Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

2016 Predictions for Book Publishing


I’ve featured Mark Coker, Founder of Smashwords, many times on this blog… 

And, today, I’ll give you some excerpts from an article by him (hoping I encourage you sufficiently, so you’ll take the link and read it all… {Although, readers who are sure they’ll never be writers may want to check out only what’s in this post, to get a feel for what writers concern themselves with…})—2016 Book Publishing Industry Predictions: Myriad Opportunities amid a Slow Growth Environment.

Mark begins his predictions in a very interesting way:

“I went overboard for 2016…I also asked friends on Facebook to suggest additional questions…So in addition to my first 10 below, I take a stab at 29 additional questions. Yikes.”

I especially like this:

“You’ll see I back each prediction with copious background on my thought process.  I invite you, my dear reader, to add your insights in the comments…”

Then he makes a prediction I can fully agree with:

“Here’s one thing I’m absolutely certain of:  Indie authors are the future of publishing.  The decisions indie authors make today will continue to reshape the future of publishing for better or worse.  You’re in control.  Now let’s have some fun.”

Now, Mark’s 10 Major Predictions ( I’ll only list the Headings—the really interesting stuff happens when you take the link up there to the full article :-) :

1.  Indie ebook authors will gain market share at expense of large publishers

2.  The overall market for ebooks will shrink in dollar terms, but unit volume will increase

3.  Kindle Unlimited will gut single-copy sales and drive greater ebook commoditization

4.  The ebook subscription model will experience a backlash in the indie author community (but will it matter?)

5.  Print will remain steady, though those sales are the sole domain for authors of traditional publishers

6.  Many full time indies will quit or scale back production in 2016

7.  Preorder usage will experience a dramatic increase

8.  Library ebook sales will increase for Smashwords authors

9.  More series writers will adopt perma-free series starters

10.  Wattpad will be acquired

And, here are the questions from Mark’s Facebook friends (Answers at the full article…):

Will Amazon do something more to monopolize the market?

Will Amazon’s brick and mortar stores add or detract from their success in general and/or affect book sales?

What genres/subgenres will get a boom [in 2016]?

Will more authors go hybrid, and will the ones that are currently hybrid stay that way or lean more toward one route or the other

What will happen in the world of indie short story sales?

Subscription services. Where are they going?

Will this author win the Nobel Prize this year? Or a million dollar contract? ‘Cause that would be awesome

World peace: Possibility or writing device?

It’s difficult to get noticed. Is there any hope for us small time authors to actually make a name for ourselves in this industry?

Any idea what’s going to happen in the romance market? KU appears to have gutted sales there

Will brick and mortar stores continue to decline, or will they fight back?

Will the other retailers grow in a way that that will help us counter Amazon/KU?

Will Barnes & Noble survive or go out of business in 2016?

Will B&N drop all ebooks and/or implode and go under?

Will Amazon relax the exclusivity requirements for Kindle Unlmited in 2016?

Will Google Play introduce a subscription model in 2016?

Will Google Play put their significant weight toward becoming a big force in eBooks, and counterbalance to Amazon?

Will Disney call me?

Will Kindle Worlds go international and multi-lingual?

“Digital refund policies… will [Amazon’s policies] be reworked to prevent [their liberal return policies from ] being used as an ebook library?”

What’s happening with China and India with ebooks over the coming years?

Will iBooks try to take on the Zon by releasing a multi-platform app?

How much will the standard agent/publisher cut shrink in the face of the superior economics of self publishing?

What percent of new authors will decline a standard agent/publishing deal and go it alone?

Will new promotion-oriented businesses emerge to help new authors, and what will these look like?

Will Smashwords introduce a POD offering in 2016?

Predict when indies will be allowed into brick and mortars

Is there a place where I can see all your past predictions altogether?

And, for writers (and readers who just might, one day. become writers…), I’ll excerpt Mark’s closing comments:

“Things change in this industry every day.  If you’re like me, you probably find it bewildering at times.  But take heart.  Some things never change.  The most important thing that will never change is that books are magical containers for delivering stories and knowledge.  You create magic.

“The industry will change – players will go out of business and others will rise and fall and rise again – but books will always remain.  Authors will always remain.  You are the captain of your personal adventure in publishing, and the course you chart is rife with opportunity.

“The global book publishing is a $100 billion market. Despite anemic growth, and even if the market shrinks, there’s still incredible opportunity for every new, future and veteran author alike to reach thousands if not millions of readers.  Best practices will separate those who reach a lot of readers from those who reach few.

“Luck plays a factor as well, but only for those who implement best practices first.  Best practices prepare you to capture lightning in a bottle when luck strikes.  Luck strikes all the time.  It’s word of mouth.  It’s a blog post or a tweet or a Facebook mention or a review that recommends your book.

“The books you have in you are important. Your books are important to the future of book culture and humanity.  Don’t let anyone or anything discourage you from putting your book out into the world.”

New Year’s Bonus for those who got this far :-)

Mark’s Free Books:

The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success

Smashwords Book Marketing Guide

Smashwords Style Guide
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

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