By Edward Nawotka, Editor-in-Chief
Prognosticating about the future of the publishing business is a commonplace practice. But if publishing has proven anything, the marketplace is unpredictable. Who, after all, could have predicted Fifty Shades of Grey? That said, we all do our best.
So tell us, will 2013 be the year when Goodreads finally becomes a bookseller (as predicted by Jeremy Greenfield of Digital Book World)? Will we see more consolidation, as predicted by both Mike Shatzkin and George Lossius (in our feature article today). Will this be the year when Amazon gives away Kindles with Amazon Prime membership (something that seems to have been a perennial prediction dating back to 2007)?
My prediction for 2013: self-publishing will continue to gain more and more relevance worldwide, especially in the wake of Amazon, Kobo and Apple’s rollout of their ebook platforms across the globe. Publishers in much smaller markets than the US will be forced to an even great extent than their American counterparts to justify their roles. This is especially true in places where print runs from traditional publishers hover in the low thousands (which covers countries ranging from Brazil to Italy), since the financial margin between working with a traditional publisher and doing it yourself is likely much smaller. To me, this will be a much more disruptive force to traditional publishing than was the advent of ebooks.
At home in the United States, where self-publishing if firmly established, I believe 2013 will also be the first year we see a self-published title shortlisted for a major book award.
What about you? Get out your crystal ball and share your predictions with us in the comments below.