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Old 12-21-2011, 11:02 PM   #1
stonetools
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Predictions for the year in publishing (mostly about ebooks)

LINK

First Five:

Quote:
1. We will see more self-published best-sellers next year with an exponential rise in the number of million-selling authors.

In November of 2011, the Kindle Million Club – a list of authors who have sold over 1 million paid copies of their books on Amazon’s Kindle store – swelled to 14 with the addition of David Baldacci, Amanda Hocking and Stephenie Meyer.

“This may have serious implications for traditional publishing houses,” said Dr. Windsor Holden, research director at Juniper Research and one of the authors of Juniper’s recent report on the future of the book publishing industry. “By facilitating publishing, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and others are eroding the position of the publisher in the value chain in much the same way Apple eroded the gate-keeping role of the carriers when it introduced the app store.”



2. Large publishing companies will go through major restructurings, creating new positions and redundancies of all shapes and sizes.

As more of what publishers do falls outside of what publishers used to spend the vast majority of their resources doing, people who work in publishing will likely have different roles, new positions or find that they are out of a job altogether.

“In 2012, we’ve had a number of years of digital under our belt,” said Peter Balis, director of digital content sales for John Wiley & Sons, the Hoboken, NJ-based professional, academic and trade publisher. “In a challenged economy, you’re going to see some big changes.”

Some of the changes might include hiring more marketers and in-house software, e-book and app developers, and slimming down sales departments and having fewer acquiring editors, according to Mike Shatzkin, a long-time book-industry expert (and, full disclosure, partner with Digital Book World on the upcoming Digital Book World Conference and Expo in January 2012).

“Print sales are going to decline and e-book sales are going to rise and that is going to result in organizational changes,” Shatzkin said.



3. Amazon will come out with a larger tablet with an 8.9-inch screen and it will be priced at $299 or lower.

The seven-inch Kindle Fire tablet has burned up the sales charts, with over 1 million per week being sold, according to Amazon. Yet, there has reportedly been some user disappointment with the product, much of it centered around a too-small screen.

“If you look at the critiques that have come in on the tablet, there have been a significant amount of users who feel the device is too small to do everything they want to do,” said Rhoda Alexander, senior manager for tablet and monitor research at IHS iSuppli, an El Segundo, Calif.-based technology research unit of global research firm IHS.

But don’t count Apple out, because…



4. Apple will come out with a smaller iPad at a reduced price.

Apple may respond to a rash of lower-priced, seven-inch tablets that made their way to market near the end of 2012 (Kindle Fire, the Nook Tablet and the Kobo Vox, for instance). A new report from IHS iSuppli suggests as much: “Apple may reduce the pricing on the iPad 2 when the company introduces the iPad 3…in the same way that the company continued to offer the iPhone 3 when it rolled out the iPhone 4,” said the report.

“This will further reduce the price variance between the existing Apple products and the reading tablets in the marketplace today,” said Balis.



5. Sony will get a second life in the e-reader game when Pottermore launches in the Spring.

In June, Pottermore appeared on the Web, as if conjured by wizards at Bloomsbury Publishing, the London-based publisher of the hit Harry Potter series. Really, the site was “conjured” by Sony, Bloomsbury’s technology partner on the project.

The Potter books reportedly may be pre-loaded onto the next generation of Sony e-readers and may even be exclusive to the reader for a short period of time after the launch of the site, according to unnamed sources at Sony.

“They have a rumored three-month exclusive of some sort,” said Thad McIlroy, a Vancouver-based electronic publishing analyst who runs the site TheFutureofPublishing.com. “If it was only three days, it would be enough for seven zillion crazy Harry Potter fans to buy the device.”
I think 4 is wrong and am not sure about 5. I also don't know if Amazion can bring in a decent 10" tablet at the 299 price point. 1 and 2 are spot on, though. What do you think, and what are your predictions?

Last edited by stonetools; 12-21-2011 at 11:06 PM.
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Old 12-22-2011, 06:07 AM   #2
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#5 is the one I think is less than realistic, Sony had the advantage in ebooks and have blown it at every turn. This is no different, yeah, it will popular, but it's still a niche and will go the way or all niches.

#2 will continue, but unless the publishers adopt a radically different approach which embraces ebooks and gets rid of DRM they will still fail and the "upstarts" will take their place. The statement about "a number of years of digital" is totally wrong, the indications are that the traditional publishers don't have a clue about ebook publishing they are still trying to preserve their traditional publishing model which much change.

The others I basically agree with.

Last edited by kennyc; 12-22-2011 at 06:13 AM.
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:11 AM   #3
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#6 - B&N finds itself with eReader inventory issues and is forced into Chapter 11 reorganization and a spin-off/sale of Nook as a standalone entity.



Anybody can play that game.
With about as much credibility.

(In other words: throw darts at a board, phrase it like you know what you're talking about, and forget the predictions when they fail to materialize.)



Between end-of-year prognosticating and April Fool's gags, I prefer the April reports. They're more credible, for one.
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:15 AM   #4
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Lister's addendum

11 Freelance editorial services will see a significant increase in demand. As more and more new and proven authors see the value in cutting out the publishing-house middle-man, more and more specialized businesses will rise to meet that demand. Amazon will be a big player and king-maker in the freelance editing business.
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Old 12-22-2011, 09:30 AM   #5
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#5 might have been true, if the site had been opened when the new Sony reader was introduced.
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Old 12-22-2011, 11:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Lister View Post
Lister's addendum

11 Freelance editorial services will see a significant increase in demand.
12 As a result of fallout from a nuclear power station in Papua New Guinea, pigs will be born with fully formed wings.
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Old 12-22-2011, 05:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennyc View Post
#5 is the one I think is less than realistic, Sony had the advantage in ebooks and have blown it at every turn. This is no different, yeah, it will popular, but it's still a niche and will go the way or all niches.
Yeah, they had the lead in many ways, but never took their own product seriously. Very disappointing really.
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Old 12-22-2011, 05:33 PM   #8
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I'd like to see #3 happen. I've enjoyed the Fire so far, and wouldn't mind seeing one a bit bigger.
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Old 12-22-2011, 05:39 PM   #9
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Rumors are pretty strong that a larger "Fire" --- a Bon-Fire will arrive ...
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Old 12-22-2011, 05:49 PM   #10
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Cool Publishers retreat - and get creative.... ?

I think the publishers - who have a lot of influence,power, ( some have) cash, and knowledge, about the whole commercial aspect of " the book" or "story".

And, while getting an ebook out may well be a lot easier than going for physi-books, know-how, experience, contacts, and that knowledge of the literary commercial field will, I think, prove telling.

I think publishers may well morph into a kind of uber-agent, with digits in many comestibles.
I can't see them giving up on the medium, just because it's in a different form.
They have a lot invested in reading, don't forget.

They might require a bit more persuading as to the economics, even - although I doubt it - the practical side of things, but survival is a powerful motive........
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Old 12-22-2011, 05:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Carroll View Post
Yeah, they had the lead in many ways, but never took their own product seriously. Very disappointing really.
Not sure they didn't take *their* product seriously.
Rather, the evidence suggests they took themselves *too* seriously and refused to credit their competitors.
Sony as a corporation is second only to Apple in their "Not-invented-here" culture and they simply stuck to their inhouse vision of where the industry was supposed to go despite three years of evidence that it wasn't.

To their credit, they seem to have finally caught on to at least *some* of the market's requirements. But there's no telling how much stomach Sony corporate has for competing on those terms. The pruning of the product line to one model is an ambiguous move.

Presumably, given their agressive price cut for the holidays, US XMAS sales will decide the fate of the product line. If they hold their own, they may find reason to commit to a longer fight.
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