I stumbled across Brenda Cooper revisiting her predictions for 2011, and my interest was completely captured. “What a fun game!” I thought. “Maybe I should make some predictions myself for 2012.” Then I thought again. “But many of my predictions will end up being wrong.” The unimaginable horror of that idea paraded through my brain.
So of course, now I have to write 2012 predictions to take my first good whack at my perfectionism this year. And not only that, but I am going to write them quickly, without obsessive researching, and I’m going to write them boldly without resorting to wishy-washiness. Are you ready?
- E-books will continue to gain share in the marketplace. Based on the huge amount of Kindles that sold this December, I’m going to say that by the end of 2012, we’re going to see e-books up to 35% of the market…at least.
- Publishers will hold firm at a 25% net royalty for electronic sales…except for the biggest author names.
- A couple of major name authors will strike out on their own and release titles themselves. Because they are big names, they will easily be able to continue commanding shelf space at B&N.
- Publishers will begin (or continue?) to commit more resources to building stronger relationships with readers (more aggressively building their email lists, for example) and developing brand recognition for their publishing imprints apart from author names. (This one, I am afraid, might be overly optimistic, but I can’t help myself!)
- There will be no definitive answer in the traditional vs. self-pub debate. Some writers will go all in one way or another and be super judgmental of anyone doing something different. The smartest writers will do both. There will continue to be a stigma, although not nearly as strong as it was even a few years ago, against self-published work by writers who haven’t already been traditionally published. Interestingly, there will be no stigma against those writers who raise money for projects using crowd-sourcing platforms like Kickstarter. (Maybe because Kickstarter mainly works for those writers who already have an established fan base?)
- There will be the usual hoop-la of a US election year. Romney will win the Republican nomination, and Obama will win the election, but it will be a hard fight. Voter apathy will be more of a problem than it was in 2008.
- The Euro will still exist as a currency at the end of 2012. No promises for 2013, though!
- Some major shit will go down in Egypt this year, what with elections expected in the next six months. The military won’t let go of power easily.
- Syria’s government will collapse by the end of the year.
- The economic turmoil in the EU and the political turmoil in the Middle East won’t do the US economy any favors. Oil prices will go up. Volatility in the stock market will continue. I don’t expect unemployment rates to improve substantially (although I’d be very happy to be wrong).
- My husband says the cinema industry will begin to tank this year, but I disagree. I actually think 2012 will be better than 2011 in terms of box office sales. The foreign markets for movies will continue to be robust.
- Social media sites will try to collect ever more information about their users. Some people will continue, inexplicably, to think that they should overshare mundane data with their “friends.” Facebook, Google+, and Twitter will all continue to exist healthily at the end of the year. Klout, on the other hand, will have lost its klout in most circles due to both its basic dullness and its arbitrary algorithms (how I can lose or gain influence over 1000 people in the course of a single day is beyond me).
- Houses will begin to become “smarter,” both due to Kinect technology and chips that talk to each other over WiFi and Bluetooth.
- Scientists will push stem cell research farther this year, and will succeed in regenerating a more complicated organ (they’ve already done bladders and tracheae).
- There will still be no flying cars or Asimov-esque robots in general use (and no, I don’t count the Roomba).
Care to play along? What predictions can you make about 2012?