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Posts tagged book publishing

Quill & Quire survey shows publishing still a satisfying career – at least, in Canada
December 13, 2013 | 4:00 pm

Quill & Quire, "Canada's magazine of book news and reviews," recently released a survey of attitudes, standards, and salaries in the publishing profession. The results hardly paint a picture of an industry in decline. Of course, publishers could always be happier, and have some very specific discontents, but overall, they seem to be surviving digital disruption very well. Excerpts from the actual survey show salaries and compensation sort of holding ground in the profession. On average, around 56 percent of all employee types received bonuses in 2012, with the percentage in sales, marketing and publicity rather higher (though that may be...

Barbarians at the Bookstore Gate: Big bucks and big books (or boobs?)
December 12, 2013 | 6:28 pm

Next time, o lowly author, you're feeling underrewarded and underappreciated, just think how lucky you are to scrape acquaintance and kiss rings with the glamorous beautiful and bucks-bundling people of the swanky publishing industry. Instead of slumming it with the little nobodies, you too can touch, however briefly, the hems of the garments of HELLO! Magazine glitterati. Doesn't that make you feel better as you toil at your screen? And just to remind you, Publishers Lunch has run a laudatory headline declaring: "Judith Regan Returns to Publishing, Backed By Phaidon." Publishers Weekly also put up a notice stating: "Phaidon Taps Judith...

Ricoh IT Strategies survey shows print hanging in there
December 11, 2013 | 12:20 pm

Just in, a survey by Ricoh Americas Corporation conducted with the University of Colorado and entitled "The Evolution of the Book Industry: Implications for US Book Manufacturers and Printers” has found that print is likely to enjoy a very long and loyal legacy tail. "Nearly 70 percent of consumers feel it is unlikely that they will give up on printed books by 2016," states the survey. " Consumers have an emotional and visceral/sensory attachment to printed books, potentially elevating them to a luxury item." As for the process that derived this conclusion, "we interviewed a triumvirate of stakeholders in the book...

When publishers attack: Elsevier and the open access research dilemma
December 9, 2013 | 4:14 pm

It's no secret that academic publisher Reed Elsevier is facing financial and structural challenges from European Union and other regulatory challenges to its business model, from officials anxious to make sure that publicly-funded research gets to be public. But Elsevier's response to recent attempts within the academic community to assert open access has highlighted characteristic problems in its own reactions to this challenge - and similar behavior among academic and scholarly publishers elsewhere. And by the way: The tongue-in-cheek illustration that accompanies this post is just that - tongue in cheek. But only so far. It doesn't represent all publishers. But...

Mike Shatzkin shows publishing spiraling down the drain
November 19, 2013 | 3:08 pm

For anyone who has ever spent time in the accretion disc of  a black hole, the situation of the publishing industry will seem alarmingly familiar. At least according to Mike Shatzkin, whose analyses of the future evolution of publishing have appeared quite often in TeleRead in the past, and who just weighed in on Digital Book World, in an interview with DBW editorial director Jeremy Greenfield entitled "The Challenge and Opportunity of Self-Published Authors for Publishers," on the subject of where publishing is going and what that vast sucking sound is. Shatzkin feels that self-publishing is at a stage where it can...

BISG report: Ebook slowdown or not?
November 6, 2013 | 2:58 pm

The latest report on "Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading" from the Book Industry Study Group, Inc. (BISG), "the book industry's leading trade association for policy, standards, and research," declares that " e-book growth has slowed and currently comprises about 30% of books sold." Report Two in the series, "powered by Nielsen Book Research and now in its fourth and final year," the study claims to reveal "an emerging consensus around e-books and maturing consumption patterns, with important implications for trade publishers and content creators and distributors." Jo Henry, Director of Nielsen Book Research, claims in the BISG material that: "It is...

Guardian scapegoats ebooks for UK publisher massacre
November 5, 2013 | 2:54 pm

It's hard to improve on  Nate Hoffelder's indignation over on The Digital Reader at The Guardian's ludicrously alarmist piece, headlined "Ebooks and discounts drive 98 publishers out of business," but I'll at least second that emotion. First, to briefly go over the facts: The article claims that 98 UK publishers closed their doors in the 12-month period ending August 31st, 2013, a 42 percent increase. The statistics quoted in the article are drawn from a report by accounting firm Wilkins Kennedy, quoted initially in a piece by Sally Davies in the UK Financial Times, with a far less hysterical headline: "Number...

Want Louis Vuitton Bags With That? LVMH Buys Into Gallimard
October 30, 2013 | 6:00 pm

gallimardFrom the nation that brought you the word "bizarre," we have fashionistas coming over all bookish. As reported by Dow Jones, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton has taken a 9.5 percent stake in the holding company of illustrious family-owned French publishing house Gallimard, for a consideration likely to be around EUR25-30 million ($34-41.2 million). And it's not every day that I get to crib from the pages of Women's Wear Daily for TeleRead, but here you go. According to reports in France's Le Monde, Madrigall, the family group controlled by Antoine Gallimard, is in the hole for around EUR250 million ($344 million)...

Shatzkin outs marketing, not editorial, as new driving force in publishing — world yawns
September 9, 2013 | 12:50 pm

ShatzkinMike Shatzkin, founder and CEO of publishing consultancy The Idea Logical Company and " widely-acknowledged thought leader about digital change in the book publishing industry," has just run a blog post entitled "Marketing will replace editorial as the driving force behind publishing houses"—so at least there's no doubt about what his thesis is. He says, quoting his father Leonard Shatzkin, that whereas the traditional position was that “all publishing houses are started with an editorial inspiration,” which under the pressure of economic realities mutated into sales-driven structures focused on getting books into stores, nowadays "marketing has largely usurped the sales function....

Morning Roundup: Free Obama e-single; Canada’s best-read city; and more
August 1, 2013 | 8:48 am

Morning Roundup3 Reasons Educational Book Publishing is Booming (Digital Book World) Creative breakthroughs are happening in educational publishing like never before. Justin Hamilton, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications at Amplify, thinks he knows why. * * * The Sun (UK) Launches Innovative Digital Paywall (Good e-Reader) What is very exciting, is how the Sun is taking a departure from the standard way news companies make money online and doing some fairly innovative things. * * * Amazon's Interview with President Obama is Now Available as a Free Kindle Single (GigaOM) Amazon’s interview with President Obama is now available free in the Kindle Store. * * * Vancouver #1 Most...

UK’s The Bookseller reinvents wheel, launches monthly e-book ranking
July 26, 2013 | 3:10 pm

The BooksellerIn a move surprising only for its incredible tardiness, UK book trade bible The Bookseller has announced that it will henceforth carry monthly e-book sales rankings, due to launch in the last week of July with June sales figures. The new monthly ranking, which The Bookseller describes as, an "industry first," will run: "with sales figures supplied by all the major trade publishers in the UK.  It is the first time regular e-book sales data will have been published, and builds on The Bookseller’s annual and quarterly reviews of the book market, which have included e-book volume numbers alongside print book sales." As...

Sale or return in bookselling: Friend or enemy?
July 14, 2013 | 12:01 pm

booksellingIn a recent article in Futurebook, the digital offshoot of Britain's The Bookseller, Tom Chalmers takes issue with the sale or return policy, calling on booksellers to, "scrap this ludicrous, self-defeating, damaging way of doing business." Hold on: Jettisoning a pillar of the book trade: the return of unsold books to the publisher free of charge? Does that make sense? Well, Chalmers makes it make a lot of sense. And I happen to agree with much of what he says. "Having started my first publishing business eight years ago, I can say with complete certainty that if we were able to give books back...

Author Solutions critics are racketeers: You heard it here third
July 12, 2013 | 2:45 pm

Author SolutionsWriter and self publishing guru David Gaughran has long been a scourge of Author Solutions and other players in the assisted self-publishing space whose terms, he insists, amount to little more than an updated version of vanity press. Scourge hardly does justice to his relentless pursuit of the platform. And he just Tweeted a fascinating record of an exchange, relayed by marketing savant Emily Suess, between an anonymous author and an Author Solutions staffer, one Eric Emlinger, Publishing Consultant, who dismissed its critics as "websites that are being sued for racketeering." Emlinger originally contacted the author through iUniverse, another Author Solutions brand. When...

Victoria Barnsley’s HarperCollins exit and the content conundrum
July 6, 2013 | 2:05 pm

HarperCollinsVictoria Barnsley, Chief Executive and Publisher at HarperCollins UK since 2000, announced her unexpected exit earlier this week. According to the report in the UK's The Bookseller, expanded on the circumstances and on her own view of her profession in a valedictory speech at the annual HarperCollins author party, held this year in the Orangery of  Kensington Palace. (My thanks to author and illustrator David O'Connell for his picture of the party.) In this, she called for her peers to keep their focus on publishing as a content business, not a media business. As quoted by The Bookseller, Barnsley said: "My advice to publishers,...

Penguin Random House email turns on the schmaltz for agents
July 2, 2013 | 11:47 am

Penguin Random House A kindly correspondent shared with me an email signed by Markus Dohle, CEO of the newly-merged Penguin Random House, that has been circulated to the new mega-publisher's agents—in the same spirit as Bertelsmann's welcoming website banner pictured above. Here is the full text for your edification: To Our Literary Agents, Today, I am proud to write to you from the officially united Penguin Random House. Over the past few months, we have been working through the many financial, legal, and logistical arrangements necessary for the merger to become a reality. But despite the tasks already accomplished, we are really still just at the starting...

Meanwhile in the newspaper world, print thrives—out east
June 20, 2013 | 1:30 pm

newspaper Despite predictions of their imminent demise, newspapers are not only still with us, but even expanding their readership—in Asia, at least. According to the latest annual World Press Trends survey of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), "print newspaper circulations continued to rise in Asia and decline in mature markets in the West" in 2012 and 2013. From an e-book writer's perspective, this matters not only in terms of what platform remains dominant as a publication platform, but also, for many writers, what the future holds for an important source of additional income. According to WAN-IFRA, the data showed...

Group looks to create Rabble Reads, an aggregated book review site for indie and traditional books
March 2, 2013 | 3:16 pm

RabbleBeing able to trust a book review on popular sites such as Amazon and Goodreads is getting difficult. These sites have fake reviews—some good and some bad—designed to work the system by raising and droping books in the rankings. Amy Holman Edelman and those at IndieReader are looking to help readers with this problem. They recently created a Kickstarter campaing to raise funds for Rabble Reads, a website with aggregated book reviews for both traditionally published and self-published books. (Think Rotten Tomatoes for readers.) [caption id="attachment_80523" align="alignright" width="176"] Amy Holman Edelman[/caption] “This site will help people to zero in and what’s good and what’s not,” says Holman Edelman, of Montclair, N.J....

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