As a writer, the ebook revolution will transform your writing career. The brilliant and innovative Mark Coker was recently speaking at the San Francisco Writers’ Conference and had this to say about the future of publishing.
10 Trends that will Transform the Future of Authorship
- Reading moving to screens: Yes, screens are the new newspapers and magazines. Ebooks look set to overtake print books in the very near future. On some platforms like Amazon, this is already happening. But why is this the case? Well, screens offer a better reading experience that paper, they have a changable font size, they’re portable and compact, they cost less and there is a bigger selection.
- Bookselling moving to the web: Book purchases made online has increased exponentially in the last ten years. This is putting many smaller bookstores out of business and consequently book stores are disappearing, print is declining, and big publishers are losing control of distribution.
- Authors gain control of publishing: The power has shifted from the traditional publisher to the self-published author. Ebook printing and distribution is free. Author tools and self-publishing advice is free and plentiful. There are no barriers to entry. Writers no longer need publishers in order to publish, distribute and sell their work. A question authors are asking themselves is “What can a publisher do for me, that I can do for myself?”
- The rise of indie book publishing: Self-published books are dominating bestseller lists. Why is this? For authors, it’s faster to self-publish than wait for feedback from a traditional publisher. The author has more control over the publishing process from editing to cover design and pricing. Expenses are low. Distribution is easy and free of cost. For consumers ebooks cost less than print books, they’re easy to download onto an ereader.
- Traditional publishers are suffering from high prices: Book buyers are price sensitive. From every sale the author earns a royalty and gains a fan.
- Current explosion leads to downward pressure on prices: As more and more authors flood the market with ebooks, the demand wanes and price competition sets in. Lower prices make ebooks more affordable and accessible for consumers with more books being read than ever before.
- Print is dead: For most self-published authors, print doesn’t even feature as one of their distribution options. Customers chose cheaper ebooks over more expensive print books.
- Ebook retailers going global: Online retailers are going global and expanding into markets outside the US.
- Big publishers getting into self-publishing: It really is a case of adapt or die. Smaller, specialised agencies dealing in online publishing are rising to the challenge and creating opportunities for writers that never existed before.
- Stigma attached to self-publishing is disappearing: Thankfully. The old model Author-Agent-Publisher-Bookstore-Reader has changed to Author-Bookstore-Reader. Many successful authors will straddle both worlds.
Exciting times. The power is in the writer’s hands now. We have more options than ever before. As writers, it’s up to us to take advantage and create our own success.