I used to feel like I was in the loop. I was part of a couple of writer's loops, I perused the bestseller lists, read a whole bunch of author and agent blogs and on top of that, I had a group of writers I regularly talked to who filled me in on what I'd missed.
And I still never felt well informed. I didn't see the chick lit collapse coming, never really predicted the rise and popularity of paranormal romance, until it was literally everywhere and I'd been reading great YA for well over a year before I realized how well it was doing in terms of sales.
I watched other authors, (usually already published) leap into a growing market, and always wondered how they knew to do that. Was it driven by a passion for storytelling? do they watch the markets carefully, are their agents advising them, or really, all three of the above.
Now as authors are grappling with electronic publishing, and self-publishing I feel like a few authors are approaching their decisions with such confidence, but most of us are in the dark and grappling for tid bits of real knowledge wherever we can find it.
I free admit, I am no longer well informed. It took up way too much of my free time, and never really added anything to my writing, so aside from one agent blog, and one review site, I'm not really keeping up to date on what is happening in the industry, but every other author I speak to, feels they are not well informed either.
So does anyone out there feel like they have access to really good industry information, and if so, where are you getting it?