As you know, the book publishing industry is still wrestling with the e-book revolution. So are those of us who write books. I found this recent Huffington Post article to be interesting:
2014 Book Publishing Industry Predictions — Increased Competition Between Traditional Publishers and Indie Authors
Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords, lays out his predictions for 2014:
1. Big publishers lower prices.
2. Price promotions will become less effective.
3. E-book growth slows.
4. Competition increases dramatically.
5. E-book sales, measured in dollar volume, will decrease in 2014.
6. E-book unit market share will increase.
7. A larger wave of big-name authors will defect to indieville.
8. It’s all about the writing.
9. All authors become indie authors.
10. Subscription e-book services will change the game.
11. Traditional publishers will reevaluate their approach to self-publishing.
12. Author platform is king.
13. Multi-author collaborations will become more common.
14. Production takes on increased importance in 2014.
As a reader, I found #10 to be interesting. Read the article to find out more about the emerging phenomenon of subscription e-book services.
Any writer trying to break into this tough and somewhat confusing business should pay special attention to #8 and #12. If you aren’t sure what Coker means by “author platform,” here’s how he defines it:
Think of author platform as a multi-layered infrastructure that allows you to reach both new and existing fans. Elements of this infrastructure include your social media followers on Twitter, Facebook and the RSS feed of their blog. It includes the breadth of your retail distribution (more retailers is better than fewer), your uninterrupted presence at each retailer for every book, and the reviews at those retailers. It includes the number of readers who have “favorited” you at Smashwords, or who have added your books to their booklists at Goodreads. It includes subscribers to your private mailing list. It includes your celebrity, and your ability to leverage social media or traditional media or the love of your fans to get your message out.
In other words, your platform is your fan base, and in today’s publishing world, it’s increasingly important for the author to be proactive in building one.
Click on the link to read the full article. It’s worth your time.