last year that adult fiction sales fell 7.8 percent in 2016, compared to the year before—and have fallen a staggering 23 percent since 2012. Franzen’s sales are dropping, but not because of his essays about birding. They’re dropping because the days of the novel that sells a million copies are behind us.”
Hmmm. And here I thought my analysis of the publishing world was pessimistic. I guess I have to revise my conclusion last time (“People always have and always will thirst for stories.”) to recognize that the message will always be there, but the medium will change.