You’ll often hear writers say they are not in competition with each other. Although I believe this to be true, it’s easy to see why some would disagree. There is such a thing as finite space in bookstores, limited page 1 landing room online, and only so much money the average reader has to spend on a new book.
However, authors still are not in competition with each other. Why is that, you may wonder? Easy. The average reader has a voracious appetite. It’s that simple. Whether a book costs $2.99 or $34.99, the human mind and heart were set to crave words. Readers literally cannot get enough words in their system. While some hugely popular books can crowd out the space from lesser known titles, the reader eventually moves on.
Readers have a thirst for knowledge. Young and old. They may thirst for different topics or styles but they thirst nonetheless. And once that thirst is quenched, they’ll thirst for something else. Yes, you may have a favorite book that you’ve re-read time and time again. But, if you’re truly open about it, you recognize the innate desire to move on. To move on to something else. To the next book by the same author. To a similar book by a different author. You, the reader, want to explore what is out there.
That’s why authors aren’t in competition with one another. A reader’s lifetime contains many, many books that one author, even a handful of authors, can never monopolize. Consider, even the fastest author’s road to publication can be devoured in days or weeks by the average reader. Author careers are built learning from and supporting one another over long periods of time. Do you know what else? Authors are often the most voracious readers! And guess what? They don’t just re-read themselves.
So, here is to my fellow authors. I applaud you. I am excited for you. If you are an aspiring author, take heart. You are not alone. There are many who are happy to help you start not at the bottom, but from the shoulders.