Tuesday, January 1, 2013

No Big Waves in 2013

Happy First Day of 2013!  Hope the new year has started off with a positive note for all of you lovelies, dear readers.

What are my three predictions for Publishing in 2013? No big waves and lots of lemmings. Here are my conjectures on three categories:

In Technology: 2013 will bring about the advent of the common e-book format platform which operates on all devices. No longer will publishers (independent or corporate) have to worry through which .epub, .mobi, .pdf, .skewmytext they need to shove their releases in order for customers to read the release on their phone, tablet, tv, laptop, or leapfrog. One format to rule them all. (I'd like for it to be called "Mordor," quite frankly.) This will open the door for advertising in e-books in 2014.

Corporate Structuring: I agree with James's notion of every major and mid-sized publisher having a digital-first strategy (the small guys typically launched as digi-first, so they're waiting for the other to catch up). Publishers figured out a cost-effective way to monetize the slush pile ... and this not an industry known for independent thinking or innovation. We'll see the arrivals of more digital-first/only imprints -- but they'll be temporary. Within five years expect digital imprints to be sucked back into the tried-and-true imprints as digital releases become part of the standard publishing processes and "risky releases" are dropped due to P&L decisions.  Dreaded "streamlining" rumors will swirl as corporations take another look at POD possibilities now that contracts signed in the print-only era expire.

Consumer Reach & Retention: E-book growth is going to taper off since technology's early-adopters gave way to mainstream consumption throughout 2012. 2013 will hear more consumer grumblings of quality over quantity in an oversaturated and unpoliced market, but don't expect an answer in a universal ratings system yet -- though a few libel lawsuits due to scathing reviews might gain media attention. Don't expect the next big break-out hit to come from YA, New Adult, or Erotica. By the end of 2013, the market will have had enough of post-apocalyptic inundations in every genre.

Those are my publishing predictions for 2013. Join me in December as I cook up a big ol' pot of crow!

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