If you are thinking about writing a book in 2014 there are a few predictions I’ve been making about the state of publishing that I think you should know. And even if this isn’t your year to write a book – these little morsels could change your mind.
Near the end of 2013, Seth Godin said we had reached “an end of books.” In lots of ways he’s right, but I’m more optimistic than ever about being a book publisher.
Why? Because while the old traditional ecosystem is dying, what’s emerging in it’s place is vibrant, exciting and just better – better for readers… better for the world!
Here are my publishing predictions for 2014:
- Publishers will be forced to stop raping authors. Back in 2010 I asked myself: What if the book industry parasites stopped charging authors to self-publish and the behemoth legacy publishers stopped raping authors for their ideas and intellectual property in exchange for 7.5% of royalties? What if publishers created joint ventures with authors who wrote books they believed in and the 2 shared their talents and their revenue fairly? Those were the questions that lead to the creation of the equi-publishing model under which Difference Press operates. According to a recent survey compiled by the Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest, this new hybrid model (which, btw, I thought I invented!) has risen to become the model under which authors make more money, publish more books, and achieve greater “success.” In 2014, I predict you’ll be seeing more publishers using this type of “hybrid” approach to publishing. As the continuum from self-publishing to traditional publishing becomes more blurred, authors, agents, and publishers will begin to meet more in the middle as it relates to dollars, time, marketing, and royalty allocation.
- Welcome to the Year of Crowdfunding for authors. In 2013, authors got savvy about how to raise funds for their publishing expenses using sites like Kickstarter, Indie Go Go, and our personal favorite, partner Pubslush. 2014 is going to be the Year of Crowdfunding for authors. Look for an an influx of authors using crowdfunding not to pay for self-publishing but to build platforms, develop marketing plans and to grow their readership all while mitigating some of the financial risks involved in authorship.
- Book, eBooks, & Apps, Oh My! It’s been nearly a decade since publishers started getting used to publishing eBooks to go alongside print versions of books. 2014 is the year publishers start getting more Mobile App savvy. Soon, every book will have a print, eBook and App version. In 2014, look for publishers to partner with savvy app developers to make eBook Apps a standard offering. (Stay tuned, Difference Press has a very exciting announcement coming on this front!)
- More Ideas Expressed at their Natural Length. I’ll never forget the day my friend Fred described a book to me – a book we both loved, in fact – as 40 brilliant pages crammed into 240 words. So often a book has a great idea but, feeling like they have to fill 200 pages to establish legitimacy, they keep repeating that idea until you want to carve it onto your eyeballs just to get the author to shut up! Influenced by the classic 20 minute TED Talk, gone are the days of long books. 2014 is the year of books expressed at their natural length. How long does the book have to be to make the points you want to make? That’s the question authors are learning to ask.
- We’re STILL not in it for the money. Book sales were never going to make most authors rich. In 2014, that will be more true than ever which is why authors need a plan that goes far beyond writing a book people buy. Prices for most books will be under $15 and eBooks will almost all come in below $5. Price fixing scandals and disruptive business models like library lending platformOverDrive are pushing book prices down and helping authors and publishers wake up to a diversity of value in writing and publishing books.
So those are my big predictions for 2014. I think this is good news for authors, readers and publishers but I’d love to hear your thoughts too. What do you see happening in the book world in 2014?
P.S. Our most recent eBooks have continued to maintain best seller status this month and to gain traction in the media for their authors. Happiness Junkie author, Caren Albers, was featured in her hometown magazine. Check out page 12: http://emagazines.hibu.com/PANCTB.