I hope you’ve been following the BFOR blog tour, and have found the variety of posts interesting. Just as a reminder here are the links to the web site and Facebook pages.
On a serious note, you might wonder why it’s necessary for such a group to exist. I would have guessed the age for a traditionally published author to be when they were in their 30s, and recent research implies the mid-to-late 30’s is a good age to sell a book.
Mary Shelley was 18 when she started writing her ground-breaking novel ‘Frankenstein,’ and only 20 when it was published. However, this was the 1800s when life expectancy was about 35, so she would definitely qualify as an older writer. In contrast Tolkien’s debut novel, ‘The Hobbit,’ was published in 1937 when he was 45.
The advent of computers, the world wide web, Facebook, social media, Amazon and independently published books would have seemed unbelievable when they were finding fame as authors, but perhaps they had the imagination to see times were changing.
Older Readers are more likely to have time on their hands, possibly spare cash to indulge their hobby, and having been brought up without the ubiquitous smart phone, find pleasure in reading books. Whether they prefer a paperback, or find the convenience of a Kindle easier for arthritic hands and fading eyesight, they are a huge, mainly untapped market.
The publishing world in general has been slow to respond, and there is still the perception there is no financial profit in concentrating on books aimed at the older generation. Perhaps they think we will pop our clogs before finishing reading or writing the next best seller. While it’s true completing a novel takes time, with the average life expectancy now around 80, they could be in for a surprise if they were willing to take a chance.
The Queen probably suffers from an aching hand, signing all the once rare 100th birthday congratulations. What a story she could tell if she had the freedom to do so.
As some of you might know, my first career was cut short by a freak accident which resulted in early retirement. If you think the 9-5 is difficult, try being an Indie author. Every day is a new learning curve; meta tags, layout, design, themes, apps, and naturally, as soon as you’re confident with one thing, technology moves on and it becomes ‘so last year.’ I’ve never worked so hard in all my life. 😀
Not all my books fall into the BFOR category, (you can check them out here and decide for yourself):
but I’m honoured to be involved in supporting Claire in her endeavours to spread the word about the variety of books both written for, and read by, readers who in ‘dog years’ would be considered ancient.
Being of a contrary nature, I would particularly like the younger generation to try out some of the books on offer. You might be pleasantly surprised. Teenagers might discover some empathy in the problems of dealing with parents, realise we do care about the environment, enjoy the excitement of new experiences, love music, dancing and being creative, and worry about the future. Like you, we’re still feeling our way, and even if it’s a second chance, can get that tingly feeling when meeting a prospective new partner for the first time.
My hope is that you’ll be delighted at the scope and variety in the books written for Older Readers. The icing on the cake would be if you helped to spread the word and supported the revolution.
Thanks for listening. See you next week.
© Voinks July 2019