Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

Decade Ahead

A Crazy Thing…

Right now, one of the main conversations I am having with writers is how is this year going to turn out?

No one has a clue.

And we are all afraid to try to forecast anything in 2020, since this year started here in the States with an impeachment that didn’t hold and then gave free run for the same president to really screw us with this pandemic.

So at the moment the States are a dangerous place to be as almost a thousand people a day are dying from this virus. That’s right… Every day.

So it was a great, great idea in January of 2020 to start The Decade Ahead Class to try to help writers through the normal downturns of a year and stay focused a decade out. And that class will still do that some this year and will continue all of next year with a lot more. But right now, the decade ahead so much depends on what in the world is going to happen this year, and early next year.

I have stepped back and looked and I can say for certain that book sales will continue. (More than likely not from Traditional book publishers.) But sales from indie writers and publishers will continue to grow. How we get those books to readers is another matter completely. Brick and mortar bookstores are in for a bumpy if not fatal ride. Online bookstores will explode as they are doing now.

Brand new ways of getting readers hooked up to writers will continue to explode, such as what Brandon proved was possible this week with Kickstarter. But no idea on what some of those new ways will be just yet. And now well bookstores will survive.

I also know for certain that licensing will continue, but who knows in what form yet.

Then we have the overall economy, especially here in the States. All state governments are in trouble, just about any small business is in trouble, and a good third of all workers are unemployed and barely holding on. A third of all rents and who knows how many mortgages will be late or in default in September. Landlords and tenants both are in trouble here. No telling how that will shake out either.

So, in other words, I have no magic crystal ball on this one. When things return to a new normal, I’ll be able to say, “This is how it will play out over the next decade and here is how to make money off that with your writing.” That is what the Decade Ahead class was going to be for.

But with luck, in 2021 there will be some breaks in the clouds. But for now, later this month, I will just do videos on that class talking about how to keep writing when stressed about money, health, election, and who knows what else is going to hit us.

Hang in there and stay safe.



  • Leah cutter

    Thanks for writing this Dean.

    We just held our usual mid-year corporate review this weekend, going through our business plan, etc. We did a mini one at the end of March as well.

    Basically, we pushed out most everything until 2021. Nothing else we could do. We’d already pushed some things out optimistically until Q3 or 4. Nope.

    We will survive. Our books are still selling. But you’re right, it’s kind of scary out there. And I’m afraid it’s only going to get worse before it gets better.

    So we stay focused on what we can control. The writing and the publishing. Not much else matters beyond that.

  • Kate Pavelle

    Yep, this is the year for the books. Weirdly, it feels rather awkward to write “pre-Covid normal contemporary,” and judging from what I read about the virus, what we are learning about immunity (or lack thereof) etc, I feel moved toward incorporating masks and social distancing into positive, HEA fiction. I know you warned against a pandemic book, Dean, but at this point I think these basic measures are here to stay for another few years.