There’s an old (to me) folk-ish song that the Kingston Trio sings where they wonder where all the flowers have gone. In the song you learn that the flowers have gone to young girls who give them to young boys who turn into soldiers and then die in combat. I know it. It’s a happy, upbeat song.

But it got me wondering, where have all the titles gone? Because of the recession, book patrons have cut their spending, bookstores have cut their inventory, and so presses (including our own) are reducing the number of books we put out a year. We’re dropping our original hardcovers down from 5 that come out this year to 3 definite hardcovers. Now we have more than 3 books coming out next year, but many of those are coming out as paperback. It’s what the chains want, and they are what sells better.

So, what are agents and authors doing with these extra manuscripts? Since fewer books are being acquired right now, are people just holding on to them until the market turns around?

I once read how a big name author (I won’t say which one) experienced a period where he/she wasn’t being offered the advances he/she and his/her agent felt he/she warranted due to a downswing in the economy. Instead of selling the books, he/she chose to hold onto them and resubmit to different publishers when the market picked back up.

What do you think about doing something like that? Would you? I’m curious to see how the recession is affecting authors. I know how it’s affecting publishers, but what about you? Feel free to comment and discuss in the comment field below.

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