Saturday, April 28, 2018

I Predict Disruption But Also More of the Same

So not the Author. DepositPhoto

So our challenge this week is to set forth five prophecies for the future of publishing/romance/anything related. We do have a touch of the ‘the sight’ in our family but not for things of this nature LOL (doesn’t work on Lotto numbers either).

The first thing that comes to mind is that Amazon has become a big, stable business (as far as the books and indie publishing aspect) so I expect someone will come along and be a disruptor. Here’s the Wikipedia definition of disruption:  “Disruptive innovation is a term in the field of business administration which refers to an innovation that creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network, displacing established market leading firms, products, and alliances.”

It happened to the phone company, the major TV networks, the record industry, the airlines, the retail industry, IBM, Xerox…so I predict it will happen to Amazon as well.  Yes, Amazon itself has been a huge disruptor in so many ways but time overtakes us all, inevitably.

Second, I think reverse harem will continue to be a big trope in romance, until whatever is next comes along to displace it. I have no idea what the next big popular trope will be. We’ve had the stepbrother thing, the blue space barbarian thing, YA dystopian angst, sparkly vampires…what’s lovely about the indie publishing world is that when a trope ceases to be ‘hot’, authors can still write it anyway and readers can still find it anyway…just not as much of it. Or those of us who didn’t find a particular trope fit in with their storytelling can just keep writing what we write and appreciating our loyal readers.

Third, since humans first sat around the campfire and told each other stories, there’s been a need for entertainment to balance the cares of daily life and work. I don’t expect that need to ever go away but in this day and age there are so many more options for entertainment than our ancestors had. Authors will have to be prolific and nimble to stay in the mix, and keep in mind that publishing is very much a business. Yes, there must be a good story first but discoverability is the key.

As a follow-on to that thought, fourth prediction, I think the older methods of promo – newsletters, Facebook ads/pages/groups, conferences, good reviews in a magazine, blogging, tweeting – are all becoming increasingly less effective. New methods of promo to reach the current and new audiences will have to be found. I’m not a Silicon Valley techie or a PR person so I have no idea what those new shiny tools will be, but I’m keeping my eyes and ears open.

Fifth, I predict someone will become the next ‘overnight success’ with something totally new that no one saw coming that catches the public fancy, becomes a movie or a TV miniseries, maybe even a theme park, and spawns a zillion similar books…because this always seems to happen. Someone will hit the zeitgeist just right, at the right second and BAM. Household word. The author probably really isn’t an ‘overnight success’ but has been writing away in the modern equivalent of a garret for years. More power to you, unknown author!

And if I knew what that shiny fabulous book plot was going to be, I’d write it myself, but as I mentioned above, the family gift is more for premonitions of onrushing catastrophe than what trope to be sure to include in the next book.

My heroine in HEALER OF THE NILE makes predictions by casting colorful stones. Of course when all else fails, she has a direct line to Shae, God of Fate. DepositPhoto