J. A. Konrath did it again: outlook to this years’ publishing future – as he sees it. He explains what works and what not – and what could be done better. Here an excerpt from his predictions:
- “Paper book sales will no longer be significant enough to sustain the nation’s largest bookstore chain, maybe stores closing.”
- “Libraries will buy e-books directly from authors.”
- “Indie bookstores will need to start selling self-pubbed books, or perish. If indie bookstores deal directly with self-pubbed authors, and print their own copies to sell in their stores, they can build inventory and cut out the share normally taken by publishers.”
- “Big 5 mergers and layoffs and bankruptcies. As the publishing cartel loses its quasi-monopoly on paper distribution, there will be no way to support its infrastructure.”
- “The publishing biz has become a tech biz. You don’t win at tech by playing catch-up. You win by innovating.”
J. A. Konrath’s prediction:
“Visibility will become harder. As more e-books get published, and virtual shelf space expands, it is going to become harder to get exposure. Self-pubbed authors who don’t focus on their current, core readership will see sales diminish. The future will be about actively cultivating a readership. So far we’ve been lucky. With KDP Select Free Days, authors have been able to get visible without reconnecting with longtime readers. There have always been enough new readers to sustain sales.
Maintaining a fan base is going to become increasingly more important.
That means having an up-to-date website, making it easy to sign up for your newsletter, staying active in social media, and regenerating your brand with new titles and continued promotions.
Change is hard. It’s also inevitable.
The best thing you can do right now, as a writer, is look to the future and try to find your place in that future. That might mean you’ll need to forget the past. It also might mean you’ll have to learn to accept, and forgive.”
“It isn’t a stretch to believe tens of millions of self-published e-books are being sold annually. We don’t need Vanity publishers / called: self-publishing services. We don’t need to pay Kirkus or PW for reviews. We don’t need writing organizations (MWA, Authors Guild) who don’t look out for our interests.” And he continues to explain what we need. Read the whole, interesting post on J.A. Konrath’s blog.
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