Ingrid Selberg, m.d of Simon & Schuster’s Children’s Division, is to leave the publisher at the end of this month.
S&S said Selberg had resigned from her position after 11 years at the company for personal reasons, and that a replacement was being sought.
…and speaks out very well indeed:
Curham noted that she “did have some issues with how the project was managed”, and that it would be “really healthy to have a broader debate about transparency in celebrity publishing”. “But please don’t blame Zoe personally for a practice that has been going on for years,” she wrote, pointing out that the huge sales of the novel, which is 2014’s fastest-selling book and which is sitting on top of the UK Official Top 50 for the second straight week, meant that “bookstores such as Waterstones are ending the year on healthy profits”, and that “Penguin, and many other publishers around the world, are now able to afford to offer more unknown writers book deals”.
“Whether you like it or not, this is the financial reality of today’s publishing industry,” wrote Curham, asking readers to focus instead on the issues such as bullying, mental health and homophobia at the heart of Girl Online. “Surely statistics such as these are what we should all be getting outraged about?” she ended.
The discovery of talent via YouTube, a resurgence at Waterstones, the long-running Amazon/Hachette terms dispute and the thinning out of independent publisher numbers were among the significant developments in 2014, according to prominent figures in the industry.
Many praised the performance of Waterstones, with Forbes Watson saying it had “rediscovered its purpose” during the year. The chain’s m.d. James Daunt himself reflected that “at Waterstones, book sales grew for the first time in many years, and so in effect answered positively the question whether there is a sustainable, long-term future for the current number of range-holding, dedicated bookshops in the UK.”
Bonnier Publishing has acquired Igloo Books, saying the acquisition makes the publisher a "dominant force" in children’s mass market publishing.
The acquisition will add £30m in annual sales to Bonnier’s current turnover of £55m, putting the company on firm footing to achieve its £100m turnover goal by 2016. The sum paid for Igloo Books has not been disclosed.
Richard Johnson, c.e.o. of Bonnier Publishing, said: “Earlier this summer I set out the goal of doubling our annual turnover. My aim was to do this by means of both organic growth and acquisition. Igloo Books stood out immediately as a company we could do business with. It shares many of the same cultural and commercial values as Bonnier and is as ambitious and focused on achieving fast growth as we are.”
The acquisition takes place with immediate effect and there will be no redundancies.
from The Bookseller’s announcement that Math’s spelendid indie bookshop Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights is to become a publisher as well as a bookseller:
Bath-based indie bookshop Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights is launching its own publishing company, Fox, Finch & Tepper.
The award-winning independent will specialise in “resurrecting under-celebrated, beautifully written books with a strong sense of place”, and will begin its new venture by publishing two backlist titles.
The Shiralee, D’Arcy Niland’s 1955-published début novel, is regarded as a classic of Australian literature. It is published by Penguin Australia, and Mr B’s owner Nic Bottomley obtained the UK rights directly from Niland’s estate. He said: “The book is emotionally charged, funny and punctuated by scenes of incredible tension. It is a novel of life and companionship on the road, and of the power of the ties that bind.”
The second title is The Next Step in the Dance by Tim Gautreaux, originally published in 1998. Gautreaux’s Missing, published by Hodder, has sold 1,200 copies through Mr B’s shop alone, and author Kate Atkinson has provided a quote for the new novel’s cover. Bottomley said: “Missing is one of our bestselling titles and we think [The Next Step…] has even broader appeal.” Set in small-town Louisiana, the novel tells of strong-willed, restless heroine Colette, who longs for the lights of California; and the quiet determination of her husband to win her back. Bottomley acquired rights by contacting the author.
Bottomley said: “Setting up a publishing branch is something I’ve been considering for some time. I have young children and I don’t want to open another shop, so we have been thinking of other ways to grow the business—this seems like a good one. Everyone who works in the shop will be involved in some way. It is something we are all really excited about.”
Both titles will be high-quality paperbacks with an r.r.p. of £9.99, published on 6th November.
Excellent piece by Lucy Mangan in yesterday’s Guardian Review
What we think of as the "real" Dahl is there, moving underneath the story like a shark but only occasionally breaking the surface to show his grinning teeth (one mother objects to her child being made into fudge on the grounds that "we’ve spent far too much on his education already"). But it is only after a letter from his former agent and confidante Sheila St Lawrence that you can see him start to really trust his instincts. Although she says now that "he was going to get there anyway … If someone else hadn’t alerted him, I’m quite sure he would have alerted himself", she made a variety of specific suggestions – including making the uniformed assistants "something more surprising than they are" – but also encouraged him more generally to let rip. "I’d like to see more humour, more light, Dahlesque touches throughout," ends the letter. "I hope some of my remarks will produce counter remarks in you that will stir you to flights of fancy to make the book take off and really fly, as it undoubtedly will."
And it did. It was published in the US in 1964 and sold 10,000 copies in the first week (and was acclaimed as "fertile in invention, rich in humour, acutely observant … he lets his imagination rip in fairyland" in the New York Times), and has been pretty much flying off the shelves ever since.
Piccadilly Press will next year publish a YA novel from Arabella Weir, the comedian and author of several adult books.
The Rise and Rise of Tabitha Baird is about what happens when 13-year-old Tabitha’s parents split up and she’s forced to move in with her gran along with her mum and brother. When she starts at a new school, Tabitha is determined to become the most popular girl there.
Brenda Gardner, publisher of Piccadilly Press, said is “thrilled” to welcome Weir to the Piccadilly list.
Piccadilly acquired world rights to the book from Sarah Lutyens at Lutyens & Rubinstein, working in association with Casarotto Ramsay, and will publish 2nd October 2014.
• Big-5 publishers are massively reliant on their most established authors to the tune of 63% of their e-book revenue.
• Roughly 46% of traditional publishing’s fiction dollars are coming from e-books.
• Very few authors who debut with major publishers make enough money to earn a living—and modern advances don’t cover the difference.
• In absolute numbers, more self-published authors are earning a living wage today than Big-5 authors.
• When comparing debut authors who have equal time on the market, the difference between self-published and Big-5 authors is even greater.
In this report, we will also reveal how e-book earnings represent roughly 64% of a traditionally published fiction author’s income, and therefore why authors should focus less on statistics geared toward publisher earnings and trade bookstore sales and consider their own incomes instead. Finally, we will tackle the difficult question of just how many authors are earning a living wage today. The results are sobering.
This final chart reveals a startling insight: If the Big 5 hadn’t signed a new author since 2009, and simply released new works from their long-established authors, they would still be making 63% of the e-book revenue that they are making today. Ownership of backlist and long-tenured authors is quite clearly big publishing’s most powerful commodity.
The Times gives coverage to Jonathan Emmett’s campaign for greater representation by men in all aspects of children’s publishing, reviewing and award judging:
Emmett’s study of more than 450 reviews in five national newspapers found that while 47 per cent of the picture books and 41 per cent of the children’s fiction books featured were written by men, less than 20 per cent of the picture book reviews and less than a third of the fiction reviews were by men.
Emmett, a former winner of the Red House Children’s Book Award for Pigs Might Fly, said that of the 30-50 editors he had dealt with, only two were male. He estimates that 95 per cent of picture books were bought for children by women.
“Mums and grans buy books — that’s what is driving the market,” he said. “So even if a book is meant to be particularly appealing to boys there’s tendency for its content to reflect the female buyer’s taste as well.
“So picture book pirates tend to be a lot more tame than those on TV or in films.
“The number of times that I have tried to get technical information into a book and it is deemed inappropriate. It is one of the things that leads boys, and girls with boy-typical tastes, to say ‘I am not really interested in that kind of content, I am more interested in video games’.”
He added that “illustrators with a flair for technology were also more likely to want to work in the films, TV or game industry where their enthusiasms were better reflected.”
Kim Scott Walwyn Prize Shortlist Announced
This year, the judges have selected a shortlist of five candidates, as opposed to four in previous years, thanks in part to a 45% increase in entries.
The five women on the shortlist come from a variety of roles within the book industry, including an editor, agent, community manager, book buyer and events and publications manager. The prize is the only one to recognise the professional achievements and promise of women in publishing.
The 2014 shortlist is:
- Melissa Cox – Children’s New Titles Buyer, Waterstones
- Lynsey Dalladay – Community Manager, Penguin Random House
- Sarah Hesketh – Freelance Project Manager & Events and Publications Manager, The Poetry Translation Centre
- Hellie Ogden – Literary Agent, Janklow & Nesbit
- Anne Perry – Editor, Hodder & Stoughton
Each shortlisted candidate will receive a one-day training course to aid their career development, courtesy of The Publishing Training Centre. The winner of the Kim Scott Walwyn Prize 2014, who receives £1000 sponsored by the SYP and a two-day training course courtesy of the PTC, will be announced at an award ceremony at the Free Word Centre in London on Tuesday 13 May.