The Authors Guild recently came out with the results of their 2018 author’s earnings survey
The results were not encouraging
- In only five years, authors’ incomes from just their books fell 21%, down from a median of $3,900 in 2013 to $3,100 in 2017
- The low incomes suggest a growing crisis for American authors, particularly for literary writers, whose median incomes were down 27% since 2013.
- Self-published writers have seen incomes rise the most, but they still earn somewhat less than traditionally published authors.
So what is being predicted for writers and publishing in the year 2019?
Some of the predictions are positive, others not so great. Here are a few sites I checked out.
The Book Marketing Buzz Blog
They’re predicting Amazon will continue to grow, Barnes and Noble will shrink, and Independent bookstores will continue to open.
According to this site, 4,000 books will be published daily in US, but the number of copies sold per title will decrease.
There are some good suggestions in this blog, and it mentioned one thing that worries me. “With so many books being cranked out daily – and millions in backlist living forever – how will authors get discovered?”
5 Publishing Trends for 2019
The next site I looked at was izzardink.com
I found it disappointing to read that the percentage of Americans reading for pleasure in their spare time has “plummeted almost a third since 2004.”
If, as stated in the bookmarketingbuzz blog, 4,000 books are being published every day here in the U.S., who is going to read these books?
The izzardink article states: In 2018, 67 percent of American adults said they had read a print book in the last 12 months, while only 26 percent said they had read an ebook, … and that was actually down 2 percent from 28 percent in 2016.
So what’s doing well, if not print books or ebooks? Audio. Although adults who said they’d read audio books in 2018 was only 18% of those surveyed, that was up from 14% in 2016.
Next, I checked out the Writing Cooperative for predictions regarding publishing
3 Biggest Trends in Publishing Right Now.
From the 2018 Book Expo, the primary prediction was if publishers — and authors — did not embrace diversity, they would lose economically. They pointed out the success of the movie Black Panther and the books The Underground Railroad and Sing, Unburied, Sing.
New ways of accessing books
The younger generation — let’s call them ‘Millennial Book Lovers’ — spend almost three hours a day consuming content on their phone.
There’s still plenty of money and attention available for authors — publishing industry revenue last year topped $112 billion, while the movie industry took in just $38 billion — but reader habits are changing. Authors need to be prepared to fight for their attention.
Wattpad. Wattpad was launched 12 years ago and quickly turned into a fan fiction platform. Today, Wattpad might be the most important incubation ground for the authors of tomorrow.
While 90 percent of the average users of Wattpad are under 30, this platform isn’t just for kids. Famed Canadian author Margaret Atwood has embraced Wattpad and other new technologies as a better way to reach today’s generation of readers.
And, finally: Check out Writtenwordmedia.com
Here are just a few of their predictions.
Authors are going to have to pay for ads through Amazon’s Marketing Service (AMS).
According to Mark Dawson, Mark Dawson’s Self Publishing Formula. “I would go as far as to say that they are indispensable if you want to maximize the chances of making your books visible, especially as – it seems likely – organic visibility is reduced in favor of paid placements.”
The feeling is, as long as Amazon is the place where most people buy eBooks (and print books), writers need to buy the ads.
One trend this site mentioned that I truly believe in is—
Book Quality Becomes Critical to Success
That is, the quality of what you’ve written is becoming more and more important. (More important than great covers, wonderfully written blurbs, advertising, etc.). It’s what’s inside the cover that will sell books. That means good grammar, punctuation, and spelling as well as the story.
I’m not going to mention all ten of their predictions but I think it’s worth your time to check out all of these sites and others you might find. Some predictions will come true, others will not, but it’s always good to know what people are seeing as trends.