I’ve always thought the best and most exciting part of entering a new year is not reflecting on the past year, but setting goals and looking forward to the upcoming year. These are our publishing, data, audio and digital industry predictions for 2015.
- In case you haven’t heard, Mark Zuckerberg started a book club. Publishers Weekly is calling this “The Zuckerberg Effect”. He has some pretty big shoes to fill with Oprah setting an expectation for celebrity-style book clubs, but he already has the potential to have millions of subscribers. I also loved that he chose a book that’s not written by a mainstream blockbuster author. It will be interesting to see how publishers, authors and bibliophiles begin to leverage social media as a channel to take publishing to the next level. We already know that Hachette is testing out the waters with selling books through Twitter.
- The young adult scene exploded last year—with the popularity of the Divergent and Hunger Games series as well as authors like John Green and Rainbow Rowell, it was evident that teen books have extraordinary crossover appeal. BONUS: we saw a move from fantasy and vampire fiction to realistic, contemporary novels. Crossing my fingers this trend continues in 2015!
- Something we’ve started to see more, in publishing, on TV and in movies are re-invented classics and historical fiction based on real people. I think the recent The Great Gatsby movie reinvigorated interest in beloved classics, modern takes on tried-and-true favorites and shines a spotlight on some well-known historical figures, including Z: Zelda Fitzgerald, West of Sunset and even Seth Grahame-Smith’s and Marissa Meyer’s fantasy spin-offs.
- With the increase of ebooks and eaudio being published year-over-year, we’ve seen some exclusive digital first editions. I think it will be a while before print entirely dies off, but at minimum, we will continue to see all formats being released simultaneously as demand grows for digital formats.
- Almost everyone in the industry is predicting continued growth in self-publishing and indie publishing houses. We’ve seen many self-published authors hit the NYT bestseller lists—and with platforms like ACX for eaudio or Kindle Direct for ebooks, it’s even easier for the self-published author to produce content.
- I believe this will be the year that we will see more authors begin to sell direct to their readers. We’ve already seen HarperCollins encouraging their authors to sell direct through HC’s e-commerce site.
- Here at Tattle we are format agnostic—we encourage and love all formats, but my personal favorite is audio. We’ve seen strong growth in the audio industry year-over-year—in revenue, in an extended consumer base and in content that’s published. The audiobook market is a $1.7 billion dollar industry and growing as technology and mobile make it easier to consume content. Publishers have experienced double-digit growth for the past three years. Audio is perfect for multi-taskers—whether commuting, exercising, gardening, or just relaxing. For the avid reader, audio allows you to consume more books—up to 10 more per year! We will definitely see continued growth in the audio market this year.
- As the publishing industry becomes saturated with more content, a few things become increasingly important: big data and analytics, data quality and discoverability. Data and analytics are important to both the publisher and the vendor in terms of understanding what’s sold to better position their catalog. As we enter 2016, we’ll see more of a demand from publishers and vendors for mature analytics, reporting and data. Discoverability has also become something of significance as we see significant continued growth in digital publishing. Not only does the quality of data matter more than ever, but being able to browse in a meaningful way will become something more consumers demand.
- This past year we saw some strong players in the subscription market – from Scribd to Oyster and even Amazon, among others. Scribd has already added audio—who is next? We can’t wait to see who stands out in 2015!
- To say Apple’s iBooks had a rough 2013-2014 is an understatement—particularly due to the DoJ trials that addressed price fixing with several of the Big 5 publishers. 2015 could be Apple’s stand-out year—we’ll just have to wait and see.