Industry-altering book publishing trends have been a feature of the publishing industry for a while now but heading off into 2019, new and modified old trends jostle to be the attention grabber of the year. One startling fact is that the number of Americans reading for pleasure has fallen by almost a third since 2004.
New books flood the market every day, something that has been increasing exponentially every year. This means there are thousands of new books every week. What does this mean for a vastly diminished market?
Trend #1 Print Books are still top of the pile
This should grab your attention because surely the natural progression would be e-books taking over the throne? Not so. Well, not yet. People apparently still love to hold a real book in their hands. For this, and various other reasons, e-books have shown a decline.
Does this mean the age demographic is now 30+ for print and under that for digital? No. This is where it gets somewhat confusing. Millennials are just as likely to go for print, bucking that sector’s trend of digital-only.
Budding authors should keep this in mind. So, if you’re heading on the self-publishing route, it would be worth your while adding a print book to your offering. If you’re with Amazon, it doesn’t involve extra investment, and acknowledging this trend means you wouldn’t be missing out on opportunities.
- Stats are proving the longevity of print books.
- Add a print book to the e-book option.
- Power of writer word is prescriptive!
Trend #2 E-books are dead, long live e-books!
Having said what needs to be said in Tip#1, it goes without saying that e-books are still a vital part of people’s lives. Industry insiders have dissected the above trend, and all are cognizant that in terms of time and legacy, e-books are still relatively young and playing catch-up to print.
It must not be forgotten, the insiders concur, that print has been the staple for centuries. E-books are the upstarts on the block and will bounce back.
It is inevitable that the digital book will have many more peaks and valleys than print, although both are grappling with new ideas and follow-throughs. E-book trends are more uncertain as the world in which they exist is more volatile and iridescent. It’s a kind of nebulous line that makes it not as easy to define, but just as urgent to detect and develop.
- Literature purists claim the death of the e-book, but they’re still very popular.
- The legacy of e-books is starting to rise and rumble.
- In a rapidly evolving digital world, digital products are becoming the mainstay.
Trend #3 Diversity is the new dynamic
If authors, and subsequently publishers, do not grasp diversity with both hands, they will fall behind in sales. This is a clear-and-cut fact. Diversity in the form of multicultural voices and multigender voices are the norm, and the must-have. This reflects the diversity that is alive and expanding everywhere in America.
Authors must reflect this truism or risk alienation. It is no longer viable merely to hint at changes, but these must be evaluated thoroughly.
Sexuality is an issue that must be embraced and explored. It is not acceptable to lay claim to ‘ghosts’ of such characters in this regard. Think of movies such as “Black Panther” and TV hit “Sex Education” and their remarkable successes, and you’ll be on the right track.
Topics that people felt uncomfortable about a decade ago are now being hailed deliriously.
- Powerful writing now encompasses diversity in all its forms.
- Embrace the vibrant, new cultural and ethnic identities in your writing.
- Write about things that hurt others. Then they can start to identify.
Trend#4 Bigger demand for services
Everyone wants a book or a well-written assignment, and everyone thinks they can write. However, they’ve quickly discovered that writing is in the gift and the blood and it’s not as easy as thought.
Would-be authors and students turn to services like ghost-writers and writing agencies in droves to get the work done properly. Two such services experiencing a surge in demand are Xpertwriters.com and A-writer.com.
Students are getting more and more assignments and are turning to services such as those mentioned above to ensure a polished turn-out. Included in their portfolio that are in greater demand are essays, research papers, dissertations. They claim to meet any deadlines, ensure strict confidentiality and ensure premium quality.
- Writing specialists are on hand to ensure a great job for you and on-time delivery.
- These professionals can take the heat off stressed-out students.
- Don’t ever miss a deadline again.
Trend#5 A writer and Entrepreneur!
Marketing your work is an essential part of ensuring hype and sales. This goes for whether you’re self-publishing or going with a traditional publisher. You must start blogging about your work, especially as a self-publisher.
Amazon is not going to do it for you, and as part of your marketing effort it’s vital you use every social media method available to get the hype going. If you don’t do this, your work will languish in cyberspace!
Traditional publishers’ marketing has become considerably more expensive, so they’re going to need to start blogging too. They’ll more than likely rope the author in because the author will bring the passion that is needed into the hype.
The publishers will come to rely more and more on social media, including blogging and vlogging, to get the word across.
- Marketing much more than slapping ads in newspapers. Cost-prohibitive.
- Put together a trailer. YouTube will take you through the steps.
- Blog obsessively and everywhere. This will take you places.
Trend#6 Audiobooks are more popular
They still fall under print and e-books, but they are on the rise. Izzard Ink Publishing says that digital audio accounted for 25% of all HarperCollins digital revenue in the first quarter of 2018.
Simon and Schuster says that digital audio revenue shot up a staggering 43%, so something big is happening here. It obviously takes more investment to get this show on the road but offering a print-on-demand book as well as an audio version is a sure-fire winner.
Since Americans seem to be multitasking more in their lives, they will have less time to just read a book. Audiobooks come into their own when they fit in with all the other activities that they are pursuing.
So, while they are commuting or involved in whatever else, they could also be listening to an audiobook. On the train, subway, in your car… wherever you are!
- More the domain of the traditional publisher because of costs, but
- If you have $2 000 or so to spare, head off to the studio.
- You can also do an audio-only trailer to share on social media.
Trend#7 It’s all about the brand
You’d better ensure that you’re fit enough to sell your book. With direct-to-reader becoming the predominant buzzword going into 2019, much of the onus of the marketing will fall to you.
And the marketing will not just be about the book – it will be about you (the author) too! So be prepared to have YouTube inserts, Instagram postings, Facebook and Google+ campaigns… the whole thing. People will follow you, then your book.
If you’re a timid author, you’d better enroll in some get-confidence-quick classes, because you’re going to need it.
From TV screens to bookstores, you are going to become a face that people can identify with and want to follow. Your book and you become inseparable. The more affable and gregarious you are, the better your book will do.
- Get a graphic designer friend and design a 60-sec trailer for YouTube and your webpage.
- You don’t need fancy equipment. A Go-Pro will do, so just do it.
- Get a likable, different, quirky act together and become a must-watch and must-buy-book entity.
The world of the written word, whether in publishing or for student assignments, is as powerful as ever. If anything, it just keeps on growing, although in a magnificent new milieu. There are new trends, though, that are dictating a very different way forward.
Scott Mathews is a research paper, e-books, and assignment writing expert with Essay Writing Land and Paper Writing Pro. He freely shares his writing skills, acting as a writing mentor for language teachers at various schools. Scott enjoys spending free time with his wife, children, and extended family pursuing one of his favorite hobbies, fishing.