Want to write a book? Read a book!

By Jim Fletcher


Summer vacations are looming, and with them appear the prospect (for some!) of long, luxurious hours spent holding a book, soaking in the thoughts of another.

Summer reading touches so many, from students catching up on classes, to beach readers, to publishers hungry to grow their business.

For you as a writer, what is the best selling season? It might not be what you think. According to Book Baby: “The answer isn’t snowflakes and Santa. It’s sand and surf.”

That’s right; your season for success is coming in with the tide.

According to experts, book sales for the summer months beat holiday sales by a full half-billion dollars! (Plus, I well remember as an active book editor, we were selling Christmas books in July – not so different than Laurel and Hardy’s business venture of selling Christmas trees in July.)

According to a Book Baby blog:

An article in Publishers Weekly reported on the yearly book buying boom, especially with printed books. Chain and indie brick-and-mortar stores reported brisk business during the summer months – and that includes bookstores at airports and train stations. A printed book buying revival last summer fueled huge sales volumes during the busy summer travel season, as more passengers opt for physical books.

“Book sales are strong and growing,” said Sara Hinckley, quoted in the Publishers Weekly article. She’s the VP of book purchasing and promotions at Hudson Group, which has 445 stores that carry books, including 50 bookstores in the U.S. Tanesha Taylor-Nurse, buyer for books at 19 bookstores in the U.S., noted that while eBooks are still very popular for vacationers, printed books remain a strong format for this reader profile. “The demand for physical books is back,” she said. “People continue to buy at the airport and sales have rallied.”

Retailers are also reporting the format breakdown, which is predictable given the desire to travel: 55 percent are trade paper; 25 percent hardcover; and 20 percent mass market. Not sure how many digital versions are sold, although for me, I relish the idea of taking a load of books with me on my MacBook Air.

Interestingly, is also makes sense that as far as summer reading genres go, 59 percent of folks want a book that will “take them somewhere far away,” while only eight percent want a book that will “teach me something.”

Oh well.

If you have the chance to take some time off this summer to read and relax, do yourself a favor and don’t over-think it. Give yourself a few days before taking off to mull over your reading list. Maybe it’s a how-to book. A novel? Or (heaven forbid), a textbook. It could be a new biography you’ve been dying to dive into.

If you are blessed to be a published author, take some time to recharge your batteries and let someone else’s words wash over you as you also mull over your own next project. Have a nice dinner on the beach. Sit and watch the water and think about your next published work.

Conversely, if you are an aspiring writer, the summer might be (at least part of it) your time to also mull and dream and strategize. Make the latter element the most strenuous thing you do at least for a few days.

I think you’ll find that if you take a bit of time off from both work and banging away at the old Royal typewriter at night, your writing will improve and that dream project might just see the light of day, after an evening reflecting in an evening sunset.

Discover how real and relevant Bible prophecy is to you with Jim Fletcher’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine): How to stop worrying and learn to love these end times”

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