1. Jammer
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    Jammer Member

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    ** Market Share and Software Questions **

    Discussion in 'Software' started by Jammer, Apr 29, 2010.

    VERY IMPORTANT QUESTIONS I NEED TO ASK.

    Hi folks.

    I have a few important questions that I will cut straight to the chase to. I hope this is the right forum to post this on.

    #1: I long to write. I have a Fiction story in my head that could be a book, a T.V. show, or easily a movie. In seeing that PROFIT is the goal of mine because of my health problems and an awful local economy, I really need some good advise on this: Where, or how can I determine the size of a given market? Can I find the median of any needed costs before a story can pay off in either book or video format?

    For example- Is there any way of getting a number such as how many Fiction (non Biography) Books were sold in 2009 Globally, or in America? Perhaps based in U.S.D. Dollar sales and/or a percentage of over all book sale market for 2009? I wish to have this information before I go very far forward, as $$ is my goal. Can I determine the direction of sales? Can I find predicted directions and percentages/$$ on various publishing markets?

    #2: Is there any way to determine the market for T.V. Movie, and/or Wide screen Movie Screenplays based in U.S.D. Dollar value (say, $ median price is $10,000 for an independent screenplay for a wide screen movie- a long shot example) Or, perhaps the market for Screenplays that move straight to DVD/Pay T.V. Rentals and Sales... Maybe a way of breaking down what percentage of the pie for all types of screenplays AND the percentage of ALL genres of BOOKS, Short Stories, Even News paper non fiction columns...??

    This is very very difficult to get a grip on. IF I can reason that I stand a better chance at getting my story picked up as some format of Movie, then maybe I should start over and write a screenplay INSTEAD of a Fiction book.

    Is there generally more money paid for a good screenplay than for a good fiction book, after all non music publishing stats are figured? Is it more difficult to get a screenplay rights sold than it is to get a book's publishing rights sold? Do I need a high priced expert to find this information for me?

    Open Office - Free Open Source:

    OK, now about software: I already have seen some decent looking open source Screen Writing software which some advise to use. But if I end up writing a fiction book I will need a word processor. Well, I have some strong reasons to dislike MS WORD. Instead I have became very happy using a free open source bundle called OPEN OFFICE. I use the word processor of Open Office instead of word and I find it offers more stability, less drain on the ram memory and over all I think it's all I need and it's free.

    This begs the question of what is the best formatting to use? It offers Rich, and various other extensions which I believe are all common text formatting compatible with MS Word 2002.

    This is my most important post to date. I apologize for showing my ignorance, but finding these answers will likely determine what I am going to do for 6 hours a day for a couple years (ah, unless I can not do it because of medical issues).

    THANK YOU FOR ANY USEFUL ADVISE, AS OF NOW GOOGLE HAS ME CONFUSED ON MOST OF THESE QUESTIONS.

    If nothing else helps, where might a person find another that can work with such statistics and report on them?

    Please help me if you can. :)

    Thank You.

    Terry
     
  2. Charles Alley
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    Charles Alley New Member

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    Just a personal opinion, backed with anecdotal evidence rather than hard research . . .

    If you're primarily interested in the financial aspects, stick to writing a book, preferable in one of the popular genre categories.

    You might want to do a little thinking "outside the box". Becoming a writer in order to generate real income anytime soon is going to take a while at best (at worst, never). If, because of your health you're limited in other options, you might want to consider some type of home-based business with at least some steady income (while you're writing your book or screenplay). For example only: becoming a used book dealer. It's relatively easy to enter the field these days with a small inventory and signing up to be a marketplace seller on Amazon and eBay.
     
  3. Tamsin
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    Tamsin Senior Member

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    1. I wouldn't recommend writing for the sole purpose of turning a profit. If you haven't been published before, it is really unlikely that your first book or script will be published. Not impossible, just the chances are very slim. Also, it can take years to write a novel, and as a new author you might not be given a big deal to start off with. Basically, it is easier to get a well paid regular job!! :) you can make a career out of writing other ways though. Writing for the media is a massive industry and that is sometimes a way in. Definitely carry on with your writing though, as of course you never know! I can give you some advice about getting into copywriting/journalism but not sure what the deal is in US.

    2. I use Open Office and find it good for writing. I write for my job too so have to email copy various different places and I have never had any formatting or compatibility issues. You just have to make sure you save everything as a .doc


    :)
     
  4. Charles Alley
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    Charles Alley New Member

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    I don't use Open Office, so I was going to stay away from your software question. Really though, all you need for writing is a .doc file (as Tamsin mentioned). Other file types are used occasionally to send someone a copy of your work if they don't use the same software, and that sort of thing, but you just need a basic file type to use for writing. Don't overthink it; write in anything you want. Anything that needs to be changed can be changed fairly easily when it comes time to submit. At that point you would want to make sure everything is formatted in a professional manner.
     
  5. Jammer
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    Jammer Member

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    Wow, that was quick!

    Thanks for your advise. I'm happy to hear it's alright to save in Open Office in the *.doc format, as somehow I sort of just started doing this without much knowledge as to what the popular standard of formatting of text was.

    Gosh I have to find some way to make cash, at least in the long term. I am staying with my elderly parents for the time being at age 45, and I just do not wish to move away to the big city at this time. And where I live it is a awesome place to go on vacation, but we must have some of the highest unemployment of this middle size state (likely well over 25% I estimate, while the state average is 11% unemployment).

    I do not have a lot of bills currently, however I stay broke and can not get ahead living this way. I had reasoned out that writing would be the best answer to ever getting out of this trap without moving away from my folks (poor health on all sides here too). I'm really am up against the wall here as I suffer from serious medical issues and my folks are not in the best of health either. Attempting to get disability is like taking 5 years out of one's life to gamble with someone else s money here, while I know a guy down the street that gets a disability check and I watched him work everyday building his large house!! :eek:

    So, I take it that a BOOK would be more likely to have a chance at generating a profit then, eh? Wow, I would have thought it would of been the other way around. If I continue down this path of writing I will take your advise, and I guess I will stick to the book idea until something comes up.

    I would love to run a small business on my own hours, and if I ever get the chance to do it I have several ideas for a small business that I truly think could return a profit within a couple years at most. I majored in Electronics and Business, yet never got my degree. Funny I learned more in 2 years of schooling after High School than I did in many years prior. lol

    I appreciate your advise and welcome new comments. I will watch this thread.

    Cheers,

    Terry
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Good luck making a living at writing.

    As they say in all the contests now, "Many will enter, few will win."
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...such info is useless, really... you should just write whatever you're able to write well enough to be marketable... as for what it'll cost you, that depends on how much ink and paper you go through before turning out a polished final draft, how many queries and sample chapters/full mss you have to send out before snagging an agent [if you're lucky enough to do so, since the odds are heavily against that happening]...

    ...a total waste of time... you can't write a bestseller [or even a miminal seller] via a slide rule... first of all, you're probably not capable of writing every single type of novel there's a market for... and secondly, the market isn't an etched in stone thing... it changes constantly, so whatever may be the top-selling genre right now, probably won't be, by the time you spend a year or more to write your book, spend another year or more trying to get an agent, wait another year or more for the agent to snag a publisher, then cool your heels for the 18-24 months it takes from signing the book contract to seeing a book on bookstore shelves...
    i'm sure there is, but it would be just another exercise in futility, since it won't help you write a marketable screenplay... pretty much the same things apply to scripts, as i listed above re book mss...

    screenwriting takes a completely different skill set... it's the most specialized form of the writer's art and it takes years to get good enough at it to turn out one an agent would even look at... fyi, the average first script sale by a newbie is the NINTH one s/he's written...

    for either one, the range is from nothing, to millions... but it's generally thought that it's easier for a new and unknown writer to sell a book, than a script...

    ...thing is you don't need most of that info... and the parts you do need are here and in posts above...

    ...you'll need one no matter what you decide to write... can't do a script without one these days, either... of course it's possible, but will cost you more in the long run, in time and effort, plus publishers and producers expect writers to use the 'lingua franca' [ms word] to work on editing and rewrites... for scripts, that's final draft, though celtx is used by many new writers, while learning the craft...

    others can answer that better than i, since i've been using ms word for years and wouldn't switch, as it works best, imo...

    i strongly suggest you give up seeking statistics and just sit yourself down and start writing, if you ever want to have something to sell one day... if you want help along the way, feel free to email me any time at all...

    love and hugs, maia
     
  8. rainy
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    rainy Senior Member

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    The only thing I want to add here is this:

    While I have no issues with MS Word, I do use Open Office as well. Open Office is pretty spiffy, even if it not quite up to par with the Word gadgets.

    However, you should be aware that there is some slight compatibility issues between .doc in Open Office and .doc in MS Word. Though they are essentially the same, the way the software renders the output is slightly different. It's not to say it WILL change every time, but it can, and probably will do so at the worst moments. I work with both in a professional setting.

    So, use Open Office for your hard labor, if you want, but give it a glance over on MS Word before you consider sending digital copies anywhere.

    //R
     
  9. Jammer
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    Jammer Member

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    rainy: You posted at the same time I was. Thanks for the heads up on the compatibility of Open Office in *.doc format. I wonder if they may be skirting on a patent or copyright infringement with Microsoft and the result might be their program may be only 98% the same. Or, as you seem to be speculating, if easily could be a big software bug within the Open Office code. hmm

    mammamaia: Thank you for taking your time to break down my questions and give me your advise. You are the type of member that (imho) keeps sites of this nature alive and thriving. :)

    I read every word you posted. Being two different people on the net, naturally it is all too easy for a newbie to ask for advise from a pro and to dismiss much of it. I wish to express that I am NOT ignoring your advise. I also wish to stress the point of how grateful I am to you for your time and advise.

    However, if I may, please allow me to explain my reasoning about the need I feel is there to study the market for book sales prior to writing one. Remember my goal is to make a profit, and I now understand the odds are very very slim for me.....

    My Current Logic (P.O.V.):

    I do not see the creative department and the business department as having a lot of overlap. I admit, I am the newbie and I asked for advise. But the notion that it's NOT important to have a good understanding of a market before one jumps into it strikes me as crazy. When small business people wish to start a small store it matters greatly. Retail business people often have traffic counts done, they examine the stores in the area and based on such figures they can come up with a good idea if it's worth investing $750,000 to build a small "Dollar Store". Many such stores are located at intersections because somebody took the time to examine the traffic count and discovered that more money can be made near (for example) four lanes of traffic verses two lanes of traffic.

    However, I do not believe a writer should need to perform a full scale market study before writing a book, but it makes more sense to me to understand the size of the market of anything before an attempt is made to try to sale anything that takes over a year of one's labor. I only seek to avoid wasting time and a little cash by finding a market that has enough room in it for new writers, if possible. I am also attempting to increase my odds of getting published.

    Imagine if a publisher sorts through their daily mail only to find the 50th letter that week from another new author asking to send their manuscript of Ghost Stories when the publisher knows full well such books lead them to red ink in the previous year due to declining and low customer interest in Ghost Story books? No thanks, I rather look at what is hot before I spend years of my life writing what may be a great well written book that nobody wants to read due to the subject nature.

    Another example: Unless I have an idea of how hot GHOST STORIES are, I will refrain from writing a Ghost book. If I have information that Ghost books sold well in 2009 and actually grew in market size since 2008, then I would be inclined to think Ghost Stories might be a good concept for a newbie (new author) to get picked up in 2010 or latter.

    I majored in Business, but as you can see I never got my chance at going forward with it yet. Bottom line is it normally takes money to make money, no matter how many business classes one has taken. Also poor health is a bust in business and it really has thrown a monkey wrench into my previous business plans that needed some investment to get started.

    I do agree that a great written book is much more likely to get published than a poorly written one. I can also understand how it may seem strange to be asking questions about market studies on a site dedicated to writing. I will admit, I will have to focus most of my energy on my writing if I hope to have any chance at getting published.

    But common sense tells me it's easier to sell a well written book that has a subject that falls within a hot growing market as opposed to trying to sale a well written book that has a subject nature that happens to have a saturated market. Figures and trends can be most helpful I feel.

    Analogy from Hollywood:

    In the 1950's almost anybody with a black and white camera could actually make a profit from a B-Movie about UFOs and aliens landing on the earth. At least that is what history tends to lead us to believe anyway. It was a hot UFO movie market back then. Despite bad writing and acting many such movies actually made a profit from poorly written screenplays and bad acting. Now, let's assume we take the same Hollywood group from 1953 and stuck them in 2010, but we do not allow them to become educated about the current market trends. Something tells me that IronMan 2 would still do better even if it had the same B-movie tiny budget. The group from 1953 would have to study the market before making another movie or go into the red imho. (I am ignoring the special effects and newer technology of 2010 versus that in 1953)

    So, am I crazy at applying this logic to writing a book? It should not be difficult to gather enough information on book market sales to make an educated decision on what type of book should sale or not, eh?

    I completely agree that more focus has to be placed on good witting. I wish to avoid 1 or 2 years of my life perfecting a book the market says is unlikely to get published. That's all I am attempting to do. Surely such information can be found somewhere.

    Thank all all you for your advise. I am reading every word you post. I hope the good members will forgive me for taking up so much space trying to explain my reasoning on gathering some book sales information prior to spending two years writing a book for profit (I HOPE!) :D

    I'm trying my best.

    Terry





     
  10. rainy
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    rainy Senior Member

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    I think mamma's point may be not that it's silly to think of marketing trends, but that book sales are too fickle to bother predicting--especially since there's no way of telling how long it'll take to write and publish your book. Predictions probably won't be accurate enough to matter, in the end.

    Just my take.
     
  11. rainy
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    rainy Senior Member

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    Nah, MS is the one with lawsuits out the. . .ear.
    .docx was an infringement issue, and caused a bit of a mess on corporate side though they managed to play it down--with some over-night programmers, for sure. At any rate, it's a rendering thing and the proper term has completely slipped my mind at the moment (my mind needs one of those Warning: Slippery yellow cones tonight. . .)

    Either way, you will find Open Office and MS Word has its own opinions. Since Word is a universal standard, for better or worse, always make sure your files look just as pretty with it as it did in Open Office.

    //R
     
  12. Jammer
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    Jammer Member

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    Really? I had no idea the trends would change that fast.

    OK, thanks, I see your point. ' any idea if it's even possible to follow trends in book sales? I can understand a Biography of a person in the limelight taking on fast, but I just assumed that something like fiction would have longer trends and a more predictable market.

    I guess I should of mentioned that FICTION is what I am shooting for, and I just assumed that certain types of fiction sales might stick around more than a year or two.

    Same goes for Non Fiction. I figured something like books related to Politics, Do It Yourself Books, say an Autobiography section, would be some examples of subjects that readers would keep an ongoing interest in for a few years at a time.

    Now I really question if book sales can even be broken down in such a manner. hmm...

    Great Reply!

    Cheers.

    Terry

     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes, that was exactly my point... and i thought i spelled it out clearly enough, with the info on how long it takes to get from having an idea for a novel, to actually having a book out in the market... no one [except maybe 'carnac the magnificent'] has ever been able to 'predict' with any sort of accuracy what fiction genre will sell best several years in the future...

    trends come and go... they may peter out in a month, or a year... few will last longer than that... the only thing you can count on is that whatever established genre you write in, there's a market for it... and it could become a 'trend' sometime... if you write it well enough, your book can even start one!

    the other thing you can count on is that if you don't stop fiddling with figures that don't matter and start writing, you'll never have a book to sell! ;-)
     
  14. Jammer
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    Jammer Member

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    Maybe a good laugh to you, but offensive for me to read, and it's not the first time.

    Maybe we can agree on the weather? :D

    I wont bother burning up more time trying to nicely explain WHY I ask what I do. I relate much better to how rainy explained things, while I try to be very nice to you the fact is your posts always leave me scratching my head as to what you are saying. I also wont bother to say how much time I am putting into writing, but I find it amazing you tell me to "start writing". We obviously have a large gap in communicating and I have been as nice and thankful to you as I can. No need to make a big deal out of this stuff, but I am seeing a trend between all of the countless times I must try harder to understand why and what you are asking me instead of just nicely helping me as rainy has done for me. Maybe it has something to do with a culture difference, but I do not wish to continue on post by post trying to explain to you the "whys and whats" of my questions. I mean no offense and I am sure you are a great person, but it's very difficult for me to sort through your replies that seem to needlessly needle me and make me feel as if somebody is trying to put me in my place and make me out to be a clueless fool asking dumb questions.

    Nothing personal, I'm sure it's a culture and/or communication gap. But I had to say something so you know how your posts directed towards me are coming off. I'm a newbie here yes, but I did not crawl out from under a rock just yesterday. I'm sorry to drag this out in public and I will do my best to drop this, and/or perhaps we can sort some things out through PM or email.

    I hope the mods and you understand why I felt I had to post this.

    Thanks.
     
  15. rainy
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    rainy Senior Member

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    Honestly, I was just paraphrasing mammamaia because there seemed to be some confusion and I really just intended to help clarify.

    I don't know much about book trends. I can string together words if I strain my brain hard enough, but when it comes to the business side, I'm attempting to learn the ropes myself.

    I think--and this is just my opinion--it's more that a good solid book with a believable story and a relatable char has a better chance than trying to predict "trends". There's no magazine saying dragons are in this fall.

    I totally understand the desire to focus time and energy into a genre that is most successful, but writing is art and there's little telling what art is gonna capture the audience. Consider how many famous works, both written and painted, didn't become popular until long after the creator was deceased. And some of those by sheer chance (ie, Shakespheare).

    That's not to say writing isn't WORK because heaven knows it is. . .but the work is less in numbers and more in, well, words. It is writing, after all :)

    Best luck,

    //R
     
  16. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    no offense was meant, jammer... and i'm very sorry you took what i intended as just a bit of friendly banter as one... did you not notice i added a winker?
     
  17. Jammer
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    Jammer Member

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    haha- Thanks for being so understanding, or as we say: "Thanks for being cool about things". :) I apologize for being so darn sensitive, I have been this way my entire life. It's hard to change after 45 years, even if that may seem short to many.

    Cheers.
     
  18. Jammer
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    Jammer Member

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    Thanks rainy.

    I can not put my finger on exactly WHY you opened my eyes, but somehow I guess we might share something in common with how we word our thoughts perhaps.

    Nevertheless, I have read that Fiction books have been out selling non fiction BOOKS for years. I hope it's safe to assume this trend might continue for a couple more years. However my local Krogger store seems to stock mainly fiction and biography and autobiography books of very popular people that are likely wealthy enough they likely had some paid help getting their hard-backs published within months of their popularity hitting a high.

    Gosh, I can recall when The Beatles 2009 Remixed CD Box Set came out, and I was given the full set as a gift. I went ape over how well I thought their new mix sounded. So guess what I did? I spent $15 for a hardback book of pictures of The Beatles in the 1960's and latter. I had no idea the 2009 Beatles remixes on Cd were even coming out. Before I knew it I had a large book of their pictures paid for. In some ways that example helps me relate to what your saying.

    Cheers.
     
  19. rainy
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    rainy Senior Member

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    Well I'm glad I could help. Thank you.

    Actually, with the exception of a few recognizable hits, I believe non-fiction is the better market these days. Perhaps mamma knows if this is true?

    Still, it would be hard to forecast and, more so, you would need to have authority on the topic to grab any attention, at all.

    I understand the Beatles analogy. Non-fiction can often drum up business by other means, be it the author, a local news spot, or a CD box set.

    //R
     
  20. Jammer
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    Jammer Member

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    Great News!

    I discovered why I was not finding the statistics I was seeking on Google. I simply was not searching with the correct words and my use of quotes in the search gave me poor Google returns. Also I did my searches while very tired late at night and suspect I botched up my search.

    My Google searches now reflect poor non-fiction sales which resulted in a downturn in market share for some publishing companies book sales in the past six months and longer. I have now found exactly the business information I was asking about here. It turned out it was all fairly easy to find with Google. Because of a couple poor searches due to my mistakes I was not finding the data at first and gave up on the search engine too soon. Most reports online now seem to show a fall in over all book sales due to poor non fiction sales trend that started prior to last Christmas. Not all publishing companies may show the same trends, but currently my data from various sources are in agreement, It appears the non-fiction book market is currently soft and blamed for an over all drop in book sales drop. I am still interpreting the excellent data I have found from sources around the globe.

    Thanks to all of the feedback from you, (all that posted) I have a better understanding of how to interpret the newly found statics. For example: What good are figures from the previous six months when it will take an estimated two years for a guy like me to finish my first book? I will take such figures with a grain of salt, as we say. I find it interesting nevertheless, but I agree the main focus needs to remain on writing the best book I can.

    I hope I can learn from as many as possible as I continue down chapter one. :)
     
  21. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's not necessarily a 'better market' since fiction will always fill more bookshelves at border's, but it's somewhat easier [or less impossible ;-)] to get a non-fiction book published, since there are far fewer would-be authors churning them out and submitting them to the paying presses...

    one reason is that so many turn to the various versions of vanity publishing [sorry 'bout the alliteration], because they have a ready-made readership and self-marketing opportunities within their field of expertise...

    i'm glad you got the message and see the light, jammer... happy writing!

    hugs, m
     
  22. Jammer
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    Jammer Member

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    The Light-

    I meant it when I posted to rainy that he helped me see the light. However, that was BEFORE I found my answers on a google search, of which my links were removed in my previous post here of some of what I found. :D I was curious if rainy was right with the notion that non fiction sold better than fiction, and before I knew it Google had me pages of sites dealing with book sales stats and demographics of buyers etc.. I will not be ignoring this information, you can bet on that.

    Writing is an art. Music is an art too. Any bar band that wishes to make a living getting gigs must know what music their people want to hear. OR I suppose they COULD write the best song they can and try to get the bar people to like it- My bet says: "Play FREE BIRD" will be heard in the mid-west clubs that cater to the baby boomer bars hoppers!. lol - However the bands that figure out what it is in the songs their crowds like to hear can do great by writing original songs that fall into the same categories that their fans wish to hear. In other words, to write the best SONG, one must first know what songs customers want to hear. To write the best book I believe the most logical place to start is looking at the market.....Just like we would do in the music market Ex: We had Madonna. Now we have Lady Ga Ga. Nobody can convince me that Lady Ga Ga isn't getting business advise somewhere, or she simply knows that Madonna is at the end of her contracts, over 50 dancing to young people, so poof- New younger Madonna- Lady Ga Ga - There is no business as crazy as the entertainment/music business. But some trends are just to obvious to ignore as a creative person wishing to start a project that will sale- Based on everything I read and know. And I don't have to be locked up in prison to already know I do not want to be there.

    Another one:

    Other industries have fast changing markets as well and we seen what happened to GM. The idea of building the car and the people will buy it sort of backfired in the 70's, BECAUSE many people did not want the cars they seen on the lots. All GM needed to of done was to take in account who were the people flocking to Toyota, Honda AND WHY? What was it about those cars that ended up killing GM?.. If GM and even bothered to of studied their market I really believe they would of changed the cars they were building on the production line. NOW GM examines quality, styling, whatever seems to be selling they will try to learn it NOW. I have ties to GM in Michigan.

    I will still study some book sales reports, check out trends I now can find, and the recent history before I go on to Chapter two and three. I found other sites where plenty of people see it exactly the way I do, and I believe many of these folks are involved with writing, publishing and/or the marketing of many types of books. The question just did not fall on the right ears, that is the larger lesson I learned in this post. I do realize everyone is trying to help me though, and that its why I wish to stay here. the members here are great for helping one in writing a book. but whenever I get mine done I think I might check into another site when it becomes more of a business transaction. :D

    I am happy mainly because I found EXACTLY the data I was seeking. The links I posted were straight to a couple of sites that directly made a point or two for me. For starters one link was to a news article that blamed their over-all falling book sales on falling non fiction sales over the past 6 months. No mention of a shortage of non fiction authors was mentioned.

    Another link I had posted was to a site chop FULL of book sales statics, thus it shows I'm not the only one looking for this kind of information, it is online and broken down pretty well too. I was starting to get offended by some comments here, as what I really was asking about was not really being answered, except for maybe one time, and the info I latter found online claimed the opposite. I had googled with poor results before I posted this, so it was my hope to get some book sale stats in this thread.

    I will try to never ask any more business questions on this site. There are a few other sites that seem very open to free discussion on book sales and the demographics. So I will try to keep the questions posted only on sites that can more directly answer my question. Nevertheless I'm not alone with such thinking, except for maybe on this site. :D I find this site best for questions on writing, reviewing and gaining reviewing skills, and even creative writing ideas.

    I believe the links I had posted strongly pertained to the last post I made, and if anything, showed a contradiction in what type of book are out selling others. I have seen other posts here with links that were as valid to the post as mine were. It was not spam, but I guess they had a little bit of advertising. The links were tied to some direct stats and one story about book sales. I found comfort finding places that share thinking more along the lines I do in posting book sales information in detail. I was very much looking forward to reading the reactions to the links I found, only to see they were removed. I thought I was obeying the rules, I really did. It makes one's POV a lot easier to understand when one is allowed to at least back up a point of view with a link or two dealing with the same subject from a third party. I feel like my defense just got throw out the window by a judge.

    mammamaia: I linked to a story from a major publisher that claimed POOR SALES of non fiction was the problem. Their news article did not mention a shortage of non fiction authors. Mayby bothe are true, eh?

    I will pay attention to book sales, especially giving all of the demographics that one site breaks down that I linked too. However I think their stats need to be updated with more current data. Yet even another book sales article was brand new.

    I believe the links I posted were most important with making a point, and showing exactly the kind of data I was seeking. IN OTHER WORDS, AND WITH RESPECT TO OF OF YOUR HELP IN THIS THREAD. I never REALLY got the answer to my question until I finally found the information on Google.

    Thanks anyway. I will come away from this thread knowing that book sales are very hard to predict, and it all can be turned upside down before one gets a book even finished. But wait..... I think some of this was already bouncing around in the back of my head. I came away from Google with the answers to my book sales statics question. Kind of weird how that worked out.. hmm..
    _____

    Software:

    I most appreciate the feedback on Open Office and how it seems to have a glitch for some with the formatting of '*.doc files. That made me pause and consider using MS Word, even though every time I use the program I feel like a golfer trying to putt on the green with a jack-hammer. I like using open source programs #1. I do everything I can to get away from Microsoft as I feel the company is far too large already and I feel better using things from third party vendors, especially when it's a free on going open source project which normally gets constantly improved, just as Microsoft does for money.

    I already feel like this post was skipped.

    Me

     
  23. Lankin
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    Lankin Member

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    As in all fields, instead of perhaps hampering myself with wanting to write the new surprise #1 bestselling novel or script, I would do some smaller pieces of work before or parallel to the major stuff. Maybe there is a film school near you, the students may be interested in a script. You will need to re-write and discuss your work with them -- might be a nice exercise.

    I use Open Office, but only for very short pieces, like a few lines.
    Mostly I use LaTex -- a bit of a bugger to install, I have to admit. I don't know anything about how to hand in a script, but you may still export what you wrote to .rtf with LaTex.
    I use LaTex for writing, but also to layout things I wrote. Considering layout, MS Word is not an option.
    Layouting is sometimes nice if you send something to read to friends to have a look. They mostly prefer the feeling of reading a book over a MS-Word-file :)
     
  24. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    LaTex is a typesetting program. Writers should generally avoid trying to be typesetters. Publishers want to see manuscripts. They have their own typesetting and layout staff.
     
  25. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can see that the slight formatting issues would be an issue in some office contexts, but it would be very unusual for somebody simply writing fiction for any of them to be significant; they just won't be using the obscure corners of the software that cause problems. Just how concerned should the author be with formatting anyway?
     

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