Opportunities and Challenges in 2006

January 2006
by Kent Sturgis

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PMA members were asked
recently to share their thinking about 2006. What opportunities and challenges
will the new year bring? What initiatives are planned? How will innovation and change
affect us?

Here’s what I learned from the
roughly 75 responses:

The newer publishers are the most
optimistic, and this reminded me again that those of you who write, publish,
and market your own books have extraordinary energy and resolve. Optimism is
part of that.

Abrendal Austin Smith at Black
Penny Press, Riverside, CA, who is working on a sequel to her self-published
first novel, A
Fugitive’s Wife, says her outlook is 10 on a scale of 10 for
optimism “because that is the only way I can do it.”

More experienced publishing
professionals are optimistic too, but more cautiously so. They believe future
success can be achieved by doing what they do either better and smarter or

Not one publisher told me that
they expect major growth in sales to traditional trade markets in 2006. Not
that you are giving up on the trade, but the growth—if it
comes—will be elsewhere for many of you. Publishers and authors are
redoubling efforts to develop nontraditional markets and to find new opportunities
combining niche content, new digital formats, and different ways to make a
sale. The

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