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Posts tagged United Kingdom

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...

The roots of English stupidity
July 28, 2014 | 2:25 pm

dunce.jpgThe roots of English anti-intellectualism and willful ignorance are long, deep, and twisted. The consequences you can see all over, in terms of literacy levels, reading habits, social order, and even prison numbers, and many other metrics that TeleRead tracks, but the causes are buried in the English past. Just every so often, however, it helps to lay them bare to explain just what the hell is going on in England, and what kind of hope, if any, there is for the country. The odd thing is that most Protestant countries outside the Anglo-Saxon sphere are renowned for their high standards...

Kirklees considers “nuclear option” as UK libraries holocaust continues
July 28, 2014 | 10:24 am

The West Yorkshire town of Kirklees is contemplating closure of all but two of its 26 libraries, along with other services like braille books for blind readers, as one option while it seeks to more than halve its library budget. According to the Huddersfield Daily Examiner, Kirklees Council has to find cuts to bring its £6.3 million ($10.7 million) library budget down to £2.8 million ($4.75 million) by 2017. Kirklees Council leader Clr David Sheard called the all-but-complete-closure plan the "nuclear option," versus a lesser program of cuts which would save some more of the library network and services, but which also...

Book review: Beside the Seaside, edited by Scott Harrison, Snowbooks
July 27, 2014 | 2:23 pm

Well who'd a thought it: An almost local tourism-level themed anthology confined to a short stretch of English coastline that turns out to be a surprisingly good collection of modern British horror and dark fiction. Of course, it helps if the stretch of coastline you have to deal with is the Yorkshire coast immortalized by Bram Stoker as the landfall of Count Dracula, where the ruins of Whitby Abbey and Scarborough Castle still lour down from the clifftops. Or if you have contributors like Johnny Mains, himself editor of the superb Best British Horror 2014. (His "The Girl on the Suicide...

Step up now to save Blake’s Cottage
July 25, 2014 | 2:25 pm

Cottage-in-Milton-1024x571 William Blake is not only one of England's most celebrated and beloved literary and artistic sons worldwide, he is also author of what has become the unofficial English national anthem, "Jerusalem." Yet the cottage in Felpham, Sussex, where he composed "Jerusalem" is now up for sale to private buyers after UK cultural bodies failed to make a move to save it. The Blake Society, custodians of his memory, have been given a strictly time-limited opportunity to buy the property at a discount - if they can find enough donors. "We have until the 31 October 2014 to raise enough money to...

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...

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 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...

Word count infographic shows how many words till Babel
July 22, 2014 | 12:24 pm

wordcountgalleryUK men's lifestyle giveaway magazine ShortList, last seen in TeleRead defending literary coolness, has just aired an infographic detailing the vagaries of literary length by word count, from the very longest epics to haiku. Interestingly, the infographic is credited to printer supplies chain Cartridge Discount, which must obviously be very concerned over all the paper and ink that people are spending on printing out their digitized copies of War and Peace. (Foolish people, haven't you heard of Paperwhite screens?) Anyway, for however many words it's worth, here it is.  ...

RR Haywood fills London’s streets with zombies
July 17, 2014 | 10:25 am

Undead billboard ad Horror writer RR Haywood pulled off one of the UK's more striking self-publishing promo stunts in London recently - but focused on something more serious than just driving sales. Struggling with lack of recognition from established publishers and agents despite self-publishing bestsellerdom for his The Undead Series (currently running at some 16 volumes), he decided to take a mobile billboard on lorry-back to London's literary quarters, to get the message across at first hand, with the help of door-to-door calls round agents and flyer handouts. The result you can see above, with Haywood, who writes pseudonymously owing to his day...

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...

Authors add pressure on UK government over school libraries
July 16, 2014 | 12:35 pm

school librariesDozens of British authors and others have written an open letter to the UK Department of Education calling for action in the wake of a report from the Libraries All Party Parliamentary Group, entitled The Beating Heart of the School, urging that the Department should supervise proper standards of services in school libraries. “Every secondary school in the UK should have a good library” declared the report. Published in The Guardian, the letter states: We – authors and illustrators, teachers, librarians, parents and others – are keen that this recommendation does not just become another piece of wishful thinking, and call on the Department...