Friday, 29 October 2010

People in Publishing - appointments and moves

Ryan Doherty has moved to Random House Trade Paperbacks as an editor, reporting to Jane von Mehren.

At Simon & Schuster, Kate Ankofski has been promoted to associate editor.

Samhain Publishing has hired Heather Osborn as editorial director, reporting to Christina Brashear, starting November 1. Most recently she has been head of Tor Romance.

Children's book editor of the New York Times Book Review Julie Just will join Janklow & Nesbit as an agent in November.

Phaidon Press, which recently hired Amanda Ridout as managing director, has now appointed David Davies as chief executive officer, starting November 29 and based in London. He is currently managing director at Bauer Media, running a portfolio of magazines.

Also in the UK, at Atlantic Books, Margaret Stead has been promoted to publishing director, reporting to Toby Mundy.

Mary Choteborsky has been promoted to editor, publishing manager, for Crown Archetype, Crown Business, Crown Forum and Harmony Books; and Heather Lazare has been promoted to editor, publishing manager, Crown Trade Paperbacks.

Sourcebooks has hired Deirdre Quinn Burgess as an associate editor focusing on gift books and calendars and Jeffrey Benson as a project editor, overseeing project-management and manuscript development aspects of their college guide, study aids, and reference titles. He was most recently an editor at Wiley working on college textbooks.

Karen Thompson has been promoted to editor at the Simon & Schuster adult trade imprint, both acquiring her own list as well as looking to "maximize and revitalize parts of the backlist.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Independent publishers could go out of business because of Arts Council funding cuts

Independent Publishers are warning that because of the dramatic reduction in Arts Council funding as result of the Government's Comprehensive Spending Review some of them could go out of business

The culture secretary Jeremy Hunt has asked the Council to pass on cuts of no more than 15% over four years to the organisations it funds, absorbing the rest itself, and the council's chief executive Alan Davey wrote to organisations yesterday to say it was his intention 'to try and limit any cut in the first year to less than 10%'. But Davey also stated the cuts would 'inevitably have a significant impact on the cultural life of the country'.

Gary Pulsifer of publisher Arcadia, which specialises in translated fiction, said in the Guardian: 'I honestly think a lot of arts organisations will go to the wall.' Pulsifer said Arcadia would be cutting back on the number of translations it publishes – having already seen cutbacks because overseas national literary organisations have reduced their support for English language translations of their books.

Eric Lane of Dedalus Books, which also translates literary fiction, said the cuts had come at an especially tricky time. 'The market is narrowing at the moment. Waterstone's is the major outlet in terms of bookshops and if they don't give a book core status, it almost guarantees it will be a commercial failure,' he said. 'Small sums of public money make a big difference.

Chris Holifield of the Poetry Book Society said the cutbacks would have a 'significant' effect.

The Arvon foundation's director Ruth Borthwick lamented the effect that the funding cut would have on the accessibility of the organisation's creative writing courses. 'We will be able to offer less support to people who can't otherwise afford to come,' she explained. 'Although we will do everything we can to bridge the gap through fundraising, once again the poorer people are going to suffer more than anyone else.'

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Guidelines for libraries on e book lending received with disbelief and anger by librarians

The Publishers Association has set out an agreed position on e-book lending in libraries that will see library users blocked from downloading e-books outside of the library premises but librarians have warned that publishers have "declared war on libraries" with the new position on library lending, which was announced by Faber c.e.o. Stephen Page at the CILIP Public Library Authorities conference in Leeds.

Page said that all the major trade houses had agreed a baseline position through the Publishers Association placing restrictions on library e-lending, including a ban on remote downloading. He said guidelines had been developed because of concerns over free e-book lending offered by some libraries to lenders "wherever you are" which are in breach of publisher contracts.

The Overdrive library e-book lending system widely used by UK libraries currently allows members to download e-books onto their home devices remotely by using a passcode supplied by the library.

Under the new scheme, library users would have to come onto the library's physical premises to download an e-book at a computer terminal onto a mobile device, rather than downloading the book remotely. The scheme would also see the fee paid by a library to buy a book covering the right to loan one copy to one individual at any given time, and would require "robust and secure geographical-based membership" in place at the library service doing the lending.

Page told the conference that the PA's new position on e-book lending had been forged after some library authorities mismanaged their lending.

"Recent activities by some authorities" had necessitated the move, said Page. "Some services were lending for remote downloads, without geographical restrictions. This was in breach of contracts between the library and aggregator, and between the aggregator and publisher, and was advertised to the general public as 'free e-books, wherever you are, whenever you want'. Under this model, who would ever buy an e-book ever again?," he asked.

Luton's head of libraries Fiona Marriott, writing on The Bookseller's website, commented: "I've had to read this statement five times, as I can't actually believe it! In Luton we work with Overdrive - we offer one e-book per customer at a time, and I have always been in favour of this model. The rights to the book have been agreed, and we limit the service to customers in our area - they have to come into a library to join. I have turned down people who live in Scotland, Blackpool, China and even London. If other authorities aren't playing by the rules, then deal with them, not us."

She added: "I can't believe the PA has declared war on libraries in this way, with absolutely no consultation - we have blind and visually impaired customers who consider this service as a lifeline, they say it has given them back the independence of reading choice, and they would be livid at this statement!"

Other librarians are up in arms about the statement with one commenting,"So all the people libraries were targeting that don't and can't get into their local library to access stock, will now not bother coming to the library to download their e-books either."

Library staff also questioned how to reconcile the technical issues involved with the PA plan with Overdrive's widely used library e-lending system.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Final call for Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award

The submissions deadline for the £30,000 Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award is 30th October at 1 p.m.

The prize, now in its second year, awards for a single short story from a fiction author who has had work published in Britain or Ireland. The winner will receive £30,000 and the five shortlisted writers will receive £500 each, as well as having the chance to appear in the Sunday Times.

The judges for this year are novelist, screenwriter and broadcaster Melvyn Bragg, columnist and broadcaster Daisy Waugh, writer and journalist Will Self, literary editor of the Sunday Times Andrew Holgate and author A S Byatt.

The longlist will be announced on 20th February and the shortlist on 13th March. The winner will be announced at a special event at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival on 8th April.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Government refuses to enable Digital Economy Act to allow authors legal entitlement to PLR on e books and audio books

The Government has renegaded on the Digital Economy Act, which was enabled under the Labour Government, to allow authors to receive Public Lending Rights (PLR) on e book and audio book loans. It is hoped that the Society of Authors (SoA) will continue to lobby the government on this issue particularly in light of the fact they have already recognised PLR to be a legal right of the authors.

The PLR budget is to be reduced by 7% over the next four years as part of the Government's Comprehensive Spending Review. The cuts will see the fund reduced from £7.45m in the 2010/11 fiscal year to £6.956m by 2013/14.  However, the PLR, the administrative body which has operated effectively and efficiently for over thirty years is to be abolished as part of the cuts.

The Society of Authors commented: "While any reduction in spending on PLR is much to be regretted, at first sight it appears that PLR has fared relatively well, certainly compared with many other organisations sponsored by the Department for Culture Media and Sport."

Jeremy Hunt, the secretary of state, had heeded the representations made to him by the society and other organisations. The SoA added, "He has recognised that PLR is a legal right and is one of the department’s ‘front line’ services which ought to be given priority." The SoA said it remained "opposed to the dotty proposal that PLR should be transferred to another body".

Friday, 22 October 2010

How Many Copies Do Novels Sell?

This article below comes from Bubblecow and makes interesting reading for new writers and those seeking a contract with a publisher.

"We live in a world dominated by best sellers. A new writer can be forgiven for thinking that the mega-success of writers such as Dan Brown, J. K. Rowling and Stephen King represent to norm. The reality is very different, with debut novelists struggling to even get reviews, never mind selling millions of copies.

So, how many books can a new non-best selling novelist really expect to sell?"

 Click here to read the full article: How Many Copies Do Novels Sell?:

Thursday, 21 October 2010

People in Publishing

Children's book editor of the New York Times Book Review Julie Just will join Janklow & Nesbit as an agent in November.

Phaidon Press, which recently hired Amanda Ridout as managing director, has now appointed David Davies as chief executive officer, starting November 29 and based in London. He is currently managing director at Bauer Media, running a portfolio of magazines.

Also in the UK, at Atlantic Books, Margaret Stead has been promoted to publishing director, reporting to Toby Mundy.

Mary Choteborsky has been promoted to editor, publishing manager, for Crown Archetype, Crown Business, Crown Forum and Harmony Books; and Heather Lazare has been promoted to editor, publishing manager, Crown Trade Paperbacks.

Sourcebooks has hired Deirdre Quinn Burgess as an associate editor focusing on gift books and calendars and Jeffrey Benson as a project editor, overseeing project-management and manuscript development aspects of their college guide, study aids, and reference titles. He was most recently an editor at Wiley working on college textbooks.

Karen Thompson has been promoted to editor at the Simon & Schuster adult trade imprint, both acquiring her own list as well as looking to "maximize and revitalize parts of the backlist.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Amazon To Sell Short-Form 'Singles' For Kindle believes that an uncommon length of reading material - longer than a magazine article but shorter than a book - will be a popular format in electronic form for its Kindle e-book reader and with this in mind is launching Kindle "Singles," a section of its electronic bookstore dedicated to pieces that are 10,000 to 30,000 words or 30 to 90 pages.

Amazon said it is soliciting the pieces outside of the publishing industry and is looking for serious writers, thinkers, scientists, business leaders, historians, politicians and publishers to 'join Amazon in making such works available to readers around the world.'

It said "interested parties" should contact

Read full article here:

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Orange has told publishers it has new plans for the Orange Fiction Prize in 2011

Orange, sponsor of the Orange prize for fiction, has told publishers it has new plans for the prize in 2011,which includes a year-long digital promotion for new writers. The £10,000 Orange Award for New Writers, which has run since 2005 is to be dropped.
Naomi Li of Orange's PR representatives M& C Saatchi, confirmed that Orange intended to expand its Orange Book Club, and feature an online promotion for new writers all year round.

Li said. "But we're launching a website at Christmas, and a Facebook group ... We'll sell e-books, and the Orange prize website will be revamped and integrated into the site."

Publishers said they were being kept guessing about the exact nature of Orange's plans, but that signs were good.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Public Lending Body which administers library loan royalties for authors to be abolished

The Public Lending Rights (PLR) body, which has been administering the library-loan royalties scheme for authors has been named as one of the organisations to go in the government's culling of quangos. The PLR functions will be transferred to another body, as yet unnamed.

Culture Minister, Ed Vaizey, has said that authors' library-loan royalties will continue but he also said: 'Spending Review decisions will determine the size of the author fund and an announcement outlining funding over the next four years will be made later this month.'

In a letter to the Society of Authors this morning, Vaizey sought to reassure worried authors, 'As a condition of the transfer we will require the [new] body to commit to ringfence the fund for making payments to authors.'

PLR registrar Dr Jim Knight said there would be 'no change' in the author payment system this year. 'We are going to operate the system to the end of March 2011. Over 2011-12 we will sort the details of transferring our functions to a new body,' he said, adding that 'a lot of detail' was still to be established about the transfer.

Mark Le Fanu, general secretary of the Society of Authors, said: 'The whole thing is totally unclear.'

Friday, 15 October 2010

Survey shows slow take up for British downloading e books

The majority of Great Britain has yet to download an e-book and say they are unlikely to do so in the next six months, according to a new survey by Book Marketing Limited called Understanding the GB Digital Consumer.

The initial stage of an online survey, conducted between 18th August and 1st September, from a sample of 4,085 adults revealed 19% of adults claim to have downloaded e-books, book extracts or chapters. While 18% have downloaded free book content, only 7% have downloaded paid-for content.

Digital content is consumed the most by men, the young, those in higher social grades and students. The survey found heavy book buyers paid for on average six e-books during the past sixmonths. The survey also found despite the growing popularity in iPhones and iPads, laptop and desktop computers remain the most popular way of reading e-books.

The full findings will be anounced at the Publishers Association Conference Creating the Future: the Digital and E-book Market in 2011 on 9th February at Hamilton House in London.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Publishing is no longer a growth industry claims author and new media guru

Douglas Rushkoff has said that the publishing industry is no longer a growth business and needs to drastically reduce its scale in order to sustain itself in the future.

Speaking at the Tools of Change conference on 5 October in Frankfurt, Rushkoff said the publishing business could not now grow fast enough to support the corporate structure of large media groups. He told delegates: "What we are contending with is the fact that not as many of us are needed as used to be. Publishing can get on better if it only needs to support about 40% of the people it currently employs."

Rushkoff said he had published his latest book, Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age, independently because he no longer needed a Random House, or an Ingram, or a Barnes & Noble, to reach his customers. He said he was now able to offer his book direct at a lower price to customers. "And I can publish it straightaway, and not wait two years for a publisher to publish it."

Read the full article here: TOC: Rushkoff says book publishers need to reduce in size:

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Opposing views at conference that said publishers and authors must think more about readers

Some interesting points and opposing views from a conference held to 'help publishers explore the ways that books, film, television, games and other content industries use to get their content to consumers.'

More than 300 people attended the the inaugural StoryDrive conference with speakers from online and gaming companies.

Kathrin Passig, author and journalist, said: “In the book business we are not used to talking to the reader or thinking about the reader as our customer. This is a lot more difficult for creatives (authors) than we may imagine. It is a bit intimidating.

“It is not only the publishing houses who will have to deal with the changes but the creatives. We’ve got to think about what the public wants and not what the publisher or the bookseller wants.”

Tim Renner, producer, author and journalist at Motor Entertainment, disagreed. He said: “It is absolutely not what an artist should think about—an artist is not providing a service.”

Passig accused publishers of not taking into consideration what the public wants and focusing instead on making money.

“No one wants hardcover editions, people hate them, they just buy them because there is no other edition at the time,” she said.


Tuesday, 12 October 2010

People in publishing

Europa Editions has launched Tonga Books, a new imprint focusing on dark, literary titles that will be acquired and curated by Lovely Bones author Alice Sebold. Its first title, scheduled for a Fall 2011 release, is You Deserve Nothing by Iowa Writers Workshop student Alexander Miksik.

In the UK Hodder & Stoughton has launched a new fiction imprint, Mulholland Books, focusing on suspense fiction and will publish in partnership with the imprint of the same name at Little, Brown US.

Mulholland Books will be headed up by Anne Clarke as editor, with Nick Sayers as publisher, Katie Hall as digital marketing executive, and Kerry Hood as publicity director. The imprint will publish titles in the suspense fiction genre including crime novels, thrillers, police procedurals, spy stories and supernatural suspense and will launch simultaneously in the UK and the US next spring.

Nicole Rudick has been named managing editor of The Paris Review. Previously she was managing editor for Bookforum.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Authors get 70% royalty rate for UK e-books from Amazon and 65% from Barnes and Noble is now offering a 70% royalty rate for its Kindle Digital Text Platform, allowing authors to sell their e-books directly to customers.

The royalty rate is based on the list price of the book, which must be between £1.49 and £6.99 and 20% lower than the physical book's price. Delivery costs are based on file size and pricing is set at 10p per MB. Amazon said a median file size of 368KB would lead to delivery costs of 4p.

Greg Greeley, Amazon vice president for European retail, said: "The 70 percent royalty option for Kindle Digital Text Platform has been available for a few months for sales to US customers. We are excited to be able to announce the launch of the 70 percent royalty option in the UK. Now authors and publishers worldwide can offer more content to Kindle customers in the UK and make more money from the books they sell."

In the US Barnes & Noble has launched its PubIt! program, allowing individual authors, self-publishers and small publishers to upload their ebooks for direct sale through Nook/BN.

BN is offering a royalty/revenue share of 65 percent of list price for titles between $ 9.99 and $ 2.99 (slightly lower than Amazon on the surface, though there are no 'delivery' charges, no surcharges based on file size, and no provision that BN can lower the price and pay royalty on that basis). They pay 40 percent of list price on ebooks selling for more than $ 9.99, as well as $ .99 to $ 2.98 (slightly higher than Amazon's 35%). PubIt ebooks are automatically included in BN's lending and 'read in store' programs.

The company says that "content will be available for sale within 24 to 72 hours after upload." Barnes & Noble also promises special support for the PubIt titles, including a dedicated bestseller list, "special promotions" in their ebookstore, and additional focus on "select content" in their in e-mails and newsletters

Friday, 8 October 2010

Publishers Results

Edinburgh University Press has almost trebled its net profit, with sales and rights income up 16% to £2.7m. Pre-audited accounts from the academic publisher for the year ending 31st July 2010 show an increase in profits to £430,000 from £154,000 in 2009.

Sales in the UK increased by 28% year-on-year and by 20% in the US. E-book sales increased by more than 100%, although the publisher said it was from a small base.

Quercus has confirmed that it nearly tripled its sales to £15.01m in the first half of the year. In an interim management statement for the six months ending 30th June, the company reported that it had profit before tax of £3.3m, compared to a pretax loss of £0.26m for the same period last year.

In its statement, it said the trade division performed significantly above expectations, predominately driven by the success of Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy. However, Quercus said its trade list excluding Larsson grew by 24% during the same period.

Illustrated publisher Frances Lincoln's pre-tax profits have more than doubled to £680,000 in its latest set of financial results.  Revenue, including sales from its third party distribution division, increased 3% to £7.46m for the 12 months ending 31st March 2010, producing pre-tax profits of £680,000. Pre-tax profit in the 08/09 financial year was £257,000.

Meanwhile Scholastic has called its first quarter results "solid" despite sales falling by 7.8%, with trade revenue rising 9% and international revenue up.Turnover in the first quarter ended 31st August was $290.9m versus $315.6m in the prior year period. The children's publisher stated it "typically records a seasonal loss in its fiscal first quarter, when most schools are not in session and its School Book Clubs and Fairs generate minimal revenue".

For its children's book publishing and distribution segment revenue was $72.8m, compared to $76.2m in the prior year period. However trade revenue rose 9% due to a "successful front-list".International sales for the quarter was $81.9m, up from $75.6m in the prior year period, reflecting a $3.2m foreign exchange benefit, as well as strong sales in Australia and Canada.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Waterstone's has appointed two new divisional managers

Ian Cawley, previously regional manager for the south coast has been appointed divisional manager for the south region. Cawley joined the bookselling industry in 1992 at the Tunbridge Wells branch of Ottakar's. He went on to run branches in Clapham and Putney before becoming a regional manager in 1998.

Ian Matthews has been made divisional manager for the east region having previously been regional manager for greater London. He began working at Ottakar's in Basildon in 1996 and has since run stores in Folkestone, Staines and Chelmsford. He became a Regional Manager in 2005.

Roger Childs, operations director, said: "I am delighted to appoint two such experienced booksellers to these key roles. Between them, Ian Cawley and Ian Matthews bring with them 32 years of experience in the book trade, having worked both at Ottakar's and Waterstone's. Their appointment strengthens our operational team as we head into our busiest trading period, and I look forward to working closely with them in delivering a fantastic Christmas in our stores."

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

People in publishing

Margaret Raymo has elected to take the new position of senior executive editor, at Houghton Mifflin Children's, a 'purely editorial role' that will let her focus on discovering and working with authors and illustrators. Raymo says 'I'm very happy to be able to put all my energy back into creating books.'

As a result, Mary Wilcox has been promoted to vp, editorial director for Houghton Mifflin Children's, while continuing as editorial director of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's.

As of October 4, Bernadette Baker-Baughman, formerly of Baker's Mark Literary Agency, will join Victoria Sanders & Associates as an agent.

Penguin Canada new chairman is Rob Prichard, former president and ceo of Harlequin-parent Torstar from 2002 to 2009 (and then ceo of Metrolinx).
John Rudolph is joining Dystel & Goderich Literary Management as agent. He was most recently executive editor at Putnam Children's. Stephanie DeVita, who started as an intern at the agency, is now a full-time agent, focusing on narrative and practical non-fiction, memoir, and romance.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Hodder and Stoughton to launch new book imprint in 2011

Hodder & Stoughton will launch a new imprint, Two Roads, in January 2011 which will focus on "stories from the heart about extraordinary lives".  They will publish between 10 and 12 fiction and non-fiction books per year.

Lisa Highton said: "Two Roads will be the home of fabulous storytelling; stories from the heart about extraordinary lives, told in strong voices about lives lived. I intend to provide a bespoke service for each book, recognising its individuality and ensuring that every book on the list is brought to the attention of as many readers as possible through thoughtful, innovative and handcrafted campaigns

"Two Roads books come from everywhere. They could be books which are too often overlooked in modern publishing, yet with the luxury of attention could be nurtured and published with originality and flair to become the iconic books of their time. They could be curious or quirky, or be bestsellers in other countries or in other languages which require particular focus and personal attention to find their audience."

The imprint's website,, will feature blogs and news about forthcoming books and authors.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Initiatives to boost the book trade

Booksellers Association president Jane Streeter, owner of The Bookcase in Lowdham, announced three projects including Book Relief, a National Reading Group Day and an events calendar at the Independent Booksellers Forum (IBF) conference, she aimed to have achieved by 2012.

An annual National Reading Group day would "allow all booksellers to get involved with their local reading groups". Streeter said publishers could perhaps nominate specific books for inclusion.

Another suggestion was Book Relief. The idea would be similar to Comic Relief and Sports Relief and could potentially have celebrity support. Streeter said: "The aim would be to raise money for books for children all around the world . . . and to raise the profile of books."

An events calendar which looks at seasonal events and dedicated days, providing booksellers with themes to focus book promotion on was another idea. The Crime Writers' Association already has National Crime Writing Week 13-19 June 2011 so perhaps the Booksellers Association could link up with this and promote crime fact and fiction during the week.

The BA and the Publishers Association previously unveiled a joint marketing initiative based on the idea of "Bookaholics" at the 2009 Book Industry Conference. However the idea was widely criticised online and the concept was put on "pause" because of the "increased cost of implementation."

Friday, 1 October 2010

People in Publishing

Stephanie Gorton has joined The Overlook Press as editor. She was previously managing editor at Canongate UK.

Joan Slattery is joining Pippin Properties as an agent and contracts manager. She has been at Random House for 20 years, most recently as senior executive editor for Knopf Children's.

Seth Fishman is joining The Gernert Company as a literary agent. He was most recently at Sterling Lord Literistic, where he worked since 2005.

At Profile Books in the UK, Daniel Crewe has been promoted to publisher.

Packager Downtown Bookworks has started publishing a line of children's books and has signed with Simon & Schuster for sales, warehousing and distribution, effective immediately. Downtown Bookworks expects to issue 24 kids books annually, with their launch titles on the way this month.

Colin Shepherd has been promoted to assistant editor at Twelve, which he joined in April 2008.

At Westview Press, Anthony Wahl has been promoted to associate editorial director.