I was reading the Huffington Post this morning and someone was prognosticating about what changes we can expect in publishing for 2010.
Unless they have a crystal ball, I'm not sure anyone can predict what's coming for this volatile business. Just look at the surprises of the past.
Who could have predicted the runaway success of the Twilight series? Who would have guessed that Harlequin would open an unsavory can of worms with their foray into self-publishing? No one forsaw the sad loss of Kate Duffy, an editor of legendary stature in the romance community. Or what fear monger would have warned us of the demise of Andersen--the disaster that left tons of books moldering in storage instead of hitting the shelves on their release dates? 2009 is a year most publishing houses are happy to see gone (with the exception of the one who holds the rights on Twilight!)
But the good folk at Huffington have some predictions for us. Here's the Emily's Digest version of them.
1. Several publishing houses will merge. That seems like a safe prediction. When times get tough, strong companies gobble up their competitors. If it saves editorial jobs, it might not be a bad thing.
2. Fewer titles will be published. This is a double-edged sword for authors. Those who are published should be given more marketing support from the publisher, but it'll be a case of "them that got shall get." Brand name authors will do fine. Newbies may get short shrift. Midlisters may find themselves in limbo.
3. More writers will opt to self-publish. This prediction disturbed me. I don't think it's a good choice for writers and RWA National seems to agree with me, judging from their decisive reaction to the Harlequin vanity press. I know it's frustrating to submit without getting a contract, but we grow as writers with each "no."
4. The YA market will expand. As the populace ages, young readers will take up the slack. New methods of delivering books, like Dorchester's foray into serialized stories for cell phones, will be the wave of the future.
I have no idea what will happen in 2010. All I can control in my career is my own writing. And since author numbers will be more important than ever, I can support my favorite authors by buying their new releases during the first week.
But I do have one prediction I feel confident of--I will read new books that touch my heart this year and I'll bet you will too. Let's agree to share them here regularly!
What do you think will happen in publishing in 2010?
Happy Reading & Writing!