I’m at RT Booklovers this week, which is one of the largest reader/writer conferences out there. RT started life as “Romantic Times” but it now encompasses all commercial fiction genres including YA, mystery, women’s fiction, science fiction, and so on, but retains a strong romance focus. One of the major forces that has reshaped the book industry, and the romance genre in particular, of course, is ebook publishing and ebook SELF-publishing. A major figure in that revolution over the past ten years has been Mark Coker of Smashwords, one of the early self-publishing platforms and not only an online retail store but a distributor to the other retailers (Kobo, Apple, B&N, etc.)
Mark always has insightful things to say about the state of the ebook market, and later today he’ll be unveiling the annual Smashwords data survey, where they slice and dice the big data of what’s happening in sales across all retailers that they can see. But his earlier session today was “Ten Trends Shaping the Future of Romance Authorship.” With Mark’s permission I’ll now present you those ten trends as a listicle.
(Caveat: This is very close to verbatim what Mark said, but as a typist I can only capture about 60% to 70% of the true transcript, and any errors you may find in here are purely mine.)
Mark Coker: So much news happening every day, every month, it can be bewildering, and it’s easy to mistake ephemeral news for trends. Today I’m going to talk about firmly entrenched macro trends that are going to persist for a long time. These are what are driving your threats and opportunities in publishing forward. Some may be obvious, some may not. These may provoke some strong feelings. These are some important issues that should provoke greater discussion so please share this information widely:
Mirrored from blog.ceciliatan.com.