Are you planning on starting a publishing business? Do you know that there’s a lot of opportunities for you to grow in this industry? With the pandemic keeping us stuck inside our homes, there has been an increasing demand for books and other reading materials. In this episode, Juliet Clark talks about the publishing industry rounding up into 2022. Due to technology, the digital trends would be big. She discusses the options you have in publishing your books and what would be the most advisable. Learn sales techniques and how you could plan your business carefully in today’s discussion.
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2022 Publishing Trends
I’m solo on this episode. I want to talk a little bit about what’s going on in the publishing industry rounding up into 2022. Before we get started, don’t forget to go over to YouTube and subscribe to @SuperbrandPublishing. We’re over there. If you’re reading this and you want to see the video, you can find it over at @SuperbrandPublishing. We’ve got lots of different ways you can consume this information depending on what is your best way to learn. We’re going to talk about what’s going on in the publishing world rounding up into 2022.
We’ve had an amazing year this 2021. Many of you wrote entrepreneurial books during COVID. Some of you wrote fiction novels related to your business, which were really great. I want to congratulate all of our published authors this 2021. Rounding up into January and February 2022, we have a lot of great new releases that people are putting out for the beginning of 2022. We have a book coming out on getting your dream job or how to get fulfillment out of your job. We have on social media and selling.
For all of you entrepreneurial women out there who feel really uncomfortable with selling, we have a great book coming out by Ryann Dowdy. Susan Hayworth is writing a book about change. How Change Will Do You Good, that’s the name of it. We have Linda Marsanico with the book coming out, The A-Train to Sedona, which is a little bit more of a spiritual book. Christina Lou is chronicling her year-long trip around the world where she ended up buying a spiritual retreat in Costa Rica. Talk about some really big doers in the world. We’ve got a lot of them we’re working with over in 2022.
What is trending and what is not? One of the things that are really trending is hardcovers. People are back to doing hardcovers. A lot of people read in 2020 with COVID. I know some of you were stuck on TV with the Tiger King and other things that you were doing like stress-eating but a lot of people used this time not only to write but to read because, for those of you who don’t know, most people who are good writers are also big readers. That is a super important aspect of any good writer with what they do with their spare time. Hardcover sales were up and print sales were growing rapidly. Some numbers, it was up 8.2% in 2020 over 2019. It’s not surprising, considering that we were all locked down for a while but the really surprising number is that 2021 numbers over 2020 were 18.5%. More people are shutting off the TV.Most people who are good writers are also big readers. Click To Tweet
They’re doing all those things that we were doing that probably weren’t as good for us. They’re reading again and that is really exciting. Hardcover sales, a lot of people are buying in hardcover and selling, especially those entrepreneurial books. Expect to see a lot of hardcovers coming out in 2022. I know one of our authors, Karie Cassell did release in softcover. She’s also releasing an audiobook, which we’re going to talk a lot more about but she also had a hardcover out too. I think her hardcover sales were pretty good as well. You might remember her who released The Domino Diet. We did an interview with her as well.
One of the big things that are important to think about for 2022 is digital trends. eBook sales are way up and this is really important going into 2022 because we are experiencing paper shortages. The supply chain is hurting everyone. It seems to be hitting our premium color books the hardest. There is at least a 3 to 4-week lag time. Even getting proofs are conserving that paper. It seems like it’s a slower sale on Amazon, even Barnes & Noble. We have books that we’ve ordered that were 2 to 3 weeks out ordering them retail from even getting them. We haven’t received them yet.
I know we had a lot of big orders for people who were having them drop shipped at events and it was a major hassle to get it there. We’re also starting to get notifications from printers about the 50-pound paper, which is what we use for black and white. Most companies and most printers out there use 50 for the black and white books. That’s where you need to have a good eBook strategy in place whether it’s Kindle, an actual EPUB over on Barnes & Noble or some of the other platforms.
Remember that when you’re putting your multi-level strategy together, it’s not a good idea to just put out one version of the book. Have multiple books available. The biggest trend we’re going to talk about on the next episode with Tina Dietz is audiobooks. We are encouraging all of our clients to budget for audiobooks. We use Twin Flames Studios. Tina Dietz is going to be on. She’s the owner of the studio talking on the next episode.
You can choose to record your own book with them or you can have talent do that as well but either way, audiobooks are not something that you can try to do on your own because they have big quality standards. That means that no huffing, which a lot of us huff and we don’t even realize it. I remember I tried to read my own book many years ago. It’s much harder than it seems because of all of the delicate equipment and the noise on it. To give you some idea, US revenue year over year for digital is up 20%. If you’re somebody out of the UK, you guys are up 24%. There’s a lot going on in the digital world.
When you’re coming into this, plan for minimally a softcover, digital version and audio. I don’t necessarily know if the hardcover is the way to go. Hardcover’s a vanity. My problem with the hardcover going up is you make so much less money on the hardcover books. That brings me back to the print versus digital argument as well because we have seen three price increases on paper this 2021. It is getting harder to make money off of that physical book. The hardcovers have always been a hard avenue to make money on because of the nature of it. It’s priced higher.
You’ve probably noticed if you buy books over on Amazon, they’ve been creeping up in 2020. In order for us to get much profit out for our clients at all, the prices have gone up. That’s across the board too. I’ve noticed the traditional prices have gone up. In fact, we have a cap on our digital of how high we go with them. I’m noticing that the traditional publishers are selling the digital versions for a lot more these days. Bare minimum, paperback, digital version whether that is Kindle, we encourage the Kindle but also you can have an EPUB made and go over and put that on Barnes & Noble as well and there are some other platforms you can too.
Also, the audio. A lot of people are starting to listen to audio more. It’s a great way to consume information. I got to tell you with the audio. I’m huge in audio. I should have stock in Audible. I listen to so many books a month. I think I’m into 5 or 6 a month. Here’s the secret about it. If I’m listening to an entrepreneurial book and I hear things that I want to explore more fully, I’ll order that softcover just so I have it as a reference guide. That’s definitely something you can do too.One of the big things that are important to think about for 2022 is the digital trends. Click To Tweet
We don’t work with libraries. I know there are but more people are working in the library space as well. The other shift we see big time is since everybody’s home now, people have lost their jobs. We talked about The Great Resignation. A lot of people are transitioning to home businesses, which means they are reading a lot. They are taking a lot of online courses to get themselves up to speed. One of the biggest things that I’m hammering with my clients is I notice more and more that my clients have books. They have online marketing but they don’t have accounting systems. They’re still using PayPal.
They’re not using really good accounting systems like QuickBooks or Quicken. Now that you have a business, you need a good contract in place, which I’ll tell you that we love HoneyBook. We send out our contract, the proposal, it has places to pay on it and then it connects right into our QuickBooks and sets up the profile, the invoicing and everything over there. We don’t have to have our bookkeeper do any double work anymore but that shift to online learning means that now you can use your own books as reference sources.
Why is this important? Many years ago, a professor at Cal State Northridge came to me. He wanted a book that he wrote to be put over on Amazon and a Kindle version. I know that sounds weird. Why would a professor sell his books? He makes all the money for it and it doesn’t go through the campus bookstore. I will be really transparent when he asked me this. I went back to my nieces who were both in college then and said, “Do you buy books this way?” I got a yes on the Kindle versions. The Kindle versions were selling for an enormous amount of money.
It’s $60 to $70 a copy and the conversion is not that much money. I suspect we’re going to see more and more of that. Audiobooks are coming up. The quality has to be there. We’re going to talk about that more with Tina on the next episode but the audio numbers are huge. It’s a good investment overall. To recap what’s been going on for the physical formats of the books. The hardcovers are up 24% so if you’re thinking about doing a hardcover, people are reading them. Trade paperbacks, that’s most of our entrepreneurial books. They’re up about 17%.
Mass-market paperbacks are usually fiction. Some of the others, they’re up 5% and GB board books, these are more like the children’s books. They’re up 20%. That’s a good thing because it’s hard to get a good eBook. I know a lot of people are getting their kids into technology so they’re handing off the iPad, a computer or something like that for their kids to read. Those are really great information for you guys on that.
It’s a really good time to be in the book industry but of course, for those of you who have worked with us, you also know that we encourage you to have your next steps in place, especially you online marketers. We don’t feel that the whole online marketing funnel is a great way to encourage clients to come in. We’re finding a lot of people click and it doesn’t lead to a relationship, which is why we’ve transitioned a lot of our marketing over the last couple of years not only for ourselves but for our clients to understand.
If you read Ryann Dowdy’s book when it comes out, you’re going to get a lot of information about that because she’s the person who understands the value of those personal relationships and sales. You just can’t get it from a click. I don’t care what anybody says. Ads and clicks might get you in front of new people but it’s all about trust so you have to figure out how to take it from a click into a real conversation. Not a strategy session where, “I get to tell you for fifteen minutes that I get to sell you what I have and do all those things where I listen and I give feedback.”It's a really good time to be in the book industry. Click To Tweet
That is supposed to be a sales technique but building relationships just like you would with a friend. Most of my clients that leave here become my friends. Some things to think about from that marketing standpoint, we have so many new people trying to use the books as a nurture sequence and then get people into those online programs. It’s not a hard sell to get someone to buy something that’s $20 or $30 but then when you transition from there into that bigger product, you have to look at this book as a get-to-know-you product.
Find out if what I do meshes with what you do because at the end of the day, there’s probably not one big person who has monopolies on particular markets. People do the same thing. It’s just whose personality do you resonate with? Where are you going to spend your money? I find that the online world has a lot of shiny objects and great marketing but not much delivery. It’s great to think about how you are going to market your book in 2022, how that will relate to your business, how you’re going to work with publishers and what that looks like.
Is this someone you just handed off because it’s cheap and you get a cheap product? You don’t know what to do with it? Are you going to hire somebody who gets deep in the weeds about, “This is how we’re going to relate it back to your business?” I hope that’s helpful. I look forward to talking to Tina with you guys on the next episode because I think this audio component is so important and it’s another way to get your voice out to the world. Have a great day. Thanks for stopping by.