It seems to be a popular thing to do, predicting the new year that is, so I thought I would throw my own predictions out here as well.
1) More authors will give up writing this year. The internet has made publishing a book very easy and every would-be author out there who felt they had a book in them has given it a try. While a few have thrived most have unfortunately failed. They gave it a shot and it just didn’t work out for them so they’ve moved on. A lot of talk from the trade-pub crowd will center around the millions of books being published that never find an audience and that’s okay. The book that failed today may be a bestseller five years from now. Will that author still be writing? Most likely not. The ones who thrived will continue to do so, adjusting to the market changes and building a fan-base they have learned to serve. The more business savvy the author is, the more they will succeed.
2) Amazon will lose its dominant percentage of the indie authored books. More and more authors will see the folly of being exclusive to Amazon and start distributing their books on every vendor available. Apple and Kobo will see bigger growth with Google not far behind. NOOK will struggle on, not enjoying the growth of the others but still remaining a viable market. Subscription services such as Scribd and Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited will find a place within the market but authors will learn to use them as a tool rather than a full-time distribution outlet.
3) The big five will become the big four. Random-Penguin holds about 50% of the trade published world. I think we’ll see another merger among the remaining three sometime this year. Smaller presses will be gobbled up as well.
4) Despite the numerous warnings and horror stories plastered across the internet, Author Solutions will continue to snare naive writers and exploit them for thousands of dollars.
5) Pricing will stabilize and trend upward. FREE and $.99 will still have an effect for books written in a series but books #2 and up will be priced higher. Trade published books will be seen using more indie-like tactics to promote their authors, especially for new releases.
6) BookBub and other promotion sites will have less effect individually. While BB will remain the top venue others will rise and challenge them, more so if they can move books in markets outside of Amazon.
7) An alternative to ACX will make its presence known. Audio book’s will become easier and more profitable for indie authors to both make and sell despite the surge in published content.
8) Indie bookstores will increase in number and make better profits from ebook programs like those offered from Kobo. Large bookstores such as Barnes and Noble and Books-a-Million will continue to close.
9)Translations will be the next big market available to indies due to better services coming on line.
10) Starbucks will offer a special snowflake discount program to all published authors. (okay, that one may be a wish rather than a prediction)
That’s it. Let the beatings begin!