Monday, March 7, 2011

Publishing Predictions

The recent news that Borders has filed for bankruptcy reminded me of publishing industry predictions contained in a Publishing Poynter’s Newsletter I received in January.

The newsletter included predictions not only from Dan Poynter (Para Publishing), but also from Publishers Weekly, The Daily Beast, Mark Coker (Smashwords), Danny Snow (Society for New Communications Research), Michael Hyatt (Publisher Thomas Nelson), Alex Pham (Los Angeles Times), and others.

Here’s an overview of some of their predictions:

Bookstores:
Dan Poynter: Brick and mortar stores will continue to close. Rent for a bookstore on the street is higher than for an online site. Read more...

Judith Rosen, Publishers Weekly: If the last few months of 2010 are any indication, this year's most successful bookstores will have a smaller footprint, more diversification, or both. Read more...

Danny Snow: Watch for widespread closings of brick-and-mortar bookstores in 2011, possibly dealing a mortal blow to old school print publishers, and the wholesalers and distributors that supply offline booksellers. Read more...

Ebooks:

Jim Milliot, Publishers Weekly: The U. S. book publishing industry is rushing headlong into the digital future, a process that is changing everything about how books are acquired, manufactured, sold, and read. Read more...

Mark Coker: Indie ebook authors are becoming more professional and sophisticated, and they’re starting to climb the bestseller charts without the assistance of a publisher. Ebooks will account for one third or more of unit consumption. Why? Ebooks cost less and early ebook adopters read more. Read more...

Dan Poynter: The future of nonfiction publishing is ebooks. The future of ebooks is color. The future of reading is on a screen. Ads will begin to appear in Ebooks. Unlike print books, ads can be added into an ebook any time and charged for by the (sold) book. Ebook publishing and reading will continue to grow. Read more...

Danny Snow: Expect continued growth in sales of periodicals and books in digital form, especially to users of smartphones. Anticipate a titanic struggle taking shape between Amazon, Apple and Google for dominance in the epublishing world. Read more...

Michael Hyatt: Free e-Readers: E-tailers will do this as a premium for readers who buy bundles or join e-book clubs. Or they might provide a dramatic discount to induce the next segment of holdouts to try digital reading. More and more the dedicated reader will be seen as a commodity, just like razors are to razor blades. In the near-term, expect to see the major e-Readers drop below $100. Read more...
Mainstream Traditional Publishers:

Dan Poynter: More and more established authors will abandon their New York publishers when their contracts let them. Read more...

Mark Coker: 2011 will be the first year traditional publishers feel the need to compete against the indie ebook alternative. Agents will bring new credibility to self publishing by encouraging authors to proactively bypass publishers and work directly with ebook distribution platforms. Read more...

Alex Pham: For more than a century, writers have made the fabled pilgrimage to New York, offering their stories to publishing houses and dreaming of bound editions on bookstore shelves. Publishers had the power of the purse and the press. They doled out advances to writers they deemed worthy and paid the cost of printing, binding and delivering books to bookstores. In the world of print, few authors could afford to self-publish. The Internet has changed all that, allowing writers to sell their works directly to readers, bypassing agents and publishers who once were the gatekeepers. It's difficult to gauge just how many authors are dumping their publishing houses to self-publish online, though for now, the overall share remains small. But hardly a month goes by without a well-known writer taking the leap or declaring an intention to do so. Read more...

Self-Publishing:

Mark Coker: Self Publishing goes from option of last resort to option of first resort among unpublished authors – Most unpublished authors today still aspire to achieve the perceived credibility and blessing that comes with a professional book deal. Yet the cachet of traditional publishing is fading fast. Authors with finished manuscripts will grow impatient and resentful as they wait to be discovered by big publishers otherwise preoccupied with publishing celebrity drivel. Read more...

More demand for Print on Demand (POD):

Calvin Reid, Publishers Weekly: Print on demand and short-run digital printing will continue their methodical growth in 2011, a tribute to the technology's utility to publishers looking to keep backlist titles in print or quickly replenish out-of-stock frontlist titles. Read more...

The future of authoring is multimedia:
The Daily Beast: As the capabilities of ereaders like the Kindle and Nook grow, and as tablets like the iPad set the standard for consuming electronic content, more publishers will feel the push to turn books into hybrid forms that combine audio and video. The shift will be apparent mainly in nonfiction, where biographies will begin to include video and audio recordings of their subjects, but some clever practitioners will produce killer multimedia ebooks that will begin to blur the lines between novel and videogame. Read more...

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Some of these predictions might make you mad, sad, or glad. But for writers, I hope they represent new opportunities and discoveries.

4 comments:

KATHY COONEY DOBBS said...

Not mad, but a little sad at the rapid change in how we read; No longer holding the warmth of a book in our hand, turning from page to page, making notes and underlining a favorite passage, but a cold, cool electronic reader - with no artistic dust jacket to first grab our attention :) With that being said, I do agree Nancy, recent predictions may represent new opportunities and discoveries for writers, so in the end, a little bit sad, and a lot glad !

Jennifer Lamont Leo said...

Count me among the sad at these trends, although I do like the new electronic readers. I think what I would miss most, as a reader, is the bookstore-browsing experience--the serendipity that happens when you happen upon a wonderful book that you didn't even know existed, and wouldn't have known to look for if you hadn't seen it on the shelf. I suppose used bookstores will always be with us. As a writer, I'm eager to see what happens and where we fit into this new world.

KATHY COONEY DOBBS said...

Yikes ! I can't imagine not browsing bookstores, it's my addiction. Something else to consider... libraries. Because of the e reader libraries may become a casualty of the download !

Nancy Owens Barnes said...

Yes, I also gravitate toward bookstores to thumb through books and see what I can find. I do like that digital media is opening the door for so many writers, and am intrigued at the thought of a multimedia book. I can imagine a biography with embedded slideshows and old home movie footage. Wow.