Print Midlist Continues to Hollow Out

Unsurprising numbers reported by Random House for the first half of 2011: bestsellers and ebooks up, the rest flat or falling.

The takeaway from reports such as this, for midlist writers, is obvious. If you’re not a bestseller, then the actual print marketplace for you is shrinking, not growing or leveling off. This is an effective retort to those who pooh-pooh the ebook market by saying that print is still 80% (or whatever number) of book sales. Yeah, it is — if you’re J. K. Rowling or James Patterson. If you’re not at their sales and promotion level in the print marketplace, it’s obviously a much smaller pond for you to be swimming around in — and one that’s drying up.