So, in this era of austerity, with welfare cuts, council spending on libraries is only going to decrease. We will see even more libraries being closed. So what? Well, libraries are ordering fewer books than ever before. Precious few publishers produce hard backs anymore, since libraries just aren’t ordering them in sufficient quantities to justify the cost of the print run (so my first book, Empire of the Saviours, came out in hard back, but the Gateway of the Saviours hard back was ‘cancelled’). And when libraries order fewer and fewer books, indie publishers start going to the wall far more quickly. The entire publishing industry’s ecosystem is being damaged, it’s diversity is being reduced. If you are a reader of books, then it’s in your own interest to visit your local library now and then – it might save you money and it might just save our entire civilization.
To quote Andrew Franklin of Profile Books: “The next five years are going to be very difficult for all of us. Libraries are going to close, it’s going to be hard for bookshops, it’s going to be hard for publishing, but I’m very glad there is a little corner of independent publishing that is still recognised and this is a small consolation in bad and difficult times.”