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  • Brett Oliver Parson

4 Things Forbes Says About Publishing in 2021

The biggest question on new authors’ minds is, “When will books go digital?” And this is a fair question mainly because the long history of tangible, physical forms of media have mostly become extinct due to a huge shift to the digital space. Think about anything printed (i.e. newspapers, phone books, etc.). BUT THE GOOD NEWS, according to FORBES, is that upcoming authors don’t need to worry so much about this because printed books are on the resurgence.

Forbes Business Council member, author, and publisher, Karen Mc Dermott had a lot to say about trends to watch for in 2021.

Publishing is an ever-evolving landscape, one that can be quite unpredictable to gauge.

Five years ago, it was thought that it was only a matter of time before print books were largely replaced by e-books. When you think about it in eco-friendly terms, fewer trees would be cut down, books wouldn't have to be printed and shipped across the world and resources would be minimized because delivering a book electronically to a device is the way of the future. And, of course, those advancements and innovations are always welcome.

But to my delight, it seems that readers and consumers have other ideas. They love physical books. This is much to my relief because both as an author and a publisher, I adore printed books. The smell, feel, and experience of sitting down — with no electronic devices to be seen — and enjoying being educated or reading to my children is an experience, a memory and something to be treasured, not dismissed.

Over the past few years, we have seen print overtake digital delivery, with some readers, in fact, investing in both versions of the books they love. The easy access to electronic platforms services the demand for instant content, but print is holding up, likely because of the experience that accompanies reading a physical book. They also make great gifts.

So, what do I predict are the main things that will be changing in 2021?


As more and more people turn to audiobook platforms, especially in the self-help industry, we see that creating an audio version of your book has become more and more popular and on-demand.


Marketing budgets will be used to refine websites and SEOs to engage more site traffic. If you can bring a reader to your website, and social media platforms, you're able to better sell your product. One major place to sell your books is on Amazon.


Podcasting will become a new norm for publishers. Once a book is created, it's time to share it on a podcast. Also interviewing authors has become quite popular, Brett Oliver Parson interview.


Print will be strong into the second half of this decade, and most likely for decades to come! There is something magical about the feeling of a printed book and memories of reading, feeling, and smelling a book in hand. In fact, a recent article by CNBC says that printed books outsell e-books, which isn't going to change anytime soon.


Publishers have seen a resurgence in poetry collections. The global poetry community grabbed up the opportunity to get online during the pandemic, which meant that there was an instant and engaged poetry audience to deliver content to.

Fairy tale retellings and children's books that were further enhanced by online readings were trending. Children's books were popular, and due to lockdowns, more interactive content was fully embraced by audiences. We will have a more engaged approach in 2021.

It's also an industry worth supporting, so keep reading and sharing the books you love with your audience.

by Karen Mc Dermott and Brett Oliver Parson


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