WRITERS. Here are a few links, quotes and predictions from a variety of expert sources in the book-publishing industry. Reading these posts can help you think strategically about how you develop your skills and manage your writing career.
In this post on GigaOM, industry analyst Michael Wolf states “I’ve never seen a market changing faster than the digital publishing market of today, where the sudden love of e-books has created a ‘digital backdraft’ that has set the entire publishing industry value chain aflame.”
He notes that book discovery is going social: “Whether readers are learning about new books from friends or general-purpose social networks like Facebook or through reading-centric networks like Goodreads, social recommendations are becoming increasingly important in the age of ebooks.”
In another post on GigaOM, Michael Wolf observes that: “Everywhere you look, artists are taking more control over their own economic well being, in large part because the Internet has enabled them to do so. You see it in all forms of content, from books, to video to music.”
He says the web has democratized everything: content production, distribution, and monetization. He also sees a generational shift toward more tech-savvy artists who are creating their own apps and websites.
In this post on Digital Book World, Jeremy Greenfield includes these predictions:
- “We will see more self-published best-sellers next year, with an exponential rise in the number of million-selling authors”
- “Authors will become disenchanted with the rights they sign away to publishers. Shorter and more flexible copyright terms will become more attractive to authors.”
- “The standard ebook royalty from major publishing houses will rise next year and will escalate with increased sales.”
In a press release issued on PRWeb, the author who founded East India Press predicts that “enhanced books” are about to change how we read. He believes we are at the start of a new era in which creative troupes of authors, artists, musicians, and publishers will collaborate to produce “books” in which text, images, and sounds come together in a collage.
On the BookBaby blog, Chris Robley suggests 5 ways he believes that publishing will look different 5 years from now. Here are two of his predictions:
The market for shorter works (10 pages to 10,000 words) will expand. He says, “Size really doesn’t matter. It only matters how useful and engaging the content is. So, pretty soon the novella will be back in vogue. Short stories will sell individually. If you’ve got something valuable and succinct to share, you no longer have to pad it out with fluff, filler, or filigree.”
Digital books will be serialized, including non-fiction books. Readers who purchase an upfront subscription will receive each chapter as soon as it’s finished. Meanwhile, as an author, you can get instant feedback from readers, so you can revise as you go. Robley writes: “By the time you release the full book, it will have gone through an invaluable editing process (for free) and it will be completely up to date.”
Publishers will recognize two types of consumers: those who like the “enhanced” ebooks that include video, audio, and interactivity, and those who prefer “old-fashioned” text-only ebooks. He predicts that publishers will “market these two kinds of products in increasingly different ways.”
Because of the increased costs involved in printing and distributing physical books, Robley also predicts that five years from now publishers will produce e-books for all of their authors, and physical books for only a few.
So, what’s your take? Would you like to share any other links to other big, bold predictions for the future of book publishing?