What’s Happening In The Publishing World Today?
That’s a very abstract question no? Of course, a million things are happening, right as we speak. Technology and Innovation are lapping up age old process and showing them in newer exciting ways.
We are now what we weren’t yesterday. The same goes with Publishing sales as well. Print Media is seeing huge growth regarding titles being produced and the quality it’s showing. You have books all around. Moreover, new genres of writing are coming out (Heck, there’s something called as Dramedy or Magical Realism nowadays).
Truly, if there ever was a golden age of publishing books, academic or otherwise, this is it. Now, you have these blockbuster novels (yes, Mr.Grey, we are looking at you) which are getting decent movie adaptations as well.
Of course, the movies help books and vice versa. Take the classic example of Game of Thrones, Harry Potter series and much more, which received republish and reprint orders by millions. Much of it was owing to the huge success of the movies and the franchises. The Booming business of Publishing is showing a new fillip regarding Digitalization.
EBooks are the Rock’n’Roll to the Print Books Jazz operas. And we are living like Rockstar’s no? But then, what exactly are we talking about on this topic. Shorter version – We predict the best trends of publishing which we’ll see in 2017. And we aren’t pulling them out of thin air. With proof and figures to go with it. Longer Version – the below are the descriptions we will surely see. So, without further ado, let’s dive in then into trendy things.,
Fiction Books Will Rule The Roost In EBook Sales
There are no complex thoughts here. Traditionally, we always saw that the eBooks which come along with Prints, in fiction do good. One look at the best selling eBooks for the last few years and we have our point served.
- The Girl on The Train – (Author: Paula Hawkins) – 674,982
- Grey Franchise – (Author: E.L.James) – 534,927
- The Lie – (Author: C.L.Taylor) – 282,354
- I Let You Go – (Author: Clare Mackintosh) – 225,467
- Gone Girl – (Author: Gillian Flynn) – 214,976
As we can see above, the biggest hit in eBooks for the year 2016, was Paula Hawkins distorted erotica loaded girl thriller, The Girl on The Train. And this was before; even the movie was brought out in the latter half of the year.
The Girl came out winning all the best charts in Kindle sales and more. Mr.Grey wasn’t left behind as well. The 50 Shades protagonist and franchise, had people swooning in to buy the eVersions of the book. And the sales shot up good.
Interestingly, both Girl on the Train and Grey franchise were related to the specific Adult franchise. Erotic Thrillers. The logic is simple here. For obvious reasons, Readers prefer privacy when they are reading these genres of books. Especially, when you have readers from conservative regions of the Middle East or Asian markets, they’d rather have eBooks on their smart devices, to having them physically.
Trends we predict of course start with this – Ebooks catering to Adult readers and in Adult genres will pick up highly in the coming year of celebrated novels.
Indie Authors Going The Selfie Way Will Get Higher Sales
We also have another sharp trend which is increasing these days. Selfies. Hey, not the snap chat, or the Instagram things. Those have not much relevance to what we were talking about here. We are referring to the trend of Indie (rather Independent authors) who are finding good enough avenues to publish their works.
Be it online portals like Kindle Direct Publishing, Notion Press or others, and print options from the biggest players in the market, Authors have great options going forward. Now then, we have attractive packages in publishing houses like Penguin, Harper Collins, and much more. These packages offer you many options to get your work out. But hey, is it just a broad theory we are looking it or do we have proof for it? As promised, we obviously have some things for you to see.
According to the AuthorEarnings report for the year of 2015, Small/Medium Publisher authors as a cohort are now running neck-to-neck with the Big Five. They quote that, In May 2016, verified self-published indie authors were taking home nearly 50% of all US Kindle author earnings. If anything, compared to May, traditional publishers are now making a smaller share of their consumer ebook sales at sub-ten price points.
The prices at which the majority of traditionally published eBooks are being purchased today has moved up, not down. What do we see happening here then?
A simple fact that the way we read content has changed over the years. Take for example Amazon suggestions. Amazon Kindle suggestions work in a way where you get a proposal automatically when you buy a title. In all probability, the suggestion is neutral to any publishing house and specific to the genre.
Another major factor driving the thing is the pricing. Apparently, most of the indie publishers go with minimum pricing, which the top five publishers cannot afford to do. Less pricing, more sales and giveaways, and more appearances. Ain’t no one going to beat that.! Jane Friedman of HotSheet puts this trend in an efficient manner here – “I think it will be a lacklustre and perhaps soul-searching year for traditional publishers.
The print is back fanfare will diminish, with Barnes & Noble continuing to remain flat or decline, and Amazon further gaining market share across formats. 2016 didn’t have a blockbuster book, and I anticipate the dry spell will continue in 2017. Without smarter ebook pricing, traditional publishers will continue to see flat or declining sales in that format”. Enough said, we say.
Coming To The Amazon Of All Things Good and Effective
You can’t speak about eBooks and not mention Amazon or its super famous Kindle. And one more term which we need to speak (quite prevalently so) is something called as Imprint. If you have never heard of it, worry not, the whole Imprint culture is a recent phenomenon. Something that the publishers are looking at as a way of raking in the moolah only from a few years past. Imprints are the digital forms of Print books.
- The process is simple, consider you are a publisher who needs to bring out a volume of print books. Of course, you’d want to reach out to as many readers as possible in the shortest while. One way of doing it is promoting the heck out of it.
- Sure, you’ll see good enough results for it. Create social media accounts, do some events, ask your favorite star to vouch for it, and voila you have a high number of sales. That’s a costlier way forward.
- What if I told you that there’s a simpler, better way of doing it? Enter tie-in prints. More precisely what we refer to as Digital Imprints. You release the print book and with that a digital version of the book, eBook, with it at the same time.
- Then you are getting greater reach without losing any time, and as the word spreads, you make your sales stand out.
- Imprints traditionally are getting books out under a different name. The classic example is the imprint wing of Penguin Publishing, which uses Viking, as a different imprint for regional specific historical works.
Imprints are indeed picking up in the last few years. Major publishing houses like Bloomsbury, Harper Collins, McGraw Hill, are looking to cash on the hysteria around the release of a book, by bringing in eBooks, at a marginally lesser price. In 2016, 7 out of the top 10 Kindle best-sellers were books published by their imprints.
Data Guy also reports that Amazon imprints took an additional 4% of the market share in the last quarter. Users can buy the eBooks if they aren’t in access to physical books. A truly win-win situation. This trend will only grow further and make for international sales to pick up, despite any regional restrictions.
Kindle Unlimited User Base WorldWide Will Grow Tremendously
You get to read eBooks for free. Simple. This is the simple idea behind the service you get with Kindle Unlimited. As we said earlier, freer, more buys, more exposure.
Now if you don’t know as to what Kindle Unlimited, consider it as the free beer night at your favorite pub around the corner. You pay a certain sum of money, and you can drink as much as you can. Or a simpler buffet concept. You just should pay a fixed amount, and you munch on as much as you want. Kindle Unlimited is your eBook buffet. Again, we won’t blurt out predictions. We’ll try to see where we get the base for it.
In a recent prediction list by Smashwords portal, came out with some interesting pointers. The eBook analysis went out with an optimistic structure for the eBook culture. Let’s look at what Mark Coker has to say about this.
“Amazon controls close to 70% of the global eBook market. With Kindle Unlimited, they’re training the world’s largest community of eBook buyers to consume books for what feels like free. When a customer visits the book page of any book enrolled in KDP Select, they’re offered the opportunity to read the book for free as part of a Kindle Unlimited subscription, or as part of their Amazon Prime subscription. Bottom line, Amazon is encouraging its customers to read books via subscription where list price is irrelevant, and it can pay the author less”. Of course, we are yet to see how this move by Amazon will be fruitful, especially when services like Scribd and Oyster are offering similar ways of reading.
Unlimited Shelf Space And eBook Immortality
Imagine this. Earlier we used to have a book come out to the stores and make commotion around it. Readers would pick them up, and distributors would live happily ever after.
However, what if the fairy tale doesn’t work that way. What if the trends change (read Detective Novels) and readers just move on. The books would just remain and after a while removed from the bookshelves. And someone like us would come searching for a book and wouldn’t have it in the nearest bookstore. Hence the term “Shelf Time.” Few books out there are immortal after all.
Enter eBooks. You just have them there. The books attain Nirvana and stay there as an immortal soul. Amen. Since eBook retailers don’t have to limit their “shelf space,” books stay available and discoverable for much longer (potentially forever). This means that the competition only continues to rise as not only do new authors begin publishing, but the old ones continue to put out new books and republish their backlists.
Remember we said that this age could just be the golden age of publishing. This is what we mean amongst other things. The simple process of making your online presence visible is producing content.
More books you make, more suggestions come up in Amazon, more power to you. There’s no limit as to how many eBooks you can make. And what else, you get amazing discounts on them from time to time. Let us also bring out one more rabbit from the hat.
Imagine that you’ve had your books long time back. You have it digitized and can store them in the online place. Now then, you could modify them, update their cover, and do all the modifications again and re-promote them. Thus, your eBooks are never getting old.
The Future Of Sales Are Getting To The AudioBooks
Alexa. Ever heard of her? No not the super model over at the Fashion show. But the Amazon virtual assistant. She listens to you and gets things done. Wonderfully things, she also makes for an excellent eBook reader. Fire her, say hello, and ask her to read out your book. And she does so with all the soulful rendering.
Ah, how wonderful this life is. This we predict will be the future of publishing. Audiobooks. The steps are already in the wheel, as Amazon’s recent acquisition of Audible usher’s it forward.
Celebrity Blogger, Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn, visualizes a drastic change in which we consume our books, and she makes a solid case for it. While speaking on the topic, she says, “With Amazon’s Echo (Alexa) being the biggest seller over the holiday period and the expansion of Google Home, I predict that audio will continue to become more popular as people can listen to audiobooks and podcasts through the devices.” And we are 100% in agreement with her thoughts.
Kobo Creative blogger, adds to the prediction with his inputs towards Multiple formats and usage. He says, “ I think that 2017 will be the year that authors can expand not only their market reach but their offerings, taking full advantage of multiple formats and multiple sales platforms for selling their books. eBooks will still be dominant, but there’ll likely be other opportunities in other forms – POD, audio – that will continue to grow.”
The logic here is that, with users preferring different types of content, it is the time the publishers pull up their socks. The trend of providing content in various formats will truly pick up in the years to come.
We’re curious. What do you think the next step in publishing will be? Do you agree with our points or do you believe that we are too far reaching with our analysis? Let us know what you feel and help us predict the future as intricately as possible.