Seven Trends That Are Warnings for Publishing Houses and Why Everyone will be an Author and Publisher in the Future
How We All Can Be Authors and Publishers!
The Internet is rapidly changing the way your customers work and play. The Internet is also enabling anyone with a story or specialty niche to become both an author and publisher.
Drastic changes to markets
A few years ago businesses could not see the part the internet would play in their future. But take a look below at the drastic changes being made in a few markets allied to publishing. Until recently most of these businesses were run by 50 or 60 year-olds who couldn’t quite grasp the context of who their market was shifting. A bit like the buggy whip manufacturer that stayed manufacturing buggy whips while the car makers took over. They could have shifted to upholstery or a number of allied fields supporting automobile manufacturing … but they didn’t and died.
It is the same with “Self Publishers“. But more on that further down the page.
Firstly though , here are seven paradigm shifts that are taking place so we have a bit of context to what is going on.
1) Newspaper Advertising Revenues Decline. As Goggle’s Adsense revenue leaps forward in leaps and bounds Newspaper’s ad revenues for the two major categories of “employment classifieds” and “car sales classified’s” are under threat. In Australia carsales.com.au has been snapped up by a large media group. Bill Gates said recently to media companies in London that the “future of advertising is the internet”. Meaning the debate about internet versus non-internet advertising will soon become obsolete. According to PriceWaterhouseCoopers global internet advertising would grow about 16 percent annually over the next five years to $44 billion. Rupert Murdoch recently expressed that he wants to turn News Corporation into a “global digital powerhouse”
2) Traditional Postage declines. There is no longer growth in the number of envelopes posted in most western countries. Postage companies blame email communications for taking away the growth in their postage stamp sales.
3) RSS News Feeds Abound. Tailored news delivery is now underway and growing rapidly. News bulletins in the future will deliver stories about the news, sports and political events directly of interest to the individual subscribers. No need to wade through 70 or 80 pages of the paper to get what you are interested in the 15 minutes you have allocated to “catch up”.
4) Travel Bookings Go it Alone. Maybe you remember when you had to go to an airline travel agent, book and pay for a ticket and wait for it to arrive by mail. Witness now! You pick up your ticket / boarding pass just before you board your flight. What a huge change! Now travel agents have to focus on areas where personal service and recommendation are required as simple flight bookings can be done by even novice internet users.
5) DVD Rentals go Digital. ISP’s (the people who connect you to the internet) are getting into video rentals. Witness national Video /DVD rental stores feeling the pinch. Even the Blockbuster chain recently introduced a monthly flat rental fee for as many films as you would like. This is to match online offers emerging more and more each day. Factor in the iTunes/iPod ability to buy episodes of TV shows and films and we have the beginning of a “click and view” process that doesn’t put you through the frustration of having to return a video/DVD.
6) Music Sales Downloaded. After the U.S. , Canada and United Kingdom, Australia is often the third or fourth “English Speaking Market” targeted by product marketers. When a book is published there are often two editions worldwide. One “American” edition with America spelling and a “British” edition with English spelt as the English spell it. What is often not realized is that when the first print run is planned quantities are rounded up to get a decent size print run. Maybe 20,000 for the UK, 5,000 for Australia , 2000 for New Zealand and volumes for South Africa and other countries to take the total up to a 30,000 print run. This puts the books in the bookstores at a decent price. Australia is still fairly tightly controlled by publishing houses. This was seen clearly in the delay in the launch of Apple’s iTunes Music Store. Even though it opened with 1 million songs available for download, 1000 music videos and 20,000 podcasts one major publisher Sony Music was absent from its catalogue. As there are many sought after local artists contracted to this label it is only a question of time before Sony Music give up and jump on board. The music industry is finally submitting itself to a digital revolution after years of trying to fight the tide as it was rolling in and ever onwards. This is a wake up for Book Publishers also who may find their market diminish almost overnight if they do not embrace a digital future.
7) Online Betting Explodes. Global online betting returns exploded from $US400 in 1998 to $US4.1billion last year, according to Global Betting and Gaming Consultants. Again no need to get in the car to go and place a bet.
In the above examples strong trends are evident. The context is that individuals can now do many of the tasks themselves that were traditionally done by people sitting behind desks taking your bookings or your bets. Picture the travel agent taking your booking, the betting agent taking your bet, the music store assistant selling you a CD, the Video Store person helping to supply a video, the newspaper office person forcing you to enter your advertisement in the carefully spaced form they provide you at their office, the postage clerk selling you a postage stamp, the newsagent selling you newspapers and magazines so that you get a full coverage of your interests. All these services can now be obtained by you via your computer on the internet.
The same goes for publishing. So many people ask me. Paul, your a publisher, how do I get my book published.
How Do I Get My Book Published?
Up until recently most people without contacts were at the mercy of a publishing house. You pretty much had to either pay for a 5000 print run yourself or let them publish your book with little chance of anything coming to you from the first production run.
Ask Children They Author and Publish Every Day
However the game is changing rapidly and children are very much both authors and publishers and they don’t even know it. They create their webspace, load up what interests them and tell their friends the web address. Friends tell friends about cool sites and away it goes. Most children probably have their own “MySpace”. They get this at MySpace.com. And if they don’t have their own “MySpace” they soon will as around 130,000 new accounts are opened every day. It is here they can publish their writings, photos, poems, videos etc for their selected friends to see. They are both publishers and authors.
So the Message Is?
As adults we can learn from our kids and what they do in MySpace and of course recognise the power in the seven trends listed above. With “on-demand” book printers popping up all over the place the traditional publisher may very well go the way of the buggy whip manufacturer.
A suggested path for you to become an Author and Publisher.
1) Choose the niche you are PASSIONATE about.
2) MAKE IT YOUR OWN, determine the target market and subscribe to lots of Blogs and RSS feeds of news and ramblings about YOUR niche.
3) Grow it in to a BLOG that really is interesting and sought after by a segment of the population.
4) Add a few free reports and other goodies to WARM UP those subscribed to your Blog.
5) WRITE A BOOK around the subject of your Blog.
6) Put some parts of the book out into the internet world with your blog plus SYNDICATED articles.
7) Set up a web site to SELL THE BOOK either via your own sight or Clickbank.
8) START OVER AGAIN with more free reports and your next eBook
9) TALK about your latest book at breakfasts, seminars every opportunity
10) Get to the stage where you SHARE THE STAGE with well known people in your niche or an area closely associtiated with your niche.
11) GROW from there!
12) Once you are comfortable with your presintation at seminars and bootcamps film the event and produce a DVD and Book set or in other words a “Big Ticket Item Package”
13) GROW from there!
Traditional publishers will not be able to generate the energy you can by doing all the steps above. Just as people will no longer visit Video Stores or Travel Agents Book Shops will only sell high volume generalist publications. Niche products will be totally the domain of the Internet.
As an author with a niche product book all the tools are available on the internet to promote your publication.
But … you must build now, one Blog entry at a time!
Self Publishing Angle? Start you Blog now in an area you can share and inject energy and enthusiasm. As your subscriber base grows add free reports and eventually an eBook. Follow it with seminars and High Value DVD / Book packages.