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Posts tagged publishers

Publishing venture capital style – or, how most publishers throw money at the wall to see what sticks
September 4, 2014 | 4:27 pm

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="461"] Thanks to "The Wolf of Wall Street" for this inside shot from a typical Manhattan publisher's commissioning meeting ...[/caption] This post comes courtesy of some comments by publisher Hugh Andrew, Managing Director of Birlinn Limited, in the course of the debate on the future for writers after the Scottish independence referendum at the Edinburgh International Book Festival - as well as from my former life in Hong Kong as Managing Editor of the Asian Venture Capital Journal. Hugh Andrew pointed out how most publishing is a matter of paying off a plethora of loss-making works with a few...

Bowker data shows traditional publishing steady in U.S.
August 7, 2014 | 12:25 pm

NielsenThe latest short data report from  ProQuest research affiliate Bowker showed traditional print publishing holding up very nicely, thank you, in the U.S. The Bowker release stated that: "production of print books by traditional publishers in the USA declined from 309,957 titles in 2012 to a projected 304,912 titles in 2013. According to the company, the two per cent decrease reverses the sector’s growth in 2012 over 2011, but points to a relatively stable market for print works despite competition from e-books." Meanwhile, "the non-traditional publishing sector saw a far more significant decline over 2012. Its print output for 2013 was projected at...

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 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...

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...

Hachette Australia to commemorate Matt Richell by supporting local authors
July 15, 2014 | 6:24 pm

Hachette Australia is to set up a scholarship or foundation to support local writers in honor of its former CEO, Matt Richell, deceased recently in a surfing accident. Hachette group CEO Tim Hely Hutchinson was quoted in Australia's Books and Publishing magazine as saying: "‘We plan to work with [Richell’s wife] Hannah to establish a scholarship or foundation to honour Matt’s memory for decades into the future." Richell's wife, writer Hannah Richell, spoke on his legacy at a memorial ceremony in Sydney, attended by some 200 literary and publishing figures, as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald. Author Maxine Beneba Clarke...

Hey, publishers? Show us the money!
July 10, 2014 | 4:37 pm

money_grubbing_businessman_0521-1011-0416-3829_SMUPublishers are earning more than ever before. Writers are earning less than ever before. So why are writers defending publishers? And why is all that money staying with publishers instead of going back to authors? This debate has gained fresh point and ammunition in the context of the recent Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society (ALCS) study on UK author incomes. Nate Hoffelder criticized the ALCS report on the grounds of methodology: "This report looks less like a true survey of writers and more like a hatchet job from a group with an axe to grind. I suggest that you ignore it."...

Q&A with UK Society of Authors CEO on ALCS report, author incomes
July 10, 2014 | 10:34 am

SoA logoFollowing the release of the UK Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society (ALCS) survey on author earnings, already covered in TeleRead, I contacted the UK Society of Authors to ask for their view on the report. Here are the responses of Nicola Solomon, Chief Executive of the Society of Authors. TeleRead: The ALCS findings state that average author incomes have fallen by almost 30% in the past decade. Creative Industries Council data shows UK creative industries growing at 5× the broader GDP growth rate. Can you comment on this contrast? Nicola Solomon: We are concerned but not surprised by the findings in this...

Hast ‘t wooking class bin writ oot ‘o literature?
June 18, 2014 | 2:25 pm

... and for those of you unfamiliar with Yorkshire dialect (unlike my Bridlingtonian maternal grandparents), that means "Has the working class been written out of literature?" and was composed with the aid of the Chicken Run Yorkshire Translator - for those whose familiarity with Yorkshire goes no further than Chicken Run. What started this particular chicken run was another silly post in The Guardian - home of silly post after other silly post - from Kevin Duffy, founder of the otherwise excellent Yorkshire independent Bluemoose Books, based in Hebden Bridge. Duffy complains that "Working-class fiction has been written out of publishing,"...

Leonard Sherman: Publishers in ‘fight for their lives’
June 9, 2014 | 9:26 pm

Leonard Sherman of Columbia Business School, the author of that Amazon/Hachette op-ed that was briefly on Fortune until it disappeared during a web site upgrade, contacted me to let me know he had posted another piece to his blog. This was conceived as a response to the New York Times op-ed by Bob Kohn (which we mentioned here); however, the Times didn’t see fit to print it. In this piece, Sherman lays out how and why the publishing industry came to be in its predicament, which he lays at the feet of the decades-old system of returns, accounting for...

Robinson-Patman, Amazon, the publishers, and the ABA: Where’s the lawsuit? (Updated)
June 3, 2014 | 3:16 pm

Two different op-eds have popped up on CNN and Al Jazeera suggesting that Amazon, big bully that it is in the Hachette negotiation, needs to be taken down a peg under the Robinson-Patman Act. (If you didn’t hear a raspy voice say “I’m Patman” when I mentioned the name of that law, I’m pretty sure you did just now.) Robinson-Patman is an anti-predatory-pricing regulation that’s on the books dating back to the ‘30s, intended to prevent businesses from charging different prices in different towns to undercut local competition, or from using their size to bully suppliers into giving...

The midlist ghetto: Where no writer need go again?
April 9, 2014 | 5:11 pm

in-open-spacesThe Rumpus, a.k.a. "The online urban hipster coffee shop" (what? you mean you've never heard of "the online urban hipster coffee shop"? Where have you been wasting your time, loser? Starbucks?), just ran a piece by midlist author Russell Rowland on being a midlist author, entitled "Solidly Mid-List." It's that simple. And it's also a very good guide to, and track record for, the career of a midlist author, and where you go to get onto the midlist - if you choose to go that way instead of landing up there thanks to some awful mistake. "What happened? How did I...