Books and movies have always had a special relationship, so what does the end of blockbuster names in movies mean in books?
I recently watched a movie on Netflix with my husband and realized there was not a single actor or actress I had heard of in the movie. We discussed it and realized that’s happening more and more these days. I used to think it was because I’m getting older and more out of touch. But then I did some digging as I’m apt to do and found this is actually a “thing” now.
In the past there were always the gatekeepers. The content curators. The studio heads who would greenlight which few movies got made per year. Or which shows were chosen for the fall season on the main channels. We were limited on what exposure we got to content. We only got to partake in what the curators chose for us.
However, that’s all changed with streaming platforms. Movies and shows are now launched with regularity. Suddenly we can get access to almost anything. You can go down rabbit holes of niche topics and shows. Gone are the days when the curators kept us limited.
But with that constant stream of content there are less and less of those big Hollywood “stars” rising to the top with the notoriety of the past. How could they? They can no longer be cast in everything. More actors HAVE to come to the stage and play.
The same is happening in publishing. With self publishing becoming more popular and writers launching new books with regularity there is just more content out there. More content equals more competition and less opportunity to rise to the top like the John Grishams, J.K. Rowling, Stephen King and other “blockbuster” writers of the past.
So does that mean that fame and fortune is a thing of the past? Will there never be another Jennifer Aniston or Brad Pitt? Possibly.
I can honestly say I’m okay with that. This might sound surprising coming from me as a writer. Wouldn’t I want the possibility of becoming a “blockbuster” success? Yes, but so few ever got to be. Whereas, in this current oversaturated market it’s anyone’s game. How though?
It’s all about niche marketing. Think about it. As content consumers we all have our particular genres of books and films we prefer. Netflix sets up our recommended for you algorithms as does Amazon. There are also the follow buttons. You like an author’s book you can follow them on Amazon, Goodreads and Bookbub. Then you get an alert whenever they publish something new.
I do this with all my favorite authors. And as soon as I get that alert, I know to preorder the next book they have coming out. I just did this with Fiona Davis’s new book The Spectacular (was fabulous by the way) and Marie Benedict’s The Mitford Affair and The First Ladies.
There is the same loyalty garnered with these systems. Just like you’d always go see the new Julia Roberts movie, you’re continuing to follow people you like. It’s just more spread out and catered to your specific tastes.
In the long run, I feel it’s a more equitable and sustainable market. What are your thoughts on the matter? Are you enjoying the availability of more content or do you miss the days of content curators? As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter.