Saturday, December 30, 2023

Future Book Trends: Who Really Knows?



Every year at around this time I come out with my predictions of where book trends will take the book publishing world into the future. I would not go out on a limb about anything for 2024. It could be a wild year.

Likely, it will be a successful year for the book world. Olympics, elections, wars, and major court case decisions will leave people scrambling for books to either escape these things or to educate themselves on them. Will AI cause more commotion? Probably. But remember the bitcoin-NFT-blockchain craze of a year or two ago? That shit is dead.

I have never checked back to see if predictions became reality — and no one has ever contacted me to either applaud or disprove these annual prognostications. For the upcoming year, I will admit that I don’t really know what will happen.

Past performance is not always indicative of future performance. In fact, it seems like if anything is a truism, it is that what worked for you today, likely will not tomorrow. Everything is in fluctuation, being tinkered with, and in invention mode. We are on not just dealing with evolutionary cycles, but revolutionary moments.

Did we expect Covid-19 to devastate the United States, in 2020? Or Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in 2022? Or Hamas executing the biggest and most brutal one day attack on Jews since the Holocaust, in 2023? Of course not.

So, what will happen that we never saw coming in 2024?

The book industry has had many game-changing and defining moments in the last 15 years. E-book devices launched. Borders closing. Audiobook streaming invented. The rise of Penguin Random House. Amazon’s self-publishing and online book retail growth spurt to dominance. The list goes on. Lawsuits over copyrights, free speech debates, book bans, publishing mergers, and all kinds of stuff keeps popping up, helping to reform, if not revolutionize the writing-publishing-retailing landscape of America.

I remember when desktop publishing got launched in the 1980s, which led to an explosion of newsletters being created, more books getting written, and more efficient ways to design book layout and covers.

Then came the Internet in the 1990s, from email to websites, how we communicated, created, and conducted business was revolutionized.

In the 2000s, we got cell phones and then smart phones, walking around with computers in our pockets. Social media and blogging were born. And cost-effective small press runs saw self-publishing burst onto the scene.

The 2010s saw accelerated growth in all of these areas and the advent of new tools that went from novelty to optional to mandatory almost overnight. Economists were declaring the book industry to be dead. But it is as lively as ever.

The book industry is way different now from the end of the last millennia. There is an explosion in the number of books published, the formats they are produced in, how they are researched and written, the speed in which they go back to press and get delivered, the way they are sold, the methods used to market them, and the economics of the book world.

What will 2024 bring? More changes. More book sales. More predictions.


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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  and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by 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:  



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