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What woud happen if all the authors who frequent the internet just stopped? Do you think one could then identify buying readers from among the leftovers? Don’t think so.

The internet began as a place where virtually everything was free, and it still shows those roots today. You can try just about every product for one month, for free. It’s not the same thing, but it snares people anyway. And I wonder how successful the gimmick really is? Can you see yourself allowing someone to take your book home for a free, 30-day trial?

I have tons of traffic to both my primary website and my eStore, but I have few buyers. Try eBooks for 99 cents say the pundits. So I did. No movement is the cold, hard reality.

Now, I leave the internet to search for stores willing to carry my books, and I discover unless I or the owner are there to talk up the books, they don’t sell. From the state of the industry, I woud say the same thing holds true for all books in all bookstores. You need that buzz or the dragonflies will do nothing but flutter against a cold, hard wind.

Are we going through the same thing the music industry went through? Only one person need buy a book, then he or she can copy it and pass it along to their friends. Or is this something more sinister: are people just not reading anymore? Is the draw of a digital world at their fingertips just too much to resist after a hard day at the office or at home looking after the kids?

I don’t have the answers, folks. All I know for sure is THE READER has all but disappeared from my neighbourhood. And it’s fuckin’ scary, people!
Clayton Bye is an author, editor and publisher. His virtual bookstore may be found at http://shop.claytonbye.com.
Copyright © 2012 Clayton Clifford Bye