Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Crime Fiction's Economic Imperative

Crime Fiction's Economic Imperative
By Danny Gardner, Author

Public perception of crime rate at odds with reality

Majority of voters say crime has worsened since 2008

Put plainly, at a time when the biggest news in mystery is an annotated edition of The Big Sleep, I’m not seeing many opportunities for anyone with a new voice in our genre. Everyone knows the entire industry is worried about its future while there is what I firmly believe to be untapped demand for new voices, from both authors of color and those whose politics don't reflect the era of recognized canon. Reaching back through the past to reissue books lost to the strictures of racially stratified history mean economic opportunity, as will the books that will be built upon an expanded canon that includes those who have served as the face of crime for America since our inception as a nation.

This data expresses, in my worldview, an economic imperative in crime-mystery-thriller, which will continue to carry all of the American publishing industry through 2025 (IIRC, those numbers from Pew may have changed since I last read them,) and somehow charts similarly to Pew's research on attitudes toward crime in America. This Guardian article sums up many of my points about the global market, which has different attitudes toward minority writers of all colors than we do in the US:

As a smart business professional, my dollars in the future are intended for those crime-mystery-thriller concerns that recognize the value of this untapped potential and grow our market larger and more robustly. There's room at the intersection points for a lot of economic value to be had by all. I'm looking forward to participating in this growth.

I'm excited to discuss how these points of data correlate and even intersect.


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