Daily Archives: November 3, 2014

Future of Publishing

Last weekend I attended a great conference in St. Petersburg. Held in a hotel on the beach, it’s amazing I was able to get any work done, but I did. The discussion panels were that good. In between sessions, I did sneak out and take a few photos. Who could blame me?

St Pete Beach

Some of the more interesting take away messages from the conference centered on the print industry, as in print books vs. ebooks. We all hear about the demise of bookstores, the print book going the way of the dinosaur with the onset of ereaders, but alas, it isn’t so. Print books are here, and I believe, here to stay. You see that beach up there? Who wants to get sand in their ereader? Not me. I take paperbacks to the beach!

But it’s more than reading venue that’s dictating the trends in publishing. It’s reader habit, reader access, and reader demand. Romance and Sci-Fi readers were the first to adapt to ereaders, consuming books at alarming rates. Memoirs, cooking books, history books, not so much. However, children’s books are definitely on the rise when it comes to ebooks. Blame it on the school systems handing out iPads, but I’m loving this news–I’m working on a children’s gardening book as we speak!

lower elementary on the lookout for bugs

However, the key to survival is marketing. (Isn’t it always?) Connecting with readers, offering services they want…

Take coffee houses. Connected them to a bookstore and you have the perfect combination. Wi-Fi centers, hangout spots, readers love to be surrounded by books and fellow readers. They also love great access, hence the onset of subscriptions services for books. One monthly fee gets you a ton of books, a very appealing concept for the voracious reader. Audio books is another avenue that is exploding right now. Today’s society is on the go and they want their “content” to go with them. Fast, easy, and accessible, kinda like a Big Mac or a Starbucks to go.

Authors and traditional publishing houses might be struggling to navigate through the changing tides, but readers aren’t. They’re surfing the waves and loving it. And I should know–I’m one of them! I embrace the increase in competition, the lower prices, the new and diverse type of content.

It’s been said that the only thing constant is change and it’s true, especially now. We are living and breathing “change” and five years from now, who knows what new devices will be on the market and what discussions we’ll be having. But I bet they’ll be exciting.

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