Competition – Do Artists and Authors Have It?

Posted: June 6, 2019 in Just a Thought, The Business Side of Writing
Tags: , , ,

I got this question from a friend: Do Authors (and Artists) have competition?

My answer: They don’t.

Anyone could argue that the author is competing for the customer’s dollar. I’ve been in that position, where I only had so much to spend on a book I wanted, instead of one of everything. However, that didn’t mean I gave up on it altogether – it just went on my list for later. (I still have a long reading list, but my book collection is by no means tiny. In fact, I’m trying to find new homes for some of them, and slowly adding more to the site. Go here if you are interested.)

However, something else is regulating what those who have money to spend on books/art: taste.

Functional goods make it to magazines with comparison charts and categories like “best value” and “most efficient” and numerous other item-specific trait evaluations.

Novels and artwork can’t be classified this way. It can be marketed as “Horror” or “Fantasy” or “Romance” or “Sculpture” or “Pastels” or “Lithograph” and it can be evaluated for how well it was crafted, but, let’s face it, not every bestseller is going to appeal to every reader. Why? Taste. Aesthetics. Preferences. You either like it, or you don’t.

So, no, I don’t think we have competition. In fact, I think we have a sort of symbiosis: “If you like X, you’ll like Y.” And in general, readers don’t ditch an old favorite author because a new one is on the scene, but add it to an ever-growing list of beloved authors.

 

And something marginally-related to this post, based on the discussion with the friend:

Word of warning: seems to be people preying on new/wannabe authors, charging them a fortune for the writer to pitch their story at these writer symposia.

Also, if you give someone a manuscript to read, don’t format it so it looks like the novel before you hand/e-mail it to someone and then expect them to take you seriously. No, no, no.

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