When I first attended what is now Book Expo America at McCormick Place in Chicago in the early ’80s, there was no need for book publishing industry predictions. Year after year, decade after decade, it was pretty much same old, same old.
Thanks to technology that’s continually evolving and innovating, the industry has had more change in the past decade than it’s had in the previous century.
Authors need to know what’s happening
As a result, authors need to know what’s happening . . . and about to happen. Book publishing industry knowledge can – and should – guide author career decisions.
To help you see what’s coming at the start of this new decade, I’ve researched predictions made by reputable organizations and businesses. I’ve linked to all of them below so you can benefit from their wisdom. I’ve also pulled out a few highlights that I don’t want you to miss.
Here are their predictions:
- “Self-Publishing Predictions for 2020 and the 2020s” by Orna Ross on the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) site
- “The Top Ten Publishing Industry Trends Every Author Needs to Know in 2020” by Clayton Noblit on WrittenWordMedia.com
- “2020 Vision: Publishing Predictions for the Next Decade” by Richard Eoin Nash on PublishingPerspectives.com
- “Top Self Publishing Trends 2020” on the Issuu blog
Book publishing predictions for 2020 from the experts
Here’s some of what struck me in the predictions.
Authors as business owners
Orna Ross predicts that “we will see more and more authors come to understand how self-publishing changes them from being professionals who write to being business owners who write and publish.”
I’m glad she thinks this will happen because some of us have been telling authors for years that in order to succeed, they have to act like business owners. Authorship is a business.
Yes, there’s a place for the hobbyists. But if you want to build a following, sell books, and earn money from your book, you need to accept that you now own a publishing business. I’m glad it might actually become a trend this year.
Indies will collaborate
I hope he’s right. In my experience, authors remain reluctant to build email lists. Perhaps they’re intimidated by the technology. Maybe they don’t know how to use a list. (Should I create a course on this? Tell me in a comment!)
I’d love to see authors partnering more and competing less.
Chain stores will go away
Richard Eoin Nash, like so many others, believes that brick-and-mortar chain stores will disappear. He’s probably right, but I’d hate to see my Barnes & Noble ride off into the sunset.
More authors will turn to professionals
The Issuu predictions include one saying that authors and other content creators will move away from the “I can do it all myself” model. They’re realizing that the D-I-Y approach results in “a lot of poorly produced and edited e-books.”
Poorly produced books hurt the self-publishing segment. Here’s to fewer of them in 2020 and beyond. Fewer bad books will allow more of the superior books to shine through.
Audiobooks stand out
One prediction in particular that meshes with my experience as a reader is Noblit’s on audiobooks continuing to gain popularity.
Audiobooks have rocked my world. I can move through a book a week because I listen while exercising, driving, and cooking. It’s clear that this format is catching on with other book lovers, too.
In 2020, more publishers and authors will take advantage of this trend. If you’re one of them, check out Derek Doepker’s do-it-yourself program, Audiobooks Made Easy (I’m a fan, so I’m a compensated affiliate). You’ll learn about the tools you need to create an audiobook and how to use them to create a quality product.
If you’ve already taken advantage of this trend and have an audiobook available, be sure to read “How to promote your audiobook.” Narrator and promoter Karen Commins’s tips will help make sure you’re focused on the right activities.
What are your predictions?
Which of the predictions here or at the four articles linked to above resonate with you?
What will you be doing differently in 2020? Do you see that in the predictions?
What industry change would you like to see this year?
Please share your plans and predictions in a comment!
Tip of the Month
This month, it’s Authorgraph, an online service that lets you “sign” e-books.
Because you sign each book individually as you receive requests, you can write something different (if you want) for everyone who makes a request. So, while you might write something generic for a stranger, you can write something personal when you get a request from someone you know.
The Authorgraph isn’t inserted in the e-book, though. Instead, it’s created as a separate document. This allows readers to create an Authorgraph collection.
Learn more and sign up at Authorgraph.com.
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