Digital publishing – more harm than good?
There are far more books than readers. The ease to publish electronically and through print-on-demand has meant that the publishing industry still sits in a state of uncertainty. eBooks never go out of print and programs like Kindle Unlimited have ensured eBooks can be published and sold at minimal expense to the creative and minimal cost to the reader. It may be easier for an author to enter the eBook arena, but that digital advantage is quickly fading as the number of books exponentially grows while readership doesn’t.
Audiobooks however, have only grown in strength and success. Our fast-paced world has opened up this market even more and we are also tapping into those who haven’t in the past actually read books. This has been another core reason as to why eBook sales have declined in 2017.
With the success of subscription based entertainment models like Netflix, Stan and Amazon Prime, we are likely to see this model replicated in publishing circles. Becoming a subscription member to a publishers catalogue could give you access to a wealth of eBooks and potentially audiobooks, for a nominal monthly fee. Watch that space!
Traditional publishers will continue to develop their hybrid operations where they charge for publishing services including access to their market share. This can be progressive for the industry if a higher profit share is given to the author and a more dedicated marketing focus is given to each author, but it is still too soon to tell.
Personally, I still strongly feel that the most viable and legitimate way to create success for your publication will be through independent publishing with the assistance of focused and tailored marketing support. Setting realistic targets and goals and then further developing the idea of that author into a larger success model.
One thing is for sure, 2018 will be an interesting year for publishers. Hopefully by the end of the year, we see the competitive advantage in both digital and physical publishing level out.