Friday, 30 September 2011

Crime author Pauline Rowson and fingerprint expert Jane Aston team up on Portsmouth Live TV

Getting ready to go on air
Crime author Pauline Rowson will  be appearing on Portsmouth Live TV on the Adrian and Sally Show on Friday 30 September at 4pm with Fingerprint expert, Jane Aston from Hampshire Constabulary. They'll be chatting to Adrian and Sally about crime fiction versus crime fact in this short taster of what will be on offer at the exciting forthcoming CSI Portsmouth event at John Pounds Centre, Portsmouth on Saturday 5 November.

Jane Aston is one of the experts on hand during the day and she will be giving a fascinating talk in the morning, providing an intriguing insight into how the fingerprint bureau really works.

Jane will reveal how fingerprints are formed and how they are unique and therefore ideal for identification. She will point out some of the clues they use to discover which digit or part of the palm or even foot they are looking at and describe how they make identifications. She’ll cover the processes used in the Fingerprint Bureau and the use of Ident1 the National Automatic Fingerprint Identification System (NAFIS) and how the facts compare with the fiction frequently seen in television detective dramas and featured in crime novels. Do fictional detectives really get the results of fingerprints within hours? Join Jane Aston on Saturday 5 November at CSI Portsmouth to discover the answer to this question and many more.

Join crime author Pauline Rowson and Jane Aston on the Adrian and Sally Show on 30 September at 4pm chatting to Adrian Knight and Sally Cronin . You can tune in to watch it at Portsmouth Live TV.

People in publishing

Square Peg editorial director Rosemary Davidson has been promoted to publishing director.Davidson joined Random House in 2007 from Bloomsbury and set up Square Peg in 2008, concentrating on eclectic and commercial non-fiction in humour, cookery and parenting.

Kelli Martin has joined Amazon Publishing in Seattle as senior acquisitions editor at Montlake Romance. Most recently, she was a senior editor at Harlequin, and has also held editorial positions at HarperCollins and Disney-Hyperion.

Penguin Group publishing coordinator Matthew Boyd has been promoted to publishing manager and manager of special marketing initiatives. He "will continue to look for innovative ways to promote Penguin’s books, processes to better communicate information between imprints and departments, and partnerships to help Penguin Group reach new audiences."

Kate Gales has joined Simon & Schuster as a senior publicist. Previously she worked at Overlook Press.

Literary Platform founder and digital and communications consultant Sophie Rochester has joined Pan Macmillan in the UK to help devise and execute a content strategy for its suite of web sites, including She will stay with the company until early 2012.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Amazon has made books for the Kindle available across 11,000 local libraries in the United States.

Customers can search for books on their local library's website and choose a book to borrow. Once selected, customers can choose to send it to their Kindle device after they have signed into their Amazon account. Readers can make notes in the margins on their Kindle which are saved and reproduced when a reader checks the same book out again or chooses to buy it.

Earlier this week, Amazon launched a test in two libraries in its hometown of Seattle. Marcellus Turner, city librarian for the Seattle Public Library, said: "This is a welcome day for Kindle users in libraries everywhere and especially our Kindle users here at The Seattle Public Library. We're thrilled that Amazon is offering such a new approach to library e-books that enhances the reader experience."

Jay Marine, director for Amazon Kindle, said: "Starting today, millions of Kindle customers can borrow Kindle books from their local libraries. Libraries are a critical part of our communities and we're excited to be making Kindle books available at more than 11,000 local libraries around the country."

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Publishers see increase in revenue from e books and the number of Americans reading e-books doubles

One in five publishers is now generating more than 10% of their revenues from e-books, with Amazon slowly decreasing in importance.

The numbers are revealed in Aptara's third annual e-book survey of publishers, representing more than 1,300 book publishers from the trade, education, professional and corporate markets.

The vast majority of book publishers (85%), across all market segments, are producing print and e-book versions of their titles. The percentage of trade publishers producing e-books has risen from 50% to 76% in two years. was listed as the biggest generator of sales by 56% of trade publishers, and by 38% of all publishers, with their own websites the second biggest category. Apple, Barnes & Noble and Kobo all ranked much lower, with just 2% plumping for Apple's iBookstore and 1% for the Nook and Kobo.

The main drivers for producing e-books across all publishing market segments are "increasing revenue" (42%) and "increased customer demand" (36%). However, two out of three e-book publishers have still not converted the majority of their backlist titles to e-books.

The overwhelming percentage of responding publishers across all market segments were from English-speaking countries including United States (70%), United Kingdom (8%), Canada (3%), and Australia (3%).

Meanwhile the number of Americans using an e-book reader has almost doubled during the last 12 months, according to another survey. The Harris Poll also revealed one in six Americans who do not have an e-reader intend to buy one during the next six months. This may be welcomed by publishers as e-reader owners are reading more books, according to the survey.

Overall, 16% of Americans read between 11 and 20 books per year with 20% reading more than 21. However, a third of those who own a Kindle, Nook or other device read 11-20 books a year with 27% reading more than 21. E-reader owners are also more likely to buy books, with 17% purchasing between 11 and 20 and 17% buying more than 21 over 12 months.

The top genres among e-book owners are crime and thriller (47%), science fiction (25%), literature (23%) and romance (23%). In non-fiction, biography is most popular (29%), then history (27%) and religion and spirituality (24%).

Harris surveyed 2,183 people during a week in July 2011. It found 8% of adults used an e-book reader 12 months ago, compared to 15% now.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Six reasons why today is the ideal time to be an author-Arielle Ford

Arielle Ford on Why Books Are Alive and Well

"Great news, writers! Recently released statistics about the book biz show that the sky is not falling. In fact, sales have been on the rise for quite some time.

Here are a few of the facts, according to a report from the Association of American Publishers (AAP):

Publishers' net sales revenue has grown annually; 2010's $27.94 Billion is a 5.6% increase over 2008. And, publishers' 2.57 Billion net units sold in 2010 represent a 4.1% increase since 2008.

Americans, young and old, are reading actively in all print and digital formats

2010 total net sales revenue in the consumer-focused Trade market is $13.94 Billion, increasing 5.8% since 2008 (and excluding 2011's e-book sales surge). Both Adult Fiction and Juvenile (non-fiction and fiction) have seen consistent annual gains.

Click here to view the full report on the AAP website.

As a successful author, and someone who has worked with dozens of top-selling authors over the past 20+ years, I can't say I'm surprised by these numbers.  This is, after all, the Information Age, and what better way to share information than through books? In truth, I've never known a better time to become an author. Here are six reasons why today is the ideal time to pursue your dream of being an author:

It's all you. Thanks to the Internet, you can now control your destiny to a greater degree than ever before. Between Facebook, Twitter, online book launches, YouTube, and far more online resources than I can list here, you've never had as much power to spread your message, grow your audience, and build a rewarding career as an author/speaker/expert.

All the secrets are out. When I first started in publishing, discussing the How To's of succeeding as an author was like flashing your g-string at the company party. Today, industry insiders like me are happy to share the strategies and tactics successful authors use to get their books in as many hands as possible.

Being you has never been so valuable. Self-expression is in. Personality pays. These are the fundamental truths of today's wild world online. If ever there was a time to hone your expertise and build your following, it is, most certainly, now.

Everyone's nobody until they're Somebody. Tim Ferriss, Deepak Chopra, Suze Orman -- they all experienced the ultimate in anonymity until the day they became Somebody. Thankfully, the Internet has placed those reins firmly in your hands. Look at Justin Halpern, who got a major book (and sitcom!) deal, thanks to his outrageously popular Twitter feed.

Your book opens doors. A successful book can be your gateway to bigger, better opportunities. From growing your business to leveraging media attention to launching a new career, a top-selling book gives you far more credibility, and your expertise far more value.

Success is not a magic pill. When you're not where you want to be in your career or your life, it's easy to idolize people who have achieved what you aspire to. The truth is, people like you become bestselling authors every week. They didn't suddenly land on the New York Times bestseller list. They dedicated themselves, usually over a period of years, to achieving their dreams.

It's no secret that the publishing industry is facing a tidal wave of change. Kindles, iPads, social media, and countless other factors are quickly changing how we consume information, which affects when, why, and how the industry delivers content.

For authors, however, the bottom line is simple: the more available books become--whether on our bedside tables or our iPhones -- the more we thirst for them.

Rather than sitting on the sidelines waiting for The Answer, I urge you to jump in and share your wisdom with the world. We honestly can't wait to hear what you have to say.

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. She hosts an annual book marketing conference every fall where writers network with top publishing experts:

Monday, 26 September 2011

Advice to authors whose agents wish to publish their clients' works

Agents who wish to publish their clients’ work must offer them a detailed explanation of what they will personally gain from the arrangement and obtain their full and written agreement, the president of the Association of Authors Agents has said.

Anthony Goff said: “Certain members of our community came out strongly and said it was ­illegal for an agent to publish their own clients. The association is very well aware of potential conflicts of interest and while it is definitely not illegal for an agent to publish their own client, there are hazards or risks. We’ve taken steps to find out exactly where they are and to give advice to members who wish to go down this path.”

Goff said agents were duty bound to give their authors “the very best advice” and had a primary duty “to make it absolutely clear to the author what you stand to gain from it as the publisher and exactly what the alternatives are”. Agents must also get “full and written agreement” from authors, he added. “This is the right way to protect the author and to protect yourself from any comeback against the charge that you’ve set up an arrangement from which you are profiting in a way you wouldn’t usually.”

But agent Peter Cox, an outspoken critic of the development, said for an agent to publish their client’s work came under the heading of “self-dealing” in civil law. “The big problem is that when an agent becomes a principal in a transaction, you are no longer an agent,” he said. “You are wearing two hats and how can you advise an author on what is a good deal?”

Friday, 23 September 2011

People in publishing

Faber finance director David Tebbutt was killed early Sunday morning and his wife, Judith, was taken hostage by suspected Somali extremist militants at a tourist lodge in the Kiunga marine reserve on the Lamu archipelago off Kenya's northern coast. Tebbutt and his wife had been on holiday and had only arrived at the resort a few hours before the attack. Tebbutt joined Faber in 2002 and was previously managing director of The Harvill Press and finance director of Routledge. The Bookseller is collecting tributes to Tebbutt from trade colleagues.

Joerg Pfuhl  is leaving his position as ceo of Random House Germany (and member of the Random House executive board) at the end of this year.  The German unit's chief operating officer since 2005 Frank Sambeth will take over as ceo January 1.

Vintage senior editor Jennifer Jackson has been named senior editor, Knopf and Doubleday. She has been with the group since 2002, and became an editor at Vintage in 2006.

Terra Chalberg and Rachel Sussman have launched Chalberg & Sussman, a new literary agency representing a wide range of literary and commercial fiction and nonfiction authors. The agency will also sell foreign rights to selected titles from independent publishers Milkweed Editions and Ig Publishing. Chalberg was previously director of foreign rights for the Susan Golomb Literary Agency, and before then was an editor at Simon & Schuster. Sussman spent six years with the Zachary Schuster Harmsworth Agency.

Jessi Cimafonte has joined Mary Evans Inc. as director of foreign rights, where she will also be developing her own client list. She was previously an associate agent at Kuhn Projects.

At Pan Macmillan in the UK, Jenny Geras and Trish Jackson have been promoted to editorial directors in the adult fiction department.

The new children's publishing company for Bloomsbury Children's executive Sarah Odedina is starting up for the Bonnier Group in London will be called

Hot Key Books is launching in late 2012. The publisher aims to issue 30 to 50 titles a year, focusing on children's fiction for kids 9 and up.

Allison Verost will join Macmillan Children's on September 26 as publicity director, reporting to president Jon Yaged. She was the assistant director of publicity at Harper Children’s.

Barbara Scott has joined WordServe Literary Group as an agent. In 30 years of publishing she has worked at Zondervan, McGraw-Hill, Honor Books, and most recently, started the fiction arm of Abingdon Press.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Crime Author Pauline Rowson on the business of writing crime fiction and the DI Andy Horton Marine Mystery Series

I've often been asked whether I get writer's block, i.e. staring at a blank page on my computer screen without any idea of what to write and whilst I have not suffered this there are days when the words flow and the inspiration seems to come from an unknown source within me, and there also days when it's a struggle to find the right words and know how to advance the plot. On the latter occasions there are three ways I deal with this.

One is to keep on writing, bashing anything out on the keyboard even though I know it will be rubbish because often at some stage in the process it will start to improve and inspiration will come to me. Another technique is for me to pick up my knitting needles and knit, allowing my mind to wander and mull over the characters and the plot, until something strikes me and refreshed I can go back to the keyboard. The third is a similar method but this time I put on the walking boots and strike out. Physical exercise helps to stimulate the little grey cells and it's also good to get away from the computer for a while.

I've been working on the next in the DI Andy Horton series, (number eight, as yet untitled)) and have finished the first draft. This now needs a great deal more work on it before I am anywhere near satisfied with it, but it is slowly but surely coming together. Over the next three months I will be revising the plot and sub plots, developing the characters and making sure that everything hangs together, before going through it again and checking the structure, the phrases, the words.

Meanwhile, at some stage this autumn A Killing Coast (number seven in the DI Horton series) will be returned to me by my editor for checking the copy edits and proof reading. It is some time now since I read it, I only hope I don't want to change it all! Until then it's on with DI Andy Horton number eight.

A Killing Coast is scheduled for publication in hardback by Severn House in January 2012.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Waterstone's to group stores according to size and profile of customers

Waterstone's is thought to be organising the management of its stores into groups of bookshops with similar profiles by splitting the 300 Waterstone's bookshops into 40 smaller groups, categorising them according to size and the socio-economic status of their customers.

Each of the new small groupings will have its own commercial manager, who will be responsible for up to 10 shops. The managers will tailor shops with local campaigns and be responsible for all mass merchandised areas, including title selection in the front of stores, feature space on tables and stock replenishment. The commercial managers will be managed by three divisional commercial managers.

In a letter about the new central buying process sent to publishers this week, Sarah Clarke, Waterstone's range manager, and Simon Burke, campaign manager, said: “We are currently developing a new core range tool that will allow us to build unique ranges for each store type. All titles will be reviewed considering criteria such as market (upmarket, general, mass), locality (metropolitan, rural, seaside, tourist, etc.), and customer type (professional, student, etc.).

“Local interest titles can be added to core at store by store level or geographical area. Titles in this group will include books on the local area, local authors, and titles set locally.”

The new central buying process is expected to begin during October and be completed by end of year. The company is recruiting for its campaign and range teams. 

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

ThrillerFest/CraftFest VII Registration Now Open

Registration for the 2012 ThrillerFest, CraftFest, and AgentFest are now open. You can sign up now to take advantage of the Extra Early Bird discount, which will last until September 30th. Appearing: Thriller Masters Jack Higgins and RL Stine as well as Spotlight Guests Ann Rule, John Sandford, and Lee Child.

On Line Registration

CraftFest—NYT Bestselling authors will share their secrets on the craft of writing.

AgentFest—The top agents in the business will be on hand to hear your pitches.

ThrillerFest—Network with other writers and meet industry professionals at the fabulous panels. Special guests will be announced soon.

July 11-14 2011 in NYC for ThrillerFest VII.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Mills and Boon launch X factor to find new Romance Authors

If you fancy writing for Mills & Boon now is your chance.  The publisher has announced a search for new writers.

The following is taken from their web site.

"New Voices is the search for some more glittering writing talent to join our galaxy of romantic fiction writing stars! And we need YOU!
  • Get writing! Fancy showing us your skills? We’d love to read them! So why not enter the first chapter of your romantic fiction novel and give it a go!

  • Get commenting! We’d love to know what you think of all of the entries (and so would the entrants!), so if you’re a lover of romantic fiction, get involved!"

Friday, 16 September 2011

People in Publishing

At Penguin, Molly Barton has been promoted to vp, digital publishing and business development and strategy. Earlier this year she was responsible for launching the writing community website Book Country and was also responsible for developing Penguin eSpecials, expanding the publisher's relationship with Starz, and spearheading Penguin's enhanced ebook app program.

Meagan Stacey has joined Crown as editor, trade paperbacks, reporting to Tina Pohlman. Previously she was an editor at Mariner Books.

In the UK, Ebury will launch a new digital-first romance imprint, Rouge, with eight titles on September 29. Four titles will appear monthly thereafter in six categories, with all books priced under £5.

Jenny Heller will join Quercus as publishing director on October 10, continuing to focus on nonfiction. She has been a publishing director at Harper UK.

Rebecca McNally, whose departure from Macmillan Children's Books in the UK was announced yesterday, is joining Bloomsbury Children's UK on October 31 as publishing director and international editor-in-chief for children's books. She will report to Emma Hopkin.

Kate Moore will join Virgin as editorial director in mid-September. Previously she was a commissioning editor for Michael O'Mara. In addition, Virgin has promoted Hannah Knowles to senior editor.

Scott Pack has been named publisher of Harper UK's community writing site Authonomy. He will still keep his role as The Friday Project publisher and director of digital content development. In addition, Rachel Faulkner has been named digital project editor for Authonomy. The company intends to find more books suitable for publication from the site (having published a big six titles since Authonomy began in 2008).

In Ireland, Eoin Purcell is joining New Island as commissioning editor. But he will continue editing Irish Publishing News and to work with his existing consultant clients from Green Lamp Media as well.

Photography site FotoLibra is creating the Heritage Ebooks line, officially launching at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October. The first 40 Kindle and EPUB titles cover the architectural follies of England. As founder Gwen Headley readily admits, "though the actual content of our ebooks as English architectural county guides won't be of great interest to non-Brits, the way we integrate live online location finders into eguidebooks will be, as well as our  cost-saving method of acquiring images."

At Orion, Kate Mills has been promoted to publishing director, fiction, and Genevieve Pegg moves up to editorial director, fiction. Mills replaces Jon Wood, who is relinquished his responsibilities to focus on his other role as deputy group publisher. In addition, Amanda Harris has been promoted to publishing director, non-fiction.

Also in the UK, at Macmillan Children's Books, Ruth Alltimes takes over immediately as publishing director, fiction. She will report to incoming publisher Belinda Rasmussen, who joins the comapny this autumn.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

CSI Portsmouth where crime fiction meets crime fact - meet best selling crime authors and crime experts in a packed day's events

Join four internationally acclaimed crime authors: Mark Billingham, John Harvey, Michael Ridpath and Pauline Rowson and experts from the Crime Scene Investigation team and Fingerprinting Bureau of Hampshire Constabulary and experts from the International Centre for Research in Forensic Psychology to discuss crime fiction and fact in a packed day of events at John Pounds Community Centre, Portsmouth UK on Saturday 5 November. 
These top crime authors will be appearing on a lively panel discussion with crime experts to debate crime fact versus crime fiction. There will be a chance to put your questions to them and meet them afterwards.  

There are also talks featuring Dr Neil McCaw, Academic Director of the Arthur Conan Doyle Collection, Lancelyn Green Bequest, one of the largest collections of Holmes/Conan Doyle material in the world. Come and enjoy his fascinating insight into the role of Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes in the development of detective fiction as a genre in the C19th and C20th centuries.

Fingerprinting expert, Jane Aston will point out some of the clues they use to discover which digit or part of the palm or even foot they are looking at and describe how they make identifications. She’ll cover the processes used in the Fingerprint Bureau and the use of Ident1 the National Automatic Fingerprint Identification System (NAFIS) and how the facts compare with the fiction frequently seen in television detective dramas and featured in crime novels. Do fictional detectives really get the results of fingerprints within hours? Join Jane Aston to discover the answer to this question and many more.

Discover how top forensic psychologist, Dr Claire Nee's work compares to that of the fictional forensic psychologist often portrayed in television detective dramas and written about in crime novels. Her research has included a variety of forensic areas including crime specific research (burglary and car theft); interventions in prisons; criminality in children; electronic monitoring of offenders; intensive probation; self-reported offending; female violence; and racism and sexism within the police force. Her current research projects include reducing risk in very young persistent offenders; and decision-making in burglars. One of her main research interest is the origins on criminal behaviour.

Plus hear how former Detective Superintendent Bob Bridgestock has used his experience of twenty-six murder investigations, and countless investigations to shape his crime novels featuring Jack Dylan, written in partnership with his wife Carol, who also worked with the police as a support worker for seventeen years.

There will be a chance for you to see how the fingerprinting bureau works and have your fingerprints taken, view a crime scene, and talk to the crime authors to find out how they come up with their intricate plots and research their novels.

A mobile bookshop, provided by The Hayling Island Bookshop will be selling signed copies of the authors’ books.

Portsmouth CSI 2011 is on Saturday 5 November at John Pounds Community Centre.

Tickets cost £5 for the morning and £7 for the afternoon with a discounted ticket of £10 for the day, which includes £3 off the price of a book bought at the event.

Tickets are on sale from the Box Office at + 44 (0) 23 9268 8685.
The event is part of Portsmouth BookFest is a festival of popular literature organised by The Hayling Island Bookshop and Portsmouth City Council and runs from October 17 to November 13. 

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Booksellers Update- Waterstone's to launch own e-reader, buying team, book discounts and The Works to expand operations

Waterstone's is to launch its own e-reader in 2012 inspired by Barnes & Noble's Nook.Waterstone's m.d. James Daunt says he wants to rival Amazon's Kindle and that the project is "well down the planning line", and would launch in spring next year.

Daunt  said he believed US bookselling chain Barnes & Noble had managed to win market share back from Amazon by linking the electronic product with its high street stores.  Nook owners are allowed to read for free in Barnes & Noble stores for up to one hour each day.

Waterstone’s is calling for a higher discount flat rate on books in exchange for scrapping its promotion fees, which is a move that has been described as “fairer and more transparent” by some publishers. Indie publishers are particularly in favour.

James Daunt has been carrying out margin negotiations with publishers, proposing the general principle of increasing the percentage of discount it gets for books while dropping charges for promoting titles. This would enable Waterstone's to have more autonomy over the products it showcases. Last week The  Bookseller reported that the chain was dropping its decade-long three-for-two promotion, a move that has also been welcomed by publishers.

It is believed Daunt has asked some publishers for discounts of around 59%–60%, a significant increase for some, although it is thought the terms vary between companies, with many still to reach a final agreement.

The Waterstone's m.d. is also thought to be taking a tougher line over discount levels with the larger publishers than with smaller companies. A publisher liaison team of eight people is also being established which will be separate from the buying team.

Waterstone’s has also recruited people to the new roles in the campaign and range teams, brought in as part of m.d James Daunt’s plans to introduce a new central buying system.

Kate Skipper, formerly children’s buyer, is now campaigns manager. She will support Simon Burke, campaign buying manager, "on all aspects of campaign planning and new title buying".

Janine Cook, formerly fiction buyer in the campaign team, has been promoted to senior fiction campaign buyer and Chris White, previously assistant buyer in the campaign team, will now become genre fiction campaign buyer.

Andrew Lake, previously an academic buyer, will now become academic range manager, with responsibilities for campus and academic strategies as well as core range.

John Lewis has been promoted to non-fiction range manager and has accountability for a team of buyers and all trade non-fiction titles and Clare Randle is the new children’s range manager.

The company will also be recruiting a new children’s campaign buyer.

Discount retailer The Works has said it hopes to expand its stores in the UK by nearly 150, as well as growing its e-commerce business with the sale of e-books.

The retailer has opened 43 new stores this year—bringing its total to 304—but Garry Wilson, m.d. of parent company Endless LLP, said the chain could increase its overall portfolio to 450—an increase of 48% on 2010's figure

read more

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Ebury launches digital first romance list

Ebury, part of Random House, has announced the launch of a new straight-to-digital romance list, Rouge, which will launch on 29th September with eight titles, and four titles per month thereafter, to satisfy the reading appetites of romance readers. Ebury have also designed a dedicated and interactive website,, where readers can discuss the books, read extracts and enter competitions.

The first eight e-books will be released on 29th September, with plans to publish four titles per month subsequently. The list will be split into six sub-genres—Regency, Historical, Suspense, Contemporary, Paranormal and Occasions—with every title to be available for under £5.

Ebury editorial director Gillian Green said: "We knew that romance readers have been among the first to embrace e-books and we want to bring them the best romantic fiction out there."

Monday, 12 September 2011

'Ask an author' questions on Kindle is offering a new feature to Kindle readers enabling them to ask authors questions directly via their Kindle devices.

@author is currently on limited release with only a handful of authors participating so it will be interesting to see how this develops. I have an Author page on and on where my DI Andy Horton marine mystery crime novels, my thrillers and my business books are available on Kindle. Over the last year I have seen Kindle sales (and ebook sales generally rise phenomenally). I've had a look at the questions being posted to the authors already participating in this new feature and wouldn't mind being one them myself. Wonder if Amazon will role this out.

Under this new feature readers can ask the authors questions, limited to 100 characters, via their Kindle, as well as being able to post queries to Amazon's various author pages via an "Ask a question" button. Anyone who has bought a book from Amazon can reply to an existing question or ask a new one, and all questions and responses can be viewed by others.

Here are the guidelines

I'll let you know if this feature is added to my Author Page.

Pauline Rowson has an Amazon Author Page on and

Friday, 9 September 2011

People in Publishing

Bloomsbury USA chief operating officer Peter DeGiglio is leaving the company after six years in that position. The position will be filled by Robert Marsh, formerly cfo of Continuum, which Bloomsbury recently acquired.

Laura Tisdel will join Reagan Arthur Books/Little, Brown as an Editor, effective mid-October. She was previously an Associate Editor at Viking.

Grove Atlantic has hired Judy Hottensen, who will rejoin the company as associate publisher, beginning September 6. She spent the past six years at Weinstein Books, most recently as publisher, but was at Grove/Atlantic from 1992 through 2005.

Elisabeth Schmitz has been promoted to VP, editorial director, and she and publicity director Deb Seager will both serve on Grove/Atlantic's executive management committee, along with Hottensen. In addition, Stephanie Giraldi has been hired as senior publicist. Previously she was a publicist with The Penguin Press.

Jessica Tribble has been promoted to publisher of Poisoned Pen Press. Tribble has been with the company since 2004 and replaces Robert Rosenwald, who will continue as president, while Barbara Peters will remain editor-in-chief.

At Red Sofa Literary, Jennie Goloboy has been promoted to associate literary agent. She will represent paranormal and science fiction/fantasy, children's middle grade, young adult and some nonfiction (history and biography).

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

How to Write from the BBC World Service

How to Write on the BBC  World Service web site  provides some interesting tips and advice to writers on the following:

  • Writing a radio play, 
  • Writing a screenplay, 
  • Writing a novel 
  • Writing your memoirs. 
Writing is a craft and different skills are required for different mediums. There are tips from accomplished writers in each writing genre.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Bookselling Brief - Waterstone's, Amazon, The Book Depository and Indie Bookshops

Waterstone's, Britain's biggest bookseller, is ending its long running three-for-two promotion, which has been a key plank in the company's marketing effort for more than a decade.

The decision follows the sale of the chain to Russian billionaire Alexander Mamut, and the appointment of independent bookseller James Daunt as managing director in June.

The 296-store Waterstone's business is now said to be looking at introducing money-off deals for individual books from September, instead of the blanket three-for-two, either pricing campaign books at £5, or introducing a "staggered" offer for paperbacks at £3, £5 and £7.  The news was greeted positively by a book trade that has largely welcomed the change to Waterstone's ownership.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has pushed back its decision on whether to refer the Amazon takeover of The Book Depository to the Competition Commission.

The decision was expected to come on 2nd September but an OFT spokesman said a date for the decision was now "to be confirmed". He said the timetable for an announcement could change for "any number of reasons", but declined to go into specifics.

Amazon announced in July it had agreed a deal to take over The Book Depository, which led to the Booksellers and Publishers Associations, the Independent Publishers Guild and the Bookseller Group voicing opposition to the merger. The Irish Competition Authority cleared the deal in late July.

Four UK  independent bookshops with a combined total of 175 years on the high street have announced their closure within a week, blaming their downfall on high rates, competition from internet retailers and supermarkets, e-books and a lack of support from publishers.

The Harbour Bookshop in Dartmouth, founded by Winnie the Pooh author A A Milne's son Christopher Milne, said it was being forced to close after 60 years, and Derwent Bookshop in Workington, Cumbria, is to shut after 33 years. Both are the only bookshops in their towns. The iconic Travel Bookshop in Notting Hill, London, made famous by the Hugh Grant film, will close soon after 32 years of trading, and Pritchard's Bookshop in Formby, near Liverpool, will also shut after 50 years. 

Each of the shops' owners said high rent and rates were the main reasons running their businesses had become unsustainable, and the death of local high streets was also a popular cause of blame for decreasing custom and falling sales.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Independent UK Publisher Quercus hoping to compete with Pan MacMillan for fifth place in publishing hierarchy

Independent UK Publisher Quercus plans to increase its staff within the next three years and become one of the UK’s top five trade publishers hoping to compete with Pan Macmillan for the fifth spot in the hierarchy.

Quercus is looking to increase its staff from its current number of 60 to 100 within three years.The company has recently moved to new premises (55 Baker Street, London) and has appointed a new finance director, Paul Lenton.

Mark Smith, Quercus c.e.o, said:  “With Paul’s appointment and a refocusing of our efforts onto the three key opportunities for Quercus—namely: the discovery, nurturing and delivery of world-class intellectual property; digital product innovation and the development of online reading communities; and a global sales and marketing strategy—we feel that we now have in place the most effective management structure to enable Quercus to continue to deliver on its ambitions.”

My note: By 'Intellectural Property'  they mean 'Authors Works.'

Quercus Publishing Plc was established by Mark Smith (now Quercus CEO) and Wayne Davies (now Managing Director, Quercus Contract Division) in May 2004. The Directors had previously worked together at the Orion Publishing Group. Read More about their History

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Friday, 2 September 2011

People in Publishing

Gillian Blake has been promoted to editor-in-chief at Henry Holt, effective September 1. She has been with the imprint since 2009, and before then held editorial positions at Bloomsbury and HarperCollins. She replaces former B&N Discover Great New Writers Program chair Jill Lamar, who exits Holt on August 31 after just six months with the imprint. Blake reports to president and publisher Stephen Rubin, and senior editor Aaron Schlechter and editor Sarah Bowlin will report to her.

Anne Tate will join Simon & Schuster as a senior publicist on August 29. Previously she was a senior publicist at HarperCollins.

At Avery, Miriam Rich has been promoted to associate editor.

Ravi Singh will join David Davidar's start-up Aleph Books on September 1 as publishing director. His most recent position was as publisher and editor-in-chief of Penguin India. Singh "will develop his own list" at Aleph, reporting to Davidar.

Robert Podrasky has joined AudioGo as senior acquisitions editor.  He was previously senior manager of domestic rights at St. Martin's.

Dan Crissman has joined The Overlook Press as editor, focusing on nonfiction. He was most recently an assistant editor at Hill and Wang.

Trailer Park Publishing has promoted Scott Tobin to senior vice president, and he will run the unit as a standalone division of entertainment marketing agency Trailer Park.

Random House India is launching a speakers' bureau for "international, influential, corporate and celebrity speakers" in India, South East Asia, China and Hong Kong under the Random House Knowledge banner.

Tor/Forge and NASA are joining to create a series of science-based commercial fiction titles under the umbrella NASA inspired Works of Fiction. The idea is to team up authors and NASA experts to boost scientific accuracy in their books and to "raise awareness and inspire the study of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, in line with the President’s Technology Agenda." Goddard Space Flight Center's Innovative Partnerships Program Office will host a group of Tor/Forge authors for a two-day workshop in November, where they will interact with NASA experts.

World Book Day has appointed Kirsten Grant as director, with Cathy Schofield stepping down from her position as co-ordinator which she has held since October 2000.

Grant, who was previously Puffin marketing and campaigns director, will lead the strategic planning and execution of WBD, as well as building relationships with partners to broaden its reach. She will also oversee all marketing and communications activities.

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Thursday, 1 September 2011

Warren Adler: E-Books: Unintended Consequences

Warren Adler is the author of 32 novels and short story collections published in numerous languages. Films adapted from his books include "The War of the Roses", "Random Hearts" and the PBS trilogy "The Sunset Gang." He is a pioneer in digital publishing. For more information visit Warren's website at

While I have often patted myself on the back for recognizing more than fifteen years ago that e-books would one day surpass the printed book as the ultimate first choice of dedicated readers everywhere, I had not reckoned on the unintended consequences of an unfiltered tsunami of self-published books that would one day overtake the traditional distribution patterns of the publishing industry.

The number of self-published e-books has surpassed and will continue to surpass, by far, books published through the time-honored process of editing and distribution that has been the practice of publishing companies for centuries.

A cottage industry that was once denigrated as an exercise in vanity for wannabe writers who could not get published through established channels, has become a burgeoning industry for entrepreneurs who produce, promote, publish and sell marketing services to those authors who choose to go this route.

Online bookstores such as Amazon, Nook and iPad are eager to publish these efforts, looking to increase the volume of sales through betting that every book published will garner some sales, however miniscule. If every author of a self-published book, for example, sold 25 copies to relatives and friends, that would result in sales of millions of which the online bookstore would get a piece.

Believe me, I am in no way insulting the efforts of such authors who choose this mode of self-expression. There is a lot to say for the psychic joys of creating and publishing a book and hopefully getting it in the hands of a reader. Many of these authors have spent sweat, treasure and time writing and then trying to market their work to agents, editors, publishers, film producers and whoever is in the business of monetizing their efforts. The overwhelming majority have not succeeded in attracting their attention for reasons that are often obscure and baffling.

And while there are countless categories of books being offered within non-fiction and fiction areas, my own authorial interest is in the fate of the mainstream novel, a long form work of the imagination that cannot be defined by any established genre.

Having grown up on a rich diet of reading, studying and writing mainstream novels, a process that I personally consider among the highest forms of artistic expression, I worry that the ever growing glut of novels thrown into cyberspace will make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for the reader to differentiate between authors and find those who reach into the heart of their understanding, insight and pleasure.

With the shrinking output of traditional sources of book information and reviews in newspapers and magazines, the fractionalizing of online sites dealing with reviewing books and the collapse of the usual so called quality filters, the methods of book selection, particularly serious mainstream fiction is severely restricted.

The great breakout books by serious authors that gained attention in the last century like Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Joyce, Greene, Maugham, Waugh, O'Hara and numerous others that transcend my personal bias will be tough acts to follow simply because they will be difficult to cut from the giant pack of novel offerings. Authors will be hard put to get their books noticed, reviewed and honestly recommended.

Of course, traditional publishers are attempting a wide variety of marketing experiments and strategies to extend the public reach of their authors, but the impact on advances and sales will be profound. Authors already well branded in the age before e-books will survive, of course, but their readership will diminish in the future as the marketing funnels become clogged and their original enthusiastic fans die out.

There will be opportunities in the film and television markets if authors are lucky enough to have their books adapted to those mediums, especially if the producers keep the book titles intact. But even that will be no guarantee of crossover sales.

Since most things are transitory and unintended consequences can morph into other unintended consequences and corrections, the chances are that authors, publishers, Internet innovators, or various consultants and deep thinkers will find a way to create "differentiation" methods so that readers can find their most meaningful personal reading choices, I am forever optimistic.

For those authors who see this essay as portending gloom and doom, take heart. At the very least, the serious author of imaginative fiction will no longer have to see his or her work live a life of perpetual exile in a computer file or in the bottom drawer of his or her home desk.