Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Waterstone's is shaking up its buying team as it moves from local to central buying

Waterstone's is shaking up its buying team, seeking people for its new regional commercial and buying posts as it begins to move from local to central buying.

Current Waterstone's staff have been asked to apply for the posts, which include divisional and regional commercial managers roles, as well as jobs in the campaign and range teams. For new titles, the central buying will begin from September, but it is thought for core and local stock the central buying process will take longer.

Publishers have been urged to help Waterstone's sell books "more intelligently" by providing the company with more information on their titles, including sending jackets and AIs to staff as soon as possible, particularly for non-fiction and children's books.

The chain bookseller has told indie publishers: "Keep talking to us—tell us when we're missing opportunities, and continue to talk to our stores about relevant books." It is unclear how Daunt's new plans will affect the jobs of publisher reps, as it is thought that in general local stores are no longer allowed to place orders for new titles.

All the new roles are on a six-month secondment basis based in Brentford, but it is thought Daunt wants to move the head office to Waterstone's flagship Piccadilly store as early as possible, with its current Brentford head office lease understood to run out in six months' time.

A key priority of Daunt's first few months in charge of the bookseller is understood to be lowering the level of returns.

Daunt previously told staff the chain's infrastructure, from shops to systems, needed a "complete overhaul". As part of this, he moved to reintroduce central buying for new books and replenishment, but added that shops would be able to order the books they wanted, when they wanted. He said: "You will have the autonomy to curate your shops, to be entreprenurial, to exploit the physical individuality of your shops." To help this, he is thought to be dispensing with shop planograms, which dictate how the layout of each store should look.

Staff were also told they were getting a 3% pay rise recently, which will come into effect in the near future.

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Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Alan Watt: Six Reasons to Write Your First Draft Quickly

Alan Watt is author of the bestselling book on writing, "The 90-Day Novel." He has been running the creative writing workshop LA Writers Lab since 2002. Visit him online at
Some writers struggle for years to complete the first draft of their book. You work on it for a while, get stuck, put it in a drawer, fish it out a few years later, and this goes on indefinitely. It becomes like a scab that you pick at in the vain hope of improving it, while often making it worse.

As a writer, your goal is to create something bigger than you are. In practical terms, this is impossible. But that doesn't prevent you from believing that through decades of bashing away at it, you'll be able to "figure out the book."

Though every writer's process is different, most published authors tend to write their first drafts quickly, in a fevered blast over a scant few months. Here are some reasons why:

1) Without a deadline, there's no urgency. Urgency is crucial because it activates your subconscious, which is the seat of your genius. Haven't we all had the experience of writing something, and then afterwards, stepping away from it and wondering, "Where did that come from?" In fact, you begin to recognize patterns that you could never have come up with consciously. When you don't write on a daily basis, your connection to what you wrote yesterday weakens.

2) By taking your time, you're essentially saying that you're in control of the process, rather than accepting your role as a channel for the story. This is a subtle but important point. If you notice that you're "getting stuck" in the middle, recognize that this "stuckness" is a function of your story's not cohering to your "idea of your story." This is an inevitable aspect of story creation, because the purpose of story is to reveal a transformation. As Einstein says, "You can't solve a problem at the same level of consciousness that created the problem." The solution is to write through the confusion and follow the characters in spite of the story not seeming to make sense.

3) It's only by getting to the end that you really understand what you're attempting to express. You may spend years working on the first 10 chapters, only to discover at the end what your story is actually about. Those first 10 chapters may not survive the rewrite. You can't fully understand your story until you get to the end. The end is where your theme gets resolved. If the desire to write is connected to the desire to evolve, the ending holds the key to this thing you've been struggling to understand.

4) When you have too much time to think, you tend to kill the "aliveness" of your characters' choices through logic. There's nothing logical about human behavior. Your job is not to "figure out" your characters, but to find ways to support their choices. People have affairs on their honeymoon. Bank robbers risk capture to help old ladies across the street. By writing quickly, you tend to loosen your judgments on your characters and allow their natures to be revealed.

5) The first draft doesn't have to make sense. There will be narrative holes, inconsistencies and contradictions; don't get hung up on these. In fact, in the rewrite, you may discover that these "mistakes" were actually leading you to a deeper understanding of your story. They were a necessary part of the journey.

6) Stop doing research! You might be surprised by how much of your research can be done after you've finished your first draft. Certainly research may be necessary, but it often becomes a way to rationalize procrastination. The reader cares more about the characters than she does about the details of working in a Newark glove factory in the 1940s. Much research can be done after completing the first draft, as a way to add detail.

OK, enough. It's time to get back to your first draft.

Pauline Rowson, author of the DI Andy Horton marine mystery crime novels, adds, 'This is excellent advice and happens to be the way I work. Bashing out the first draft as quickly as possible, minimizing research, letting the characters develop as I write and not knowing where the novel is going and 'who done it'  until I'm almost at the end.'

Friday, 26 August 2011

People in Publishing

In the UK Bloomsbury has appointed Charlotte Atyeo to the newly created role of publisher of sport and Wisden within the adult trade division. Commissioning editor Charlotte Croft will move into Atyeo's previous role as head of the sports and fitness department at A&C Black, publishing coaching and reference books.

Atyeo will continue in her role as publisher of John Wisden & Co, and continue to commission with Matthew Engel for the Wisden Sports Writing imprint which launches this autumn with Patrick Collins' Among the Fans.

At Ten Speed Press, Sara Golski has been promoted to editor and Emily Timberlake has been promoted to associate editor, both reporting to Julie Bennett.

The Waxman Agency's Holly Root is relocating to Los Angeles. She will open a west coast office for the agency, and will continue to develop her client list as well as expand the agency’s network of TV and film contacts.

Rachel Mannheimer has been promoted to associate editor at Bloomsbury USA.

Michael Bowles will join Random House Canada as director, eBooks and eProduct development on August 29. Previously he was a content development manager at Kobo.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Sisters in Crime reading challenge for lovers of crime fiction to read and blog about women crime writers

Sisters in Crime, a non-profit organization with the mission to “promote the professional development and the advancement of women crime writers to achieve equality in the industry” has thrown down the gauntlet for a reading challenge and one for lovers of crime fiction.

Sisters in Crime has 3,000 or so members worldwide and welcomes anyone who enjoys a good mystery. To celebrate its 25th anniversary at Bouchercon, it wants to blow the trumpet for women’s contributions to crime fiction so has thrown out this challenge:

Easy challenge: write a blog post about a work of crime fiction by a woman author; list five more women authors who you recommend.

Moderate challenge: write five blog posts about works of crime fiction by women authors. For each, mention another woman author who writes in a similar vein.

Expert challenge: write ten blog posts about works of crime fiction by women authors. For each, mention three similar women authors whose works you would recommend.

Deadline: whenever.

If you take up the challenge and are on Twitter then you can Tweet, using the hashtag #SinC25.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Arielle Ford: How to successfully promote your book

Arielle Ford: Book Promotion: The Second Time Around

What does it take to successfully promote the release of your new book? Time, energy, and money? Yes, but the experience you gain from having been down that road before can be priceless when it comes to a successful book launch.

When my book The Soulmate Secret was released in January, 2009 and then the paperback was launched in 2011, I did many of the customary marketing strategies to make the launches successful. But that was two and a half years ago and a lot has changed in the online world.

Now with the impending release of my next book, Wabi Sabi Love (January 2012) , I am taking a different approach. If you are about to launch your next (or first) book, you can save yourself time, money and energy by learning from my missteps and successes. I hope these insights help to shorten your learning curve.

Release content early: This time around I am providing content months in advance of the book's release. Start a conversation and engage people in your concept a couple of different ways. First offer a free excerpt or chapter of your book on your website. For an example, see here. In addition, start blogging on a regular basis with insights and real-life stories related to the content.

Tweak your tweeting: This idea that you should be tweeting 30 times a day is enough to make anyone feel inadequate. I don't subscribe to that notion but what I would recommend is to make tweeting more efficient and effective. I used to go onto Twitter with the intention of posting a link to my blog or tele-class, then I'd end up tweeting replies to people who sent messages or thanking people who retweeted my posts. What I found was my original tweet about my blog was pushed down the page of my profile ('below the fold') and my click through rate was low. When people are making a decision to follow you and begin a conversation they usually only see your latest tweet. What I wanted them to see was the content I hoped would bring them value. Therefore, the tweet about my blog or tele-class became the last tweet I did before I signed off for the afternoon or the evening. That way anyone who visited my page would see the blog post first and foremost. This single change has improved my results.

Double Up on Facebook: Each time a blog was published on Huffington Post or one of my websites, I wrote a status update with the link on Facebook (personal and fan page) that morning. My click through rates were okay but I experimented on making just one change and watched the results. Two days after the first Facebook post, I wrote another status update with the link in the afternoon hours. My thought was whoever missed the Tuesday morning post might be online Thursday afternoon, for instance. I was right. Again, my results improved and in many cases, they doubled.

Bestseller campaign: I will definitely repeat the bestseller campaign, which is when you get everyone you know to send out emails, tweets and Facebook posts at certain times to drive people to buy the book on my website, Amazon, and other online bookstores. You can see this type of campaign at Your bestseller campaign sales page should have a welcome video that talks about the book, offers bonuses from you and other well-known experts in content that would be appropriate to your reader. This campaign worked well for me in the past and I will be combining it with national and regional publicity along with my weekly newsletter.

Video Book Trailer: When I launched The SoulMate Secret I spent time, money and lots of effort to conceptualize, create and promote an animated video book trailer and put it on YouTube. I loved it but it was not the most successful way of getting the message out to potential readers. It was adorable and fun and I fully expected it to go viral, which it never did. I no longer have any wild delusions about creating the world's greatest book trailer this time. To take advantage of the fact that YouTube is the second popular search engine (behind Google), I plan to use video to demonstrate the principles of Wabi Sabi Love.

Making the announcement: Reach out to your friends and ask them to tweet, Facebook, email and include in their newsletter the announcement of the website launch. If you have another website with a strong following, blog about it on that site. I did both of these strategies, which included the SoulMate Secret database of 60,000 people, and in the first four to five days, 1,200 people had downloaded the free chapter. My goal is to have 50,000 people signed up by January 5th when the book is released.

I hope these lessons have provided you with new ideas for promoting your book.

Arielle Ford has launched the careers of many NY Times bestselling authors including Deepak Chopra, Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Neale Donald Walsch & Debbie Ford. She is a former book publicist, literary agent and the author of seven books.


Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Publication of the Paperback and Kindle versions of the DI Horton Crime Novel Footsteps on the Shore by Pauline Rowson

 Footsteps on the Shore, the sixth in the DI Andy Horton series of marine mystery crime novels set on the South Coast of England, is to be published in paperback on 25 August by Severn House Paperbacks and as an ebook on 1 September by Severn House Digital.

Footsteps on the Shore has received some great reviews from the States. It was first published in hardcover earlier this year. It was given a starred review by Booklist who said:

'It deserves mention in the same breath as works in the upper echelon of American procedurals (those by Ed McBain or Joseph Wambaugh for example) and their British counterparts, including the work of Peter Robinson and John Harvey. Procedural fans who haven’t already read Rowson should be encouraged to do so in the strongest possible terms.'

Footsteps on the Shore is number six in the DI Andy Horton series of police procedural crime novels set against the backdrop of the sea in the Solent area on the South Coast of England, in Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight.

Footsteps on the Shore by Pauline Rowson

Friday the thirteenth begins badly for DI Andy Horton when he wakes to find his Harley has been vandalized and his boss, DCI Lorraine Bliss, has returned early from her secondment to HQ. Then, convicted murderer, Luke Felton, released on licence, is reported missing and a decomposed corpse is washed up in Portsmouth harbour. But before Horton can get a grip on either case, he’s called to a house where a woman he’d only met the day before has been brutally murdered. Is missing Luke Felton the prime suspect, or is it his body in the mud of the harbour? Horton is under pressure to get results, but things are about to get much worse for the beleaguered detective …

Monday, 22 August 2011

Amazon's first major publishing acquisition worries publishers

Amazon's aggressive move into publishing has continued with its signing of bestselling self-help author Timothy Ferriss. has made the first 'major' acquisition for its New York-based publishing imprint, snapping up rights in bestselling self-help author Timothy Ferriss's new book The 4-Hour Chef.

Amazon's imprints how cover everything from romance to literature in translation and mysteries and thrillers. Earlier this summer it hired publishing bigwig Larry Kirshbaum, former chief executive of the Time Warner Book Group, to head up its New York imprint, and it is Kirshbaum who has spearheaded the world rights deal for Ferriss's work.

Ferriss, whose previous books were published by Random House imprint Crown, said that his decision to move to Amazon Publishing 'wasn't just a question of which publisher to work with. It was a question of what future of publishing I want to embrace.'

Many mainstream publishers are likely to beworried by the latest show of dominance from the online player.

'Amazon's foray into book publishing ... is obviously a concern. They have very deep pockets and they are now a very, very powerful global competitor of ours,' HarperCollins UK's chief executive Victoria Barnsley told Radio 4's The World at One . 'They're this weird thing. We call them frenemies ... They are very, very powerful now – in fact they are getting close to being in a sort of a monopolistic situation. They control over 90% of physical online market in UK and over 70% of the ebook market so that's a very, very powerful position to be in. So yes, it is a concern.'

Friday, 19 August 2011

People in Publishing

In the UK Cornerstone deputy marketing director Adam Humphrey has been appointed as marketing director for HarperFiction, Voyager and Blue Door.

An exact start date is to be confirmed but Humphrey will begin work in the autumn. He has been at Cornerstone for five years, working on authors including John Grisham, Karin Slaughter, Kathy Reichs, Robert Harris, Ben Kane and Ruth Rendell.

In the USA Joy Aquilino has joined Sixth & Spring Books as editorial director. Previously she was executive editor of Watson-Guptill/Potter Craft.

At Lonely Planet, Gary Todoroff has been promoted to v-p, sales, Brice Gosnell moves up to v-p, publishing, and publisher, Americas, Marc Visnick has been promoted to director of sales, North America, and Avi Martin moves up to national accounts manager, online and e-books.

Egmont UK will launch a new YA imprint, Electric Monkey, starting in March 2012. The imprint, aimed at 12-to-15 year olds, will publish ten YA titles in ts first six months with one or two titles per month thereafter
People, Etc.

Simon & Schuster Children's has announced a number of new hires and promotions. Ariel Colletti has moved to the Atheneum imprint, where she will remain an assistant editor, and editorial assistant Dani Young will also oversee the coordinating of all three imprints’ paperback conversions, repackages, as well as managing the back ad library. In addition, Amy Rosenbaum has joined as an editorial assistant, having recently completed the Columbia Publishing Course

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Crime Fiction Festivals - CSI Portsmouth 5 November 2011, Crimefest Bristol May 2012, Harrogate July 2012

  The grime may have settled on Crimfest in Bristol and the dust on the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate but still to come for all you crime fiction fans in the UK is CSI Portsmouth - where crime fact meets crime fiction, and there is a stellar line up of top UK crime authors, to be announced soon.

CSI Portsmouth takes place on Saturday 5 November 2011, so make sure to mark that date in your diary. You can read about last year's highly successful CSI Portsmouth here or on my official web site.

And if you are keen to make sure you don't miss 2012 events then here are some more dates to mark in your diaries. I will be at all these events and am looking forward to mingling with my fellow crime writers and lots of crime fiction fans.

Crimefest, Bristol 24-27 May 2012

2012's featured Guest Authors include Lee Child and Jeffrey Deaver, plus many more great crime writers and lots of fun. Visit the Crimefest web site for more details and to see who is currently appearing.

Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, Harrogate - 19-22 July 2012.

2012 Programming Chair, Mark Billingham, has put together an astounding line-up of Special Guests, with Harlan Coben, John Connolly and Charlaine Harris already confirmed. Visit the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival for more details. Email:

But before the above you might wish to add another date to your calendar of exciting crime fiction events -

Saturday 4 February 2012.

More details to follow. As they say in the film and TV business the project is currently in development. Watch this space.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Alan Watt: Ten Ways to Unleash the Writer Within

Below is an article by Alan Watt giving sound advice to those who wish to write.

" Creativity is our birthright. This is not just for some people; it's for everyone. We often get stuck in our routine, and when we even bother to think about that book we plan to write 'some day,' we tend to find excuses that prevent us from taking the first step.

These excuses are often vague, because if we were to hold them up to the light, we might see that they don't actually make a lot of sense. Often the real reason we hesitate is simply because we are afraid of the unknown.

Here are ten steps that will demystify the creative process and help you get started on writing your first (or your next) book.

Start today. We often think that we're not ready, that we don't know enough, that we need to do more research, that we don't have enough time, that we aren't yet qualified. These are all great excuses to prevent us from taking the first step. Ask yourself two questions: A) What do I want to create? B) What is the first step in creating it? You may discover that the first step is going to the store to buy yellow legal pads and a pen. Once you've got the tools, the next step to place these tools on a flat surface and begin writing.

Let go of the result. Sure, this might sound like it's easier said than done, but if you can make the thrill of creation its own reward, you will likely be surprised by the result. We can't expect ourselves to be brilliant right out of the gate. If we set the bar too high, we'll never get started.

Be willing to fail. This doesn't mean that you will, but if you're willing to do it imperfectly, you might actually have some fun. What we do consistently, we improve at. Your first attempt may be humble. If you had to do it perfectly, you wouldn't experience the thrill of improving.

Share your writing with people you feel safe with. It's important to receive positive reinforcement at the beginning. Everyone can use a mentor, someone who has walked this path before us. Just because you're married to someone, doesn't mean they're going to understand what you're doing. As crazy as it might sound, our families and friends are not necessarily always the best people with whom to share our work. It's not that they don't love us, but it's possible that they might feel jealous or threatened. They might even want to talk us out of our desire to create with practical advice about the long odds of getting published, and the disappointment we're going to experience by all the rejection. Watch out for this. Don't let logic trump your desire.

Have fun. Remember, this is a choice. Make your writing a game, not a chore.

Make it a habit. The simple act of writing each day will activate your subconscious, and the channel will begin to open.

Keep it simple: It's better to write for five minutes a day than it is to write for three hours ever few months.

Build a community. Find your tribe. If you can find people who share your interests and are willing to support you, it can go a long way to keeping you on track. My seventy-eight-year old father-in-law has been jogging for the past forty-five years. Five mornings a week, he rolls out of bed at five a.m. and runs with the same group of guys through rain and sleet. There is no way he is going to let his buddies down.

Forgive yourself. Drop the old story that you should have done this sooner. This is your time. Remember, you are uniquely qualified to write your book. If you don't do it, it won't exist. Use your fears and anxieties as a way into your story. Inquire into their nature. When you experience self-doubt, rather than making meaning out it, just ask yourself, 'I wonder where this experience lives in my story?' Notice that a character will appear that will be struggling with similar feelings. Your doubts and fears do not need to be overcome, but rather inquired into. This is what makes your work universal and relatable.

Reward yourself. Writing is hard work. It's important to acknowledge this and reward yourself for it. When you complete a goal or meet a deadline, give yourself a treat. Take yourself to dinner. Go on a hike. Buy yourself some socks. When we treat our unconscious with kindness, it rewards us with new adventures.

Now go write! "

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

International New Media Writing Competition Announced by Bournemouth University

Bournemouth University’s Media School is delighted to announce the second annual prize for new media writing.

The prize encourages writers working with new media to showcase their skills, provoke discussion and raise awareness of new media writing, the future of the 'written' word and storytelling. The prize is split into two categories: student and professional. The winners in each category will receive a valuable bundle of new media hardware and software. The judging panel are looking for good storytelling (fiction or non-fiction) written specifically for delivery and reading/viewing on a PC or Mac, the web, or a hand-held device such as an iPad or mobile phone. It could be a short story, novel, documentary or poem using words, images, film or animation with audience interaction.

Anyone can apply! Whether you’re a student, a professional, an artist, a writer, a Flash designer or an enthusiast, the competition is open to all. It's an international competition, open to all outside the UK. The deadline is midday on Monday 31 October 2011 and each entry should be submitted by email to Shortlisted entrants will be invited to the awards ceremony on the 23 November where the winner will be announced. There will be substantial media coverage for the Awards, and winners will be given full acknowledgement in all press releases and related material.

For further information please visit the New Media Writing Prize website.

A high profile Awards Ceremony will be staged at Bournemouth University on Wednesday 23 November.  An esteemed panel of judges will select winning entries that will be published on high profile new media web-hub, The Literary Platform, the Bournemouth University website and will be showcased at the Awards Ceremony.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Big Green Bookshop to hold riot benefit to raise money for those made homeless

The Big Green Bookshop in London is to hold a comedy gig to raise money for the victims made homeless by the "appalling behaviour" of rioters in Tottenham last weekend.

London’s Wood Green where the bookshop is based was also hit by looters on Sunday 7th August but The Big Green Bookshop managed to escape unscathed.

In solidarity with those who lost their homes when shops were torched in Tottenham the bookshop will donate the proceeds of its monthly comedy gig on 19th August towards helping them recover.

Tim West, co-owner of The Big Green Bookshop, said: "The rioting is appalling behaviour by a bunch of people who really have no excuse. The proceeds will go towards the individuals who need it first then the independent business owners who lost their shops.”

He added: "We are a community and it is part of our duty to help when help is needed."

The gig is being headlined by Sir Ian Bowler, played by comedian Nat Tapley, and will take place at The Big Green Bookshop venue at 8pm. Tickets cost £5 and can be bought on the night or from the bookshop’s website.

Friday, 12 August 2011

People in Publishing

Lisa Leshne has formed The Leshne Agency, a new literary agency representing authors of narrative and prescriptive non-fiction, especially on sports, wellness, business, political and parenting topics, as well as commercial fiction and young adult and middle grade books. Leshne was most recently with LJK Literary, and her new agency will also offer services to authors who may wish to explore the self-publishing route via a variety of platforms and in partnership with Author Solutions.

In an interview on Waterstone's intranet obtained by the Bookseller, new owner Alexander Mamut claimed the company's existence was "important for UK society" though was vague on the specifics of ensuring the chain's survival beyond saying that "massive work" was necessary: "If we can make a turnaround, improve everything, have good books properly displayed, a good atmosphere, good recommendations [with] marketing and investment of course, then I think we can compete with a company named I can’t imagine that life can be replaced with a computer universe. I can’t accept it."

Bella Pagan will join Tor UK as a senior commissioning editor on September 1. Previously she was an editor at Orbit UK.

The successors to Larry Kirshbaum's former agency LJK Literary Management have formally launched their new entity, Einstein Thompson Agency. Susanna Einstein and Meg Thompson are co-directors of the new agency. Sandy Hodgman has been promoted to director of foreign rights under the new banner, and Molly Reese has been promoted to associate agent. She will continue to assist Einstein and Thompson, oversee audio rights, work with the Westlake estate, and help find new clients. The agency will relocate from the LJK offices to new space October 1.

Belinda Rasmussen will join Pan Macmillan as publisher of Macmillan Children’s Books this fall. Previously she was with Carlton Publishing Group, where she has been managing director since 2008.

Mauro DiPreta will join Crown in the newly created position of VP, Editor-in-Chief of Crown Archetype on September 7. DiPreta will be responsible for directing and overseeing the editorial operations for Archetype, Harmony, Crown Business, and Crown Forum. He will report to Crown Archetype svp and publisher Tina Constable.

Crown Trade Paperbacks has hired Amanda Patten as senior editor reporting to Tina Pohlman. She will oversee paperback conversions and backlist development for Three Rivers Press, Crown Business, and Crown Forum. and will acquire and edit original titles in pop culture, humor, and practical nonfiction.

Colin Dickerman will join The Penguin Press as vp and executive editor on September 6, moving from Rodale, where he has been vp and publishing director since 2008.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

New Literary and Music Festival Launches in East Anglia

The Voewood Literary Festival, billed as "The Literary Garden Party of the Year", has been launched by
Clare Conville, director of Conville & Walsh, and close friend Simon Finch, a rare books dealer.

It will take place at Simon Finch's house and gardens, an arts and crafts house in Holt, North Norfolk. Events will be hosted over three days, 27th-29th August.

Hire Intelligence, Conville & Walsh's speakers' agency, is sponsoring one of the tents, with Conville saying further support had come from "private funds". The Guardian newspaper is also hosting a Guardian Masterclass Tent, with authors giving classes on how to write.

Conville said she and Finch had worked on everything together and hoped the festival would become an annual event: "It's going well and I'm just keeping my fingers crossed," she said.

The maximum number of tickets available for any one day was 900, including the musical events, with tickets on sale at Full weekend tickets are priced £145, with individual day, evening and full day tickets also available, for £45, £25 and £65 respectively.

In setting up a festival, Conville joins fellow book-trade figure Ottakar’s founder James Heneage, who held the inaugural Chalke Valley History Festival in Wiltshire in July this year

read more

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

New MD at Macmillan Children's Books

Macmillan Children's Books has appointed current Carlton Publishing m.d. Belinda Rasmussen to the role of publisher. She will report directly to Pan Macmillan m.d. Anthony Forbes Watson, and will join the Pan Macmillan executive board. Her start date is still to be confirmed.

Rasmussen has been m.d. at Carlton since 2008, and during her time at the indie she expanded the children's publishing programme, launched Carlton's e-book list, developed digitally enhanced e-books and apps, and invested in licensed publishing partnerships.

read more

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Macmillan New Writing No Longer Taking Submissions as Editor Leaves

Pan Macmillan's Macmillan New Writing scheme will continue despite the head of the imprint, Will Atkins, leaving the company claims the publisher. However the web site is announcing that it will no longer take new submissions.

It says: "Due to the enormous number of submissions we have received this year, Macmillan New Writing is temporarily closed to new submissions. All submissions received before 20th May, 2011 will be assessed, but any sent after this date will not be considered. We will resume accepting submissions again later in the year. Thank you for your interest."

Will Atkins who was editorial director for fiction, has left the publisher to work as a freelance editor. During his time at Pan Macmillan, Atkins commissioned crime, historical and literary fiction, and was founding editor of the New Writing imprint which was launched in 2006, focusing on discovering and publishing debut authors.

Pan Macmillan fiction publisher Jeremy Trevathan confirmed the Macmillan New Writing scheme will continue with a new editor to be announced soon but no date has been given for this or for when the New Writing Scheme will resume.

Will Atkins can now be contacted on

Monday, 8 August 2011

Digital audio book downloads steadily increasing- keeping up with the new demand

This is an excerpt of an article, Giving Them What They Want: Keeping Up With the New Demand for Audiobooks, which was published in the August issue of Publishing Trends. 

Digital audiobook downloads have steadily been increasing, and the latest AAP Sales Report shows that downloaded audiobook sales were up 17% in May. With this rise in digital audiobooks and digital subscription services, they have also been attracting the 18-34 year-old crowd, bringing with it a new generation of tech-savvy and voracious listeners. “…We are heartened to see that nearly one quarter (23%) of listeners are between the ages of 18 and 24.” says Michele Cobb, Audio Publishers Association (APA) President and VP of Sales and Marketing at AudioGo, “What we want to see is these younger listeners remaining lifelong listeners.”

What publishers are facing, however, is how to deal with lower digital price points. “Publishers are sensitive to the fact that price is a major factor in the buying process,” explains Cobb. “From a production standpoint, no publisher wants to compromise the quality of the work. Publishers are exploring new channels like combining audiobooks and e-books, releasing some new titles as ‘download only’ and bringing more titles to market to increase sales opportunities.”

Bringing more titles to market seems to be an especially intriguing prospect considering that audiobooks have long been limited to the popular titles that could justify production costs, and with the avid digital audiobook market, having a variety of product is important in growing and keeping the interest of younger tech-savvy customers.

“More than 40% of our members have never listened before joining Audible,” says a spokesperson from Audible, “but once they become Audible members, they download an average of over 17 books a year.”

In response to the demand, Audible has launched the Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX), a program that connects audiobook rights holders (authors, agents, publishers) with producers and narrators. “On ACX, rights holders can hire a producer in a market-optimized environment—often a narrator with a professional home studio—or create partnerships with producers in a shared royalty structure to produce audiobooks without upfront costs to the rights holder. ACX pays no advances but offers very generous royalties that escalate as sales increase,” explains an Audible spokesperson. Many ACX projects are already in the works, including ACX-supporter Neil Gaiman’s line of handpicked audiobook titles called Neil Gaiman Presents, which will be launched later this year."

Friday, 5 August 2011

People in Publishing

Pegasus Books has hired Maia Larsonas an associate editor, acquiring historical fiction and fantasy as well as history and biography.

In the Random House Publishing Group digital department: Lisa Turner has been promoted to senior digital project manager; Angel Pastrana takes the new roles of digital quality assurance analyst; April Flores moves over from publicity, as associate manager of digital marketing; and Carolyn Lynch has been hired as web producer.

At the Random House publishing group, Random House Trade Paperbacks associate publisher Melissa Possick is moving over to the newly-created position of director, marketing partnerships.

Harper Press publishing director Clare Smith will move to Little Brown UK and Abacus as fiction publishing director fiction, starting September 19 and reporting to managing director Richard Beswick. As a result, Harper Press will stop publishing fiction as of June 2012. The program will be led for now by Essie Cousins, and next year the fiction authors with move to Harper Fiction.

Katie O'Callaghan is joining Harper as associate director, marketing, working across all of the Harper imprints including Harper, Harper Business, and Broadside Books. She was most recently senior marketing manager at Ballantine Bantam Dell.

At Little Brown UK, Emma Beswetherick is being promoted to editorial director at Piatkus for fiction and Rebecca Saunders is moving up to editorial director at Sphere for commercial women's fiction.

Author and former agent and editor Jason Pinter will be senior marketing manager for Grove/Atlantic and their publisher's Mysterious Press imprint, which they are relaunching this fall.

Senior vice president and publisher of It Books, Harper Perennial, and Harper paperbacks Carrie Kania (who also oversees the Harper Design imprint) will leave HarperCollins at the end of August. She is moving to London, where she will join Conville & Walsh as an agent.

In the wake of her departure, the paperback lines Harper Perennial and Harper paperbacks will be "realigned" within the Harper and William Morrow divisions. Harper division svp/publisher Jonathan Burnham will take over responsibility for Perennial, with Cal Morgan reporting to Burnham, as will Amy Baker and Erica Barmash. Publicists Anne Tate and Peter Henningsen will become part of Tina Andreadis's publicity team, and editor Michael Signorelli will join the Harper editorial team.

Similarly svp/publisher of William Morrow, Avon, and Harper Voyager Liate Stehlik will take over responsibility for Harper paperbacks and that list will be combined with the recently-formed William Morrow Paperbacks line. Editor Stephanie Meyers will move over to the William Morrow group, reporting to Jennifer Brehl, and publicists Kendra Newton and Julia O’Halloran will join the publicity team under Seale Ballenger.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Society of Authors fight to save short story programming

BBC announced that from spring 2012 the number of short stories it broadcasts on Radio 4 will be reduced from three to one a week.

The Society of Authors' petition against the cuts to BBC Radio 4's short story programming amassed over 5,000 signatures. SoA general secretary Nicola Solomon and assistant general secretary Jo McCrum presented the petition to BBC Radio 4 controller Gwyneth Williams at Broadcasting House in central London on Thursday 28th July, along with authors Alison Joseph, Ali Smith, Jackie Kay, Simon Brett, Susie McGuire, and Ian Skillicorn, director of National Short Story Week.

If you have not done so already, you can still sign the online petition. The petition will stay open.

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Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Irish Competition Authoritiy give go ahead to Amazon Book Depository deal

The Irish Competition Authority has cleared the acquisition of The Book Depository by Amazon after a three-week investigation into the deal. In a short statement, the authority said: "[We have] formed the view that the acquisition will not lead to a substantial lessening of competition in any markets for goods or services in the state."

It said it will publish its reasons in full no later than 25th September but is allowing the relevant parties to remove any confidential information from the published version.

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Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Waterstone's Buying Changes Expected

The following report comes from The Bookseller Magazine. Click on the link below to read the full story and the comments from those in the booktrade.

"Store managers at Waterstone’s have been reacting with mixed feelings and some confusion to James Daunt’s plans to reintroduce centralised buying into the chain bookseller, as they await more details about the objective.

Daunt told staff last Thursday (21st July) that a centralised buying method for both new and replenishment books will soon be introduced at the company—expected to be in place for October’s orders—to ensure it is “selling the widest possible range of [publishers] books appropriate to each individual shop”.

The changes mean bookshop managers will not personally be in control of buying books. They currently have autonomy in purchasing around 40% of stock for their stores. It is thought the new system will be carried out by Daunt and a buying team. However, Daunt insisted individual stores will be able to order the books they want, when they want them.

The Waterstone’s m.d.—who has been away from head office this week—told publishers last Friday that he expected to thrash out how the centralised buying system would work over the following 10 days. Shop managers are still in the dark about what the changes will be, although Daunt has told publishers in an email it will have “multiple and complex implications”.

One Waterstone’s store manager said: “It is unclear how much control we will have. We have been told we will be able to order ‘the books we want when we want’, but at the moment it is unclear how this is going to work because we haven’t been given any details. Although we’ve been told the plans are intended to increase the depth of the book range, I worry about what will happen to the books with a local interest, and if I will be able to get those orders into shops as quickly as I would like.”

Another manager said: “I think everyone just wants the company to be a success and sell more books after a very troubling period, so if these plans for centralised buying will do this then that is fantastic. I still believe I am going to have an element of control, but I have no idea how much at the moment—although I think it centres more around how we can choose to display books and what the shops will look like.”

While publishers are also waiting to hear how the central buying changes will affect them, some indies are hopeful plans to extend the range will see more of their titles stocked.
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Monday, 1 August 2011

Allison & Busby's Co Founder Funeral to be held on 4 August

The publisher Allison & Busby co-founder Clive Allison died last week on 25th July, following a short illness.

His funeral will be held on Thursday 4th August at St Paul's Church, the Actor's Church, in Covent Garden at 1 p.m. Allison's daughters Polly and Emily have suggested that those attending gather there at 12.45p.m.

The committal will also be at St Paul's. After the ceremony, there will be a gathering at The George pub on Wardour Street. It is understood that it is likely a memorial will be held at a later date.

Our sympathies and condolences to the family.