Amid historic disruption in the publishing industry, big questions are—rightfully—being asked. Here, experts weigh in on how books (and the ways we discover them) are going to change.
The publishing industry is in flux. One major publisher has been acquired by a private equity firm, editors are departing (and getting laid off) from others, there are fewer book media outlets than ever, and most literary discourse is happening online. But what does it all mean for the books themselves, and the ways that readers are discovering them? Here, we make some predictions about the future of books.
“Celebrities and tastemakers are becoming the new medium for discovery,” says Ariele Fredman, a literary agent at United Talent Agency who previously launched eight #1 New York Times bestsellers as a publicist. As a result, it will be more important than ever for debut novels to land on book club rosters.
A Reese Witherspoon, Oprah, or Jenna Bush endorsement can be enough to not only secure a spot on the bestseller list, but anoint an author with a fanbase that lasts. “If you don't get one of those coveted spots, it becomes even harder to break a new voice,” Fredman adds.