Each year we post predictions about what the future of publishing may hold for authors and publishers. These 2014 Publishing Predictions are not our first glance into the future.
This post has a companion podcast episode on the Novel Marketing Podcast that you can listen to here.
Steve Laube, Literary Agent
Liz Curtis Higgs, New York Times Bestseller Author
Thomas Umstattd Jr., Podcaster & CEO of Author Media
Susan May Warren, Bestselling Author & Director of My Book Therapy
Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent
James L Rubart, Bestselling Author
Amanda Luedeke, Literary Agent
Nick Harrison, Senior Editor at Harvest House Publishers
Julie Gwinn, Editor Abingdon Press
1) Massive Audiobook Growth… Again
“Audiobooks will have another year of double digit growth. As the fastest growing book format (eBook growth leveled off in 2013) it will get more attention leading to even more growth.” – Thomas Umstattd Jr.
2) Another Surprise Bestseller
“There will be at least one surprise breakout Christian book.” – Steve Laube
3) Publishers Will Start Releasing Backlist Books As Audiobooks
“We will see more publishers taking advantage in the amazing growth of Audiobooks to convert backlist titles into audiobooks using services like ACX.com.” - Thomas Umstattd Jr.
4) Year of the Publishing Collective
“Last year was the year of the coach (and we’ve seen coaching programs explode this year – including Platform University and MyBookTherapy), I think next year people will start grouping, or co-op-ing their publishing ventures to create mini-empires inside Amazon.” – Susan May Warren
5) Authors Will Refocus on Craft
“I think in 2014 authors will re-focus on the foundational importance of writing a good book. Conversations will be more about mastering the craft and less about the logistics of publishing. People are becoming aware that while options are expanding because of self-publishing, and it may be easier than ever to get your work out to readers, the process of writing a good book is the same as it’s ever been. It’s challenging, it’s grueling, it’s mentally and emotionally exhausting — and it can be incredibly satisfying. People will have a renewed awareness that ultimately, the great writing itself is the very best platform there is, and determine to put most of their efforts in that direction.” – Rachelle Gardner
6) Publishers Will Focus on Platform
“We will continue to see overtly cautious acquisitions in fiction and “platform” will continue to dominate the nonfiction conversations.” – Steve Laube
7) Publishers Will Focus on Previously Published Authors
“To maximize investment, I predict publishing houses will look to grow existing authors making it more difficult for debut authors to break into the traditional publishing business. An investment in the known versus the unknown is common in a volatile industry. But for those debut authors, I believe publishers will be looking more diligently for the unique concept, voice, angle or writing style in which to risk their advances. - Julie K. Gwinn
8) Christian Films Based on Christian Books Will Flood the Market
“There will be a glut of Christian based films that will compete with each other for the market’s attention. Only the best ones will succeed….the script is critical (content remains king).” – Steve Laube
Publishing Industry Predictions
9) The Sky Will Not Fall
“Though there will continue to be changes and advances in the publishing industry, 2014 will continue to offer great opportunities for aspiring writers. The traditional publishing houses (Harvest House, Zondervan, Tyndale, etc.) are adapting to change and will still be looking for good writers. Self-publishing is seeing its best days ever, in my opinion. A talented writer who has a vision for where he or she wants to go has all the tools available to succeed in 2014.” Nick Harrison
10) End of the eBook Scare
“Industry-wide, we’ll see business pick up. The ebook scare is over, and everyone seems to be getting back to doing what they do best.” – Amanda Luedeke