Amazon’s Self-Publishing Platform is Supremely Popular
Major publishers have been facing dropping sales. According to the Association of American Publishers (AAP), sales of adult books, ebooks, and children’s books dropped in the first quarter of 2016, compared to the first period of 2015. Ebooks accounted for a bit more than 27 percent of adult book sales in 2016, showing a drop from the same period in 2015. Sales of children’s and young adult ebooks fell even more drastically.
Amazingly, Amazon continues to succeed as the publishing industry struggles. Part of its secret of success is its DIY print business, Create Space. According to Bowker, the company that issues ISBN numbers to mark new books, self-publishing has taken off in a major way. The number of ISBNs created for self-published books grew by 375 percent between 2010 and 2015. CreateSpace is at the top of the list of most-used self-publishing platforms.
A High Demand for Mobile Drives the Move Toward Online Ads
Worldwide spending on advertising is expected to grow in 2016 and 2017, according to Carat, the global media network. Carat collected data from fifty-nine markets, including the Americas, EMEA, and Asia Pacific. Advertising spending will grow to more than $548 billion in 2016, buoyed by the Rio Olympics and the US presidential elections.
While advertising forecasts remain strong in North America, Latin America, Russia, and Asia Pacific, spending on print advertising is expected to decline. In contrast, spending on digital media advertising is expected to reach more than a 30 percent share of total spending on global media in 2017.
The high demand for mobile, social media, and online video is driving the move toward online ads. As interest in online advertising swells, print media shrinks in prominence.
The Changing Publishing Business Has Lost Masses of Jobs
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently published a snapshot of publishing industry jobs. According to the BLS’s graph, the industry has taken a beating over the past twenty-five years. The sectors hit the hardest were books, newspapers, and periodicals.
Book publishing, an industry that saw numerous consolidations in recent years, lost a considerable amount of jobs. In 1990, there were 85,900 jobs in book publishing. By 2016, only 61,500 jobs remained. Periodical publishing jobs also suffered because of poor sales. The industry boasted 146,800 jobs in 1990, but by 2016, that number had dipped to 93,600.
Comics Are Immune to Publishing’s Sales Dip
Comics are proving impervious to the sales problems endemic to the publishing business. While publishing overall showed slipping sales revenue from 2014 to 2015, the comics’ periodical, book format comics, and graphic novel market has been going strong in the United States. According to a joint report by Comichron and trade news site ICv2, the 2015 market was worth more than a billion dollars. That represents a 10 percent increase in sales since 2014.
Graphic novels jumped the most in sales revenue, showing 23 percent year-over-year growth. Sales of print comics also took a leap, growing by 13 percent. Only digital comics saw a drop in sales, showing a 10 percent decline in sales from 2014 to 2015.
Even though Americans appear to be reading fewer novels and works of non-fiction, they are clearly grabbing hold of the comics’ trend. Several aspects of the comics’ experience are attracting them.
Poor Book Sales Have Led Publishers to Reinvent the Book
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) has released its 2015 final sales estimates, disappointing book publishers. Total industry sales dropped by .6 percent between 2014 and 2015, showing another year-over-year drop. Even though unit sales rose, overall profits have dropped.
Ebooks showed sharply declining revenue, down to $2.84 billion in 2015 compared with $3.20 billion in 2014. Overall, print books’ revenue rose, with paperbacks forming the basis of that revenue. Downloadable audiobooks continued their stratospheric climb, with sales that rose by more than 37 percent since 2014.
The AAP derives its figures by combining sales figures of more than one thousand reporting publishing companies. AAP claims that its estimates reflect sales from other publishers as well. Indie book publishers might paint a different picture of the industry, but these figures denote the climate for major publishers’ book sales.
A New Book Guides Writers to Literary Success
Authors usually write books that express their inner thoughts and then hope that readers will appreciate their writing. Now, instead of writing from their hearts, authors can write for the bestseller list. Two authors claim to have figured out how to predict which books will land on the bestseller list.
Jodie Archer and Matthew L. Jockers, authors of the soon-to-be-published book The Bestseller Code: Anatomy of The Blockbuster Novel, say they have created a groundbreaking algorithm that has identified the components that grant a book bestseller status. The authors contend that they can predict with 97 percent certainty if a fiction title will hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list, or if it will only hit numbers two through fifteen on the list.
Piracy is Theft
Piracy is a thriving business across many industries. In the publishing business, it is moving along at full force, frustrating authors and publishers alike. While members of the general public appreciate the opportunity to consume endless content for free, people on the business side pay a heavy price for the theft of their material.
Innovation in publishing is alive and well
According to leaders of the publishing industry, the crowded market allows investors to be picky about where they direct their funding. Publishing experts speaking at a Digital Book World Conference agreed that investors are on the hunt for the most promising and innovative publishing companies. Start-ups that provide valuable content with strong potential to generate revenue attract the most investors.
Innovative people with the drive to create something new are constantly founding new companies that aim to publish and distribute content. Unfortunately for them, the competition is fierce, and it’s difficult to come up with completely new ideas. Even so, a few companies have managed to stand out with their ground-breaking approach to the business.
Converting a print book to digital format necessitates a unique strategy
Although the future of ebooks is debatable, their popularity has nudged many publishers toward developing a digital publishing strategy. It’s common knowledge that the publishing industry has been radically altered: traditional distribution channels are shrinking, Amazon has near-hegemony, self-publishing is an unstoppable trend, and the glorious publishing houses of old have been consolidated. Publishers recognize that developing drastic new strategies is essential to their survival.
Some publishers are adapting to the new reality by releasing ebook editions along with their standard publications. Before releasing an ebook, they have to precisely execute several elements, such as formatting and searchability, which depart significantly from the elements of a print book. Novel methods of monetizing ebooks are also called for. Developing a digital publishing strategy requires attention to new and different details.
Ad blockers Make Your Ads Invisible
Ad blocking is a serious issue for news publishers who have to persuade advertisers that ads posted on their sites will be seen by readers. Around two hundred million people use ad blocking software each month, so it’s a force that cannot be ignored. One estimate warns that ad blocking caused publishers to lose $22 billion in online advertising revenue in 2015.
A survey by Editor and Publisher revealed that 69 percent of news publishers are moderately to seriously concerned about the effect of ad blockers on their revenue in 2016. Rightly so, as a study of news consumers across twelve countries found that almost half of all users of news media websites regularly use ad blocking. The number is even higher when it comes to eighteen-to-twenty-four-year-olds, which is a coveted cohort of readers.