Friday, 29 April 2011

People in publishing

Thomas Bouman has been promoted from associate editor to editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

At Simon & Schuster, Lesley Espenship and Erin Ortner have both been promoted to senior digital operations analyst. Also at the company, Erica White has been promoted to manager of business analysis.

At Sourcebooks, Shana Drehs has been promoted to editorial manager for Sourcebooks Landmark; Danielle Jackson has been promoted to publicist for Sourcebooks Casablanca; and Valerie Pierce has joined the company as marketing specialist - retail & libraries. She was previously publishing coordinator for Allen Press.

Kelly Fischbach has joined Barnes & Noble as director, digital education content for (NookStudy). Fischbach was formerly director, content product management for Kno.

Allison Dobson has moved in-house to the Random House Publishing Group as vp, director, business development and strategic partnerships, reporting to Bill Takes.

In the UK Mark Hutchinson, formerly of Colman Getty, is setting up a pr and management consulting company, Mark Hutchinson Management. The Bookseller says he will handle personal PR for JK Rowling through the new company, as well as working for authors including Nigella Lawson and Andrea Levy.

Ballantine Bantam Dell mass market publisher Scott Shannon is taking on the new position of svp, publisher, Digital Content for the Random House Publishing Group, though on the print side he will remain as publisher of Del Rey/Spectra. Shannon will report directly to Gina Centrello in his new role, and director of digital marketing strategy and product development Matt Schwartz will now report to Shannon. Publisher of Ballantine Bantam Dell Libby McGuire will take over leadership of the mass-market list, and associate publisher for mass market, Del Rey/Spectra and digital Gina Wachtel will report to McGuire.

Harper Children's UK managing director Mario Santos is leaving the company 'to pursue other career opportunities.' Current division publisher Ann-Janine Murtagh has been promoted to replace him. In addition, Alison Ruane has been promoted to associate publisher and Geraldine Stround moves up to PR director.

Executive director of the Boston Book Festival Emily D'Amour Pardo is leaving to join her family's business. In addition, Norah Piehl has been named director of communications and development for the Festival. Previously she was with the University of Illinois Press and MIT Press."

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Change needed, but publishing still vital claims Profile Publishing M.D.

Profile m.d. Andrew Franklin has dismissed self-publishing as irrelevant in a heated debate on the relevance of publishers at a discussion at the London Book Fair earlier this month.

Franklin said that while digital meant self-publishing was easy, it did not mean authors could replicate all of a publisher's work. "If you self-publish on the internet, you might as well not bother, you will be silent," he said. "Free is far too much to pay for the overwhelming majority of books self-published‚ you can't even give them away."

Franklin pointed to the health of the London Book Fair as evidence that publishing was still vital. Franklin added that so long as publishers provided a service that connected readers to authors, they would remain in business."The job of publishers is to persuade readers that they should part with money to read an author's work," he said.

Franklin also conceded that publishing was not in a "healthy state" and warned: "Some publishers will go bankrupt this year.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Independent publisher Myrmidon, welcome new and original submissions

Independent publisher Myrmidon, welcome new and original submissions from both established and first-time writers. These can either be sent directly or through an established literary agent. Please note that they do not currently publish non fiction or children’s books, short stories or novellas.

Myrmidon Submission Guidelines

Only hard-copy submissions are accepted at Myrmidon. Unsolicited materials sent by electronic mail will be deleted unopened.

Send the first two or three chapters of your manuscript which should be typed with double spacing and with each chapter beginning on a fresh page.

Enclose a brief covering letter that outlines the nature and subject of the work and a little about yourself. Include any previous writing experience you may have had and whether the chapters are from a completed draft or a work in progress. (If the latter, give a realistic assessment of how much remains to be written and when you expect to finish.)

Delightfully enough, Myrmidon say they rarely bother to read synopses and find they seldom do a novel justice. If you choose to include one, please restrict it to two sides of A4.

You must enclose a suitable, self-addressed envelope with return postage. (Return postage should be in the form of International Reply Coupons if you are submitting from outside the United Kingdom.)

Send your submission to the following:
Submissions Dept
Myrmidon Books Ltd
Rotterdam House
116 Quayside
Newcastle upon Tyne

There is more information on the publisher's web site including writers resources and getting an independent assessment of your work.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Structuring a crime novel - the next in the DI Andy Horton series

I first posted this on my Marine Mystery blog but thought it might be of interest to readers of this blog.

"I've started planning the next DI Andy Horton marine mystery crime novel, number eight in the series, which is set against the backdrop of the sea on the South Coast of England. How much planning is required when structuring a crime novel?

The answer to that question varies with the author. Some crime writers spend a very long time at the planning stage, up to a year, maybe more, others have only a rough outline before beginning the creative writing, and some will have an in depth synopsis written.

When I begin a new crime novel or thriller I don't have a clue who did it or why? I start with an idea, and a body and then Andy Horton, accompanied by Sergeant Cantelli and often in conflict with his boss DCI Lorraine Bliss and the head of the Major Crime Team, Detective Superintendent Uckfield, set out to discover who killed her/him and why.

The first draft creates the characters, their motivations and personalities. It explores the relationships and determines the setting. At this stage I'm not sure where the story is going or how many twists and turns it will take and that's what excites me. The structure will change, new ideas will spring up, research will sometimes take me in a completely different direction to the one I thought I was heading. Sub plots will begin to develop, which could tie in with the main plot or go their own way, and sometimes I might remove them completely because they are worthy of developing into a novel of their own.

It's unchartered waters and I'm off with Andy Horton to explore what gruesome crime we'll find within them."

Friday, 22 April 2011

More library closures in the UK set for summer, after May elections

A second wave of library closures will be announced following the May local elections in the UK and through into the summer, claim library experts.

Just over 500 public libraries, including mobile library services, are currently threatened with closure according to the Public Libraries News website, with around a quarter of the UK's 209 library authorities yet to announce their plans.

Guy Daines, director of policy at the Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals (Cilip), said he thought it "likely" more closures would be announced following the May elections. "It's a small political ruse that you keep bad news up your sleeve and don't announce it until re-elected," he said. "In most cases it would not be for implementation this year, but one or two might do it immediately . . . A number of authorities have put library cuts on hold while they have reviews—but clearly there will have to be an outcome of those reviews, and those will come in the late summer or autumn."

More library closures set for summer: "


Thursday, 21 April 2011

People in publishing

Philip Patrick has joined Amazon as senior leader, rights and licensing. He was most recently with Crown as publisher of Three Rivers Press and publisher of ebooks and digital content.

Severn House, Canongate Books and Granta Publications will now be digitally distributed by Ingram's Coresource.

At Atria, Sarah Cantin has been promoted to associate editor and Kate Cetrulo moves up to assistant editor.

At Granta Books, both Bella Lacey and Michal Shavit have been promoted to senior editor.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Random House launch new fiction imprint Hogarth Press

A new fiction imprint Hogarth Press (Random House) will be launched on both sides of the Atlantic in summer 2012 and will focus on "contemporary, character rich" publishing. It will publish between eight and 10 books a year in the United States. The UK wing of the imprint will publish a smaller number of titles each year, with the list comprising exclusively of titles published by its US sister.

Molly Stern, senior vice-president and publisher at Crown will lead the imprint in the US. Clara Farmer, Chatto & Windus publishing director will head it up in the UK.

There is a list of Frequently Asked Questions ( FAQs) on the Random House website including their policy on submissions, there is also a list of their imprints.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Profits up at HarperCollins during 2010 and submission guidelines

Profits at HarperCollins surged £25.3m due to "exceptional rights income" in its most recent set of financial results filed at Companies House. For the year ending 30th June, operating profit increased to £29.1m. Turnover was up from £242.4m in 2009 to £242.8m in 2010. The results include the UK, India, New Zealand, Australia and Canadian markets. In India, sales were up 22% year on year and international sales were up 15%.

The company said: "[The results] were largely due to exceptional rights income for the year. Investment in our digital businesses has resulted in a significant increase in profit this year. All in all, this was a good result in a transitional year when the company was investing heavily for future growth and received a boost from the exceptional rights income."

HarperCollins does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. The following text is reproduced from their web site:

"If you would like advice and information about literary agencies and other publishers’ submissions requirements, please go to Writers and Artists Yearbook website.

Alternatively, by joining the authonomy writing community you can upload your entire book, or collection of books and present your work to an international audience of readers, writers and publishing professionals. authonomy is a great place to improve your writing, find a literary agent or even get a publishing contract
By becoming a member of the authonomy writing community you’ll be able to submit your manuscript to the site and showcase your work to the community and the publishing world. You can comment on the books you find, talk to the authors, get writing tips and share advice.

Find out more about authonomy.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Focus on Continuum - a leading independent academic publisher

Continuum is a leading independent academic publisher based in London and New York. They publish around 600 books each year, focusing on the Humanities, Education, and Religion. Their backlist comprises some 7,000 titles including textbooks, supplementary course books, research monographs, reference works and professional books, as well as related general non-fiction. Academic proposals are peer-reviewed before they commit to publication.

To submit a book proposal, look up the [Commissioning Editor] (there is a list of these on the web site) responsible for your subject area and use the Continuum or T&T Clark proposal form. You should submit your proposal by email to the relevant editor – please do not submit to multiple editors. Continuum does not publish fiction or poetry

You can find out more at the Continuum website.

Friday, 15 April 2011

People in Publishing.

David Rosenthal is reuniting with his longtime Simon & Schuster colleague Aileen Boyle, hiring her as associate publisher for his new imprint at Penguin, starting July 1. "She will be coordinating sales, marketing and publicity as well as working closely with Rosenthal on shaping his imprint's overall strategy." Boyle had been associate publisher at the Simon & Schuster trade imprint until the end of 2010. Chronicle's publishing director Sarah Malarkey will take the new role of executive editorial director, leading the adult trade editorial staff, directing pop culture and humor publishing, and acquiring titles in those categories.

At NAL, Brent Howard has been promoted to senior editor and Jesse Feldman has been promoted to assistant editor. Ed Schlesinger has been promoted to senior editor at Gallery Books/Pocket Books. Also at Gallery, Kate Dresser and Emilia Pisanihas have both been promoted to assistant editor. At Free Press, Leah Miller has been promoted to editor, and Maura O'Brien and Sydney Tanigawa have each been promoted to assistant editor.

Paul Taunton has joined the Knopf Random House Canada Publishing Group as senior editor, where he will acquire and edit fiction and non-fiction titles across both the Knopf and Random House imprints. Previously he has worked at Ballantine and ESPN Books.

At NBN International, Sheila Bounford has been promoted to Managing Director.
Scholastic is working with The Gotham Group as their exclusive representative for film and TV rights to books that the publisher controls. Scholastic Media still has a first-look at anything published by the company.
Little, Brown has made two "significant" promotions, with deputy publisher David Shelley becoming publisher of the group and commercial director Ben Groves-Raines moving up to chief operating officer.
All of the publishing imprints and the design department will now report into Shelley and both promotions are with immediate effect. However, current c.o.o. David Kent will continue in his role until he retires in early 2012.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Book Trade experiences worst March since 2005

Book spending in March hit a six-year low, with sales slumping by 8.7% year on year. According to figures from Nielsen BookScan, shoppers spent £103.3m at UK booksellers in the four weeks to 2nd April, down £8.98m on last year. Volume sales fared worse, diving 12.2% to 14.2m on the same period last year. However, average selling price nudged up 4.0% to £7.26.

According to BookScan Top 5,000 bestseller list data from the four-week period, fiction sales fell 11%, or £2.8m, year on year. The fiction decline is mainly due to a 17% volume slump in sales of crime, thriller or adventure books, in particular those of Stieg Larsson. While each title in the Millennium Trilogy was selling around 70,000 copies in March last year.

Non-fiction fared better last month, with category value sales for the TCM top 5,000 up 7% to £1.1m, driven by an upsurge in biography and memoir.

Children's sales also fell 15%, or £2.0m, to £11.8m. While kids fiction sales are up on 2010, young adult fiction continues to struggle amid the ongoing decline in sales of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series.

read more

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Focus on Quercus Publishers - profits surge and launch of new imprint

Quercus has nearly matched the £1m digital revenue it made from e-books last year in the first three months of 2011. e-book sales increased 16-fold last year and now account for 3% of Quercus' total sales of £31.8m.

Quercus now plans to make individual chapters and short stories available as e-books. Quercus also wants to publish 225 new titles by 2013, up from 128 currently. C.e o Smith said: “We want to increase the quality of authors and commerciality of our titles."

The publisher is planning to set up websites for its science fiction and horror titles, offering author interviews and discussion forums for fans.

Profits also surged to £7.5m at Quercus last year and the publisher has announced the launch of Heron Books, which will be run by HarperCollins publishing director Susan Watt. She will continue to work at HarperCollins part-time, as she has done from April 2010.

The list will concentrate on fiction and non-fiction. Watt said: "I am so interested in finding original, even quirky, talent in writing every kind of book, storytelling in both non-fiction and fiction—and of course particularly fascinated in finding books that suit the rapidly expanding group of new middle age, who have the time to read as well as the means to buy."

Other imprints include Maclehose Press, and Jo Fletcher Books.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

A husband-and-wife team has launched an e-publishing company for new authors

Cornwall-based lawyers Nigel and Abbie Flanagan are calling on unpublished writers to submit the first 50 pages of their work to Wink Publishing. Those creations deemed good enough will be put up for public vote to decide which works will be made into e-books.

Nigel Flanagan said the aim of the company was to help material chosen by the public hit the market, bypassing the “often subjective choices” made by publishers. He said: “By asking readers to choose the titles which we publish, we hope to offer new and exciting work from new writers which people really want to read.

“It’s very difficult at the moment for unpublished writers to break through with traditional publishers, and most authors are reluctant to become publishers in their own right, so we think that the time is right for another way for new novelists to reach their audience.”

Wink Publishing will pay authors 40% of every e-book sale, which the company expects to price at “at around the price of a paperback, say £6.99-7.99.” The e-books will sell from all e-retailers, Flanagan added, on all formats.

The first contest will open for entries on 1st June 2011, with public voting on its website beginning at the end of July.

Monday, 11 April 2011

The London Book Fair - Earls Court - 11-13 April 2011

The publishing and book selling world has descended on London for the 40th London Book Fair  at Earls Court. I've attended many Book Fairs including the gigantic Frankfurt Book Fair, which takes place in Germany in October every year, but I always enjoy going up to the London Book Fair, not only because it is on home ground but it also provides the opportunity to catch up with the people I know in the publishing world and make new contacts. I'm meeting my overseas agents from France, Spain and Italy and my publisher.

As an author (or even if you are a budding author) it is always worthwhile attending the London Book Fair, not to tout your book around but to gather intelligence and information.  Take the time to visit the publishers stands, collect a copy of their catalogues to understand what they publish and don't publish; see the vast range of small and medium sized publishers there are, and attend some of the very useful seminars on offer. One of the major themes running through the fair this year is digital publishing, a very hot topic, but there are also seminars on self publishing, graphic novels, selling TV rights, historical fiction and more. It's well worth a visit if you can make it.

The Bookseller reports that a record number of exhibitors are set to showcase at the London International Book Fair next week

Just over 1,670 exhibitors were booked last year, but organisers estimated 30% were unable to attend after the travel disruption caused by the Icelandic volcanic eruption. Burtenshaw said: "People are looking forward to meeting up and moving on."

Publishers and agents are anticipating a bustling fair, reporting packed-out meeting schedules and a higher number of American visitors.


Friday, 8 April 2011

People in Publishing

Adam Rothberg has been promoted to Senior VP, Corporate Communications at Simon & Schuster. He joined the company in 1985 and has been VP, Corporate Communications since 1999.

Penguin and BlogHer have partnered for an online book club and writer's conference. Starting today BlogHer's new book club section will feature two Penguin titles a month, beginning with Geraldine Brooks' novel People of the Book. The writer's conference will take place in New York this fall and will target women writers and bloggers.

Open Road Integrated Media has appointed Biagi Rights Management as their subsidiary rights licensing agent. Rights inquiries can be directed to Linda Biagi who will be at the London Book Fair representing Open Road's list.

Simone Garzella Literary Scouting has been appointed literary scout for Klidarithmos in Greece.

Paul Dinas has left Alpha Books, where he was a senior editor, in the wake of the company's reorganization and closing of its editorial offices in New York. He may be reached at

Associate Publisher of Knopf Canada Michael Schellenberg has decided to leave the company to consider new paths for his future career. ' I am proud to have had the opportunity to work with him and see his creative talent and commitment to authors, as well as his passion for books, both literary and commercial,' said Random House Canada EVP Louise Dennys in a statement. Schellenberg joined Knopf Canada as a senior editor in 2003.

Randy Ladenheim-Gil has left Alpha Books, where she was executive editor, in the wake of the company's consolidation of the imprint's editorial staff in its Indiana offices and closing of its editorial offices in New York. She may be reached at
Jessica Alvarez has joined BookEnds Literary Agency as an agent, effective immediately. Previously she was an editor with Harlequin and has more recently been a freelance editor. Correcting an item in Thursday's dispatch, the first book as part of the Penguin/BlogHer book club partnership is Geraldine Brooks' new novel, Caleb's Crossing, published by Viking on May 3.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Print book sales slip for fourth week in a row in the UK

Book sales slipped for the fourth week in a row last week, and were down more than £3.3m on last year, according to Nielsen BookScan data.

A total of £24.2m was spent on printed books at UK retail outlets in the seven days to 26th March, down 2.9% (£735,000) on the previous week, and down 12% on the same week last year.

It is the 10th week of 12 in 2011 thus far that BookScan has reported a drop in year-on-year book sales, as the trade struggles to match a particularly poor start to 2010 when inclement weather resulted in sales falling 6% (£23m) in the first three months of the year on 2009.

Read more: Print book sales continue to fall: "


Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Profit up at Jonathan Goodman Publishing and Literary Agency Aitken Alexander have amazing start to the year

Aitken Alexander has reported an "amazing start to the year", following a restructure of the agency in 2010 and the full opening of Aitken Alexander's offices in Delhi at the beginning of March. Gillie Russell joined the agency last year to develop the YA and children's list. At the time of writing the Literary Agency's web site was down for maintenance.

Alexander said: "Retooling our business in the light of what is working in the UK, but also in strengthening our position in other major English-speaking territories, is reaping considerable rewards".

Profit before tax at Jonathan Goodman Publishing, the parent company of Carlton Books Ltd and Andre Deutsch Ltd, has increased by 72% to £1.6m.

The figures, for the year to end December 2010, also show turnover is up 6% to £15.8m. In a statement, chairman Jonathan Goodman said: “In a challenging environment we had a good year across all our imprints, Carlton, Prion, Andre Deutsch and Goodman."

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Waterstone's to introduce new teen sections next month

Waterstone’s is to roll out new teen sections to around 100 of its stores from this month, following a pilot in four stores that began last summer.

Sarah Clarke, children’s buying manager for Waterstone’s, said: "While it may make sense to booksellers to keep teen books with children’s, that does not necessarily make sense for the people that want to read them.
We want to do anything we can to make the transition from children's books to adult ones an easy one and, by taking young adult books out of the children's section, we hope to remove any stigma of being seen to buy ‘kids books’ for image-conscious teens.”

The new sections will be located outside the children’s areas and will not distinguish between teen and slightly older YA titles, as readers view them as one and the same, said Clarke. Stock will reflect current trends, including “a lot of ‘dark fantasy’ which is still big, romance, thrillers, dystopian visions of the future, and some adult fiction that teens read", Clarke added.

Paranormal fiction still accounts for a significant percentage of teen sales with vampire fans still looking for their next read, said Clarke.

While paranormal sales are likely to decline, Clarke said Waterstone’s still intends to maintain the new teen sections.

US booksellers have long separated teen sections from their children’s areas and it is a model that publishers have called for in the UK.

Waterstone's rolling out new teen sections next month

Tim Waterstone is reportedly assembling a management team for Waterstone's with a view of returning the chain to its stock-holding roots, as speculation mounts about a bid. The weekend press extensively reported on the future of Waterstone's after HMV Group announced on 25th March it was seeking "strategic options" for the book chain.

read more

Monday, 4 April 2011

Constable & Robinson Publishers accept unsolicited manuscripts from authors

Constable & Robinson is a leading independent book publisher in the UK. Their list includes bestsellers and award winning authors. They publish fiction and non-fiction, including history, health, reference, crime fiction, current affairs, anthologies, humour, puzzles and more.

They are happy to receive unsolicited manuscripts from authors but you need to follow the guidelines on their web site and check that your work is suitable for their list.

All submissions should be marked for the attention of the Publisher’s Reader and sent by post to:

Constable & Robinson
3 The Lanchesters
162 Fulham Palace Road
W6 9ER
They currently welcome non-fiction and crime fiction book ideas and synopses. For further information visit the Constable & Robinson website.

Friday, 1 April 2011

People in Publishing

Indigo has made some changes to its senior ranks, which will be effective April 1. Current company president Joel Silver has been appointed to Indigo's board of directors, and will lead Trilogy Growth, a partnership between Indigo and its majority shareholder Trilogy Retail Enterprises. The new president is Tedford Marlow, who was most recently global president for Urban Outfitters. In addition, Indigo svp finance Kay Brekken has been promoted to cfo, also effective April 1. She succeeds outgoing cfo and coo Jim McGill, who will continue in the latter position until July.

At Random House, Justine Trubey rejoins the company as svp Technology and Operations. Previously she was Senior Manager of Global Content Operations for Amazon's Kindle, and before that, Executive Director, Operations, RH Audio. In addition, Nihar Malaviya has been named vp Strategy, Analytics & Program Development.

Sue Grimshaw joins Ballantine Bantam Dell on March 28 in the newly created position of category specialist and editor-at-large, focusing on romance. Grimshaw, who spent 15 years at Borders, most recently as the company's romance, western, horror and large print buyer, will acquire selective romance titles for hardcover, paperback and original digital lists. She will continue to work from her home in Michigan.

Caroline Garner has joined Turner Publishing as director of publicity. Previously she was a senior publicist with The Penguin Press.

Chronicle Books has appointed Ginee Seo as director of children's publishing, effective May 12. Previously she was VP and editorial director of Atheneum, where she had her own imprint.
Dara La Porte is leaving Politics and Prose, where she has managed the children's and teen's department for the past 11, to co-direct Literacy and Prose, a non-profit that brings authors and illustrators to schools.

Aflame Books, which devoted itself to publishing fiction in translation announced on its website last week that it " has ceased trading and will no longer publish books," after five years in business. 

Hachette Livre has signed a deal with the Bibliothèque nationale de France to reprint and sell 15,000 out-of-copyright titles on-demand.