January 4, 2012
Questions a Publishing Industry Futurist is Mulling Over for 2012
One would expect a publishing industry futurist to issue a set of predictions for 2012. But for 2012, Mike Shatzkin writes:
Rather than predict the future for the industry’s biggest players, I am posing what I think are the biggest questions faced by each category of them. Some of the questions are within their power or responsibility to answer; some depend on outside circumstances; and some may never be answered at all. But any honest futurist (and I try to be one) has to admit that questions outnumber answers.
Actually, I prefer this format. I would rather know the questions experts like Shatzkin are asking themselves instead of reading about predictions. Personally I find this to be much more informative.
Skatzkin lists his questions under a number of publishing industry topics, including, for example, The Biggest Publishers, Publishers Bigger Than Small but Not Big Six and Smaller Publishers. I found his questions under the topics Authors, Agents and The Industry (Generally), particularly interesting. A snip from each of those topics (do note there are more questions under each topic).
Authors: How do they build their own online platform? (And every author who plans to make a living through writing and hasn’t yet built a platform has to think about having one.)
Agents: Do they know what they need to know to make a “profit-sharing” deal with a publisher?
The Industry: Does the industry show signs it will trifurcate, with narrative text, adult illustrated, and children’s books becoming three largely different businesses?
For much more, see The Shatzkin Files post, No predictions this year; just questions. Highly recommended.
Now are they any legal publishing industry futurists out there? Hello Jason Wilson! Got questions you are mulling over for 2012? [JH]