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What Do You Want to Improve in Publishing in 2013?

By Dennis Abrams

Over at the Huffington Post, they listed nine things that might keep legacy publishers awake in 2013:

  1. Book Piracy really takes off. Will high-speed book scanners make a difference?
  2. Amazon Publishing signs up somebody REALLY big. Even Amazon’s White Glove service for UK agents can’t be making US publishers all that happy.
  3. Merger mania continues. Harper & Schuster? What if Amazon follows Google’s lead and purchases a publishing company?
  4. Is the eBook bubble about to burst? There may be signs that eBook reading has peaked as sales of tablets (with all their distracting applications) skyrocket.
  5. Self publishing gets serious. As the piece points out, “there are increasing numbers of companies that sit between traditional and self publishers, who are more particular about who they accept, and who edit, design, market, and distribute their work more carefully than a vanity press, offering the author a large percentage of the profit in return for a lower advance. A big hit in 2013 could well come from one of these houses…”
  6. Library budgets are cut to the bone.
  7. Subscription services (such as Kindle Free Time) hit it big.
  8. The Termination Rights Law takes effect. Which means, basically, that beginning in January authors can break their publishing contracts after 35 years. Which means basically, that early works from authors like Stephen King and Judy Blume could go back on the market. Which means…
  9. The DOJ settlement forces eBook prices even lower. Will Amazon set $9.99 or even lower as the bar? Will some publishers raise their prices anyway?

Of course, many of these ideas are to the overall detriment of the book business—and that’s no way to end the year. So tell us, what would you like to see improve in publishing in 2013? What would be a difference maker? What’s realistic to expect?

Share your thoughts and ideas with us in the comments.

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  1. Richard Pemberton
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 3:32 am | Permalink

    My hope for publishing in 2013 is that all publishers realise the value of libraries as partners in bringing authors/books and readers together and end the eBook lending dispute by selling their books to libraries thus allowing libraries to continue the valuable reader development work that nobody else will do.

  2. Posted December 19, 2012 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    I’d like publishers to realize there is a cache of sure-fire dead cert books out there they should sign.

    I’m talking about successful indie ebooks which have sold almost no print books. Offer those authors a print-only deal, and watch the money roll in. Hugh Howey’s contract with Simon & Schuster could show the way to a lot more lower profile yet profitable deals.

  3. Posted December 19, 2012 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    I’d like to see less DRM and more great content.

  4. Posted December 20, 2012 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    I’d like to see better quality control of ebooks; and I’m not speaking of self-published titles. My latest purchases from Kobo are very badly formatted, despite being the product of a ‘proper’ publisher.

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