Publishing in the past looked much different than it does today. Not only do we have more advanced print machines, but we also have more digital technology that simplifies the entire printing experience. Plus, we’re seeing an increase in audio-related content, indicating an exciting new landscape fed by technology.
Simplified, DIY Publishing Formats
At one point, publishing a book, magazine, white paper, or any other document would have required a lineup of professionals to format and print the piece. However, today’s tech allows simplified printing with customized formatting on a single webpage.
A magazine, for example, once required highly specialized tools, including unique printers, special formatting software, and special binding. What was once a drawn-out, complicated process can be easily carried out using online printing services.
As an example, PrintingCenterUSA.com lets you format your magazine layout using useful tabs and drop-down menus that guide your formatting process and quote you a true price on the same page.
Thanks to the ease of use of these online applications, self-published content is naturally thriving. This is a prominent theme in all areas of publication, but it’s most noticeable in regards to novels and books.
A recent study performed in Australia, that looked at the book industry, indicated that authors are more likely to self-publish, whether or not they’ve attempted to go through traditional routes of publication.
“What we found is that the concept of self-publishing is growing,” said Professor David Throsby, AO, head researcher of the study. “For instance, over one-third of genre fiction authors have self-published. The reasons behind this trend include authors’ desire to have creative and financial control of their work and being unable to interest a traditional publisher in their work.”
The study also showed that self-publishing is becoming more widely accepted. For some time, self-published works were often believed to be inferior to those published by a national publication service. However, improved publishing software, greater marketing accessibility, and better PR have all contributed to the success of self-published works.
“Another area of change is the way in which authors interact with their readers, with two-thirds of authors able to access readers using new technologies. Further, over half of the authors surveyed report that new technologies have opened up new avenues to publish paid, original work,” said Professor Throsby.
Audiobooks and Podcast Publications Increase
While you might immediately think of ink and paper when considering publishing, there’s also the realm of audiobooks and podcasts. These recordings have attracted a broad audience, and many books, shows, and speeches have been written solely for the purpose of producing audiobooks.
Research shows that audiobook sales saw the greatest leap in the U.S. with a 31 percent increase between 2015 and 2016. Since then, sales have consistently grown 25 percent year over year. Audible, the largest name in audiobook production, has even contracted their own selection of audiobooks designed specifically for being enjoyed aloud.
An article from the blog Jennings Business Valuation suggests that the rise in audio-related content is the result of a faster-paced lifestyle that demands continual entertainment.
“Audiobooks do not replace reading, but instead allow people to explore books that they otherwise would not have time for,” the blog says. “People often listen to audiobooks while performing menial tasks such as cleaning, driving, etc…[They] also finish more books when listening to them instead of reading, leading them to purchase more as well.”
Podcasts have also increased in popularity, particularly over the last few years. The New York Times reported a drastic increase in the number of people listening to podcasts in 2019 compared to last year. Reports indicate that a third of U.S. residents listen to a podcast at least once per month, while it was just 25 percent in 2018.
Tom Webster, senior vice president at Edison Research, has been carefully evaluating the rise of podcasts, and he believes that Spotify’s recent addition of podcasts has helped boost growth significantly along with Hollywood-quality podcasts being produced regularly.
“That’s brought attention to it,” Webster told the New York Times. “There are also new forms happening. Companies like NPR and The New York Times are doing short, topical news podcasts. Those are really easy for people to add to their media diets.”
There’s no stopping the momentum of publications in both print and audio mediums. The landscape of publishing continues to thrive and evolve to meet the high demands of a fast-paced world.