Everyone, it seems, has a predictions list, so it seems fitting to join in and offer our own predictions for 2013. I wish I could say that every one of these predictions is unique, but that’s not true. These are our top ten respective to the ever changing publishing world we live in.
- There will be consolidation. From all indicators, this will continue in the wake of the Random House and Penguin merger. Large publishers are looking for ways to trim costs and develop new sales/distribution advantages, including an ever increasing digital backlist.
- The growth of eBooks will continue to slow. This was predicted for 2012 and has proven to be true. The early adopters and heavy readers may be reaching saturation, and the rest of the market seems to be taking longer to make a decision to invest in a reader/device that may be used to purchase just a handful of books.
- The price of eBooks will continue to stay low fed in large part by Amazon’s intense desire to own the market. Publishers will work on new ways to increase the sale price in order to pay their bills.
- Self publishing, once thought of as ‘fringe’ and ‘unprofessional’, is now becoming mainstream. More publisher service companies will offer their services, and more ‘traditional publishers’ will try to capitalize on this market by offering self publishing ‘imprints’ of their own.
- Printed books will not die this year, and they are unlikely to die in the near future either. In fact, countries like the UK are experiencing higher print book sales than in previous years.
- More authors than ever, will ‘publish’ their first book. Many authors have decided to publish an eBook exclusively because the barrier to entry (i.e.: cost, tools, etc.) have made this easier.
- These same authors will quickly learn that there is still a majority of the market that prefers to buy print books, and will turn to POD as one way to offer printed books. POD manufactures are poised to have a banner year.
- Book retail will continue to move online, as the last of the giant book retailers struggle to keep up. Recent news from Barnes and Noble is gloomy, even with their lower than projected Nook sales. Could this be their demise?
- Independent publishers will increasingly look to strategies that allow them to engage their readers, sell directly with available print on demand and distribution tools, and build successful businesses.
- There will be big stories of well known authors walking away from traditional publishers to self publish, as well as success stories from unknown self published (I like the term independently published) authors who write a best-seller.
What predictions have you seen from industry experts that I missed? What do you predict 2013 will look like?