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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > February 2018 > Reading the future

Reading the future

What does 2018 hold for you? WM canvassed the experts’ assessments of the state of the publishing industry and their predictions – personal and professional – for the year ahead

Adam Croft

Indie author and publisher

It’s always a sign of success when others try to bring you down, and that’s where self-publishing now finds itself. 2017 has been full of news stories of ‘declining ebook sales’ (ebook sales are actually considerably up; it’s ereader sales which are slightly down, mainly because everyone already has one).

That said, we can’t rest on our laurels. This half (now nearer three quarters) of the industry is incredibly fast-moving. Everyone wants to know what the next big thing will be, following on from the success of previous breakthrough technologies and marketing strategies.

Will it be the much-lauded Facebook Messenger chatbots? I’m putting my neck on the line by saying no. They’ll quickly be judged to be shallow, invasive and very very annoying. Nor do I think this year will finally be the year of the audiobook. They’ll continue to grow, of course, but I don’t think we’ll ever see the explosion that’s optimistically touted in parrot fashion by industry experts every December.

Digital publishing is levelling out, and that’s a good thing. The market is stabilising with independent publishers now in the majority and the market maturing to a level that suits both the author-publisher and the reader. It also means newcomers to digital publishing are likely to find the field much easier to enter. With traditional publishing continuing to decline, why not become part of the digital publishing movement?

Piers Blofeld

Literary agent

2017 was a rare publishing year in which there was no stand out bestseller – no Girl on a Train or Fifty Shades and that has meant that overall the numbers are slightly down for the year: nothing could better illustrate how important those big bestsellers are for the business – and for grabbing the imagination of the public and bringing in new readers.

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About Writing Magazine

In the first issue of Writing Magazine for the New Year, we look at what's hot for 2018 as publishing insiders share their predictions for the year ahead. You can get your writing year off to a great new start with advice for all writers - whether you write crime, romance, fantasy, poetry, historical fiction or for children, we've got something in this issue to help and inspire you. • Our star interview is the queen of dynasty sagas, the great Barbara Taylor Bradford. • Keep up to date with the latest opportunities to sell your work and see it in print, and win £58,142 in writing prizes.

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