This time of year brings with it a host of predictions from various entities, all of whom can lay claim to professional insight behind their ideas. In the many centuries’ old book industry, the past that used to shape the present has been ripped away by disruption and technological shift, meaning even well thought out predictions may prove to be far off base.
Smashwords, an ebook distribution and self-publishing platform that has perhaps done more for the cause of indie authors than any other single entity, has released its CEO Mark Coker’s predictions for the coming year. Many of these will come as no surprise to book fans, while others may be so shocking as to be almost laughable.
In the “I can see it from here” column, Coke predicts that ebooks will take up an even greater share of the reading market, as well as come down in price. In an interesting correlation to the price issue, Coker also suggests that factors other than price are going to play a huge role in book selection, especially once consumers grow accustomed to paying $4.00 or less for a book on a regular basis.
But one prediction that may come as a much longed for surprise is his belief that more and more major name authors are going to at least experiment with self-publishing, if not reject the traditional industry altogether.
“Multiple market forces will conspire to cause a large number of traditionally published authors to turn their backs on big publishers. Publishers will try to hold the line on their 25% net ebook royalty structures, which means big authors will see their royalties suffer as prices drop and as the unit sales advantage of low prices decreases, and as the disadvantage of high prices increases. At the same time, readers will continue to transition from print to ebooks, making the print distribution to physical bookstores less important, and thus weakening the grip big publishers once had on bigger-name authors. Big authors, eager to maximize their net, will feel greater impetus to emigrate to indieville.”
Another major prediction, one that Good e-Reader wholeheartedly agrees with and has discussed in several interviews, is that subscription reading will finally take off in the way that it has for music and movies. With revenues solidly understood from these kinds of models, books are a natural medium to follow suit.
Read the remained of Smashwords’ predictions for the coming year in publishing by clicking HERE.