Reading has always been a favorite past time, and even though electronic devices such as Kindles and other eReaders (or even smartphones and tablets) may have made people excited for a while, traditional books are definitely making a comeback. We’ve taken a look at what is to be expected when it comes to publishing trends in 2019, and the outlook is very bright indeed!
Print Wins Out
As ever, print books are still the most sought-after of all reading materials. eBooks are not even close to matching their popularity, and a survey carried out by Facts and Trends showed that a pleasing 67 percent of adults in America had read a print book over the last 12 months, but that figure dropped to just 26 percent who had read an eBook. Readers, it seems, are still keen to touch, feel, even smell those paperbacks, and this evocative sensation is just not something that an electronic device is able to give. Unlike some past times, such as enjoying Unibet online, or listening to music where electronics are fundamental to the fun, reading has not reached that level (and possibly never will).
Publishers don’t need to worry about over-ordering or over-printing when it comes to paper books either. Thanks to new technologies that mean print on demand is a viable option in terms of speed and price; there are now far fewer returns and print runs can be as large or small as the market dictates.
Although we have said that electronic devices are not so popular when it comes to reading, there is one element of this that contradicts the trends, and that’s audio books. Listening (as opposed to actually reading) to a novel or story on an electronic device is growing in popularity, and the number of adults who have recently listened to an audiobook was 18 percent in 2018 (in 2016, it had been 14 percent according to Bustle.com.)
The reason for this upsurge is most likely to do with our way of living. Everyone is busy, rushing from one place to the next, giving themselves very little downtime to enjoy reading a good book. Instead, they are able to listen to their stories in the car, or on the commute to work, or perhaps while working out. Listening rather than reading offers them many more occasions to do something they enjoy.
Another interesting trend that we feel is going to be hugely important to publishers and authors alike is the need for constant marketing. Once it was possible to launch a book and with it, an entire career – one book had enough power to get someone noticed and to gain them legions of fans who would sustain that career into the future.
It is different today. Self-published authors and the plethora of new, small presses that have been made in recent years mean that books are being launched every day – every hour of every day, even. It means that without a massive marketing campaign, those books are getting lost, and even when they are found, they doesn’t mean that the next book from the same author will be. Therefore, marketing is going to need to be an ongoing process, and it will likely be a slow one too.