Last year we had a great set of publishing predictions for 2012. So we’ve decided to poll the experts again, asking them to peer into the future and predict where the publishing industry is headed.

Over the next few days we will be posting a series of predictions posts. We will focus on publishing industry predictions, then reading trends for 2013, and finally book marketing predictions for 2013.


What do you think will happen in the publishing industry in 2013? Let us know in the comments below.

Bookstore Predictions for 2013

1. Trouble at Barnes & Noble:

“Barnes and Noble will be sold to a new ownership group, who will close more stores.”

Chip MacGregor, President at MacGregor Literary

2. Survival of Destination Bookstores

“Bookstores that do well will become destination stores, usually around a niche. We have a frisbee golf/coffeehouse in our city that’s doing really well, and is an example of capitalizing on a smaller niche. Also church bookstores will continue to be profitable.”

Mary DeMuth, Author & Speaker

3. Amazon to Print eBooks

“Amazon will start offering a print version of any e-book it sells.”

– Chip MacGregor, President at MacGregor Literary

4. Christian Bookstores to Embrace & Expand YA

“I predict Christian bookstores will find better ways to shelf and display their YA fiction, as publishers continue to produce great books. YA displays will probably include adult spec fiction without any indication that it’s to a different audience.”

– Amanda Luedeke, Literary Agent

Self-Publishing Predictions for 2013

1. Well-Known Author to Go Rogue

“A major author will choose to publish independently instead of traditionally. Gnashing of teeth will ensue.”

– Steve Laube, President of Steve Laube Agency

2. Good Year for Self-Publishing Companies

“There will be continued growth in self-published books. 2013 will be a better year for Print on Demand companies than for the authors who hire them expecting a shortcut to success.”

–  Thomas Umstattd Jr., CEO of Author Media

3. Growth in Self-Publishing

 “More and more frustrated writers will choose to self-publish. Not only is it easier than getting accepted by a traditional royalty publisher, but it’s much faster and if the book is successful, it’s much more profitable.  The catch though, is that most self-published books are poorly written and won’t be successful.”

– Nick Harrison Senior Editor, Harvest House Publishers

4. Self-Published Authors to Make Deals With Traditional Publishing

“I think it is very likely that we will see a number of self-published authors sign contracts with traditional publishers this year for the paper rights only, leaving the authors in control of their electronic rights.”

– Randy Ingermanson, Founder of Advanced Fiction Writing

5. Micro eBook Publishers to Get Bought Out

“Some of the big New York houses will buy up some of the genre-specific e-book micro-publishers, just to capture their lists.”

– Chip MacGregor, President at MacGregor Literary

Traditional Publishing Predictions for 2013

1. Traditional Publisher Prosperity

“Publishers are going to grow and have a great year in 2013. (Really. We’re back to spending money, and everyone is reading for pleasure.)”

 – Chip MacGregor, President at MacGregor Literary

2. Major Authors to Keep Digital Rights

 “We may see some A-listers sign contracts with their publishers for the paper rights only, reserving the electronic rights to themselves.  The likelihood of this depends on traditional publishers continuing to hold the line on paying e-book royalties of only 25% of net.

 – Randy Ingermanson, Founder of Advanced Fiction Writing

3. Digital Royalty Statements

 “More publishers will move to digital catalogs and digital royalty statements, rather than print.”

– Chip MacGregor, President at MacGregor Literary

4. Renewed Demand for a Book Rating System

“As erotica grows and YA gets grittier, there will begin to be stirrings of demand for a book rating system similar to what movies and video games have now.”

– Thomas Umstattd Jr., CEO of Author Media

Black Swan Predictions

(These are highly unlikely events)

1. Spelling Summit

“The industry will hold a summit to agree on how to spell the words ‘ebook’ ‘audiobook’ and ‘bestseller’. This summit will fail and spelling proliferation will continue. The style manuals will ignore each other and people will ignore the manuals.”

– Thomas Umstattd Jr., CEO of Author Media

2. Top Author Revolt

“There is a small probability that a number of A-list authors will simply walk away from publishers entirely, because of the low-royalty issue on e-books.  (I don’t see this happening until e-book market share exceeds 75%, and it’s impossible to know when that will happen, but for some authors it could happen this year.)  If a large number of A-list authors did this, it would be a ‘black swan’ event (an unexpected low-probability event with catastrophic results).  Most of the profit for traditional publishers comes from their A-list authors.  They can’t afford to lose many of them.”

– Randy Ingermanson, Founder of Advanced Fiction Writing

3. Troubles at Thomas Nelson:

“The loss of Michael Hyatt and the team he built, high turnover and the negative PR over the David Barton fiasco in 2012 will all catch up with Thomas Nelson in 2013. I predict record losses for Thomas Nelson in 2013. Look for operations to start getting merged with Zondervan in 2013 and 2014.”

– Thomas Umstattd Jr., CEO of Author Media

What do you think?

  •  What are your predictions for 2013?
Liked it? Take a second to support Thomas Umstattd Jr. on Patreon!

Want more help?

Get a weekly email with tips on building a platform, selling more books, and changing the world with writing worth talking about. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!