3 Publishing Trends You Must Know in 2024 Audiobooks, ebooks and AI are incredible for the opportunities provided and our wider availability to reach others.
- The explosion of both eBooks and audiobooks will continue – especially as more publishers develop their works to accommodate the technology.
- As technology advances, the abilities afforded to us to use only grows.
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What was the last book or novel you read? Was it full of action and adventure? A steamy, slow-burning romance? Maybe it was the tale of a successful business owner or entrepreneur. Or was it the tell-all from a famous entertainment icon?
More importantly, What format was that story in? The traditional way of reading a story these days has drifted from the standard paperback or hardcover physical book to that of eBooks, audiobooks and even videos.
The way we read has changed. And that change is not in just how we access the reading material. I'm going to explain 3 of the most insane trends happening in the world of publishing that will change the way you read in 2024.
Trend #1 — The explosion of eBooks
In 2020, 191 million eBooks were purchased. This shouldn't be a surprise, considering that the world was in the midst of a global pandemic. But this statistic has actually been growing steadily since about 2019.
The popularity of Amazon's Kindle helped to drive that, with 84% of people reading those purchased eBooks on the device. Additionally, 23% of the $26 billion publishing industry in 2020 came from eBook purchases.
While the pandemic helped boost eBooks even higher, the impact of digital reading will only grow into 2024. Why? There are several reasons:
- Convenience – readers can start reading immediately after purchase, without the need to leave the office or home.
- Accessibility – to add to convenience, accessibility is also what's helped to make eBooks a popular choice. eBooks come in various formats – PDF, ePUB and MOBI – and many are designed to handle and use assistive technology for those with disabilities.
- Portability – the portable nature of eBooks means you can take an entire library anywhere you go. The Kindle is a popular device. However, thanks to its mobile app, anyone with a smartphone can access their library on whatever device – Mac, PC, iPhone, or Android – they prefer.
- Customization – perfect for students at all levels, eBooks can mark up passages for quick reference, notes, annotations and even website links.
Trend #2 – Can you hear me now?
The convenience and portability of eBooks make them the perfect companion while on vacation or for a relaxing evening. But what if you don't have time to sit and relax with a good book? Our hectic daily lives, both in and outside of work, can often make enjoying leisurely activities difficult to come by. So, while you may want to read, you probably don't have the time or energy to settle down with a good book.
Enter the audiobook.
Audiobooks might seem like a new invention thanks to the growth in technology, but they've had a long life, starting in 1932. Actually, the American Foundation for the Blind established a recording studio, creating recordings of books on vinyl records.
This continued into the early 1990s when the term 'audiobook' became a standard to explain these recordings — the year 1995 introduced the debut of the soon-to-be audiobook giant Audible. Started by Donald Katz and Tim Mott, the two took the initial idea of the audiobook and began to develop it for the growing internet.
Two years later, the company released a mobile player, allowing people to listen while on the go. It wasn't as popular or cheap as the emerging iPod, but it was a glimpse at what could be. Two years after that, Amazon became the strategic partner for Audible and the rest, as they say, is history.
Since then, searches for 'audible' have risen over the last 15 years by 167%, with revenue growing 14.3% year over year. While holding most of the eBook market, Amazon also hosts about 200,000 audiobooks through Audible.
In combination, the explosion of both eBooks and audiobooks will ultimately continue – especially as more publishers develop their works to accommodate the technology.
Trend #3 – The rise of AI
All eyes — and talk — are on AI.
The introduction of ChatGPT, the natural language processing tool driven by AI technology, continues to be all the rage with human-like conversations and more with, essentially, a chatbot. ChatGPT, like Bard and Bing, can do more than just answer simple questions; it can compose essays, describe various objects in detail, create AI art prompts and even code for you.
Regarding publishing, writers and publishers alike have flocked to AI software to produce written content. This can be beneficial to writers in coming up with ideas or helping to create outlines. While ChatGPT is great at providing helpful answers after giving specific prompts, there are limits to what the software can do (currently). Remember, this is still a piece of software that uses machine language; even ChatGPT will admit that it has limits on what it can do.
Among those limits include plagiarism and sometimes giving incorrect answers to questions asked. This has given rise to AI detectors from various businesses and corporations, including Amazon and even Google. There are also privacy concerns due to how OpenAI was able to train the software.
The convergence of publishing and technology
These are just three trends that publishing companies and authors are experiencing as we head into 2024.
As technology advances, the abilities afforded to us to use only grows. Still, like other business areas, the devices and software we use are just tools to further our knowledge and abilities, not replacements.
Audiobooks, ebooks and AI are incredible for the opportunities provided and our wider availability to reach others. Storytelling is universal, and the more stories we can tell each other, the more connected we become.