balls often cannot see far into the future, but for the coming year, chew on
these book industry trends:
- Book-Toks, Bookstagrams, and BookTubes are growing steadily. Social media will continue to be a playground for authors. The staples, despite public criticisms, are still Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, and You Tube. Tik-Tok is fast growing. Instagram is hot. Pinterist is still a player. Others will seek to contend, like Truth Social, Snapchat, Clubhouse, Periscope, Twitch, Vimeo, and Triller.
- Smaller presses will get bigger, providing an option between self-publishing, hybrids, and large traditional publishers. Indie presses are hot.
- Audio books continue to explode in growth. They are still a small share of the entire book marketplace and are not for everyone -- based on cost or genre -- but authors and publishers are producing lots more audiobooks than just a couple of years ago.
- More publishers will only greenlight books when authors commit to purchases of 1,000+ books and/or have big platforms, such as large social media followers.
- More authors will try their hand at launching a podcast and a blog. One may not be enough, meaning authors will create both and use them strategically to sell books or at least build up subscriber lists.
- Bookstores, which have proved to be resilient during the pandemic, will continue to grow in number. There are still too many bookstore deserts in our country. Indie bookstores, for over a dozen years, have seen annual growth in terms of there being more stores from year to year.
- More acquisitions will happen. The Big 5 continue to swallow up competitors. They even want to buy each other up -- if the government approves. Look for more publisher partnerships with other content creators. We can see a line of books coming from Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, and Apple T.V or Amazon Prime.
- Look for e-book publishing partner Google Play to increase in popularity.
- Look for indiebooks.org to grow as it rivals Amazon.
- Popular subjects for publishers this year could include cryptocurrency/NFTs, and politics -- for non-fiction.
- Print continues to be king. Sure, e-books are popular, and audiobooks are growing, but print books make up the lion’s share of book sales. People love print books, especially when the rest of their lives are in a digital box, from work and shopping, to entertainment or reading blogs and listening to podcasts. A book in hand is worth a lot.
- Books are being produced at a record rate. We are now up to 5,000 new titles being released every single day, weekend, holiday, and sick day. Anyone here ready for 6,000 books a day by 2025?
- Poetry may be rising slightly, thanks to Amanda Gormon, but it will still remain a bastard cousin for most readers. Just 10% of Americans say they read some poetry in the past year.
- The retail market is in the toilet. How many empty storefronts are on your street or in your mall? Perhaps a new trend will be to use those empty spaces as places to showcase books or hold author events. Or maybe we’ll see pop-up book studios -- not full bookstores, but a place where some books can be sold.
- Virtual events will keep growing, even if everyone says they are sick of zoom. Why? No one has to travel and they can happen 24/7 across the globe.
- A juicy expose will hit the best-seller list. It’s been a while since a scandal-filled confessional appeared. They used to be huge hits. Perhaps too much is already out there on social media but someone famous has secrets to share and dirt to dish. Bring it on!
- Books from the past with retired copyrights will get reprinted by numerous publishers and many of them will get revised, reimagined, or altered to please new tastes.
- Something stupid will become popular and be a craze for a few minutes. I don’t know what it will be, but see things like fidget spinners, mood rings, slap bracelets, and adult coloring books for reference. This craze will spawn supplemental books -- and frizzle out.
If I’m right about any of this, praise me as the visionary that I predicted myself to be. If I am wrong on all or most accounts, well, you’ll forget that I ever forecast such things.
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Brian Feinblum, the founder of this
award-winning blog, can be reached at email@example.com He is available to
help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has
30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in all
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