2013 Publishing Predictions Review

2013-Year-Review

A year ago, we had three posts  of predictions for 2013. In this post we score those predictions. If our predictions from last year show anything, it is that we know very little about what the future will hold.

In case you missed the predictions posts you can find them at:

Bookstore Predictions for 2013 (1/4)

  1. Trouble at Barnes & Noble – Fail. While B&N made a few blunders, like canceling and un-canceling the Nook Tablet, the stock is ending close to where it was at the beginning of the year.
  2. Survival of Destination Bookstores – Win. As far as we know, the destination book stores are still doing fine.
  3. Amazon to Print eBooks – Fail. This did not happen. Yes, they own Create Space, but that is nothing new.
  4. Christian Bookstores to Embrace & Expand YA – Fail. The CBA market is still waiting for a YA breakout bestseller.

Self-Publishing Predictions for 2013 (3/5)

  1. 1 Well-Known Author to Go Rogue – Fail. While many authors went hybrid this year, no top shelf author broke ties with traditional publishing completely.
  2. Good Year for Self-Publishing Companies – Win. Companies who make money off people’s hunger to get published had yet another good year.
  3. Growth in Self-Publishing – Win. This was not hard to predict. Self Publishing has grown every year for the last several years.
  4. Self-Published Authors to Make Deals With Traditional Publishing – Win. Top Self Published authors have started selling print-only rights to traditional publishers.
  5. Micro eBook Publishers to Get Bought Out – Fail. This did not happen, at least not in a big way.

Traditional Publishing Predictions for 2013 (1/3):

  1. Traditional Publisher Prosperity – Win. This is hard to measure since the biggest publishers are privately owned or part of larger conglomerations. Anecdotally from talking with major publishers, they seem to have had a great year.
  2. Major Authors to Keep Digital Rights – Fail. Authors are more or less cutting the same deals they were a year ago.
  3. Digital Royalty Statements – .
  4. Renewed Demand for a Book Rating System – Fail. There was no major clamor for this. We did see a decline in major erotica books, as in 2012.

Reading Trends (8/11):

  1. More Short eBooksWin. We indeed saw growth in short eBooks.
  2. Revolt Against Short eBooks – Fail. If anything, people are embracing short eBooks and many self published authors are switching to shorter books
  3. Higher eBook Royalties. Fail. There was a lot of talk about ebook royalties being too low but that was about it for most publishers. Talk.
  4. eBook Sales Level Off Win. This is almost word for word the title of an article that came out later in the year: eBook sales are leveling off.
  5. Lower eBook Prices –  Draw. In 2013 prices rose from $0.99 and $1.99 to $4.99 and $5.99. We also saw prices fall from $9.99 to $6.99 and $7.99 for eBooks.
  6. Growth in Enhanced eBooksFail. We did not see growth in enhanced eBooks, unless you count textbooks.
  7. Nesting & Nostalgia Will Be Hot for 2013 – Draw. A few old books popped back on the Bestseller list like Ender’s Game and The Great Gatsby, but these had more to do with movies than with an overall trend.  The biggest trend was Duck Dynasty, which as a brand has had several books hit the Amazon top 1oo. Who saw that coming?
  8. YA Fiction Will Get Darker – FailVampires and dystopia are out according to Publisher’s Weekly.
  9. Year of the Novella – Draw. While the market saw an increase in Novellas, it is hard to say that we were flooded by them.
  10. Controversial Books to Do Better Than Usual – Win. With Rush Limbaugh at #4 for the year and Bill O’Reilly at #10 it is safe to say that controversial books are doing well. Remember, 2012 bestseller lists were dominated by 50 Shades style erotica.
  11. Growth in Serials – Win. We did see growth in serials but it was not overwhelming growth.

Audiobook Predictions for 2013 (2/3)

  1. Audiobooks to be Fastest Growing Segment – Pass. It looks as though Audiobooks had yet another year of double digit growth.
  2. Audiobook Sales to Explode – Pass. See #1.
  3. Audiobook Producer Proliferation – Fail. There may have been some growth, but most of it was focused around the preexisting players, such as ACX.com and Voices.com.

Book Marketing Trends (3/9)

  1. More Cheap Author Website Options – Fail.
  2. Explosion of Supplementary Materials – Fail.
  3. Membership Site Proliferation – Win.
  4. New WordPress Bookstore Plugin Will Revolutionize How Authors Sell Books Online – Win. Okay, so this was a bit of a cheat since we knew MyBookTable would be coming out this year.
  5. GoodReads Growth and Improvement – Draw. GoodReads grew but it did not improve. We are still waiting for those Amazon-funded improvements to take place.
  6. Twitter to Fall in Popularity Amongst Authors – Win. Authors are less active on Twitter and more active on Pinterest and Google+. Twitter is still popular; it just has more competition for a limited amount of attention.
  7. Google+ Boom – Pass. Google+ grew to become the World’s 2nd biggest social network.
  8. Google+ Live Hangouts will become a required part of every effective book launch strategy – Fail. This did not happen but it should.
  9. Massive Wave of Authors Converting from Facebook Personal Pages to Business “Fan” PagesFail. Did not happen either. Perhaps this year…