Wednesday, January 05, 2011

More 2011 Predictions

Last Thursday, I posted some of literary agent Richard Curtis’ predictions for 2011. Today, here’s some from Publishers Weekly.
 … with new digital sales channels, devices, self-publishing solutions, and competition from nimble, born-digital businesses … publishers in 2011 will recognize the need to retool their organizations to compete in the next generation…. The peculiar combination of returns, high discounts, rotten inventory, and separation from your customers is just so... pre-electronic. [Andrew Albanese]

It's impossible to have a conversation about book publishing without hearing the term "social media," ,,, Look for much more in 2011 as the industry continues to redirect its marketing efforts away from business-to-business to business-to-consumer. [Calvin Reid]

Will 2011 be the year of the e-book for children's divisions? Some but not all publishers think so. [Diane Roback]

While there is little question that bestselling authors with clout will be able to demand more than 25% of net on e-books, for other authors it may be more watching and waiting. But as e-books continue to account for more sales, publishers can bet that authors and agents will grow more and more antsy about this issue. [Rachel Deahl]

The looming question is whether publishers and agents can designate open market rights in the digital world the way they do in print. [Rachel Deahl]

Print on demand and short-run digital printing will continue their methodical growth in 2011, a tribute to the technology's utility to publishers looking to keep backlist titles in print or quickly replenish out-of-stock frontlist titles. [Calvin Reid]
Link over to read the full article, which also includes what they expect to be the big books of 2011. While I’m not so sure about the growth of POD, I do think ebooks and marketing through social media will continue to grow this year. What about you?


  1. The whole world seems fixated with social media! Who would have ever imagined the internet would become the engine that it is today:)

    Happy New Year Helen!

  2. It would be great if the publishing world acknowledges the world we live in today. Great post - as always.

  3. I really don't see a future for POD when e-books make so much more sense. Interesting article.

  4. All of this social media change talk makes me uneasy. I wonder if it will plateau or just keep going. While I like some parts of it, I worry it will just become harder for me to land an agent and a book contract. We'll see.

    Thanks for the links.

  5. I think both will grow as everyone is so 'green' conscious.

  6. Another interesting post. I can see interactive ebooks for children becoming a bigger thing. I wonder how long it will take before it really starts to take off.

  7. I read the full article! I think more writers will self-publish straight to ebooks unless we can get 50%+. The publishers are mocking us if they think we don't know how much it costs to produce an ebook. I like how these articles mention Konrath, but always downplay what he's been able to accomplish. My prediction is that we'll start to see the role of agents changing. Writers who educate themselves won't sign unless they're getting looked after. If you're getting a 6 or 7 figure advance and the publishers supporting you with publicity I think you'd sign on, but if the advance and the print run is small, then you're going to make more self-publishing. I still think an agent is important, but its not impossible to go it alone. Social media provides a marketing platform. If you're sincere, generous, and brand yourself you'll create a market. Whether you publish traditionally or self-publish, a book can still fail. It's the nature of the business.

    Social media is something we can't avoid. How much time you spend online can be managed, but no matter what business we're in we have to have an online presence.

    Agent's roles will change to accommodate those willing to pay to be self-published. They'll contract to editors and graphic designers.

    The hardcover market will become the niche market, but not immediately. POD will continue to grow.

  8. I don't think the big publishers are quite ready to wise up yet...they change at a snail's pace.

  9. I think e-books are here to stay and I've stopped fighting it. I even crave an Ipad, altho hubs says no way.

  10. You're right, Tamika. The Internet, for writers, is a time-suck but also a great tool for promotion.

    Charmaine, there does seem to be a disconnect.

    Elizabeth, the POD future I see is in bookstores who can lessen their inventory to single copies of books for patrons to look at. If they decide they want the book, it can be printed out and paid for.

    It might just do that, Theresa. Plus it'll make all of those who don't get an agent have to learn the publishing process themselves. There are days when I think, I do not want to have to learn all that!

    Today, Alex, I'm not so high on green. My green washer is broken. It'll cost as much to repair as to buy a new one. Grrrr.

  11. I think ebooks will explode in popularity this year. I've heard of so many people who have resisted eReaders, then gave in and bought one, only to find they LOVE them. The more avenues for books, the more opportunities for writers. Bring on 2011 :)

  12. Laurita, I don't think it will be long at all. Kids adapt much more easily than adults.

    Thanks for your input, Simon. Sometimes it feels like we're on a treadmill that keeps picking up speed. Writers have to quickly adjust and learn or they'll be left behind.

    Looking from the outside, the big publishers seem to react instead of innovate, don't they, Laura? They're sluggish.

    I'm sort of the opposite of you, Karen. I'd like an iPad and my husband, who has one, says Yes! But I'm such a penny-pincher that I can't justify it yet.

  13. Joanne, I know I would love an eReader. My husband loves his and carries it with him on business trips. I'll come downstairs in the morning and he's sitting in the dark reading on his iPad.

  14. What I want to know is why no one has proposed that they do a twofer, e.g. when someone buys a hardback--which makes the company money--they get a free download of the same book in electronic format.
    I know that would get me to buy more hardbacks. I don't read ebooks often, but I dread the day I have to rebuy books in e format so I can read them on a trip!

  15. I have become a big fan of audio books. Then I can "read" while I'm driving and cleaning the house and so on >:)

    Audio books on mp3 files for down load would be great (I intend to pay for it). Now I borrow the CD sets in the library and have to rip all the disks to my iPod.

    Cold As Heaven

  16. When ebooks outsell traditionally printed books consistently across the board, it may be that the only way to get a printed book will be from a POD kiosk. That may be a while off yet, but I think it's probably coming.

  17. Writers are learning that they can bypass agents and publishers by self-publishing ebooks, especially Kindle editions. Joe Konrath, L.J. Sellers and others who sold unbelievable amounts of Kindle books last month are paving the way for others. I think POD will also grow in popularity because it eliminates waste, and there are readers who still prefer print editions. I'm seriously considering self-publishing my children's books on Kindle from now on. The difference in royalities paid and the promptness of publication make it a very desireable form of publishing.

  18. I agree that the royalty rate on ebooks must go up. I'm currently sitting on a contract waiting for them to either cancel the ebook clause or up the royalties. It's gonna explode. And too I think it could turn out okay for writers, it could empower us more than ever before.

  19. I agree that the trends will continue their growth in ebooks and POD. I hope he's right about children's books as I'm working on my kids series.

  20. I think POD will grow as a market because there are still enough people who want a book in paper and not electronic. I've had a few readers ask if One Small Victory is available in paper, so I am in the process of getting that out in POD. I am getting other back-list books out as e-books and paperbacks, and plan to do that with my current release next year.

    I think the opportunities for writers to publish in a variety of mediums are increasing and it is all so exciting.

  21. I think e-books are definitely here to stay. I can see some advantages of them, but I still love my print books.

    Thoughts in Progress

  22. Shame more books aren't digitally printed - there would be less waste.

  23. writtenwyrd, I want all the eReaders to allow you to share the book. I don't have an eReader, but my husband does and if I even get one, I want to be able to read his books he's already paid for.

    Cold As Heaven, you're talking Greek to me. I want to do that, too.

    I'm with you, Carol.

    If you do that, Jean, I'd love to hear how it goes.

    Lauri, do you think they'll up the ebook royalty?

    Maryann - exciting and a bit scary.

    You're not alone Mason.

    Waste is definitely a part of the equation. I see ebooks as dominating in the near future.

  24. "The looming question is whether publishers and agents can designate open market rights in the digital world the way they do in print."

    Hi, Helen. Can you explain what exactly that means, "open market rights"?

    As to the expansion of print on demand I guess it depends on what is meant by the term. All the books produced by independent authors and small press publishers via CreateSpace are in effect print on demand. The book is not printed until someone orders it from Amazon (or directly from CreateSpace). I don't see in-store POD taking off, but sales via Amazon very well may.

  25. Jon, open market rights has to do with translation rights primarily and the money that comes with selling those. If you'll click over to the full article, Deahl gives a much better explanation than I could.

    POD and short run printing may be coming to bookstores soon. It would allow them to still sell print books, but without worrying about returns or excess inventory. Some stores already have an Expresso machine in-house.

  26. I'm actually pretty pleased with most of these predictions. They make sense and seem positive for the industry.

    Maybe a compromise on eBooks is a big jump in % after a certain number of units. The publisher with eBooks has work up front, but unlike BOOK BOOKS, once it is out there, there isn't an issue of reprints, returns, distribution--done is done. So the author then, should get a successively bigger cut. (see, they should put me in charge *shifty*)

  27. I like the opportunity e-books and self publishing are providing authors.
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

  28. E-books for children is sure correct. My 11 year old grandson got a Kindle for Xmas because of his avid thirst for books!

    My daughter asked if I knew any non-fiction books an 11 year old might like--and ADVANCED READING 11 year old. Open to suggestions! Sylvia Dickey Smith

    A War of Her Own

  29. I nominate Hart to be in charge!

    I do, too, Nancy.

    Sylvia, I would say "anything." My son from an early age read anything and everything from fantasy to sci-fi to science textbooks to you name it. And he remembers it. Anything that interested him, we let him read.

  30. I was just pondering over children’s book going digital. It led me down a path of a billion questions. Will parents buy their younger kids their own readers? Will Apple or Kindle design a kid friendly, as in can it be dropped and salivated on, device? Etc.

  31. Now that I'm without a job, it's not a problem reading my dead tree books, but when I commuted and also during lunch, the kindle was a definite blessing.

    There's room for both. The question is how can authors make the most of the digital revolution.

    Morgan Mandel

  32. About three years ago at a writing conference a well-known agent predicted most books would be POD within ten years and the ebook market would explode. I'm starting to think he might be correct.

  33. I think these predictions are spot on compared to the last guy's thoughts.

    I do not think the e-book revolution will extend into children's books. Unless you're talking about Harry Potter age.

    Board books, touchy feely books, Dr. Seus, Munch, NEVER!! But that's just me...

  34. Holly, I would say probably yes to both questions.

    So true, Morgan. That's what we're all trying to figure out.

    It sure looks like he is, Susan.

    I don't think it will start with the very young. But I wonder ... if it takes off with their older siblings, how long before even preschoolers are getting eReaders?

  35. Fascinating stuff, Helen! I was reading about Sellars' ebook success yesterday and that led into a discussion online with a midlist mystery writer who is editing a book of mine right now about the possibilities of authors taking charge of their ebooks. I must say I'm intrigued.

    Joe O'Connell

    author of EVACUATION PLAN
    winner, North Texas Book Award
    finalist, Violet Crown Book Award

  36. I agree Joe. It's so interesting. But, for me, it's also very intimidating. Once you figure it out, teach a class and I'll sign up. When you said "Sellars," I assume you meant LJ? She's had a lot of success, but she's also really pushed the promotion, too.

  37. Helen, It is intimidating, but I did as much promotion on my last indie publisher book as I'd do this route, and the thought of actually making some money from it is attractive!

    Sounds like the main thing--again--is to have solid writing and some level of rep., an attractive cover and endless energy to push it...

  38. And,oops, I misspelled L.J. Sellers' anme!

  39. Well, when you say it like that, it sounds so easy. ;-)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...