It’s the time of year when many of us tend to look back and think of what has happened and what we have accomplished. For self-publishing and the book publishing in general, 2012 has been a year of change and growth.
Self-publishing service companies continue to help record numbers of aspiring authors fulfill their dreams of publishing their books. We launched several new services including book signing and stocking packages with Berean Christian Stores, and book signings at Women of Faith conferences. The winner of the second Women of Faith Writing Contest was acquired by a traditional publisher shortly after being announced as the winner. The Reason by William Sirls was acquired by Thomas Nelson and has sold nearly 30,000 copies since its release in September. Perfectly Unique by Annie Downs was acquired by Zondervan and the new edition has consistently ranked in the top 15,000 on Amazon.
Thomas Nelson’s acquisition by HarperCollins was finalized in July and HarperCollins Christian Publishing was formed by combining Nelson and Zondervan shortly thereafter. Nelson CEO Mark Schoenwald was named CEO of the combined operation, and all the product groups within the imprints continue to operate as distinct entities with a healthy level of in-house competition. Sales of Jesus Calling by Sarah Young have continued to gather steam as Heaven Is For Real by Todd Burpo have slowed.
The book publishing industry continues to experience dramatic changes driven by consolidation and the impact of ebooks, online retailing, and self-publishing. Random House and Penguin announced plans to merge. Pearson (Penguin’s parent company) acquired Author Solutions. Several new self-publishing ventures were launched. The biggest titles of the year (the Shades of Grey books) emerged from self-publishing. While no longer growing at a triple-digit pace, ebooks are up nearly 50% YTD and are over 30% of printed trade book sales (which also have grown by over 6%).
How about you—what events from the past year had the biggest impact on publishing from your perspective—and what do you think will be the big events during 2013?