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The publishing industry has gone through a number of enormous shifts in the last decade, with the entire landscape of books, production, and content changing as e-readers, e-books, and new ways of publishing have become available to the masses. E-books and self-publishing gained their footing around 2010, and haven’t slowed since—but what will this new year bring for self-published and traditional authors alike, as well as readers and publishers? Midnight Publishing is a Phoenix-based group of professional editors, writers, and marketers who spend our days tapped into the industry, working with authors to create and revise their work while also advising on possible paths to take in regards to publication. We’re always exploring new opportunities for our writer clients and wanted to share these 2018 predictions and updates with anyone who’s curious about how the industry will evolve in the coming months.

1. Amazon’s Brick and Mortar Bookstores

Amazon opened its first physical bookstores, Amazon Books, in 2015, in various locations such as New York City, Seattle, San Diego, Portland, and Chicago. Smaller than the average bookstore, this is done on purpose: Amazon Books carries fewer options but has curated them in such a way as to introduce readers to new—but popular—books that they might never have found in the larger chains. Choosing its titles from Amazon reviews and website bestsellers, Amazon Books doesn’t discriminate against self-published books, which is still in of itself a revelation as far as brick and mortar stores go. Unfortunately, according to this October 2017 CNBC article by Eugene Kim, Amazon Books reported little to no revenue since opening its doors—but it still plans to continue expanding. That means more opportunity for any authors who’ve gained a noticeable foothold in the e-book market to have a chance for placement in Amazon’s stores, especially since Amazon’s print-on-demand service, Createspace, is available for ordering more physical copies. For more on the benefits of Amazon Books locations in 2018, read self-published author and NYT’s bestseller Hugh Howey’s post here.

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2. One-of-a-Kind Print-on-Demand Options for Self-Publishers

Besides the ease with which self-published and hybrid authors can pursue paperback and/or hardcover copies of their books, another avenue of publication is predicted to gain traction in 2018: that of the one-of-a-kind edition. Hugh Howey discusses the options for self-published authors to pursue these special editions of their books in his September 2017 post What a Book is Worth, in which he details his own experience deciding to work with a professional bookbinder named Lindsey of BooksForAllTime for a unique, collector’s edition of his omnibus of short stories. Howey states how he believes there’s an untapped market for those lovers and collectors of books, who would be willing to several hundred dollars for a leather-bound edition they could invest in and pass on to future generations. In 2018, self-published authors can pursue these and other collector’s edition-style print-on-demand options for greater variety and provide a truly enriching reader experience.

3. Continued Growth of Crowdfunding Platforms to Support Art

Another area of innovation in 2018 will center around crowdfunding, specifically with those platforms tailored to supporting writers. Patreon is a very popular choice for artists, musicians, and writers, and with its easy-to-use design and subscription-style service of keeping artists and their supporters regularly connected, it’s a great method for building and growing your author platform. Additionally, there are other crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Rockethub where authors can raise funds for book projects (Rockethub is similar to Kickstarter in that a campaign deadline and target goal are set, however, the project leader is able to keep the funds even if the goal amount isn’t reached by the deadline). Another option is Unbound, a crowdfunded publisher that launched in 2010 and has continued to grow in support and readership worldwide. Authors can pitch their book to Unbound’s commissioning editors, and if it’s selected for possible publication, the manuscript is launched on the website for crowdfunding. Authors can track pledges and progress on the project, and once the target amount is reached by readers/backers of the project, the manuscript begins the traditional process of editing, revisions, cover design, formatting, printing, and marketing before publication.

Whether you’re in the outlining stages of your book idea or need the final proofread from another set of eyes before publishing or querying, Midnight Publishing is the right choice for your book in 2018! Allow our expert editors, writers, and marketers to take your author career to new heights this year—contact us today to discuss what we can do for you and your manuscript.