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The Top 10 Publishing Trends for 2024

The Top 10 Publishing Trends for 2024

The Top 10 Publishing Trends for 2024

Publishing Trends evolve rapidly as the world of self-publishing shifts and changes, presenting both challenges and exciting opportunities for authors.

This year, we delve into the key publishing trends that are shaping the future of publishing, and offer insights from industry leaders to help you navigate these changes.

Here are our top 10 publishing trends to watch in 2024!

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Click the links below to jump to the publishing trend you want to read first, or scroll to read them all.


1. Quality Becomes More Important Than Ever
2. Authors Build Their Brands and Communities
3. Promo Stacking Becomes The Standard
4. Artificial Intelligence Is Embraced for Book Marketing
5. The TikTok Ad Market Matures
6. Copyright and Fraud Protection Become More Important
7. Authors Refocus On the Long Game
8. Subscription Models Gain Popularity
9. Controversy Continues on Social Media
10. Publishing Continues to See Consolidation


Publishing Trend 1: Quality Becomes More Important Than Ever

This is the most agreed-upon trend from our industry experts. AI will change what makes a book stand out according to Ricardo Fayet of Reedsy

“I expect the new influx of AI-generated/assisted content to put a focus, now more than ever, on quality,” wrote Fayet. “The more books available to readers — the more choice — the more picky they are likely to become.”

Orna Ross, of the Alliance of Independent Authors, agrees “It’s never been easier for non-authors to produce coherent text and put a book together (in eBook, print or audio),” wrote Ross. “This means standards will rise and we’ll all need to up our game.”

This could mean a change in strategy for some authors according to Fayet.

“A lot of the onus in recent years was on quantity: release as much as possible, as often as possible,” wrote Fayet. “In the future, this probably won’t cut it anymore. Instead, you’ll need every element of your book — from the cover design down to the story itself — to hook and delight your readers.”

Craig Martelle agrees that quality will become more important, and has first-hand experience to back up his prediction.

“A lesson I learned in 2019 when I published thirty new books in thirty weeks was that quantity does not trump quality,” wrote Martelle. “The books were good but not great. Great books will always find a market and be able to exploit that market. Intentionality and being more deliberate with launches will put those great books in the right readers’ hands.”

What this means for authors: More than ever before, editing, story structure, and everything that makes a book great, will be critical ingredients in 2024. By focusing on the quality of your books, you can stand out from the crowd.


Publishing Trend 2: Authors Build Their Brands and Communities

At the most recent NiNC and 20Books conferences, a predominant theme was how authors can effectively connect directly with their reader base. Similarly, Orna Ross believes more authors will see the value of branding and community building in 2024.

“Authors will have to think more critically about how they brand themselves as well as their books—as writers, as publishers, and as human beings,” wrote Ross. “Savvy authors will offer more personalized content and books tailored to individual preferences.”

Ross also notes that that artificial intelligence inadvertently underscores the growing importance of the human connection between authors and readers.

“In a world where mechanistic text proliferates, what the marketeers call ‘author branding’ will become ever more important to readers,” wrote Ross. “As bland, straightforward text becomes commonplace, exciting voices will be more valued.”

In 2024, building a real, human, brand that readers can connect with will be more important than ever.

Building a brand also offers the base needed for selling directly to readers. Something Ross sees continuing as a trend in 2024.

“Authors will increasingly bypass traditional distribution channels, selling directly to consumers through their own websites, social media platforms, and using payment platforms like Substack or ‘social commerce’ on social media sites,” wrote Ross.

What this means for authors: In 2024, human connection will take on increased value. As readers contend with more machine-generated content, knowing the person or story behind a book will be more important than ever. Take some time in January to think about how you want to build your author brand and deepen your connection with your readers in 2024.


Publishing Trend 3: Promo Stacking Becomes The Standard

As we learned in our 2023 author survey, email promos are viewed as the most effective marketing tactic by authors. 

By running an email promo, a title is emailed out to thousands of readers, and gains exposure that is hard to recreate in any other way.

But many authors aren’t simply running individual promos. Instead, they are stacking several promos together over a 3-5 day period as a way to influence ranking algorithms on retailers. This strategy is called Promo Stacking.

Promo Stacking is the most consistently effective way to promote a book, and it hasn’t always been easy. Applying for different promos, waiting for confirmation, and lining up discounts with promo dates used to be a major hassle, but no more.

With the launch of ready-made promo stacks from us at Written Word Media in 2023, we see stacking becoming the default strategy for authors.

With ready-made promo stacks, hours of labor have disappeared for authors as they schedule all the promos in their stack in a single transaction.

“I chose Promo Stacks for my comeback in an attempt to revive my series, and it was the right choice,” said one author. “Thousands of downloads and sell-through. Looking forward to using more of these promos in the future.”

What this means for authors: Promo stacking is a time-efficient and result-driven way to market your titles. As you plan your marketing calendar for 2024, we recommend including promo stacking as a foundational tactic. 


Publishing Trend 4: Artificial Intelligence Is Embraced as a Marketing Tool

Artificial intelligence has had a full year to embed in publishing, and it made its presence felt. As was predicted last year, there has been a lot of controversy about the use of AI, but many authors seem ready to embrace it for marketing according to Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn:

“I think we will see more widespread adoption of AI tools into the creative writing process, as well as for book covers and social media images, audiobook narration, and marketing,” wrote Penn. 

“Many of us have been using these tools for more than a year already, and attitudes have shifted as it’s become clear they are here to stay. I hope more authors will define themselves as AI-Assisted Artisan Authors in the year ahead.”

Our 2023 author survey revealed that many authors are hesitant to use AI for writing books, but many are much more willing to use it to assist with marketing.

Would you ever use AI to help create marketing assets
Even if some authors don’t want to use AI to supplement their writing, many will use it to help with writing blurbs, ad copy, and creating images in 2024.

What this means for authors: Consider experimenting with AI tools to help with your marketing in 2024. Brainstorming taglines and social media posts is a great way to test things out, get the hang of new tools, and save time.


Publishing Trend 5: The TikTok Ad Market Matures

Ricardo Fayet sees a few changes coming to how authors operate on TikTok in 2024:

“TikTok remains one of the few social media platforms where authors can hope to reach readers organically — without investing in paid ads,” writer Fayet. “As the platform becomes more mature, I expect that reach to be progressively thwarted. In parallel, I expect TikTok to invest a lot more into its advertising platform, and can see the platform establishing itself as a valid alternative to Meta/Amazon/BookBub for promoting books.”

Fayet’s prediction follows the logic of how other social media platforms have operated to maximize revenues. 

Facebook used to be a place where a simple post could easily reach thousands of readers, but, as the company grew its ad business, giving away this reach for free became less appealing.

What this means for authors: If you’re on TikTok but have seen your organic reach decline, it might be worth experimenting with a paid ad. This isn’t a widely used strategy yet, but early movers could have an advantage. 

Additionally, TikTok may offer fewer and fewer views in upcoming years. Make sure to monitor the time and effort you’re spending creating content. If you see a consistent decrease in performance, it could mean this publishing trend is coming true.


Publishing Trend 6: Copyright and Fraud Protection Become More Important

Piracy has been an issue that authors have long dealt with, but in 2024 Kinga Jentetics, CEO of PublishDrive, believes more authors will look for other protections:

“In response to the increasing challenge of protecting copyright (especially controversial with the phenomenon of AI and recent lawsuits about using copyrighted materials) and preserving the integrity of publishing systems, there will be a concentrated effort to combat fraud,” wrote Jentetics. “At PublishDrive, we collaborate closely with global retailers, placing a high priority on securing authors’ copyrights. We’ve established a system to detect and address copyright infringement at an early stage, creating a secure online environment for our valued authors.” 

Jentetics prediction for 2024 is backed up by some warning signs from this past year. 

In August 2023, Jane Friedman found that someone had published multiple unauthorized titles under her name on Amazon.

It’s possible this type of fraud could happen without the use of AI, but it’s becoming clear that AI makes it easier for bad actors to cut corners and impersonate more authors.

What this means for authors: The likelihood of fraud could increase with the addition of new AI tools. Be vigilant for strange offers or impersonators in 2024, and make sure to warn your fellow authors if you spot a scam. Add reliable resources like Writer Beware  or ALLi Watchdog to your weekly reading list to stay abreast of news and the latest tools to help you protect your work and stay ahead of this publishing trend.


Publishing Trend 7: Authors Refocus On the Long Game

Publishing has seen some ups and downs over the past few years, with a pandemic, economic fluctuations and the acceleration of AI. Bryan Cohen of Best Page Forward summarizes:

“Book sales were down for many authors in 2023, which made sense given a smaller pool of readers after the spike of people stuck at home in 2020 and 2021,” wrote Cohen. “The problem is that many authors assumed working harder would get them the same or improved results from the major outlier of a global pandemic. This led to more author burnout, medical issues, and frustration than ever before.”

In 2024, Bryan Cohen thinks more authors will recognize the importance of stability and avoiding burnout.

“2024 will be the year that many authors realize the power of focusing on sustainability and their mental health,” wrote Cohen. “Whether through self-reflection, coaching, growing their team, or simply setting more manageable goals, many authors will focus on shedding their habits of trying to do it all.”

Cohen writes that, while these changes could decrease sales in near term, they will set authors up for success as they work at pace which can be sustained for years to come.

What this means for authors: Take stock of where you’re at. Is your working pace sustainable for you in 2024? Are there changes you can make to help maintain your mental health? The new year is a great time to refresh and set yourself on a path you can stay on.


Publishing Trend 8: Subscription Models Gain Popularity

We’ve already seen the growing popularity of platforms like Patreon as a way for authors to maximize the value of their readers. In 2024, Orna Ross of ALLI believes the market will make this model more appealing than ever for authors:

“More authors will offer subscription models and memberships, where readers pay a recurring fee for ongoing content,” wrote Ross. “These will take different formats e.g. serialized books, exclusive extras for members or patrons, early access to new material for insider readers, and other exclusive experiences or rewards. And they will be offered in different places e.g. Patreon, Ream, Shopify, or on their own WordPress platforms, using membership plug-ins.”

Subscriptions offer a great opportunity for authors to connect with and maximize the value of their fans. Pairing a strong brand with a subscription offering could be a popular strategy for authors in 2024.

What this means for authors: Curious about dipping your toe into subscriptions in 2024? If you have the audience or believe you can build it, then 2024 could be the year to start building your subscriber base. 

Start by polling your readers on what they may be interested in paying for. Check out what other authors, particularly those in your genre, are doing, and see if it might work for you.


Publishing Trend 9: Controversy Continues on Social Media

2023 was a rocky year for all the major social media platforms. X (Twitter) usage and ad dollars started a freefall, and Meta was sued by 41 states alleging its platforms (including Instagram and Facebook) are harmful to children.

Amazon-owned Goodreads experienced a review-bombing scandal, and has been a platform some authors avoid to protect their mental health. 

General elections will take place in the US in November 2024, making the year ever more wrought for social media platforms. Tiktok especially will likely face more scrutiny given its ownership by China’s Bytedance, and its recent alleged sketchy activity with OpenAI

Building direct relationships with readers through email is the best defense against the turmoil on social media. When marketing on social media, authors would be well-served to pick a platform that makes sense for you.

Our pick would probably be Meta. It’s an American-owned company that has survived scandals in the past. 

X is our bottom pick for authors in 2024. It’s unclear if X will exist by the end of 2024, and it was always a challenge to sell books on the platform for most authors.

TikTok is a toss-up. The majority of Americans see TikTok as a national security threat but a majority of Americans also don’t support a TikTok ban. It’s unclear how this will play out, so authors won’t want all their eggs in this basket.

What this means for authors: Building your email list should be a top priority in 2024. Next, decide which social media platforms are right for your content. You can hedge your social media bets by picking two platforms in 2024. If you’re making content for TikTok, try repurposing your short-form video for Instagram Reels or Youtube Shorts to expand your reach.

And, if you need a break from social media, take it. You can reach social media users with paid ads instead, and there are other effective marketing channels (email, promo stacks, newsletter swaps) that can help you sell books.


Publishing Trend 10: Publishing Continues to See Consolidation

Penguin Random House was blocked from acquiring Simon & Schuster in late 2022, but in 2023 S&S was acquired by private equity firm KKR. KKR adds S&S to a portfolio of companies that includes the book distributor Overdrive.

Penguin Random House was also active in 2023, acquiring publishers like Hay House, Callisto Media, Playaway Products and increasing its stake in Sourcebooks.

We expect this trend to continue in 2024 as publishers compete for top position in the changing publishing market.

We also see more of the same on the indie side of the industry. As the industry matures, expect to see more acquisitions (like Draft2Digital’s Acquisition of Smashwords and and strategic partnerships (like Written Word Media’s with Hello Books).

What this means for authors: As companies partner and work together, new opportunities, products, and efficiencies will show up for authors. Keep an eye on industry announcements to make sure you’re working with the best companies for your needs.



That’s it for the top 10 publishing trends for 2024! The industry is changing as always, and we’re excited to see how the dynamic community of authors evolves to meet new challenges.

Do you have a trend you see coming in 2024? Let us know in the comments!

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4 comments on “The Top 10 Publishing Trends for 2024
  1. As a writer I used to be very anxious about the rise of AI and the implications for our careers, industry and humanity in general. I’m not so nervous anymore and I even decided to embark on an experiment to see how AI can assist me in writing a full lenght novel. Full project can be found on the link to my publication on Medium, created just for this.

  2. I have always been concerned as to where the self-published authors will end up in the pecking order. With that said, I was just thinking that maybe we all should step back and take a look at the genre’s that we write in and ask ourselves, “Am I getting anywhere?”
    I don’t mean the physical sense of the word, but are we writing in the right genre. I was so determined to write historical westerns when I started some 19 years ago and it went nowhere. Two years ago, I wrote 2 military books, 1 was successful the other not so and last year (2023) I started writing mysteries and I think I have found the genre where I should have been writing all these years, only time will tell. Best to all the wannabe writers, published writers and the rest of us.

  3. Very comprehensive article. I’m heartened that strengthening the connection between readers and writers is a recommended way to build a better career, because I think it builds a better creative life, too.

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