I have a prediction that within 5 years, only 25% of New York Publishing as we know it will survive. The other 75% will be acquired, move into a different business, or simply shut down. The economics of the present model will not be able to be sustained and the technological advances in publishing continue to advance at a rapid rate.
There will continue to be celebrities and other people who have large platforms that will continue to make the remaining New York Publishers viable. But the Long Tail effect will continue to lengthen shattering the current obsolete book publishing and distribution models. There will be much more free content produced by authors that will monetize their efforts in other ways than from their books.
As more authors become more empowered and understand their position in the new publishing marketplace, even the best authors will consider moving off in a different direction UNLESS New York publishing accommodates them or moves with them. But I see very little of that because most employees are fundamentally not entrepreneurial. Or if they are, they are not in an environment that will support them.
Many employees within New York Publishing will find their skills obsoleted in much the same way old-style typesetters were put out of business when desktop publishing software became popular.
Those employees who continue to chase positions with the big publishers will be participating in a game of musical chairs except that the chairs being removed will taken away dozens if not hundreds at a time. Their only hope is to find another career or morph into providing contract services to empowered authors. However, I believe most authors will NOT take on New York publishing’s ex-employees. They expect too much pay and the culture shock will be too great. It will probably be better for many to home-grow their own professionals or find those people who are experienced in being independent contractors.
Book publishing will continue to have its place. Books won’t go away. But with many more authors producing more independent titles, it will dilute the power and influence of most New York publishers.
And if you are bothered by this article, ask yourself why? I am only one unknown guy writing on little-read blog right? There is no power in this one lonely blog post, right? After all, a prediction does not make it fact. If I am wrong, I have little to lose. But if I am right, there are LOTS of people in for a lot of financial and career pain.
Word of the the day: TITANIC