Konrath has posted his Publishing industry predictions for 2014, and as usual, he’s spot on. I have a couple of comments I’d like to make here as an Outsider looking into the industry:
B&N Going Away– I don’t think it’ll happen this year, but it is happening. When Border’s closed, I posted about it on the old site. I felt that having one brick-and-mortar monopoly was better than having two struggling stores. I felt that B&N would be more proactive instead of having to react to Amazon.
Boy was I wrong.
Look, I love my Nook Tablet. But it’s two years old. I needed a new one this year, and B&N didn’t have one out. So, now I’m looking at the Nexus 7. Why not? It has a camera that’s useful for the Evernote Moleskine I bought at B&N that their tablet won’t support.
In fact, it looks like B&N might just get lapped by indie booksellers, especially if a lot of Konrath’s other predicitions come true. B&N needs to figure out what business changes it needs to make to stay relevant, instead of carrying on with business as usual and making cosmetic changes.
I said before they need to make the café the social hub of their experience, not the Nook Kiosk. Not the Toy store. And not the gift shop. All those are just aspects of the retail business they’re flailing at. They need to get people into the store to interact with other people in the store. They need people exited about their Nooks to show other people what to do with them. And they’re failing at that.
Library Sales- Here’s another part of the industry that’s reacting to changes instead of capitalizing on them. Creating fans and readers will be extremely important to publishers. Making Libraries a part of this, instead of punishing them for giving away books ( At a time when they’re already under attack by local governments) makes sense. Good Luck Joe.
Discoverability and Visibility– Disagree here. This has always been a problem, will always be a problem. I don’t think there’s an easy way out. There’s too much crap, too much generic fiction that looks and reads like any other. The way to stand out is to have a unique voice and viewpoint, and to offer something valuable to your readers. Look, I get a ton of hits on my Pulp Scrivener template, for no reason other than I have it here, and have it here before anyone else. Right now I’m working on my novel and making notes on a novel template, and might do an Erotica one as well. That’ll get people here to read my stuff, and hopefully convert them to buyers. It’s not a trick, and it’s not hard. I just hope it works.
AMAZON- I Don’t trust Amazon, and would like to get out from under them as fast as possible. Amazon does not have Indie authors best interests at heart. Once they own the market, they’ll switch to selling mode, not marketing mode, not capture mode. Writer’s who rely on Amazon for discoverability and sales will be left in the cold. They did it with Free, they did it with Erotica, they’ll do it with Lending library and Prime. I’m looking at Oyster and Scribd’s Model to help.
And for an alternative viewpoint, Here’s Evo Terra and Jeff Moriarity: