Industry leaders make their predictions for 2014

Industry leaders make their predictions for 2014

Plateauing digital sales but a continuing shift of reading onto mobile devices, experimentation in e-book and print bundling, the rise of digital textbooks and yet more growth in self-publishing, are among the trends predicted for 2014 by industry leaders.

Penguin Random House c.e.o. Tom Weldon, Hachette UK c.e.o. Tim Hely-Hutchinson, Waterstones m.d. James Daunt, Booksellers Association chief executive Tim Godfray and Society of Authors chief executive Nicola Solomon are among 18 prominent book trade figures who have given their thoughts on the year ahead to The Bookseller.

Weldon, Faber c.e.o. Stephen Page and Harper Collins c.e.o. Charlie Redmayne have all predicted that mobile will play a major part in the industry this year, with Weldon calling for publishers to harness its potential and Page saying “the main story in the use of technology lies squarely with mobile devices and tablets”.

Weldon, who said the “most exciting innovation is taking place in children’s publishing”, also picked out the “industry-wide problem of publishing too many books”, an issue raised at the 2013 Futurebook conference by Canongate’s Jamie Byng.

In academic publishing, Cambridge University Press c.e.o. Peter Phillips said he expects 2014 "to be the year that digital textbooks finally start to make a big impact”, a view confirmed by Blackwell's c.e.o. David Prescott.

Tim Godfray, chief executive of The Booksellers Association, predicted continuing threats to copyright and major discussion on library e-book lending, while Waterstones m.d. Daunt said the publishing programme for 2014 was looking "perhaps even better than the publishing last year" and Ron Johns of Mabrecon Books predicted "small but good green shoots of recovery in our sector".

Meanwhile Marie Telford of The Hayling Island Bookshop predicted that in 2014 independent bookshops “will invest in small, roof-mounted, surface-to-air missile defence systems to defend themselves from passing airborne book delivery drones.”