I was very pleased to attend the BIC Seminar about New Trends in Publishing last Wednesday (#bicnewtrends @BIC1UK). We were invited in the very impressive Stationers’ Hall to hear all about the latest trends in publishing and what we can expect for the future.
Chris McCrudden (Head of Technology and New Media at Midas PR) and Jane Tappuni (Executive Vice President of Business Development at Publishing Technology) got the ball rolling, revealing the 5 top trends in trade publishing nowadays.
The first one is “Direct to Consumer Publishing”: to grow publishers’ need to understand and find out who their customers are. All publishers know how to cultivate their B2C relationships. A good example of this is what HarperCollins did with their virtual Romance festival last year. This was a clever way to develop their relationship marketing and to build their community activity. Publishers also focus on creating buying opportunities (D2C ecommerce) and leveraging their brand offer (memberships).
The second top trend is “Mobile reading”: 14 million Kindles and 2.5 billion mobile reading devices were sold in 2015. Are people reading on their mobile phone? Yes, they are!
Phones are getting bigger and bigger and reading on a mobile is getting more and more comfortable. There are now publishers creating specific content for mobile reading.
The third top trend in Trade publishing is “The Power of Fandom”. If you haven’t heard of it yet (where were you?), fandom is basically people creating content on fan fiction websites. I can hear you say “Why should we take this seriously?” As Chris and Jane pointed out, millions of people create and consume fan fiction. Wattpad, a host for fan fiction content, counts 40 million users! And when fan fiction hits the mainstream it goes big! The best example of that is Fifty Shades of Grey. It started life as a piece of Twilight fan fiction and we know what happened next…
The fourth trend is “Growing pains for eBook subscription”. Chris and Jane revealed that if the book subscription services have grown they haven’t grown quickly enough. Most of the members consume a lot of books and this doesn’t generate a lot of money.
The last top trend fiction is “Content as Marketing”: authors have been creating content that brands would pay for: Jonathan Safran Foer and Toni Morrison wrote original content for coffee cups:
These are the 5 top trends in trade publishing according to Chris and Jane. It is quite fascinating to see how the industry evolves and we’ll see in the part 2 of this blogs how this evolution impacts other parts of the business such as printers.