Fiction sales dropping more than ever, Arts Council England reveals
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Fiction sales are dropping even more than before, according to the Arts Council of England.
The Arts Council England (ACE) recently revealed statistics showing that fewer books are being sold now than ever before, which leads to fewer and fewer writers because they are unable to support themselves from being just a full-time author. Print sales of literary fiction are lower than what they have been in over the last decade and the price of fiction books has also significantly decreased in the last 15 years. ACE also says that even though e-book romance and crime novels are up, they don’t make up for the major drops in literary fiction.
To start looking into solutions to this rising problem, ACE has suggested several ways to support the affected authors. There has been talk of about the government providing tax reliefs for small publishers. There have also been suggestions of supporting individual authors through art programs and grants. Funding would be prioritized for more diverse programs that are typically outside of london.
It was found that between 2007 and 2011,there was a £10m decrease in hardback sales, and a more dramatic decline every year after 2008 for paperback books with £162.6m in 2011 sales, and £119.8m sales in 2012. Research found that, unless you are in the top 1000 authors, you cannot make a living wage and stay above poverty.
ACE believes that a factor in the steady decrease in literary fiction can be contributed to the convenience of entertainment on smart phones through social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Not only convenience, but these sites cost a lot less than most forms of entertainment. One of the last factors mentioned was the fact that it takes considerably less focus to watch TV and scroll through social media then read a novel.
Overall, there have been huge decreases in fiction sales, due to convenience and price among other things; however there are movements being made to help mend this problem that affects publishers, readers, and authors.