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Publishing

Shatzkin shares latest on maximizing the backlist in digital publishing era
July 30, 2014 | 6:47 pm

mikeshatzkin.jpgMike Shatzkin's commentary on developments in the publishing industry has often featured in TeleRead in the past - not always in entirely respectful terms. All the same, he's often good for wrap-ups of not-quite-leading-edge newly-received wisdom in mainstream publishing, and one such piece is his latest post entitled (deep breath...): "Publishers need to rethink their marketing deployments and tactics in the digital age to take advantage of their backlists." Shatzkin delves into the traditional publishing priorities of frontlist versus backlist marketing ("Books have always been launched like rockets. The publisher commits maximum firepower to getting them off the ground. Most crash to...

Alloy Entertainment partners with Amazon on digital-first for young adults
July 30, 2014 | 3:25 pm

Time Warner-owned book packager and entertainment property developer Alloy Entertainment has partnered with Amazon Publishing on a digital-first imprint for young adult titles. As reported in Digital Book World and elsewhere, this builds on Alloy's existing partnership with Amazon for the Kindle Worlds fanfic program, and titles published first on this platform will later be considered for hard copy print runs. According to the original Alloy Entertainment press release, available here: "The new imprint, named Alloy Entertainment, will be part of Amazon Publishing’s Powered by Amazon program. Powered by Amazon enables publishers and authors to leverage Amazon’s global distribution and personalized,...

Amazon says it would be content with 30% of revenue if Hachette e-books were $9.99
July 29, 2014 | 8:42 pm

Amazon has posted another update to its Kindle user forum, dispensing more information about the nature of the dispute between itself and Hachette. In fact, this is pretty much the clearest statement of what the actual argument covers that we have yet seen from either side, including those Hachette leakers. (And, interestingly enough, it doesn’t actually agree with some of the content of those leaks! Imagine that?) I haven’t looked for any reactions yet, but I predict the same howls of outrage we got with Amazon’s last such announcement in May, from Hachette partisans complaining that Amazon didn’t have...

Latest Nielsen UK figures show ebooks eating into soft covers
July 29, 2014 | 10:25 am

nielsenThe latest figures brought together in the Books & Consumers 2013 UK Annual Review from Nielsen Book, which "provides an overview of consumer book purchasing in the UK in 2013 compared to 2012, using data based on 80‐90,000 book purchases made by a nationally representative sample of 37‐38,000 book buyers per year," shows ebook purchases in the UK rising to one quarter of Nielsen's estimated total, at 25 percent for 2013 versus 20 percent in 2012. However, this growth came at the expense of paperback books, with softback purchases declining from 55 to 50 percent over the same period, in the...

UK Publishers Association trumpets success of Brit novel filmations
July 25, 2014 | 10:25 am

movie.jpgThe UK Publishers Association has put out an interesting communique in the aftermath of the release of the BFI’s Statistics Yearbook, the annual statistical digest of the British Film Institute. As that document apparently points out, "of the top 20 grossing films worldwide, 40 percent were based on British novels, while of the top 20 British grossing films 18 were based on novels, including works by and inspired by Ian Fleming, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and JK Rowling." Now there are two interesting things that come out of this. One is typified by the statement by Richard Mollet, Chief Executive of the Publishers...

If you want to compete, compete!
July 24, 2014 | 4:06 pm

competeI have spent the last week being simply exhausted by the Amazon stuff showing up in my news feed. Every blog, every writer, every author's group or reader's group or publisher's group has an opinion on the latest Amazonpocalypse, and it's cluttering up my news feed like you would't believe. I've written already about my own opinion---that we should not fool ourselves thinking Hachette is any better, that we should concentrate instead on the factors we can control ourselves. But a blog post from writer M.C.A. Hogarth, found via The Passive Voice, makes one more point that I think is...

The Bookseller takes time to rubbish, undermine AuthorEarnings report
July 24, 2014 | 10:25 am

Bookseller ranking June 2013In the immediate aftermath of the latest Hugh Howey-helmed AuthorEarnings report, which came hard on the heels of the UK Society of Authors' lamentation over the state of ... well, author earnings ... , The Guardian sought out SoA general secretary Nicola Solomon and Philip Jones, Editor of The Bookseller, for their reaction to the report. And the response from The Bookseller's corner at least was not exactly positive. In The Guardian, Jones said: "this is a very narrow selection of a particular type of market at a particular time ... you can't extrapolate from bestseller rankings on the Kindle store...

UK’s Green Shore outed as product of veteran author scammer
July 23, 2014 | 10:25 am

A welcome tipoff from a TeleRead reader steered us over to Writer Beware, and a warning about a new Author Solutions-style e-vanity press, the UK's Green Shore Publishing, the self-styled"best option for success in the European book publishing market." And astute sleuthing by Writer Beware indicates that Green Shore comes to you courtesy of one of the best-attested author scamming names in recent years. Packages offered by Green Shore range from a £300 ($511) "Affordable Publishing" package to "The Ultimate Chance at Success"at £1500 ($2555). A whole three (count 'em, three) "Reviews" by satisfied authors are offered as video testimonials for...

UK Publishers Association tracks rising digital sales
July 22, 2014 | 2:26 pm

apple-time-to-use-digital-textbooksThe UK Publishers Association  has just shared its latest Digital Sales Monitor, tracking sales till end April 2014, which demonstrates that UK "digital sales increased from £119.9m [$204.78 million] from January-April 2013 to £132.5m [$226.3 million] in the same period this year, a rise of 10.5%. This continues the increasingly strong performance of the digital formats which in 2013 represented 16% of total book sales, and has grown a massive 305% over the past five years." Even these impressive figures, however, considerably underreport actual digital book sales in the UK as a whole. "Data from companies estimated to represent c75% of total...

July Author Earnings report surveys DRM, genre sales
July 18, 2014 | 3:34 am

ae-julyHugh Howey and Data Guy have done it again, producing another interesting report on a sample of data scraped from Amazon. The July report re-runs the numbers for their main chart based on the new data, then branches out into a couple of interesting new measurements—including one that I specifically asked for back in May. The main measurements show basically incremental change from the last few reports, In terms of daily revenue to authors (taking into account royalty percentages from publisher sales and Amazon revenue percentages from self-published works), Big Five authors take 37% of total Amazon daily revenue...

Oxford publishers get skills training grant from UK government
July 16, 2014 | 6:39 pm

oxford.jpgPublishers in Oxfordshire, home of the Oxford University Press, have received a grant of £150,000 [$256,884] from the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Department for Education  as part of a public/private co-investment strategy for developing skills in the industry. Announced by Oxford Brookes University, which is coordinating the recipient Oxfordshire Publishing Cluster Group through its Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies, the grant will "will go towards developing locally run training courses for people in the publishing industry." "The publishing industry is in the midst of enormous changes; the move from print to digital has opened up a wealth...

Penguin Random House and the Harper Lee memoir controversy
July 16, 2014 | 4:36 pm

to-kill-a-mockingbird-JPEG_thumb.jpgThe dispute between Harper Lee and her self-styled chronicler Marja Mills is receiving substantial coverage for a feud that goes back to 2011, when Penguin originally acquired the rights to Mills's The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee.  Even at that point, Lee's attorneys released a statement from the celebrated author that she had not "willingly participated in any book written or to be written by Marja Mills. Neither have I authorized such a book. Any claims otherwise are false." Mills, however, insisted that she had written confirmation from Lee's sister Alice that both sisters had cooperated with the...