Tuesday, October 17, 2023

9 Book Publishing Trends To Watch Closely



For many years, when interviewing authors or book publishing leaders, I ask them the same question. What trends are you seeing in book publishing? Well, I’d like to answer my own question.


1.      The number of books published every year has exploded. Are we at a point where new books stand little chance of getting the recognition that they deserve? Some 7,000 new books are released every single of the day of the year – with about 1,100 a day from traditional publishers and the rest from hybrids, self-publishers, and indie authors. Yes, the trend here is that the number of new books published is increasing – and is choking off sales from each other. Yes, books are cannibalizing one another.


2.      In addition to there being a ton of new books published this year, there are plenty of backlist books circulating out there, each competing for sales. There are literally tens of millions of books that were published in just the 21st century – and of millions more periods that. Because of the digitization of books, many never truly go out of print. This means every book is competing with perhaps a marketplace of 50 million-plus books.


3.      Writers, in part because there are so many books, as well as issues regarding quality, distribution, and marketing, are making less and less money than previous generations of writers. The term “starving artist” or “struggling writer” is as true as ever.


4.      Romance is the most popular genre. This means that those who swim in that area will need to be even more creative and romantic in order to seduce the reader who has seen it all before.


5.      The indie bookstore is alive and kicking. The past dozen or more years has seen growth in terms of new indie bookstores. Some 1700 independent bookselling companies now own and operate 4100 stores.


6.      Print books declined – after a nice jump during the first two pandemic years.


7.      The number of media outlets is increasing in size, but each one is decreasing in influence. This means one needs more book reviews, articles, and interviews than the number it took in 2003 or 1983, simply because each media outlet’s impact is diluted in a sea of noise.


8.      The number of MFA programs is exploding. There were 156 in 2008. It jumped to 244 in 2016. Over 20,000 MFA program applications were received in 2017.


9.      Most book marketing initiatives come from authors, not book publishers. Certainly, self-published authors lack a publisher to do anything, but many authors get very little by way of publicity even when they have a publisher – unless they do it themselves.


Need Book Marketing Help?

Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at brianfeinblum@gmail.com  He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has over 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in all genres. Let him be your advocate, teacher, and motivator!


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About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on LinkedIn. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2023. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog, and El Chapo, a pug rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This award-winning blog has generated over 3.4 million pageviews. With 4,600+ posts over the past dozen years, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs  and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by www.WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Todd Duncan, Susan RoAne, John C. Maxwell, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, Independent Book Publishers Association Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, APEX, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult: www.linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum.  

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