It is that time of the year when you sit back to enjoy the holidays, reflect on the past year and ponder what changes may be best for the coming year. With that in mind, I am reminded that owe it to myself to invest in staying on the front side of the changes in my industry – sometimes I feel it is like a stock broker who ferrets around for insider trading information to pass on to clients in order to say to them, “I am giving you the edge!”
What I have experienced is yet another vastly exciting year as the eBook and digital landscape continued to change and evolve in ways benefiting both reader and independent author. Many of these changes caught some people by surprised, but a handful of publishing experts seemed to have that “insider information” as the predictions laid out in one of my favorite reads, Digital Book World, came to fruition.
Looking forward to 2013 as another year of extraordinary publishing events, there is buzz throughout the industry that the consolidation of large publishing houses will continue. Understanding the dynamics of these acquisitions does not take a glass ball – one need only to look at other industries, i.e., when the music business shrunk relatively quickly from six key players to a little over half that amount.
Technology Keeps Pace with Customer Demand
Services supporting the publishing industry have already begun creating the technology necessary to support the “enhanced eBook.” The concept has been hinted at but has progressed quite slowly; 2013 may well be the year! The industry simply cannot afford to lose readers who enjoy illustrated and interactive non-fiction books; the efficiencies of the eReader were great, but the enhancements necessary to level the “reading field” must meet the reader’s expectations. The wait will have been worthwhile… publishers have had sufficient time to develop the system to product the kind of content avid readers demand.
Feeding the Reader with the Right Tools
One of the most interesting bits of scuttlebutt is the possibility of a free…. Yes! Kindle. As Amazon works diligently to remain the kingpin, it may become necessary to take such an unbelievable action to remain appropriately competitive with other digital device manufacturers. Can you imagine being in the driver’s seat there… creating customer loyalty at a hefty price.
Other Possibilities Exist
If you are an avid reader, and complete hours of research, you, too, will most likely find a few more possibilities; from publishers selling free eBooks in the DRM arena to an actual slowing of eBook sales. If you are a publisher or author, the changes you will likely experience could range from a “new marketing business model” shifting further and further away from traditional book marketing to new promotion efforts which will focus on creative agendas which will provide longer-term, year round sales.
The Entry of a eTextbook
As I continue to observe the age of the eReader shrinking to grade school children, I will not be the least bit surprised at a significant increase by year end of very young children having access – and for many that access will be directly tied to educational purposes. see the e-reading numbers increase. In fact, if family members are not the first thrust to provide their children equal playing fields with the eReader as an academic tool, educators, government entities and academic book manufacturers may well drive the use of eTextbooks
I am passionate about providing the strategies and support for debut authors; in the process I must stay as one with the heartbeat of the industry. I trust these insights have given you pause to think about how the continuing shift in the publishing industry impacts you as a reader, writer, or industry support service.
Anna Weber | Literary Strategist