♦Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop!♦
Do you have any predictions as to what will change in
writing/in the world in general in the new year?
Welcome back to another Open Book Blog Hop! The authors included in this ongoing series wish to thank you for your reads. Even more so, we appreciate that you share our writings with friends. If you’re new to the series, welcome aboard. The authors engage and impress weekly. Prepare to become a regular reader.
Observing trends is part of what we authors are expected to do in order to build platforms and do well in our art. Prediction from those trends are how you plan your marketing. Times have changed for us over the past two decades, coinciding with the rise of social media and the influencer. Authors don’t just write anymore. We must be the entire commercial business, if we plan to publish successfully.
What is successfully published? That is whatever the individual determines, or you could go by corporate trends. You may think of it in terms of sustainable income, too. However, I don’t view sustainable income as a caveat of being a successfully published author. Are you published? Well, that sounds like you successfully published your book to me, if so.
My prediction for 2024 will follow what I have seen coming along the pike for the last two decades in which I have been an author, observing all of the mess this business is and continues to be (thanks to corporate publishers). Let’s see if you can guess what I will have to say. Now, I’ll get started.
Influencing on social media is at its peak and will start to decline. This means that using any social media platform to reach folks will be steadily more useless. What is it that will come to replace this? I have no idea, right now, but it may just roll back to how things were prior to the shiny object of online communication. Or, something like virtual life interfaces (think oculus, pre-holodeck tech). You’ll have avatars and fake identities, living out a whole other life in your non-work day.
Writers will be expected to posh it up in cafes and bars, clubs and libraries. It is part of the fad requiring us to market our work whether we are independent or corporate published. The pressure will be extra high for the folks publishing through corporations, who expect them to also produce spotless copy and carry all the burden of sales, while they reap the benefits of that work or fire you for failing. Independent authors will carry on as they always have. This is not a difficult prediction to make.
Independent authors will continue to be the most stable bracket, not burdened by the flippancy of corporate consumers. However, there will continue the trend of poorly written copy, with poor edits, as fake authors and fake editors continue to use book publishing as a con derived meal ticket. Authors who are genuine will flourish in the social media supported spaces, where they can make connection and hone their skills, learning what is good writing and who to avoid as far as editors, because we are the group that loves to share! And sharing will continue to gain space and scope.
Corporate publishing will make the move toward publishing only celebrity authors. They will work with ghost writers to create books under celebrity names. Agents/managers will dwindle to few, consolidating across all media forms to keep their positions going. (In the future, I see these positions becoming corporate arms of the media companies, like headhunters. Probably then, the cycle will go back around again.) The big publishers will continue to be a thing for textbooks and celebrity tripe, as well as non-fiction outside of textbook labels.
I do not give the prediction that anything goes easier for authors, regardless. We will still have to be the entire publishing business rolled into one person. We will have to scout our editors, learn our craft well, be influencers, public speaker, sales person (marketer), and our own label. Obtaining literature will be harder for readers, and sales will continue to plummet in corporate sales, but remain as ever they were in independent works. This is what will lead to Corporate publishers finally cutting off the actual literature arm of their publishing enterprise. Soliciting them will be a no go unless you’re a celebrity.
None of this is necessarily a bad thing. Authors wake every day to the existing reality that their hard work earns others money they should receive. It’s an unfair, exploitive system that doesn’t serve them. And, there’s a way away from it. Perhaps, in the coming years, and independent and affordable union (not the writer’s guild, but a whole other independent entity–although they may shift to indy authors) will form to negotiate the rates of overhead a publisher can claim against our sales, and create a network of legitimate editors, designers, and the lot of services we use. In the meantime, word of mouth online will pinch the con-artists harder, reducing their impact on the average author.
Additionally, as we move ever forward, paper copies will continue to decline in sales. While everyone says they enjoy them, they have been declining for years, and newer generations are not as attached to them. It will become niche–like book collectors of old. On the crossroads of that, the world literacy rates will decrease as technology remains inaccessible to the majority. This is where unionization is going to have a great impact in the future–pushing to make tech more affordable as it increasingly becomes the normal way of life.
Did my predictions align with what I’ve written about publishing in the past few years? Let’s hop through the other author predictions by clicking on their links below. Don’t forget! Scroll to the top of the page to subscribe to my blog and have this hop delivered to your inbox each friday afternoon (est).