What Do You Want to Improve in Publishing in 2013?

In Discussion by Dennis Abrams

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.

About the Author

Dennis Abrams

Dennis Abrams is a contributing editor for Publishing Perspectives, responsible for news, children's publishing and media. He's also a restaurant critic, literary blogger, and the author of "The Play's The Thing," a complete YA guide to the plays of William Shakespeare published by Pentian, as well as more than 30 YA biographies and histories for Chelsea House publishers.