5 Publishing Predictions for 2020

After interviewing industry leaders, seasoned authors, and collaborating with publishers and conducting my research - here are my five predictions for publishing changes in 2020. I'm not a fortuneteller, but...


1. The Big Boys Will Embrace Amazon

Amazon altered the way people buy books forever. Traditional 'big boy' #publishers can't - and won't - ignore Amazon's reach by using Amazon Kindle Unlimited. Random House, Hachette, and Harper Collins, to name a few, will look to capitalize on their enormous backlists to activate new streams of revenue. It's logical: if you own a book series (like Hunger Games), readers will happily buy in multiples, if available on Amazon. Making their title available on the online giant equals massive money for the 'big boys' and potentially huge roadblocks for authors with small marketing budgets.




KEY TAKE AWAY:

If you're a die-hard Amazon author, be prepared to spend more to market and sell your books.


2. Bye Bye Organic Reach

Fact: Amazon, Google, and Facebook thrive on advertising money, so they have little incentive to give non-paid content preferential treatment; this is happening in all industries that use social media advertising. Authors relying on blogs, Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, or YouTube listings to sell their book will get fewer views. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that organic reach of branded pages would decline back in 2018 - and it has! What is replacing organic reach? Paid carousel and video ads.





KEY TAKE AWAY:

Publishing a book doesn't mean you'll sell the book. You have to have a solid book marketing plan.






3. Save Up for Media Spending

Every industry is using online advertising, so #authors must compete in running ads and capturing the attention of the right readers. With organic 'views' declining, authors should expect to see that even getting a #freebook in front of readers will be more challenging.




KEY TAKE AWAY:

2020 is the year to either learn the science of media buying or to make friends with someone who understands media buying both social and the mass media world.




4. Younger Readers Will Drive eBook Growth

With three teenagers at home, and industry data to support it, what I've observed is that the generation raised on screens love eBooks. Don't misunderstand, the younger generation buys physical books too, but they download #eBooks at voracious rates. Data from Pew and eBooks.com confirms that the younger generation is reading eBooks as much, if not more, than older readers. eBook sales will soar in 2020 also because of self-isolation periods creating 'extra time for reading,' I predict.



KEY TAKE AWAY:

eBook profits and royalties remain a significant revenue stream for authors. If you have something to say, use 2020 to publish more eBooks.


5. Indie Authors Will Invest in Audiobooks To Stay Relevant

Whether it's podcasts or audiobooks, listening to the spoken-word via audio is ever more popular. In 2019, Edison Research revealed that half of all Americans (12+) listened to an audiobook - with 55% below the age of 45. Producing an #audiobook is getting easier between technology and done-for-you services. Audiobooks also allow publishers and authors to create pricing promotions that move both physical and audiobooks.


KEY TAKE AWAY:

If you don't have an audiobook already - get into the recording studio. If you do have one released and own the rights - start getting creative with your marketing and distribution. Audiobooks are no longer an afterthought.



That's my crystal ball for 2020. Let me know your thoughts below!


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