Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Blog Capsule

Today we have to open my 2010 blog time capsule. If you remember, last March I promised to prove I wasn't psychic by making some random predictions and then waiting one year to see if they came true.

Let's see how I did:

1. A major publisher will move a big chunk of their titles into print-on-demand to test the waters, and in the process suspend author advances in favor of quarterly royalty payments.

(To my knowledge) Didn't happen. Publishers are trying to grab more rights though, so if you do not have an agent be sure and read every single word of any contract before you sign it.

2. Enhanced content will be the next big author promo trend.

Nope, although if the publishers testing the water verify that it will sell more books at a higher sticker price, it still might happen.

3. The Author's Guild will make so many more concessions to Google they will be sued by their own membership.

Not that I've heard. The good news is that in spite of The Authors Guild sucking up to Google, wiser minds have (at least for now) shut down this idiot settlement.

4. The e-book market will hit a plateau as the novelty of e-readers wears off and people decide books are not as entertaining as TV, video games or DVDs, which they will be able to play on a new type of crossover e-reader manufactured in the far east that is intended for use with animated anime (aka comic books that can be set to be read or be played like a cartoon.)

Nope. While I was at MegaCon I did talk to several anime artists, who say the idea I described is not yet a reality (although some of them were quite intrigued by the concept.) Kodansha seems to be heading in that direction, too. As for the expected plateau, also a no. Everyone is still in love with e-books and e-readers, and now every day we hear about yet another author turning down deals, firing their agents and rushing to self-publish for profit. Well, not me, but if I jump off a cliff, doesn't mean everyone else has to.

5. The next big new genre trend will arrive by the explosion via an unknown author whose debut goes platinum, and will be a combo of alternate history with a kind of mashup between urban fantasy and steampunk.

I've got three strikes on this one: Since author Gail Carriger debuted in 2009 I can't count her; to date no other debut author has made the impact or sales that she did; and finally the consensus among my editors pals, as well as feedback I've been getting is that traditional publishers are not convinced of steampunk's viability as a trend.

There you go. I think this proves once and (hopefully) for all that I am not a psychic.

13 comments:

  1. You are too psychic. *g*

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  2. GRR! I had a long post coming up with a similar event for everything but 4 and blogger ate it on an authentication issue. Sigh. Suffice to say that if you loosen your strict interpretation, something happened to match 1,2,3, and 5.

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  3. Didn't #1 happen when one of the Romance publishers start a vanity/POD line for their second tier submissions? And while not a big trend, #2 happened in the e-book content for Jodi Piccoult's Sing You Home. Zoe's songs can be triggered in the midst of the reading on the (more advanced) e-readers (not mine as I have a first-generation Nook). #3 Thank goodness did not happen. I wish #4 would. And as for #5, does the Amanda Hocking phenomenon count? (2 million copies sold, 8 titles, paranormal genre)

    Anyway, interesting to see your time capsule results. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. I heard an editor describe steampunk as "the trend that never was."

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  5. Charlene wrote: You are too psychic. *g*

    If you keep perpetuating the myth I'm going to name you as my reality manager and send you all the e-mail from the crazy people. I mean it. :)

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  6. Margaret wrote: Suffice to say that if you loosen your strict interpretation, something happened to match 1,2,3, and 5.

    If I loosen my interpretation I'll have to relive the post J.R. Ward editor nightmare again. So let's keep the interpretations in titanium chains.

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  7. Lara wrote: Didn't #1 happen when one of the Romance publishers start a vanity/POD line for their second tier submissions? And while not a big trend, #2 happened in the e-book content for Jodi Piccoult's Sing You Home. Zoe's songs can be triggered in the midst of the reading on the (more advanced) e-readers (not mine as I have a first-generation Nook). #3 Thank goodness did not happen. I wish #4 would. And as for #5, does the Amanda Hocking phenomenon count? (2 million copies sold, 8 titles, paranormal genre)

    You guys are determined to wreck my glee this morning, lol. I don't know the answers to your questions, but I think I read somewhere that Hocking writes paranormal.

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  8. Margaret wrote: I heard an editor describe steampunk as "the trend that never was."

    I've heard worse. ;)

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  9. I think it proves you are a psyhic...

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  10. Keita Haruka11:21 AM

    Darn. :p I guess I owe the person of your choice a bookwish. :D (No, I did not forget the bet.;-) )

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  11. Fair enough. However, I would count it a sign of how you have your finger on the pulse of publishing rather than any extrasensory perception :).

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  12. Psychic or not, you are informative.

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  13. traditional publishers are not convinced of steampunk's viability as a trend

    Aww, bless 'em. :)

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