Friday, January 08, 2010

Fortune Tellers Ball

Today, we continue our highlights from Bradley Robb’s “The History of Publishing 2010 - 2020.” He’s moving fast, so today, I’ll do quick recaps of Parts 4, 5 & 6.

In Part 4, he talked more about “cmmtr,” the code allowing e-readers to comment on books and share those comments with others. According to Robb’s “history,” in 2013, author Sheryl Blain hosted the first cmmtr-enabled book reading and answered questions from readers around the world. Her publisher followed that up with a special edition of her book that was such a huge hit, it changed the way e-books are done.

Part 5 covers Robb’s vision of a possible 2014, the year when the future of cmmtr was hashed out and the Living Book came into fruition and standardization.

For those of us who would consider ourselves mid-list authors, apparently in 2014, we’ll owe thanks to Stephen King.
Later in 2014, famed author Stephen King garnered a fair share of media attention when he announced that he was going to digitally self publish a novella, The Terror of Tara. King decided to sell the book in multiple formats and at multiple price points …

The work, a scant 30,000 words, was rumored to have earned over a million dollars in sales and drew attention to the rising group of “middle class authors.” Though nothing new, the media certainly seemed intrigued that authors much smaller than King were able to earn a living selling their writing online.
Part 6 covers what “happened” in 2015.
The primary focus of the major publisher fell into a few key areas: gathering and maintaining readers and finding the best books to provide those readers. The major publishers had gone from content providers to content curators.
Robb sees 2015 as “the year of the Price Wars.”

He closed out the recap of 2015 with this:
By the end of the year, the number of micropublishers would measure in the hundreds.
This is a fun series of posts to read. The future’s not set in stone, but it’s interesting to dream and envision what the book world might become over the next ten years. Link over and read the series.
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  1. The feels like Field of Dreams. "If you build it they will come." Instead it's, "If you write it, it will happen." I bet there are an awful lot of spot on predictions going on here.

  2. Another interesting post, Helen. I do appreciate King's playing around with pricing online to see what works. He's in a good position to mess around with this stuff!

    Mystery Writing is Murder
    Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen

  3. The future is a mystery!

    Thanks Helen for the link. It is interesting to know where publishing is forecasting in the days, years ahead.

  4. It is interesting. Robb has some predictions that are very intriguing, yet quite believable, considering the advances in technology going on today.

  5. I LOVE this idea of the instantly available social network. I've had a number of books I think I would not quite have grasped had I not read them in a class or with interaction--a guide even--a teacher, that I ended up loving because someone could point out various symbolism or historical or mythological references--it enriched the read. I can see this really expanding the audience for literary fiction.

    At the same time--are they suggesting books be released PRE-polish? How on EARTH would they filter out all the CRAP? I mean that is my problem NO with people publishing their own books online--there may be some great stuff, but there is too much garbage to dig through to find it.

    One thing though, related, I think, is more sophisticated versions of RL Stines 'choose your ending'--I love the idea an eBook might allow the reader to make a decision now and then and that that changes the course of the story--more work for the writer, but the reader could read it again and again, and I think it could sell for a lot more because it's a unique twist.
    (sorry to be so long winded)

  6. I have to admit it's all a bit scary to me. But then again, I don't think that far in advance. I also don't think on that wide a spectrum. I mean, I understand global economics and war and the WTO and all that, but this kind of thing eludes me. I wonder what that says about me?

    However, you constanly fascinate me with interesting reads you find. Thank you!


  7. Interesting about the "cmmtr" code. A library in a neighboring town from me affixes a form inside the covers of their fiction books, leaving a line or two for quick reader comments. They are fascinating to read, and usually pretty much on target!

  8. Ahh, Joanne, that library is on the cutting edge, it would seem!

    As to e-books being released pre-polished, Robbs, in his article, foresees a group that gets together to set standards and raise the bar for e-books. Unfortunately, in his version of history, they succumb to in-fighting and fail.

    Straight From Hel

  9. This is a great read, Helen. Kind of spooky reading predictions up to 2020 but fun nonetheless.

    It will be interested to see how spot on they become.

    Happy weekend,

  10. I need to go back and read all of this. I love visionaries. Listen to them all the time. Prof. Michio Kaku is one of my favorite visionaries.

    Stephen Tremp

  11. OK, so I'm saying, "Thanks, Stephen King," right now. Will that make this event occur sooner?

  12. Didn't Stephen King kind of do this already when he released Riding the Bullet as an e-book only in 2000 or so? He always seems to be a step ahead of the times!

  13. Just found your blog!
    Some interesting stuff. I need to go read all of his predictions.

  14. This reminds me of the artists in the music industry in the 90s who began choosing to sign with independent labels or go to just selling their music online directly to cut out the middleman...

    But I'll be honest. I feel that the quality suffers when that happens. I think when 'everyone' can do something, it takes away from the value of it.

  15. Perhaps like most things, the bad material will quit selling and the good will rise to the top of the buyers' lists.

  16. How many books does an author need to sell to be considered mid-list?

    Really Angelic

  17. I love dropping by to get educated.

  18. I wonder the same as Enid. Where is the midlist now. And with POD technology, will books stay in print longer so you might continue to earn from a novel for years and years?

  19. I'm hoping there's some truth in this possible new world. I see it as a benefit for all authors.

  20. So far, it's not looking too dark for writers. Not brilliant, but not horrible either.

  21. Very neat. Nice to see a more positive dream of the future.


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