2021 promises many things for the publishing industry, with many of the trends having begun to take hold 2 or 3 years ago. In many ways, therefore, 2021 is going to be a continuation of what is already there. If you like to predict this kind of stuff, you can make money doing it on Mimy Online. So what trends can we expect to see in the publishing industry this year? Read on to find out!
1. More traditional authors will adopt the indie publishing model
Quite a number of indie publications have succeeded overwhelmingly. Now traditional authors like Patricia Cornwell and Dean Koontz are starting to adopt the self-publishing model by releasing on Amazon. Penguin Random House has also acquired Simon and Schuster. This kind of consolidation also means that there are fewer publishing houses competing for the work of authors, which gives them less bargaining power. On the flip side, it means the indie market will attract more traditional authors.
2. Indie author collectives are going to be more widespread
Traditional publishers won’t be the only ones consolidating. Indie authors are also likely to collaborate and consolidate their efforts into collectives to give themselves a marketing edge. Companies like Draft2Digital allow for payment splitting, making revenues from co-authored works easier to share. Authors are also likely to see more revenue from combining mailing lists and books as well.
3. eBook marketplace competition will benefit authors
While Amazon remains the largest marketplace for independent titles, other players are entering the market. Apple, for example, redesigned its author portal, making it easier to publish with iBooks without having to own a Mac. Google Play has better analytics, making it easier for authors to keep track of their sales. All of these major tech players are sending out strong signals that they are ready to invest in independent authors, which can only be good news.
4. Continuation of the move to audio
More and more companies are fighting for supremacy in the audio-book category. Authors who invest in this category will likely benefit. Audible, Apple, and Spotify are all fighting for supremacy in the niche, each trying to become the main hub for storytelling. There are also many startups trying to establish a beachhead in the market, which will only increase the competition. This will lead to increased opportunities in the niche. One such opportunity is subscriptions, via companies like Storytel. Audio-books will also likely get much easier to produce.
5. Covid-19 may impact books sales
The Covid-19 outbreak led to many people staying at home, which encouraged them to turn to digital books. As a result, e-book sales surged, and they will likely continue to do so in 2021. That said, if vaccination efforts in Europe and the USA are successful, sales could see a dip in the second half of the year, as people will be able to leave their homes again.
6. The e-book market will continue to grow, however
Covid-19 has impacted multiple markets, including the one for e-books. There is therefore still room for optimism. Many of the habits that individuals adopted during the pandemic, such as shifting to digital books, are likely to stick in the long term. Many people still haven’t read an e-book, which means there is great room for growth. Bookstores and libraries are likely to be harder to access, and print versions of books are likely to be costlier. Digital books will remain not only easier to access, but also cheaper, which will encourage more and more people to try them out. This will lead to sustained long-term growth for the e-book market.
7. International sales will increase for authors
The e-book market won’t just grow locally, but internationally as well. The pandemic has led to the growth of the e-book market in countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa, which have always been more traditional when it came to buying books. While much of this may have been triggered by the pandemic, it is unlikely to stop with the pandemic. Sure, with the pandemic coming to an end, there might be a dip in sales, as pointed out above. However, many of the people who switched to reading e-books are unlikely to switch back to print once the pandemic is over. Authors who are willing to invest in translating their works are even more likely to reap a windfall from this habit change.
8. Paid advertising will experience a lot of volatility
Covid has forced multiple industries to go digital, not just e-books. That means that more and more brands and retailers will be using digital channels to market their products. This increased competition (and spending) is likely to increase the costs of digital advertising for authors. While this increase in ad costs is certain to impact the bottom line for many authors, it may also present many opportunities. Authors should stay abreast of developments and watch out for any opportunities that present themselves.
9. Email engagement will be ever more important for authors
With ad costs increasing, authors will become even more dependent on their mailing lists. New email services like Hey, as well as continued gatekeeping by Gmail will make it harder to reach members of email lists. Email volumes are also growing, thanks to the Covid-driven shift to digital. That said, while it will be harder than ever to get people’s attention via email, an email address still represents a direct line of contact to an individual, which means you are less affected by ad costs and software updates.
10. Series will be more popular than ever
Series result in increased revenue. More and more authors will be writing series in 2021. In fact, a 2020 survey shows that the more published books an author has, the more likely they are to make on their next book. Authors with larger blacklists, especially if they consist of series, are likely to reap massive financial rewards.
2021 is a promising year, and also an interesting one, as the pandemic continues to affect many different industries. Hopefully, the virus will stop spreading, and we will get a clear perspective on things.
Charlie Svensson is a fast and engaging freelance writer skilled in content writing and blogging. His favorite topics are education, social media, marketing, SEO, motivation, and self-growth. He has excellent adaptability of skills and is capable of reaching broad audiences.