Friday, May 12, 2006

Writers of military memoirs take note

It’s getting harder to get published.

After four straight years that included some huge increases, new title output fell 9.5% in 2005 to 172,000 new titles and editions. Figures indicate that the largest decline occurred at small and mid-sized publishers; production from the smallest publishers fell 7%, while new titles from small-to-medium and medium-to-large publishers dropped 10% and 15%, respectively. New books from the large, mainstream book publishers fell 4.7%.

However, new titles from university presses rose 1.8%. Don’t overlook them as possible publishers of your memoirs. Kent State University Press and University Press of Kentucky publish military memoirs.

Biography, history and technology all had big declines in 2005, while sports and recreation had the largest gain in output at 22%.

However, the number of adult fiction titles rose 6.9%. Instead of writing your memoirs, perhaps you should fictionalize your experiences. And if you do that, add plenty of sex. Sex not only sells books, but makes movie studios more interested in buying film rights.

With costs increasing, publishers are being cautious about the number of titles they will publish in 2006. That certainly is a factor here at Southfarm Press. ---Walter Haan, www.war-books.com

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