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2014 Book Industry Predictions

12.27.2013, Uncategorized, by .

IMG_0859So it is the end of the year. Time for everyone to have their ‘best-of’ and ‘predictions for’ posts. I am no different. But I also want to state upfront that I reserve the right to change my mind at any time as new information presents itself.

See, it isn’t about being right and have no mistakes. It is about having a position and then as the industry unfolds, shift those opinions to help see what is next.

Each of these “predictions” are things to consider and plan for in 2014. Some are continuations of things already happening. Some are extensions. Some are pivoted from others.

  1. Ebook sales will continue to rise at a double-digit rate. There are still many publishers that are converting backlist books.
  2. Amazon will continue to be the King Pin. But there are dents in the armor and challenges ahead.
  3. Now that the DOJ lawsuits are over and corporate publisher margins are better, look for consolidation.
  4. Children’s books in digital will increase considerrably as a % of sales. Much of this will be driven by dedicated tablets.
  5. B&N will shirk and close 10-15% of their stores. They will remain the biggest and most important book-chain in the nation.
  6. The numbers bandied about in the industry will continue to contradict as each estimate is made will less than full information.
  7. Pricing will continue to be managed and used as the primary ebook sales tool.
  8. New models will gain market share in the consumer eBook market. A form of “modified subscription” platforms will lead the change.
  9. The library ebook market will continue to be more experimental than consumer. Libraries will gain marketshare.
  10. Many “self-published” authors will create “independent publishers” and publish a list of books curated from other self-pubbed authors.
  11. Publishing will continue to shed jobs as profits remain high. The industry shifts as digital doesn’t need as many people to publish titles.
  12. Stephen King will have a #1 best-seller.
  13. Apple iBooks will overtake B&N Nook as the #2 ebook retailer.
  14. In an internet world of unlimited supply, brand names will continue to be important.

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