I’m far from alone in stating how hard it is to promote literary fiction online. Literary fiction has taken an enormous hit in recent years, in my view largely the result of the corporatisation of the industry. The economic rationalist model in which profit, not art, reigns, has led to widespread risk aversion and a lack of interest in niche markets.
So we see an emphasis on bestsellers, on cookery books, and on discounted bookselling by supermarket chains and department stores.
All fiction writers are affected but there is no doubt that genre writers, to their credit, have it far easier. Quick to adapt and seize new market opportunities online, romance, crime, fantasy, horror, all have developed their support structures, their dedicated reviewers, their vast internet savvy fanbase.
Readers of literary fiction are more likely found seated somewhere comfortable and quiet with a hardcover on their laps. No tablet or Ipad or Smart phone in sight.
Literary fiction lovers like to buy their books from bookstores. They read book reviews in print media. On Sundays. It’s all so old school.
Literary fiction remains prestigious review and award driven. It’s all high end stuff, and often nepotistic, favouring the in-crowd.
For those of us outside of the clique, or who miss out on both the prestigious reviews and awards, sales of our books are likely to be pathetically small.
I’m not one to be defeated. I’ve embraced the opportunities of the online world. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, LinkedIn and of course Goodreads.
I’m even doing a book giveaway. My first.
I’ve also been known to write the occasional book review.
And I can’t end this post on a dismal note. So I’ve decided to do my little bit in support of literary fiction writers. By offering to write reviews.
In the knowledge and in the hope that if we pull together, we might benefit each other and the whole literary fiction scene.
So I’ve just created a book review page on my site. https://isobelblackthorn.com/book-reviews/