Updated: May 29
The publishing industry is changing rapidly, and we will not know what the future holds for it. Tik-Tok (a popular social media app) has changed how people consume news. NFTs (digital files that can be played on a device) are becoming more prevalent in published material. Podcasts have also been gaining popularity as a form of content distribution, with many of them being downloaded every day. It is hard to predict where the publishing industry is going, but here are some predictions based on book publishing trends today:
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Publishing and selling books from your website
In some sense, I am surprised that so many authors were not doing this before, but then again, I am not. Many authors do not see themselves as a brand or business owner. Your book is a product (and so much more), and many authors just see themselves as just that, an author, and nothing more. I know that Amazon’s KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) is a juggernaut and a great platform to sell your books, depending on your market strategy. But some authors are tired of the chunk of profit that Amazon takes and rather do some additional work to receive a higher profit margin. For those that understand business or have the patience and desire to learn more about the business side of publishing, this is more the route to go.
E-books are still growing in popularity, and they are expected to grow by over 50% this year alone. This is due to increased access to e-readers and tablets, making them easy to use and read. Of course, people who prefer reading books on paper may continue to do so, but there is no denying that e-books are here to stay. Why not have your book available in multiple formats? Leave no reader behind.
Audiobooks are another way to enjoy your favorite stories. They are currently one of the most popular forms of entertainment available, especially among children. Many companies are now producing audiobooks because they make sense economically. For example, publishers don’t need to print millions of books if only a few thousand people buy them.
A popular platform that authors use to convert their books into audio is www.acx.com. But ACX is not the only platform authors can use. Authors can also consider findawayvoices.com or hiring someone on platforms such as www.fiverr.com, www.upwork.com, or even www.freelancer.com to record their audiobook.
This is one of the most popular apps in the world. With over 700 million users, it’s no wonder why. People use it to share videos, memes, jokes, etc., which makes it easy for publishers to distribute your content. Since it is so popular, it will continue to grow in popularity. Publishers should take advantage of this trend and start creating content specifically for Tik-Tok. There is a corner in the Tik-Tok world called #BookTok, and this hashtag has about 9.6 billion searches/views and counting. Tik-Tok is similar to Instagram reels. However, Tik-Toks are longer and have more music options. Most music trends on Instagram started on Tik-Tok (so I’ve heard).
I’ve just started my journey on Tik-Tok, so I would love it if you would follow me @theashleymking.com.
Podcasting is also growing rapidly, which can be an advantage to publishers and authors who want to get your content out there. There are currently over 5 billion downloads each month, and this number is expected to increase. Many people listen to them while commuting or doing other activities. And I am one of them. I have a slew of podcasts I listen to while driving, cleaning, and just in place of watching television. If you publish your content through this, you may find yourself reaching a wider audience. Once again, leave no reader behind.
We will see more and more publications released as digital files that can be played directly on a smartphone in the near future. These files are called “NFTs” (short for non-fungible tokens). Many companies are already working on releasing these types of digital assets. I’m still learning about this beast, but the beauty of this creature is that the file is unique, and it’s possible to set it up to where you receive royalties from each sale. Unlike the traditional method of selling books, where if I sell you my book, I receive a one-time royalty payment, and if you resell the book I sold you, I won’t receive anything. With NFTs, I can set it up where I would receive payment each time my book is sold and “resold.” This is possible through blockchain. But we’re not going to get all into the technical.
Offer an Experience
Every author is in the business of selling books, but what about offering an experience. Turn that book into a workshop or conference. Offer a worksheet or a mini video that goes with the book. Offer multiple “touchpoints” for your readers. For my book From Anointed 2 Announced, along with my book, I offer an audio file and a cheat sheet. You can check it out here.
The book publishing industry is constantly evolving, and new technologies are always coming along. As long as people still are interested in reading, publishers will continue to produce those products. However, things could change quickly if new book publishing trends emerge.
Ashley M. King
The Get It Done Queen helping people of faith tell their story by writing a book and leverage their message to create products and services to reach the people they have been called to.