Tim Ridgway, CEO of MadeGlobal Publshing, is always keeping a keen eye out for trends in the world of books. He often says that it is only by being flexible and responsive that publishers can continue to grow. It’s partly why the market share of the bigger publishers is being squeezed. Here are some of Tim’s thoughts on where books and publishing are heading in the coming year, and how this will affect authors in both the short and long term. Over to Tim…
What might happen in 2018 for book sales?
There have been some fascinating reviews of 2017 and predictions being made for 2018 about the world of books and publishing by some of the big players. One interesting point I’ve read is that now, unlike any other time in history, there will only ever be more books available for readers to buy. With print-on-demand and ebooks, books never ever have to go out of print. But what does that mean?
Basically, all new books from this point onwards will be competing with all other books ever published in the past. This is a completely sobering thought for both authors and publishers alike!
Amazon seems hell-bent on continuing to commoditise books and authors. With Kindle Unlimited, daily deals, countdown offers and the like, it’s easier than ever for a reader to stuff their e-book reader with more books than they can ever hope to read. Combine that with life’s growing pressures, continual on-line connectivity, social media and a multitude of non-book media subscriptions available (anyone heard of Netflix?!), we all have less time to actually read. The predictions are that it will become harder and harder to get people to buy single-copy books. I completely agree. What used to work incredibly well (publish a book) really is only just about working now. It won’t work at all in the future.
Amazon is amazing – their advertising mechanism is incredible, the platform is HUGE, and these days, many people only buy from them. But they’ve also been the victim of their own success, certainly in terms of the benefits that authors can get from a new book. Average authors are taking a smaller and smaller slice of the pie, and without doing something exceptional, there’s no guarantee at all that a book will even sell.
Is it all doom and gloom for authors?
It’s not the end of the world though. 2018 is truly going to be an incredible year for those who are willing to adapt to the rapidly changing face of books and readers. What will win out is “uniqueness”, “authenticity”, personal connections to readers and high quality (yes, this one has always been the case!).
So what is going to happen?
One other thing to come out of the things I’ve been reading is that audiobooks will be big in 2018! Yay! Basically, people find that they don’t have the time to sit and read a book anymore. Life is too packed with other things. But people are now finding that they can listen to an audiobook while doing something else (ironing, anyone?!). People still want to read books but don’t have time to do it. Audiobooks are the solution. Could be true… certainly, my wife has now taken to listening to books while eating her breakfast, running…
We have audiobooks by Toni Mount and Wendy J. Dunn soon to be on the market. Our other authors will be soon to follow.
Where does MadeGlobal stand in all of this?
At MadeGlobal, we continue to follow trends in books, marketing and publishing, to ensure that we are doing the best for our authors. We run mastermind meetings which our authors are invited to attend where tips and ideas are freely shared. All of our authors benefit from the shared knowledge.