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10 Trends Shaping the Future of Publishing

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10 Trends Driving the Future of Book
Publishing
PUBLISHING: EVOLUTION, DISRUPTION & THE FUTURE
June 12, 2013
Mark Coker
Fo...

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My Backstory

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Publishers Said “No”
• Despite the great efforts of
our agent, every major New
York publisher said NO
(TWICE!)

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10 Trends Shaping the Future of Publishing

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This presentation was given by Mark Coker at the Edinburgh Publishing Conference held June 12, 2013 at the University of Edinburgh business school in Scotland. The conference examined the innovation, disruption and new business models that are helping to shape the future of publishing. In this presentation, Mark Coker, the founder of Smashwords (a global ebook distributor serving over 60,000 indie authors and small publishers), examined ten trends that are shaping the future of publishing.

This presentation was given by Mark Coker at the Edinburgh Publishing Conference held June 12, 2013 at the University of Edinburgh business school in Scotland. The conference examined the innovation, disruption and new business models that are helping to shape the future of publishing. In this presentation, Mark Coker, the founder of Smashwords (a global ebook distributor serving over 60,000 indie authors and small publishers), examined ten trends that are shaping the future of publishing.

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10 Trends Shaping the Future of Publishing

  1. 1. 10 Trends Driving the Future of Book Publishing PUBLISHING: EVOLUTION, DISRUPTION & THE FUTURE June 12, 2013 Mark Coker Founder, Smashwords Twitter: @markcoker
  2. 2. My Backstory
  3. 3. Publishers Said “No” • Despite the great efforts of our agent, every major New York publisher said NO (TWICE!)
  4. 4. I evaluated our options 1. The rational option  Accept failure, give up and cry 1. The irrational option  Believe in ourselves  Fix the problem
  5. 5. I Contemplated the Problem
  6. 6. I imagined millions of other writers just like us Silenced
  7. 7. I Concluded… • The old model of print publishing was broken • Print publishing had become harmful to…  Writers  Readers  Publishers  Books
  8. 8. The Culture of “NO” • Risk mitigation leads to a “Culture of NO” • Most authors rejected • Publishers unable to take a risk on every author • Publishers rejecting “Black Swans,” books that would have become hits and classics
  9. 9. I contemplated the opportunity • What would happen if someone could say YES to EVERY writer?
  10. 10. My Answer: Smashwords Launched in 2008 • FREE ebook publishing platform • FREE ebook printing press • Distribution to major ebook stores • Share best practices secrets
  11. 11. How Smashwords Works 1. UPLOAD • Upload a Microsoft Word file, formatted to our Smashwords Style Guide • Ready for immediate sale online 1. DISTRIBUTE • Distribution to major retailers 1. GET PAID • Author receives 85% of net
  12. 12. 0 50,000 100,000 150,000 200,000 250,000 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Ebooks published at Smashwords 140 6,000 28,800 92,000 191,000 230,000 June 2013
  13. 13. Enough about me. Let’s talk about your future as an author or publisher
  14. 14. WE LIVE IN UNCERTAIN TIMES
  15. 15. CHANGE BRINGS BOTH THREAT AND OPPORTUNITY TO AUTHORS AND PUBLISHERS
  16. 16. YOUR REACTION DETERMINES YOUR OUTCOME
  17. 17. Let’s examine the forces of change, and what these changes mean for your future
  18. 18. 10 TRENDS THAT WILL TRANSFORM THE FUTURE OF PUBLISHING
  19. 19. TREND ONE: The Rise of Ebooks
  20. 20. Screens are the new paper
  21. 21. A blast from the past: US ebook market share in 2008 Source: Association of American Publishers, publishers.org. 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
  22. 22. Ebooks as a percentage of US wholesale trade market Source: Association of American Publishers, publishers.org. 2012 Smashwords estimate 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012
  23. 23. Ebooks to overtake print Print books Ebooks UnitsDollars Print books Ebooks
  24. 24. Why ebooks are hot • Screens offer better reading experience than paper • Changeable font size A B C D • Ebooks offer better consumption experience • Lower cost than print • Convenient sampling and purchasing • Huge selection
  25. 25. TREND TWO Bookselling moving to the Web
  26. 26. US Percentage of book purchases made online vs B&M, Print and E- Brick & Mortar Web Today?
  27. 27. Bookselling moves to the Web • Brick and mortar stores disappearing • Decline of print • Consumer drivers: • Price • Convenience • Selection • Implications for publishers…
  28. 28. TREND THREE Democratization of Publishing
  29. 29. Publishers Once Controlled Publishing • Publishers controlled the… • Printing press • Access to retail distribution • The knowledge necessary for professional publishing
  30. 30. Today, authors have free tools to e-publish • FREE ebook printing press • Ebook distribution available to all • The knowledge of professional best practices is free and available to all
  31. 31. Publishers losing their monopoly • Writers no longer need publishers to publish, distribute and sell • Writers asking two dangerous questions: 1. Do I need a publisher? 2. Will a publisher harm my ability to reach readers?
  32. 32. TREND FOUR Self Published Ebook Authors Gaining Competitive Advantage over Publishers
  33. 33. Benefits of Indie Authorship • Indie ebook author advantages • faster time to market • greater creative control • lower expenses • better distribution to global market • immortal ebooks never go out of print • lower prices to consumers • earn more per book
  34. 34. QUADRUPLE +
  35. 35. Indie Ebook Authors Earn Higher Percentage of List Price • Indies earn more at lower prices • At $2.99, indies earn ~$2.00. Trad. author would have to price at $10-$15.00 • Lower price = reach more readers = more sales at higher profits per sale • Higher price = reach fewer readers 60-80% 12-17% Indie Traditional
  36. 36. TREND FIVE Traditionally published authors suffering from high prices
  37. 37. Book buyers are price sensitive
  38. 38. Authors Yield Two Benefits from Every Sale 1. Money from the sale • Unit sales X royalty per unit = profit 1. Gain a reader • Readers lead to more readers  Pricing strategy essential to maximize both
  39. 39. How Price Impacts Units Sold
  40. 40. What Price Yields the Greatest Author Earnings?
  41. 41. TREND SIX Print is Dead for Most Self- Published Authors (and will become less and less important to traditionally published authors)
  42. 42. Print is Dead • Brick and mortar bookstores disappearing • Most self-pubbed authors don’t have access to brick and mortar distribution • Customers choosing low cost ebooks over high-priced print books • Exceptions: • Face to face print sales will continue • Some books are meant for print (for now) • Specialty souvenir books sold in non-traditional outlets
  43. 43. TREND SEVEN Ebooks are going global
  44. 44. The Global Ebook Opportunity • Countries outside the US are entering the exponential growth phase of their ebook markets • Ebook retailers going global • Apple iBookstore (51 countries), Amazon (12), Kobo (14+), B&N (US, U.K.+) • 44% of Smashwords/iBookstore sales global
  45. 45. TREND EIGHT Big NY Publishers getting into self publishing
  46. 46. In July 2012, the parent company of Penguin acquired Author Solutions Author Solutions earns over 2/3 of its income selling over-priced services to authors $25,000 publishing packages! Blood sucking parasites
  47. 47. TREND NINE The Previous Stigma of Self- Publishing is Disappearing
  48. 48. Stigmas to reverse Aspire Traditional Aspire Indie Today? Aspire Indie Aspire Traditional 5 yrs ago Future?
  49. 49. TREND TEN Indie Authors Are Beginning to Outsell Traditionally Published Authors
  50. 50. Indies are Now Out-Publishing Big Publishers • Self-published ebooks scaling all the bestseller lists • Every week, indie ebooks in retailer bestseller lists of every retailer • Multiple Smashwords authors have hit New York Times bestseller list in the last year • Prediction: Within three years, most bestselling ebooks will be self- published ebooks
  51. 51. June 11, 2013 at Apple iBookstore • Abbi Glines with Forever Too Far • #1 Worldwide today
  52. 52. The Plan Forward
  53. 53. The 10 Trends Create a Future that Benefits Self-Published Authors and… Disadvantages Publishers
  54. 54. The Plan Forward for Writers • You’re in charge now • You decide when you graduate from writer to published author • Honor your readers • You have the opportunity to publish… • Faster • Smarter • More profitably • at lower prices
  55. 55. The Plan Forward for Publishers • The good news: You’re still needed • Not all writers want to self-publish • The bad news: It’ll get more difficult to add value in excess of your toll • Do for authors what they cannot and will not do for themselves • Abandon culture of NO
  56. 56. Final Thoughts • There’s never been a better time to reach readers with the magic of books • Traditional Publishing vs. Indie is not an either/or • There’s never been a better time to be in publishing • Add value!
  57. 57. Thanks for considering the future.
  58. 58. Free Ebook Publishing Resources • Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success (best practices of successful authors) • Smashwords Book Marketing Guide (how to market any book) • Smashwords Style Guide (how to format an ebook)
  59. 59. Thank you for considering the future! Q&A Connect with Mark Coker and Smashwords: Web: www.smashwords.com Blog: blog.smashwords.com LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/markcoker Facebook: facebook.com/markcoker HuffPo: huffingtonpost.com/mark-coker Twitter: @markcoker

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