Monday, December 30, 2013

My Futile Predictions for 2014 and the Publishing Industry

I just read J.A. Konrath's Publishing Predictions 2014 and as always, Mr. Konrath has stirred the hornet's nest with his 10 predictions concerning the state of the publishing world for the coming year.

Some of his predictions I think will come to pass in some form. Other predictions I am not so sure about but I would like to see come to pass.

His first prediction, sadly, I think will come to pass. Perhaps not in 2014, but in the not too distant future. Barnes and Noble will file for bankruptcy, spin off the Nook and close most of its stores. I hope the Nook survives as there needs to be competition in the ebook retail market to keep Amazon honest in how it pays authors in its KDP program.

I also agree with Mr. Konrath's prediction visibility will become more difficult for authors as the number of authors publishing books increases due to the ability to successfully self-publish thanks to platforms like Amazon, Nook, iBookstore, etc.

His prediction that libraries will begin purchasing ebooks from self-published authors is another concept I think will come to pass. Largely because Konrath himself is working to start a company that sells self-published ebooks to libraries. Another market for us to tap into!

As for the rest of his predictions, well, we'll see what happens in 2014.

My own predictions for the coming year?

The competition is going to increase for visibility in the ebook market. This will be an issue unless the ebook retailers can find ways to continue the increase in the number of readers who prefer to read digital books and not print.

Self-published authors need to make sure their books are available as paperbacks for at least a few years yet. Print's not going away. Some books just don't lend themselves to the book format yet, particularly non-fiction of a technical nature. Until the technology catches up, and it will, lots of readers will be better served by a paperback book than an ebook.

Social media platforms will come and go and most of us will never completely figure out how to use them to promote our work. At least those of us over the age of 35.

Finally, authors who learn to diversify and are willing to adapt to the latest delivery technology for books will be those who have the most success in the coming year.

2014 will be an interesting year.