Sunday, January 03, 2016

Are the Predictions Making Your Head Spin Yet?

I like to keep up with news about the writing biz, but right now many articles and blogs are focusing on predictions for 2016. Truth be told, I don’t have any predictions and won’t even try. I’d rather let things unfold and see what happens. But I am curious to learn what others have to say. This week, I read only four viewpoints before my head started to spin. This one example will explain why.

Jane Friedman wrote a piece on issues to watch for in the coming year. They’re not quite predictions, but she is looking ahead. Among her five issues, is the subheading “Sorry, But Print Sales Aren’t Surging”, where she questions (as do others) a New York Times piece about ebook sales slipping and print being far from dead. She refers to stats to support her argument. The Times article also refers to stats to support its premise.

Then there’s a Digital Book World blogger who’s stepped boldly forward to offer ten predictions for the coming year. The first one on his list is “Continued Regrowth of Print Sales”. Do you feel that tingling in your head yet? Amazon is referred to in both blogs, although not at opposite ends of the spectrum. Digital Book World believes that Amazon will operate more quietly thanks to all the bad PR from highly public battles in 2015, but that they will continue to pursue an aggressive marketing plan. Friedman thinks they’ll continue to tinker with programs such as KDP and Kindle Unlimited. Aggressive planning and tinkering don’t mean the same thing, and my point is who really knows? They are after all only predictions, right? Maybe I shouldn’t take any of it too seriously.

Of course, it’s good to know what’s going on in the industry, but I’ve found over the years that it’s pretty tough to find across-the-board agreement on anything. When it comes right down to it, no one really knows everything that’s going on, what the coming trends will be, or which publishing choices will earn a writer a decent income. Varied viewpoints are inevitable and even necessary, but for new writers they can also be a confusing slippery slope. For 2016, how about we just set some writing goals and get down to work while the year unfolds in its own unique way.

Happy 2016 and wishing you that you’ll accomplish all of your goals!!

No comments: