Predictions for 2012 for writers and readers – Part 2

Yesterday I put in writing my predictions for writers in 2012. As promised, today I’m going to consult my crystal ball to get some insight into what readers will see. (Mist swirling in ball. Vickie straightening turban, murmuring magic words and drinking wine. Much wine)

Magic Eight Ball Crystal ball says nothing. Or at least not much.

And that’s the way it should be. Sometimes writers forget that readers don’t see the man behind the curtain the way we do.  Sit in a bookstore and watch and listen to the customers (try not to get arrested for stalking). Hang in some reader forums if you can find any that haven’t been taken over by hungry writers.

Most readers have no idea what’s happening in the publishing industry, nor do they care. Most readers can’t tell a traditionally published book from a self-published book, nor do they care. Most readers don’t know what midlist is or what a fair digital royalty rate is. Nor do they care.

Therefore, the changes that seem world-altering to authors will be subtle or non-existent to readers. A few of the more observant may notice the differences below, but most probably will not.

  1. Bookstore closures will slow. Now that the Borders are gone, the few remaining (Barnes & Noble, Hastings, Books-a-million, and a few hardy independents) will batten the hatches and try to ride out the storm. Sure, we may lose a few more, but the mass closures of 2011 should not recur. So people will still be able to drive to a bricks-and-mortar store and buy books, though they may have to drive a bit further.
  2. A-list authors and breakouts like Roberts, Patterson, Rowling, King, S. Collins will gain percentage of shelf space in discount stores like WalMart as fewer midlist and new authors appear (see yesterdays predictions for writers to understand why). But the change will be gradual, and therefore go unnoticed by many readers.
  3. A few names readers are accustomed to seeing and buying won’t be found on the shelves. Last week alone, I spoke to three midlist authors who are abandoning traditional publishing to go the indie route. Hopefully their readers will find them online.
  4. Readers will continue to be inundated with e-reader ads. Sales will slow a bit after the Christmas rush, but there will still be an uptrend in electronic reading adoption. Other readers will continue to hold out. Unfortunately, their reading choices will gradually shrink as midlist authors jump ship and publishing houses begin offering e-book only lines for their newer talent. But again, the change will be so slow that I doubt many readers will notice.
  5. Books will be cheaper than ever for those who do adopt electronic reading. They’ll find so many books ranging from free to $2.99 that they will never have to buy a more expensive book again if they don’t want to.
  6. Among those cheap books, there will be bad books. Readers will have to become adept at sorting the wheat from the chaff in order to get the most out of their reading time. There will also be so-so books and many great books.
  7. Retailer tools will continue to improve to help readers find the great books.
  8. Readers will band together through social media just as authors have. They will share reviews and recommendations and price deals to help with that chaff sorting.
  9. Readers who embrace electronic reading will find a wider range of stories and voices than ever before available to them.
  10. Readers will continue to love great stories, and support the authors who write them.

Those are my predictions. Guess I’ll check back at the end of 2012 and see how I did.

Meanwhile…hang in there…coming soon to Amazon.com, my new romantic fantasy novella:

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5 Responses to “Predictions for 2012 for writers and readers – Part 2”


  1. 1 Diana Layne December 28, 2011 at 3:01 am

    the thing I worry is will readers get discouraged if they get too many books that are not even worth 99 cents? We know there are those out there. Will that then turn them off to trying new authors? Or will they then gravitate to higher priced books hoping the quality will be better?

    • 2 vickietaylor December 28, 2011 at 3:21 am

      I’ve read (or started to read) a lot of bad books in my day. It didn’t make me want to stop reading; it just made me more careful to check things out before I buy. I think readers will find *good* books the same way they’ve always found them…by word of mouth. And that includes online words of mouth like reviews, sales rankings, forums and discussions, websites like Goodreads, and the million facebook sites that are cropping up sharing book info.

      • 3 vickietaylor December 28, 2011 at 3:22 am

        Sorry…I meant to add…I’d sure feel a lot less discouraged about wasting $.99 on an ebook than $7.99 on a print book.

  2. 4 Catherine Mann December 30, 2011 at 6:26 am

    Great blog, Vickie! I’m hoping that with increasing ebook technology we will get back some of the readers we lost to the internet…. people now ordering on not just their ereaders, but on their phones as they commute. Nice to hope for that!

  3. 5 A. C. Cockerill December 30, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    Hi Vickie, I’m noticing another trend among my reader friends. First, they read a book on their e-reader. If they like the story enough to read it again and again, they go back and buy the paperback for their “keeper” shelves. I’ve caught myself doing the same thing. Cheers, Ashley


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Available Now!

western romance novel boxed set

7 men as tough as the West. 7 women ready to Cowboy Up

Available Now!

Psychological Suspense short story with a bonus inspirational short story included

Coming Soon from Vickie Taylor

Fantasy Romance Novella

What am I reading today?

GOOD OLE BOYS - Denise Barker - Just started, but I'm intrigued so far!

Last five books read:

TEXAS GOTHIC - Rosemary Clement-Moore - Awesome! Great fun and spooktastic at the same time!

MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN - Ransom Riggs - Really creative idea. Enjoyed it very much!

BOOTSCOOTIN' BLAHNIKS - D.D. Scott - Very enjoyable, fun book!

THE GOOD DAUGHTER - Diana Layne - Awesome! Get it now!

GOT YOUR NUMBER - Stephanie Bond - Fun little mystery!

What’s on my TBR List?

GOOD OLE BOYS - Denise Barker

Reader’s Guide to E-publishing

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