Five Forecasts Revisited

In January of 2011, I made five forecasts for last year. Let’s look back and see how accurate my predictions were.

  1. E-book sales will equal print book sales by the end of the year. While e-books have made steady inroads into the total sales of book, they aren’t at 50 percent just yet. However, it looks like e-books are making up about 20 percent of total book sales, which is phenomenal, considering that in 2008, they made up just over one percent of sales. And in some niche categories, e-books are outselling print.
  2. Two dozen more major market newspapers will end their print editions. While some newspapers have completely gone out of business and others have dropped certain days from publication, the real trend seems to be a shift toward a “web-first” model, in which the online version of the newspaper is the primary product for consumers, and the print version is the “afterthought,” instead of the other way around. It’s causing massive reorganization of newsrooms and paradigm shifts in corporate cultures. It’s even messing up employees’ holidays, as companies realize that consumers still want a full day’s worth of news of traditionally “light” days like Christmas when much of the news staff is off.
  3. The Internet and TV will become one. This has darn near happened. Most every new TV is being sold with full internet connectivity, and more and more people have dropped cable TV for Hulu, Netflix and other services.
  4. Self-publishing will exceed the traditional publishing house route. Self-publishing is indeed growing, and self-published books make up as much as 14 percent of the market for adult fiction, according to the Association of American Publishers.
  5. Reading will surpass television watching as the national pastime. Sorry, bibliophiles, but TV (or video in some form) is still king. A June 2011 Nielsen reports said that Americans are watching 22 more minutes of TV a month. Oh, well. One can dream…

Not too bad, given the ups and downs of 2011. Happy 2012!

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