If you had to guess what future trends in publishing hold, would business books be at the top of your list?
Over the last few years business books have become one of the fasting growing book categories, whether online or in retail stores. This is following an overall trend of increased sales of adult non-fiction books, but it’s also indicative of socio-economic change. With the increase in entrepreneurship and ever-changing modern business culture (and the disruption this causes), the need to stay competitive is increasing for businesses of all sizes and industries. And, increasingly, to stay competitive businesses need to focus on one of their most important assets: people.
Businesses can no longer afford to invest solely in what their employees do, but they need to be cognizant of how they feel about doing it as well. This has driven an increase in positive psychology and self-help books overall, not just for individuals but for businesses as well.
There is another driver behind the increase in business book sales: digital audio. Longer work days cause limited time and resources, so people are increasingly turning to audio books to devour their content. Business people are, well, busy. More and more people want to make efficient use of the time they spend commuting, or when they are out and about. Interestingly, ‘Business and Money’ was the top selling non-fiction category for audio books in the US in 2017.
Perhaps more than other literary genres, business and self-help authors typically want more control than traditional publishers usually allow, as their publications are linked to their personal and business brands more than ever before. This is where the real financial benefits are made for business authors; the days of advances and book sales being the primary revenue drivers are beginning to take second place to the author’s overall brand and potential future successes.
This also means self-help and business authors want the flexibility to expand their intellectual property in other complementary ways, both for brand identity and to drive revenues. Increasingly, business (and non-fiction) authors are expanding their offerings into the digital arena through online eLearning modules, gaming, virtual reality, and other digital content. This changes the dynamic between author and publisher significantly; instead of authors looking for a publisher, they are effectively consumers in the market for a service.
All these trends will likely expand existing routes to market. Publishers will need to get more and more creative with how they deliver their content in this fluid, digital world we live in where attention spans get shorter and shorter and thirst for knowledge continues to grow.
Digital Content Creators has embraced this new reality by taking authors’ content and presenting it in new and engaging ways. One of the ways we accomplish this is by adding a third component to print and eBooks. We develop digital course material for readers who want to delve deeper into the knowledge presented. This gives the author the ability to interact directly with their community, and provides immediate feedback and opportunities to expand on ideas through the collective dialogue created.
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