10 Industry Predictions for 2016

 From: http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2015/10-industry-predictions-for-2016-2/

10 Industry Predictions for 2016When trends become clear—from self-publishing to writer events to the boutique model of the industry to the re-growth of print sales and large publisher consolidation—I regularly point out in the office that I predicted them two or three years ago. Given that I’m generally met with bemused looks, I thought I would make an official record of some predictions for 2016.

So here, in no particular order, are 10 publishing predictions for the year ahead:

1. Continued regrowth of print sales. Those who predicted the demise of the print book were wrong. With strong demand remaining and the boutique model having taken hold with mass numbers in digital and the profit margin in print sales, publishers are taking advantage by nudging their print prices up. A new generation of bookstores (including pop-ups) is emerging, and 2016 will be a positive year for print sales.

Much more.

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2015: The Year in Mergers (Pub Lunch)
The intense M&A activity from 2013 and 2014 carried over into 2015, though the sale of domestic trade publishers was modest, so the common perception was of fewer mergers. In trade, the biggest deal might be the one that never happened. Up until the end of the summer, it was widely expected that Pearson would exercise their option to have Bertelsmann buy out their 47-percent share in Penguin Random House. Instead, Pearson raised cash by selling the Financial Times and then their share in The Economist, and a sale to Bertelsmann—whether outright, or in the “steps” that Bertelsmann management started talking about—will remain a significant story for 2016 and/or beyond.

Looking Back at 2015 in Book Publishing (NY Times)
Audiobook sales soared, while ebook sales tapered off. Harper Lee came out with a second novel, 55 years after To Kill a Mockingbird, and a long-lost Dr. Seuss book was published posthumously. Millions of adults bought coloring books. The year in publishing defied expectations and overturned conventional wisdom. Here are some of the most surprising stories from the literary world in 2015.

Ten Years of Growth in Graphic Novel Publishing (PW)
Ten years ago there were no ebooks or iPads, New York Comic Con had a clumsy first year catering to a clamoring audience of 20,000 fans, no one had ever heard of DRM and the comics and graphic novel market was estimated to be about $245 million. Today the comics market is pegged at $935 million, New York Comic Con attendance was more than 150,000 and the category is one of the fastest growing segments in the book trade.

Political Reporter Finds Salvation in Audiobooks (NY Times)
Gary Shteyngart got me through a miserable downpour in New Hampshire. Ta-Nehisi Coates entertained me on a late-night sojourn through South Carolina. And thank God for Truman Capote or I most certainly would have fallen asleep and driven off a desolate farm road in Iowa. From the outside, covering the 2016 presidential campaign may seem like a constant stream of rallies and news conferences and adrenaline-fueled nights in the newsroom. There’s plenty of that, but the job also involves driving, and lots of it. Listening to audible books has become not just entertainment, but my savior.

SpotlightUsed Bookstores Making an Unlikely Comeback (Washington Post)
Used bookstores, with their quintessential quirkiness, eclectic inventory and cheap prices, find themselves in the catbird seat as the pendulum eases back toward print. In many cities, that’s a de facto position: they’re the only book outlets left. While there are no industry statistics on used-book sales, many stores that survived the initial digital carnage say their sales are rising.

Book + Hook = Sales (Marketing Recipe for Authors) (Chris McMullen)
Is your book full of hooks? If you don’t understand the question, don’t worry. I’ll explain it shortly. After I ask a different question. Why did you read this article? I realize that you haven’t committed yet. At any moment, you could walk away. And so could customers when they check out your book. Remember that. The hooks make the difference.

6 Steps for Building Your Author Mailing List Through Giveaways (Reedsy)
One of the main questions that torment debuting authors is, how do I build an audience for my first book before I release it? Most authors are aware that they should start building their author mailing list months in advance; they just don’t know how. Of course, that’s easier said than done, especially if you haven’t published anything yet. But it’s not impossible to do, even while you’re writing your first book.

Daily E-Book Deals Are Gaining Traction

 From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/ThePassiveVoice/~3/n6bYMqYfipo/

From The Wall Street Journal:

Every day, the company BookBub.com sends out more than 7 million emails pointing consumers to e-books that cost as little as 99 cents each and free titles as well.

A host of big and independent publishers list titles there, including New York-based Kensington Publishing Corp. The idea is to entice readers with a bargain, so they get hooked on a new author or series and eventually buy full-priced works.

Kensington’s chief executive, Steven Zacharius, says BookBub is powering sales growth for the company, but he worries about the long-term value of his catalog if he nurtures a generation that won’t pay more than a few dollars for an e-book.

“We know we might be shooting ourselves in the foot,” says Mr. Zacharius. “But I can’t resist because it’s such a good way to stimulate sales.” Every promotion the company has run through BookBub has been profitable, he said, despite the steep discounts.

. . . .

“There are more of these promotion companies, and because their reach has expanded, their effectiveness has increased,” said Liz Perl, chief marketing officer at CBS Corp.’s Simon & Schuster. Many new e-books from major publishers are priced from $12.99 to $14.99.

For publishers, the promotions are a form of advertising in an industry that traditionally has spent cautiously. There is hope the services could help jump-start stagnant e-book sales. A survey of 1,200-plus publishers by the Association of American Publishers found e-book revenue for consumer titles fell 11% this year through August to $964 million.

. . . .

The risk for publishers is that consumers could become accustomed to paying lower prices and only purchase titles when they are on sale.

“It’s an industrywide concern,” said Heather Fain, director of marketing strategy at the Hachette Book Group. It’s hard to know, she added, whether readers who are dedicated to reading bargain books will ever spend as enthusiastically to buy full-priced titles.

. . . .

Offering cheap prices via BookBub and its rivals is seen as a way to pull consumers away from Facebook and other digital temptations. On Dec. 17, for example, independent publisher Sourcebooks Inc. used BookBub to promote Scott Wilbanks’ novel “The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster” for 99 cents instead of its regular $14.99 price.

“We want people to discover this book and start talking about it,” said Dominique Raccah,chief executive of Sourcebooks. “When that happens you get a viral marketing effect.”

. . . .

BookBub expects to spark the sale of 20 million e-books at its retail partners this year, generating about $30 million in retail sales. Chief Executive Josh Schanker said heavily discounted e-books don’t compromise overall sales for publishers because they target a segment of consumers who otherwise wouldn’t buy those particular discounted books at full price.

“What publishers are saying is that they’d rather you read our book than play Angry Birds,” said Mr. Schanker. “It’s a cluttered landscape with more and more titles. Price promotions give publishers the ability to get a large group of people to sample their books.”

Link to the rest at The Wall Street Journal (Link may expire) and thanks to Nirmala for the tip.

PG says that a career hawking books to Barnes & Noble doesn’t prepare a publishing executive to have a clue about consumer marketing and retail pricing.

It shows.

Over and over.

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