My Publishing Predictions for 2015

Blindly gazing into the futureI don’t pretend to be a visionary, nor do I believe I have any more insight than anyone else, but I must say that a lot of the rubbish being spouted from all corners of the internet with people gazing blindly into the future of publishing just doesn’t quite ring true.

There’s been a lot of talk about audiobooks and various different forms of media increasing their market share but I just don’t see the logic in it. People like to read. Sure, audiobooks are probably here to stay and they have their place but is it the way the publishing industry is turning? No.

My own predictions for 2015 and the subsequent couple of years are actually pretty simple: nothing much will change. We’re already on the trajectory we’ve been on for a couple of years: eBooks increasing in popularity and traditional printed books still remaining popular for obvious reasons. Amazon is still the number-one provider for both sub-markets and the big name publishers are finally waking up to the digital revolution that happened a decade ago, before most of them were even working in the industry.

So will printed books have died out by the end of 2015? No. Will we all be listening to audiobooks instead? No. Will we all be selling thousands of books in Brazil, Japan and India? No. As far as I see it, it’s business as usual, which might be surprising considering my usual penchant for change and progression.

That’s not to say that there’ll be no changes, though. What I do see is the major publishers improving their offering and embracing the digital market as well as the general public opening up to independent publishing much more and further embracing it as a viable and respected form of publishing. And those can only be good things.

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Self-published e-books continue market growth

Those of us who self-publish our own e-books are sure to be pleased with the recent news that our presence in the digital market continues to grow.

Self-published e-books are now thought to take up around 12% of the digital publishing market – and in some genres, the figure is even higher. For instance, in the crime category, the figure is thought to be as high as 20%.

This is good news for those of us who are passionate about independent publishing and work hard to make sure our books have just as much chance of success as those that are traditionally published.

The figures above come from research carried out by Bowker Market Research. The study also found that people who buy self-published books are much more likely to read every day than people who don’t. And, if you are wondering which demographic is most likely to buy a self-published e-book, it seems that the answer is women aged over 45, who account for more than a third of the total.

What do you think about these findings? You can read more about the story here.

Book sales on the rise

We are often fed stories of people reading less, of book sales struggling and an ever-more competitive market, so it is always cheering to hear of good news relating to book sales.

It was reported last week that spending on books was up in the UK last year, by 4% to £3.3 billion. That figure includes both print and e-book sales. As you might expect, e-book sales did particularly well, with sales up 66% in 2012 according to publishers.

It is also thought that sales of printed books are also holding their own, despite signs of decline in recent years.

You can find out more about this story here, and please do let me know your thoughts in the comments box.

4 benefits self-publishing has bought the book industry

The benefits of self-publishing to the wider book industry are plentiful, but sometimes it is worth having a look at a few key points to see just what it is able to offer. Of course, there is still a debate going on about publishing, and there are undoubtedly challenges relating to self-publishing as well as benefits, but as it grows in popularity, it’s impossible to deny that there is something important going on here. With this in mind, here are just some of the benefits that independent publishing has bought the book industry.

The publishing process is more appreciated

Now that more authors are getting involved in independent publishing, the process of publishing a book is more appreciated than ever before. Authors understand the work involved, and as the quality of self-published books continues to improve, the role of professionals is also important. This isn’t just good news for authors looking to get their work published, but also for others who work in the industry – editors and proof-readers and marketers. There is more choice and opportunity for them as well as for writers.

Authors understand the business better

When the only way of getting published was to go down the traditional route, a lot of authors didn’t really get that involved with the business side of things. With the rise of independent publishing, this is changing – and it’s a good things. When authors understand the business of publishing better, they are able to make more informed choices about what they want to do themselves and what they would like to use others to do for them. Better appreciation of marketing is also important, with tech-savvy authors taking responsibility for more and more of their promotions.

Authors have more power

We’ve looked before at how self-publishing gives authors more control over what they write, but it also gives them control in other ways. For instance, traditional publishers are starting to wake up to self-publishing success stories and are often keen to work with authors who have already had success. Since the self-published author has all their own rights, it puts them in a position of power. The hybrid model of publishing also opens up more options for authors, giving them choices that didn’t exist until quite recently.

More diversity in publishing

Traditional publishing with one of the big publishers. Self-publishing. Small press publishing. Hybrid publishing. Keepsake publishing. There is more diversity than ever before in the industry, which not only makes it more likely that writers will be able to find an option to suit them, but also gives more choice and power to readers. And, as self-publishing becomes seen more and more as a respectable, viable option for authors, there is arguably more of a level playing field in terms of publishing routes.

What do you think? How else has self-publishing benefitted the book industry?

New pilot schemes for e-book lending

It was announced just over a week ago that libraries in the UK could be lending e-books by as early as this summer. Pilot schemes are set to be introduced to look into the issue of e-book lending patterns, and it is hoped that more libraries will become involved later on in the year.

This is happening in response to the Sieghart Review, which came to the conclusion that readers should be able to borrow e-books in an effort to secure the future of libraries. Another interesting point to come out of this is that it has been recommended that people should be able to borrow the e-books remotely.

You can find out more about this news here. What do you think about borrowing e-books from libraries?