I’m not usually one for making predictions — the only thing I hate more than gurus and pundits are self-proclaimed futurists! — but I couldn’t pass up offering my two cents to Folio: for their 2010 round-up of magazine and media predictions:
Consolidation and debt restructuring will continue apace. More niche brands will focus on ‘communitizing’, with magazines becoming part of a larger ecosystem that will include virtual events and books, both print and electronic. Advertising will finally stabilize, but “growth” will mainly come from search and custom initiatives, including some ill-conceived “conversational marketing” programs that imagine Twitter as a viable hub. Digital magazines and mobile apps will be a bust for all but a few brands as the ROI fails to materialize. The Apple Tablet will be more horse than unicorn, becoming a major player in portable gaming but with minimal impact on publishing.
New Year’s resolutions have never been my thing, either, but in light of all of the negativity and DOOM! surrounding the “future of publishing”, I thought it would be fun to make a few public resolutions, if for no other reason than to see which ones I can stick with, and how long before I break the others.
1) I will read at least two books from every major genre — one print, one eBook — and write reviews of them. (Bring on the recommendations! I’m starting with steampunk, and Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker.)
2) I will champion 3 independent publishers and/or collectives who are doing interesting, innovative things. (There’s strength in numbers, people!)
3) I will maintain my skepticism about eBooks, but avoid letting their more vocal advocates skew my take on them. (You are not the benchmark!)
4) I will continue to be optimistic about the future of publishing, and direct more of that optimism into this blog. (I believe in the publishing community.)
5) I will either start writing fiction or go back to poetry (or do both!), and stop using this blog as an excuse for doing neither. (Writers write. Period.)
Considering 2009 has been an unpredictably amazing roller coaster ride for me, I have no idea how realistic any of these are (#5 in particular), but a goal unspoken is like a poem unread — it effectively doesn’t exist and has no power.
PS: To all the readers of this blog, thank you for your attention, comments, feedback and support this year. I’ve learned much from all of you, and look forward to continuing to do so in 2010.