Toward the end of the year Jeremy Greenfield, Editorial Director, Digital Book World wrote two articles that made some predictions and keyed into some major stories that he thinks will continue having impacts in the coming year. Admittedly, Greenfield only focuses on digital publishing but nonetheless he gives librarians and publishers a lot to consider.
In Ten Bold Predictions for Book Publishing in 2012 Greenfield compiles his forecasts from talking to “book industry experts, observers and players.” Some are technology related like Amazon offering a larger tablet “with an 8.9-inch screen,” a new, cheaper and smaller iPad, and Sony getting “a second life in the e-reader game.” But other predictions have a more direct bearing on authors and publishers. There will be “more self-published best-sellers next year with an exponential rise in the number of million-selling authors” while publishers restructure to adjust to the new digital reality. Authors will seek more flexible copyright arrangements enhancing their rights to benefit from “new media tools” while ebook royalty will rise above the current flat 25%.
In Five Big Publishing Stories of 2011 That Will Bleed Into 2012 …Greenfield looks at the continuing ramifications of stories like the failure of Borders and the rise of new online discoverability outlets; the adoption of EPUB 3 the new standard language for ebook publishing, the impacts of the Kindle Fire and Amazon’s strategy of selling it at a loss; the emerging international market as evidenced by the “launching of Italian-language and Spanish-language Kindle stores” among similar developments; and finally “the Department of Justice confirming that it was investigating Apple and five major publishers – all the big-six aside from Random House – in a pricing antitrust probe.”