6 Self-Publishing Business Trends in 2019


Technology is reshaping how books are produced, marketed, and consumed. It’s remaking the publishing industry and changing how we consume information. Self-publishing businesses must adapt to the changes and anticipate future developments to succeed. It’s the only way to manage and thrive in this competitive and ever-changing environment.

Business Here are some trends likely to affect the self-publishing space 2019 and how to stay ahead of the curve.

1. Collaborative and Hybrid Publishing

Authors and self-publishing businesses increasingly enlist professionals’ help and expertise to improve production quality and marketing efforts. Technology isn’t altering how we consume content; it’s changing our quality expectations.

Self-publishers need to adopt a more collaborative or hybrid publishing process. It entails paying for needed expert services while retaining creative oversight.

2. Continuous Marketing

In the recent past, a book could climb to the bestseller list with minimal initial marketing. Not anymore. Organic growth is currently challenging for most self-publishing businesses, creating an ongoing and multifaceted marketing strategy.

Authors and self-publishers must embrace new marketing channels to remain visible amid new releases. Savvy book publishers like Ryan Nivakoff use blogging to reach a wider audience. Other potential marketing channels include social media, book review platforms, etc.

3. The Shrinking Book

Our attention spans keep on shrinking. Readers are lured away from reading by gaming apps, social media, or streaming services like Netflix. The short attention span means the reader wants to reach the last page faster and focus on something else.

The last few years have seen shorter books published – roughly 200 pages or about 50,000 words. Larger books can be split into series to accommodate this changing reality.

4. The Rise of the Audiobook

More people are gravitating towards audiobooks, perhaps during their commute or downtime. Audiobook consumption has steadily risen from 14% in 2016 to 18%. Publishers like HarperCollins reported an increase in digital audio revenue, which accounted for 25% of digital income in the first quarter of 2018.

Audiobooks may prove an exception to the decline in leisure reading and counter the shrinking attention span. Self-publishing businesses must plug into this growing segment to boost readership and revenues.

5. Print Still Trumps Digital

According to one survey, 67% of American adults read a print book in 2016 compared to just 28% who had read an ebook. Physical books seem to trump digital copies, making it a trend that any self-publishing business should note in 2019.

The rise of print-on-demand services means that publishers can tap into this trend by offering print books in addition to digital copies. Doing so will increase access to readers who still consume books on paper while leveraging technology to keep production costs down.

6. A Decline in Pleasure Reading

Despite the increase in books published through digital, print, etc., pleasure reading in the United States has plummeted by almost a third since 2004. While a book was published every five minutes on Amazon in 2014, readership numbers have gone in the opposite direction.

Self-publishing businesses need awareness of how people consume books and align the design, marketing, and distribution with capitalizing on channels that work.