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Posts tagged United Kingdom

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...

UK rejoices as Gove goes
July 15, 2014 | 4:22 pm

mr-gove-cover Good news for UK teachers, pupils, readers - and incidentally, fans of American literature. Michael Gove, the much-despised UK Education Secretary dismissed by Professor Simon Schama at last year's Hay Festival for his "insulting, offensive" attitudes, and by author Patrick Ness as "appalling, ignorant and damaging" and "massive, arrogant egotist who can’t see anyone else’s opinion,"  has been moved to a new post as Chief Whip, in charge of internal discipline for the UK Conservative Party in the House of Commons, as part of a cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister David Cameron. According to David Cameron's official Twitter feed, "Michael Gove...

Guardian takes up UK Society of Authors statement: Traditional publishing terms no longer fair or sustainable
July 13, 2014 | 1:41 pm

SoA logoAfter UK Society of Authors head Nicola Solomon wrote to TeleRead in the wake of the release of the UK Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society (ALCS) report on author earnings, The Guardian picked up the same statement from her to endorse the SoA view that "the terms many publishers are demanding are no longer fair or sustainable." And this time The Guardian, hitherto a more than somewhat anti-Amazon publication, only mentioned Amazon briefly and in positive terms, in the context of self-publishing. The Guardian mostly covers the same ground that Solomon already went over in her Q&A with TeleRead, and the arguments also covered here,...

Tesco launches Harper Lee promo to draw Blinkbox Books customers
July 11, 2014 | 12:27 pm

UK supermarket chain Tesco has launched a free ebook giveaway promotion for the Blinbox Books platform that accompanies its Tesco Hudl tablet, launched last year, and its other Blinkbox online content offerings. The title in question is Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, and Blinkbox Books will give away 1000 copies to downloaders on a first-come-first-served basis. "The novel has been translated into more than 40 languages and has sold over 30 million copies worldwide, and counting," runs Blinkbox Books' introduction. "You know you want to be number 30,000,001." To Kill a Mockingbird now occupies the prime slot on Blinkbox Books' website,...

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...