Interesting Publishing Trends to Watch in 2017

JordanDane
@JordanDane

I found these trends interesting and wanted to share them here at TKZ. As many of you know, I’ve been writing with author friends on various Amazon Kindle Worlds where they host/create a world and invite authors to write for their series. It’s been fun and I get to explore many topics and experiment with styles and research topics and lengths. Plus the group of launching authors share promotion and benefit from each other’s readerships when we cross promote. So given that, I thought you might like to explore these ideas for your writing goals.

Novellas, Anthologies & Co-Authoring – What makes this growing trend popular is affordability and the recognition of shorter attention spans. These shorter types of books are cheaper for authors to produce and affordable for voracious readers to buy. With people’s shorter attention spans, the shorter format is more convenient. The cheaper price point also allows readers to try new authors without busting the bank. Win/Win. As for anthologies, a group of authors can merge their resources to come up with a top-notch product and also save on production, distribution, and promotion costs that can be shared jointly. Multiply the aggregate authors combined reader base and it’s another win/win.

Changing Book Themes Influenced by an Evolving World – In my latest book (due out June 8th – Vigilante Justice) I explore the topic of conspiracy theories and immigration. I brainstormed my “what if” question on those topics and came up with a story that could’ve been ripped from the headlines. It’s a risk to attempt books on the edge of politics, which I leave out of the story. Instead I focused on the emotional human conflicts that were organic to such a story. Be aware of the realistic elements to our culture and society and the struggles we have to infuse them into your themes. You not only explore your own thoughts, but you can crystallize conflict in such a human way. Such themes may be the refugee crisis, climate change, LGBT issues, terrorism (both international and domestic), and drug addiction. As an author you could choose to write about the stark reality of these themes, or you could provide a Utopian escape for readers to find refuge. Give your world building a dose of reality or provide readers a panacea for what they see on TV or in the news.

Indie & Hybrid Houses – Today, authors have options on how to publish, whether it’s self-publishing or attempting to sell to indie or hybrid houses. The Big 5 Publishers are also an option, but the author would have to consider giving up creative control & handing over copyrights and still be required to promote. Many smaller houses are offering better royalty rates and could give the author a more collaborative approach with more control.

Audio Books – With the growing popularity of products like Amazon’s Echo and Google Home, many consumers are gaining access to audio books in their homes, These can be techy types who liked controlling everything in their domain or older folks who (if they can remember Alexa’s name – insert my parents’ names here) like to be read a nighttime story. This kind of technology has enhanced the audio book market and authors can ‘self-publish’ their own audio book format through ACX.

For DISCUSSION:

Have any of you tried variations of these trends and found success? Please share.

Out for Blood $1.99 Ebook

After the Jaguar destroyed his world, former CIA operative Mercer Broderick targets the faceless cartel boss using the Equalizers as pawns in a deadly game to avenge the murder of his beloved wife and child. (Mercer’s War – Book 2)

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About Jordan Dane

Bestselling, critically-acclaimed author Jordan Dane’s gritty thrillers are ripped from the headlines with vivid settings, intrigue, and dark humor. Publishers Weekly compared her intense novels to Lisa Jackson, Lisa Gardner, and Tami Hoag, naming her debut novel NO ONE HEARD HER SCREAM as Best Books of 2008. She also pens young-adult novels for Harlequin Teen. Formerly an energy sales manager, she now writes full time. Jordan shares her Texas residence with two lucky rescue dogs.

14 thoughts on “Interesting Publishing Trends to Watch in 2017

  1. Jordan, Thanks for sharing these developments in the publishing industry. I’ve done three indie-published novellas, and–since I arrange most of the publicity myself anyway, know an excellent cover artist, and have used a great editor–am seriously considering not going back to a traditional book publisher. Thanks for sharing these developments in the publishing industry.

    • I’ve tested some of these & have found shorter projects can fit into my writing schedule nicely and include an outreach to new readers. The cross promotion with other authors has heen a boon. I like tweaking what I do & trying new things.

      I’m very happy to hear of your success. Thanks for your comment, Richard.

  2. I got the rights back to my last book a month ago, so I guess I’m no longer hybrid. I’m satisfied with being an “author-publisher” as one writer prefers to call indie authors. I’m retired, and content to work at my own pace. I released 3 books last year, and don’t want to work at that pace this year. Bringing my backlist into audio is a way to keep my name out there without having to write as many new books. The challenge for me there is finding the audience. Most of my established fans are readers, not listeners.

    • Great points, Terry. I love that you’re expanding your reach in book formats, like audio. If you learn tips on audio promo, we should have you guest post on the topic.

      Congratulations on getting your rights back. Make hay, girl.

  3. I’ve been involved with three short story anthologies, one flash fiction anthology, and one novel excerpt anthology. The exposure is great; the royalties aren’t great. Which really isn’t a big deal. They were all fun collaborations. Now, I’m working on my first Kindle World story. So far, it’s been exciting, rewarding, and nerve-wracking, rolled into one. Mainly because I had to finish two novels before starting the story. The KW authors, especially you, Susan, and Elle, are fantastic, though. I couldn’t be in better groups. I can hardly wait to see what happens next.

    • The shorter projects can light a fire in your schedule. I hear that. Hope you have a great first experience with Kindle Worlds. You couldn’t ask for a more generous and giving author host than Elle James. I’ve been on deadline hell and finishing my June release by this weekend, in time for upload. Ugh. Have fun, Sue.

  4. I’ve done one shared-world novel, several short story anthologies, one novel for a boxed set, and a few novellas. Some with more success than others. I think it depends on all the collaborators and the efforts of the organizing group. You’ll only get out benefits that correlate to the quality that went in.

    That said, I’m still doing novellas and anthologies, so I haven’t totally given up on those options, yet.

  5. Great list, Jordan. I’ve been in a lot of anthologies, and the money is definitely not great. But they’re a good way to a introduce folks to your work. And I love the chance to work with other writers. I haven’t used ACX because of the cost. Several of my books have audio versions, and they just don’t sell all that well. I LOVE audio books myself, though. We have the equipment for recording. I’d like to record a couple short stories and see how it goes.

    • I think costs can be shared on ACX and I’ve had them offer subsidies for a project that I let linger. As Terry said, with audio, it’s important to develop ideas on marketing. I’m in the same boat but I like having different formats in my books. Better exposure. Thanks, Laura.

  6. I really hope you’re right about the novellas. I’ve written two so far and part way through a third so that I can indie publish them. When I do that, I will be a hybrid author… so you’re predictions are pretty good!

    • Like you, I evolved into these trends organically but after researching trends for this post, I saw parallels that made sense based on my experiences. What a shorter format does for you is build up your offerings & keeps your name in front of readers every 60-90 days. That can allow you to build momentum. Good luck, Rhoda.

  7. Jordan, I agree novellas and anthologies will continue to rise in popularity. If Ambrose Bierce were writing his Devil’s Dictionary today, he’d define “novel” as a padded novella.

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