I 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.