It’s not always easy to make predictions, unless you’re making predictions about ebooks, in which case all you have to do is look at the US. Here’s what we can expect on the e-reading front in 2013:
1. E-reader sales will tail off as people buy tablets instead, meaning ebooks will increasingly have to compete with YouTube and Angry Birds HD. Basic Kindles and Nooks will soon cost the same as a hardback.
2. Ebooks will continue to cost less than a single espresso.
3. As the self-publishing market booms, more writers will be scouted on Wattpad and more publishers will launch self-publishing services, such as Simon & Schuster’s controversial Archway.
4. We’ll see new digital publishing startups, along the lines of Plympton and Atavist. Self-published authors will start to form co-operatives, such as Awesome Indies.
5. Traditional publishing will become more experimental. “Storygames”, such as Random House’s intriguing blackcrownproject.com, will push the bounds of narrative and apps will stretch the definition of “book”.
6. We will see more ebook exclusives, and not just shorts. Picador’s digital-first political thriller The Kills is described as “a landmark novel in four parts”, the first of which will appear in February.
7. Publisher-led online communities, such as Little Brown’s the Crime Vault and Gollancz’s SF Gateway, will help genre fans discover backlist and new writing.
8. Newspapers will become bigger players in the ebook market, following the example of the New York Times, which has joined forces with startups Byliner and Vook to publish original and archive material.
9. Libraries and publishers will fail to see eye to eye on ebook lending.
10. Amazon will be forced to file for insolvency after a mass boycott over its failure to pay corporation tax.
- New Year’s Resolutions for the Book Publishing Industry (selfpubbooks.wordpress.com)
- How eBooks Can Help Your Business (sarahwritesstories.com)