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My Publishing Predictions for 2019

With the year drawing to a close, everyone has been gazing into their crystal ball while trying to predict the major trends of the coming year.

In past year’s I have sat out this annual tradition, but no longer. The following posts details a few of the trends and events I expect to see in 2019.

Sales Trends

Other year-end posts have made the prediction that self-published authors will earn more in 2019 than before. I considered making the same prediction, but then I realized one part of the industry would consider it self-evident while another part (the industry segment that still doesn’t regard authors as part of the industry) would consider it bunk.

Thus, I will skip over this prediction and instead make the safe prediction that everyone will continue to disagree about the state of the industry. The one prediction that I can make is that Amazon will sell more books in 2019 than they did in 2018.

Barnes & Noble

This will be the year that Barnes & Noble will face a financial crisis. Following years of mismanagement, CEO musical chairs, and nasty infighting, will the company will reach the point where it is unable to cover its operating expenses because it can’t extend its line of credit. B&N will file for bankruptcy protection, and may be forced to liquidate. If it does survive, B&N will shed many of its money losing stores and also sell/outsource the Nook to Kobo.


Amazon is going to amaze everyone by releasing a new Kindle that will include incremental improvements over an existing model. Several of the new features will be hailed as ground-breaking and innovative even though competing ereaders had already contained similar features.

There will however also be at least one new and interesting ereader related device in 2019, but it will come from an unexpected source rather than from one of the major tech companies.


Amazon will expand its Amazon Author Academy program. These one-day conferences are currently only being held n the UK, but I expect that similar events will be held in the US in 2019. I predict the first one will be scheduled to coincide with BookExpo 2019 in New York City.


Facebook will make headlines again in 2018. At least one of the scandals will focus on ad fraud similar to the revelation that video plays were being systematically over-counted. Internal Facebook docs leaked to media outlets will show that Facebook knew that half or more of the ad impressions recorded were actually from bots rather than people.

At the same time, Amazon will continue to grow their ad revenues. Rumors are circulating that Amazon will remove the also-boughts section from book listings in order to squeeze in more adverts, and we will also see more adverts take up space on Amazon’s search result pages. Adverts have already pushed organic results off the bottom of Amazon search result pages, and in 2019 the number of adverts will increase.


So there you have it: my publishing predictions for 2019. How do they stack up against your predictions?

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Steven H. December 30, 2018 um 8:41 pm

Nate, you are probably right on Barnes and Noble…sad on many fronts. I almost exclusively buy ebooks but still wish Barnes and Noble would remain viable. With no real competition for physical books, I doubt Amazon will continue aggressive pricing. If they crumble, hopefully Kobo takes on the Nook.

I think that Amazon will add light temperature control to at least one Kindle model at a minimum. They may decide to upgrade the resolution to about 400 dpi, with an updated chip and battery. 2018 was a totally underwhelming effort. A refined Oasis will probably emerge. Some manufacturer may put out a great note device, using epub that an average reader could chose to afford.

Robert Nagle December 31, 2018 um 7:02 am

Discounting below Amazon’s price floor of 2.99 will increase, leading publishers to wonder why Amazon should be allowed to take 70% percent of their money rather than 30% — increasing the search for alternatives: Smashwords? Apps designed by publishers? There needs to be a better way.

Mike Cane December 31, 2018 um 7:42 am

>There will however also be at least one new and interesting ereader related device in 2019, but it will come from an unexpected source rather than from one of the major tech companies.

Bah. It happened here in 2018. Likebook Mars.

And you don’t get to casually snipe at it. Back it up with a YouTube video!

Nate Hoffelder December 31, 2018 um 8:15 am

No, the Mars was just another ereader.

The Freewrite Traveler fits the bill.

Mike Cane December 31, 2018 um 2:28 pm

Bah! You had a Get Out Of Jail card in that sentence I didn’t have enough caffeine to notice: "ereader related."

Nate Hoffelder December 31, 2018 um 3:18 pm

Well, I threw "related" in there only because ereaders have gotten so boring. There hasn’t been anything truly new for years.

Will Entrekin January 3, 2019 um 1:16 pm

I’m very much looking forward to getting my Traveler.

James Seger December 31, 2018 um 10:56 am

I predict that in 2019, well finally get a 6″ reader with waterproofing and a color changing light. Amazon will likely introduce it in an overpriced reader, maybe a Voyage 2?

Hopefully Kobo will release a Clara 2 with both.

If Nook and Kobo were to merge, I’d hope they let the Nook guys design the hardware. The Nook ST, Glowlight Plus and Glowlight 3 are all very nice pieces of hardware.

The software, that’s a different story.

Will Entrekin January 3, 2019 um 1:22 pm

You know you can buy inexpensive glasses if you’re that worried about blue light. I have a pair of Gunnars I wore regularly with contact lenses, and I just got a couple of pairs of prescription glasses that block blue light with no noticeable tint on the lenses and no noticeable effect on my perception of vision. You can get Gunnars for about $40, and the best part is that they block ALL blue light — not just what you’re getting from a screen.

It also has the added benefit of not making your ereader screen look like an orange mess.

James Seger January 3, 2019 um 1:41 pm

Not everyone wants to look like Corey Hart, wearing sunglasses at night.

I can also put a reader in a plastic bag rather than worrying about waterproofing. I can turn on a lamp rather than worrying about a lit screen. Hey, why make ANY further changes to an reader?

Will Entrekin January 3, 2019 um 4:42 pm

So you missed the bit about "no noticeable tint on the lenses," then? Also that they reduce ALL blue light, not just from your screen?

But hey great song though!

As to your final question, I sort of agree. I have an Oasis 2 and I don’t know if there’s a thing I’d change to improve it.

James Seger January 3, 2019 um 5:44 pm

I’d suggest a color changing light as a change for the Oasis 2.

I didn’t miss any okay if your post. But wearing a special pair of glasses in a darkened room, where I find the color changing light on my Glowlight 3 most useful, seems foolish.

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