An unpredictable industry at the best of times, the coronavirus pandemic has had a considerable impact on the publishing industry. More downtime had led to rocketing sales and the further establishment of e-readers as a staple of entertainment and education in many homes. An increasing number of readers are discovering that digital publications allow access to a whole library worth of material at one’s fingertips. Accessible at any time and any place, it is very likely that e-book habits will stick around even after lockdown orders have lifted. In any case, e-books are big business and have proven to be a career game-changer for many writers. Let’s take a look at a few of the emerging e-book trends for 2021 and beyond.
Revenue is on the up
Lower production costs, lower inventory costs, and the ability to build a more robust global customer base are just a few of the reasons that e-books are looking very attractive compared to traditional print books. According to Statista, revenue in the e-Publishing segment is
expected to show an annual growth rate of 4.7%, with a projected market volume of US$34,690m by 2025.
Audiobooks will continue to grow
A variety of surveys are now reporting that upwards of 50 percent of Americans have had some experience with an audiobook in the last year. Research also indicates that the lion’s share of listeners are in their 20s and 30s. In other words, Grandma Jean isn’t the only one gobbling up audio. According to The Bookseller, audio formats are on the rise in a big way and they are projecting that there will be 8 billion voice assistants by 2023.
AI comes into the picture
There doesn’t seem to be a single industry that AI has not touched in some way, and it is now also expected to make waves in e-publishing. Overall, AI-based tools can help both publishers and authors boost efficiency through the publishing process and automate a whole variety of text analysis functionalities.
Metadata interoperability remains a key factor
Metadata might not seem like the most exciting topic for conversation, but it is undoubtedly a key element in digital content and e-publishing. Publishers are now well aware of the critical role that adding the right meta tags plays, and are engaging in increasingly data-driven insights to ensure that their content is easily found online.
There’s no doubt that 2020 changed the way books come into the world and how authors interact with one another. This shaking up of the industry has contributed to greater author collaboration for book marketing and promotion—whether that means authors in similar genres joining forces for virtual book launches and book clubs, or simply supporting one another online, many seem to be convinced that there is power in numbers. It is a tendency that is likely to stick too. With more authors creating their own newsletter and finding innovative ways to access their readership online, the value of co-promotion will only grow stronger.
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