Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Future of Publishing: An Insider's Scoop

"Grab a Coke and an E-Book."




Just back from Thrillerfest sponsored by ITW, and my head is spinning with all that I learned "behind the scenes" from some pretty heavy-hitting insiders. I'm not going to name names or anything like that because most of what I'm about to tell you you already know or have surmised in your thoughts. But to hear these things spelled out and confirmed by some heavy-hitting legacy authors, editors, and agents hits home.

1. The mass-market paperback will become extinct in 2012. It will give away to the more popular E-Book.

2. Legacy publishers are smartly acquiring the E-Rights to their author's back-lists.

3. Many legacy publishers will be publishing E-Books beginning in 2012 at an average price of $2.99 in order to make them better able to compete in the marketplace. These E-Books will effectively replace mass market paperback.

4. More agents will become E-Book publishers in 2012

5. More agents will drop out of the business altogether in 2012

6. Many legacy editors who have been working in the business for 20 years or more, will become freelance editors.

7. Google E-Books will be the one online store to give Amazon Kindle some serious competition (maybe).

8. Barnes and Nobles will close more stores.

9. More traditionally published authors will explore both indy and self-publishing via E-Book in order to increase their bottom lines. At the same time, they will be reluctant to hand over E-Book rights to the legacy publishers.

10. The 2012 book signing phase of ThrillerFest will include technology that will make it possible for authors to sign E-Books.

11. E-Book Kiosks will soon become as common as Coke machines.

Well, that's just of a few of the changes coming down the pike. Like I've always said however, I believe it's in an authors best interest to engage in a variety of publishing. 1/3 legacy; 1/3 indy; 1/3 self. In a perfect world, that is. I'm still heavy on the traditionally based indy, but I remain open to the future of publishing and the tremendous opportunities that will be available to us as full-time authors.

4 comments:

  1. I found this point interesting:

    3. Many legacy publishers will be publishing E-Books beginning in 2012 at an average price of $2.99 in order to make them better able to compete in the marketplace. These E-Books will effectively replace mass market paperback.

    It will be interesting to see if legacy publishers lower their prices to $2.99 given their overhead costs. If so, they will be very competitive, but I doubt this may happen. Like some publishers today, who are acquiring debut authors and only publishing their novels as eBooks at mass market print prices. Not very competitive.

    As a self-publisher like John Locke, I believe I will always be able to beat the legacy publisher's lowest price. In the long run, eBook readers will still be looking for the best price point for the best product.

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  2. I love to weigh in on future predictions. Still waiting for my flying car.

    3. I think that the $2.99 price point will be for backlist books made available again. This means that authors will never recover rights to books they have "licensed" to publishers under the current agreement models since eBooks never go out of print.

    7. While the Google store will be a major player, their eReader is not even close to competing with Amazon or B&N. The Google eReader requires a continuous live Wi-Fi signal to read the books from Google. This makes reading on the go or anywhere a Wi-Fi signal is not (planes, trains and automobiles anyone?) not an option.

    12. The current offering of digital eBook signing requires a purchase from a proprietary vendor. Until I can sign an eBook already purchased from any vendor (Amazon, B$N, Apple, Smashwords, etc.) then it will not match the current process of bringing a purchased book to the author for signing.

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  3. Steve,
    When I was in college I used to sprinkle these cool magic mushrooms on my Cheerios and then later on, the car seemed like it was flying...
    V

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  4. In re. the expected closings of Barnes & Noble stores, does this imply that B&N online is also struggling? Because it seems to me that they have the better e-reader in Nook. Is that going to go the way of the Palm Reader?

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