The Industry, the Technology, and the Unity of Innovation
Self-Publishing Industry (SPI), in general, is continuously growing as it tries to balance author-centric and consumercentric principles, as compared to traditional publishing. The latter focuses on being consumer-centric, or more appropriately market-centric principles; while the former, started on author-centricity.
With being author-centric alone, self-publishers finally grasped why traditional publishers need to be very strict and very choosy about what books they are going to publish. It’s more than just their reputation, but rather on the risk of losing millions with regards to the marketability of a particular book, especially with the ever-increasing competition in the global market. With no offense to some authors, as SPI started out, their reports show that only 3 out of 50 self-published books are marketable.
Despite that fact, self-publishers didn’t discard the author-centric principles. In fact, the industry becomes even more author-centric. With the help of the technological advancements, self-publishers were able to reach out to more indie authors and taught them the right and more effective techniques on how to market their books. The industry taught the essence of building up the author-reader relationship. That’s thanks to the Internet!
Any improvements in the Self Publishing Industry is highly dependent on, though not limited to, the development of modern, internet-based technologies such as Narrow Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Techniques.
How Self-Publishing Industry Did in 2017?
Although there is no 2017 official data analysis available yet for self-publishing to show us the graphical and mathematical presentations, several publishers and critiques already voiced out a draft of their assessment report. The most common among these reports from different self-publishers tackle about: Audio Segment, Artificial Intelligence Technology, Machine Learning Techniques, and Movie Potentiality.
In 2014-2015 data analysis, the drop in revenue for e-book content was apparent, which made the indie authors shift their focus from digital to print in 2016. But focusing on printed books was even much tricky to handle especially when it comes to DIY marketing. In 2017, self-publishers went on to improving audio segment technique and offered this to authors in-line with e-books to help them in marketing. Although there were only a few who engaged on this particular publishing format, the result turned out to be a relevant improvement in comparison with the previous years. The number of audiobooks in the market are continuously increasing.
The growth of Artificial Intelligence has redefined the hope in self-publishing industry. It brought convenience to both authors and potential consumers especially with One-Click, one of the most successful AI development in the online marketing.
Along with One-Click, the most talked-about and most important AI development is the Machine Learning, a technique that uses algorithms to generate algorithms. Algorithms are a sequence of instructions used to solve a problem. But instead of having programmers input the instructions from time to time, in Machine Learning, computers are given instructions by non-programmers that will allow it to learn from data. One of the notable applications of Machine Learning is the “language translation” and “picture-to-word conversion”.
With the right marketing and advertising approach, many titles of books have been generated throughout the global market, and have reached the interest of several filmmakers. Wattpad studio has been the leading opportunity for indie authors to get their stories into the movie screens which has opened another hope in the self-publishing industry.
What to Expect in 2018?
It’s hard to predict specific events. But based on the recent progress, there are three general factors to expect in self-publishing industry for 2018. Improvement on the Successful Technological Applications, Author’s Assessment and Flexibility in Marketing and Advertising Approaches, and Consumer Shift.
While AI developments, like One-Click and Machine Learning, have been the leading factor in the shift of revenue to the positive peak in the graph, there are still issues experts are trying to resolve. These issues include transparency and accountability, and security.
- Transparency and Accountability. Social media has become a bridge of a much effective global communication. Although it brought a great impact on the socio-economic growth, the transparency is ironically biased; putting possible risks to users but blindly tolerates elicit trading and other crimes. AI may discriminate some individuals or make errors due to biased training data, but since it simply follows input from millions of users worldwide, it cannot distinguish the actors much accurately, making it more difficult to ensure accountability.
- Security. With the issue of transparency and accountability, the high numbers of potential malicious actors become a depressing thought. It poses increasing risks to user privacy. Google, among others, may have tightened its security but creates inconvenience for users.
AI development surely needs to improve, and it’s one of the priorities of programming corporations. It is predicted that in 2018, a more flexible and sustainable performance of technological advancements will rise which will boost the reliability and performance of self-publishing industry.
Also, with the help of articles prepared by the professionals and marketing consultants, it is predicted that indie authors will become literate in the DIY marketing and will be able to achieve more progress in their sales and book launches. Self-publishers have introduced interactive tools to authors to build a robust writer-reader relationship which may most specifically include author’s website and social media interactions.
Advertising is seen to double its hit in 2018, due to the appearance of several advertising companies, like Wattpad and book-themed magazines. There’s also a notable increase in numbers for press releases and book reviews.
Finally, with 2017’s progress regarding e-books, consumer shift is one of the most relevant predictions self-publishing industry is aiming to achieve in 2018. With more people shifting to e-book and audiobook formats, self-publishers will have more room to convince indie authors to boost their flexibility in marketing, as it should be the first step, before having their books in the brick-and-mortar bookstores.
Whether the source is reliable or not, predictions remain to be a debatable subject from error-potential data analysis. What could bring these predictions to fruition are hard-work and flexibility in learning. Development is continuous because learning is.