Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 8/22-8/26

number_5_redEvery week, we recommend 5 publishing articles/blog posts that supplement the major news for the week. Whether data or industry commentary, we hope these 5 links will be a simple way to keep you in the know.

What challenges does Barnes & Noble face now?

Is young adult literature ultimately good for young adults?

Why is it important to properly credit a book’s illustrator?

Does the manner in which we read change how we interpret the content?

What lies ahead for educational publishing?

Keeping the Faith: Publisher Agnostic Content

Be it tweets, blog posts, or marketing materials, content produced by book publishers is traditionally about the books they publish. But that’s not always the case. Some publishers are hosting blogs with “publisher agnostic” content, meaning the site will feature books and authors they don’t publish. In fact, some of these websites all but obscure the fact that they’re hosted by a major publisher, which raises a question: why? Why promote books and authors they don’t publish? And why are publishers keeping their name off of the content they’re publishing online?  Each of the three people interviewed said, “A rising tide lifts all boats,” a comforting and fitting aphorism that answers a question that they must be asked often.

Before looking at today’s digital landscape of publishers sharing books they don’t publish, let’s go back to 1984 when a Random House sales rep, Carl Lennertz, wrote what he called “The Random Report. It was a newsletter that went out to bookstores promoting Random House’s forthcoming titles and whatever promising titles were coming from the competition, as well as a few personal notes. Highlighting books from publishers other than Random House made him a favorite among independent bookstores,  —  and, of course, the publishers whose books he promoted.tor dor com

Lennertz, now the Executive Director of The Children’s Book Circle, took his newsletter online after the advent of digital; soon after he went on to start what is now IndieBound. Perhaps the first publisher to talk up books that weren’t their own online was Tor, which launched Tor.com in 2008. The site’s Associate Publisher, Irene Gallo, describes it as a three-pronged operation: a daily blog about all things science fiction and fantasy-related, a community of readers, and a publisher. The key here is that they cover all things science fiction- and fantasy-related, not just related to or about books published by Tor or Tor.com.

Tor.com isn’t alone. Penguin Random House has a group of sites that publishes content not exclusively about their own books, including Suvudu, also a sci-fi and fantasy site; Signature, which is focused on current events and the news; and Hazlitt, a site simply focused on “the best stories.”

And then there is a publisher-hosted site that falls somewhere in the middle: Epic Reads.  Epic Reads is an online community and website for YA fans. Though it’s not immediately obvious, this is a HarperCollins site, which readers can discern from a HarperCollins copyright down at the bottom of the webpage. The only books sold on their site are published by HarperCollins, but all of the site’s original content is publisher agnostic. Read More »

Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 8/15-8/19

number_5_redEvery week, we recommend 5 publishing articles/blog posts that supplement the major news for the week. Whether data or industry commentary, we hope these 5 links will be a simple way to keep you in the know.

Could technology be killing reading?

Used bookstores are making a comeback.

How many people see ads for books online?

The Book Industry Environmental Council released its latest report on sustainability efforts in publishing.

Indigenous story anthologies pose unique typographical challenges.

People Round-Up, Mid-August 2016

PEOPLE

Mark Kuyper is leaving his position as Executive Director of the Book Industry Study Group, where he had served for a year. Previously he was President/CEO at the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association.

 At HarperCollins, VP and Executive Editor Hugh Van Dusen is to retire on August 30.

Lisa Erickson returned to the Crown Publishing Group as Associate Director of Marketing for Crown, Hogarth, Broadway, and TimDuggan Books; she was most recently Associate Director of Marketing at Little, Brown and Company. Alaina Waagner joined as Marketing Manager; she was previously Marketing Manager at Penguin Random House. Douglas Mann joined Waterbrook Multnomah as Senior Marketing Manager; he was previously Senior Account Executive at Creative Blue Marketing AgencyJamie Lapeyrolerie will join as Marketing Manager on August 15; she was previously Marketing Coordinator at Zeno Imaging.

Mark Budde will join Lerner Universal Corporation as EVP of operations in mid-August; he was previously VP of operations at Miratec Systems.

At B&T Global Publishers Services, Chitra Bopardikar is the new VP and General Manager; she was previously VP of international sales and business development at PerseusMichael Abbott joins as Director of Sales and Marketing (Europe, Middle East, & Africa) and as Director of New Business Development. He was most recently Group Sales and Marketing Director (Europe, Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Caribbean) at Random House.

At Macmillan, Devi Pillai joined Tor as Associate Publisher; she was previously Editorial Director at OrbitDiana Gill is to join Tor/Forge as Executive Editor; she was previously Executive Editor at Berkley’s Ace and Roc imprints. Melissa Zar joined Macmillan Children’s as Marketing Manager; she was previously a marketing manager at Random House Children’s. Sarah Bowlin is leaving Henry Holt where she worked as Senior Editor.

At agencies…Jemima Forrester will join David Higham Associates as Literary Agent in mid-September; she was previously Editor at Orion Publishing GroupLaura Spieller joined TriadaUS as Assistant Literary Agent; she was previously an assistant to the children’s scout at Mary Anne Thompson AssociatesPenny Moore joined Empire Literary as Agent with a focus on YA; she was previously an agent at FinePrint Literary ManagementHannah Fergesen joined KT Literary as Agent for speculative adult, young adult, and middle grade fiction; she was previously Literary Assistant at Trident Media Group. At Gotham Ghostwriters, Brooke Carey joined as Chief Matchmaking Officer; she will oversee the agency’s searches and their network of writers. She was previously Editor at GothamJanet Reid joined New Leaf Literary & Media as Director of Literary Development and Agent; she was previously Agent at FinePrint Literary Management. Publishing attorney Susan Spann has joined Donaghy Literary Group as Contracts Manager.

Ursula Cary left Rodale Books, where she worked as Senior Editor, to pursue a career as a freelance editor and writer.

Jen Adams joined Sounds True as Freelance Editor; she was previously Editor at Gibbs Smith and Quark Books.

Carolyn Cox joined Open Road as Editor of The Alt, a forthcoming website for lovers of sci-fi and fantasy; she was previously Editor at The Mary SueRachel Chou is leaving her job as General Manager, Chief Content Officer.

Andrew Yackira left his job as Editor at Tarcher Perigee to found Pigasus Books, a writing and publishing consultancy.

Courtney Nobile joined Basic Books as Assistant Director of Publicity; she previously worked as Public Relations Specialist at Fortier.

In children’s, Regina Flath joined Random House Children’s as Senior Designer; she was previously Senior Designer at Simon & Schuster Children’sJaclyn Whalen joined as Designer; she was previously Design Associate at Vintage/Anchor . . .Tara Shanahan joined Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s as Senior Publicity Manager; she was previously Senior Publicist at Penguin Random House . . . Crystal McCoy joined Little Bee Books as Senior Publicist; she was previously Senior Account Executive at B/HI . . . Ed White joined Highlights for Children as Manager of Retailing Planning and Allocation; he was previously Manager of Inventory Planning and Analysis for the Hudson GroupJoanne Lee joined Little, Brown Children’s as Graphic Designer for the Creative Services department; she was previously Designer at McGraw-Hill Education.

Wren Hanks joined The Experiment as Associate Publicist; they were previously Associate Editor at Sundress Publications.

Annie Stone joined BookBub as Account Manager; she was previously Editor at Alloy Entertainment.

David Dissanayakeas joined Oni Press as Sales Manager; he was previously Director of Sales and Marketing at Magnetic Press.

Matt Wise has joined Adaptive Studios as the Vice President of Publishing and Literary Development. He was previously the Director of Publishing for Blumhouse Books. Read More »

Columbia Publishing Course Super-Grad 2016

As ever, this year’s Columbia Publishing Course (formerly the Radcliffe Publishing Course) Graduates are a remarkable group. Per our tradition here at Publishing Trends, we’ve put together one preternaturally talented graduate profile from the most interesting parts of the biographies of this year’s graduates. With the exception of some connecting phrases, the words are the students’ own.

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Typical Columbia Publishing Grad wants more than anything to try everything. Given her name by a figure in her father’s dream, Publishing Course Grad grew up in a little blue house in Edgewood, Washington, with three sisters and a bunny named Celine Dion. Equal parts literary zealot and hip-hop enthusiast, she became a logophile at the age of ten with a brief stint in the competitive Scrabble world. Publishing Grad was a classical dancer for thirteen years and acquired a second-degree black belt at age fourteen; she is now a certified instructor of tricking, a sport that combines martial arts, gymnastics, and breakdancing. Growing up in a Russian-speaking home led to an enjoyment of literature in translation, and her affinity for performance poetry and her ability to memorize rap lyrics testify to her attention to detail and obsession with finding the exact bon mot. Although she speaks softly, Publishing Grad transforms into a powerful and passionate singer on the stage. She spent many years singing alto in a choir, with which she performed at the Vatican. By the time she was seventeen she had traveled to all the continents except Antarctica (it’s next on her list).

After a combination of homeschooling and parochial school, Publishing Grad matriculated a year early from the University of Minnesota. While attending college, she lived in a castle in the Netherlands for three months, affording her the opportunity to meet a Benedictine nun wielding a chainsaw. When she wasn’t studying for her bachelor’s degree in English, she was managing a café, singing in a band, and working for a college radio station as a DJ. She also interned at the National Book Foundation, where she assisted with the 2015 National Book Awards submissions and social media, and at Mighty Writers, where she transcribed interviews with prominent black disc jockeys of the 1970s for a radio documentary on their cultural influence. As an undergraduate, she organized three TEDx conferences and volunteered at a San Francisco jail facilitating a theater and storytelling workshop.

Following graduation, Publishing Grad apprenticed with the Juilliard School’s professional apprenticeship program in the paint department, then freelanced as a scenic artist in New York City. She now runs a freelance editorial service. In her free time, she runs marathons and maintains her status as a favorite aunt. Publishing Grad completes the New York Times Sunday crossword long distance with her mother. She currently volunteers for The Torist, the first literary journal of the deep Web, and eagerly awaits the day when she can purchase Hamilton tickets.

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To find out more about seeing participants’ resumes (or to read the real biographies) please contact Columbia Publishing Course Assistant Director, Stephanie Chan at (212) 854-9775 or swc37 at Columbia dot edu.

New York’s other major summer publishing course, New York University’s Summer Publishing Institute, celebrated its 38th year this summer. To learn more about NYU’s eligible grads or about the program, contact Executive Director Andrea Chambers at (212) 992-3226 or andrea.chambers at nyu dot edu.

Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 8/8-8/12

number_5_redEvery week, we recommend 5 publishing articles/blog posts that supplement the major news for the week. Whether data or industry commentary, we hope these 5 links will be a simple way to keep you in the know.

NPR explores the importance of diversity in book marketing.

Is 2016 the best year for independent publishing yet?

Why is brand-new fiction having a hard time hitting the bestsellers list?

Washington Post examines what makes a beach read.

How does the mystery genre fare in terms of diversity?

 

Spotlight on Conferences

If it seems like there is a new conference every month, there’s a fairly simple explanation: Conferences provide revenue streams at a time when many legacy businesses are struggling for growth. Nielsen is looking for ways to promote and monetize its data collection; Publishers Weekly is reaching new audiences in its partnership with NYU; and existing conference sponsors and developers continue to seek out new topics and audiences to diversify their business models.  Below, some of the conferences that are launching and evolving:

There are those conferences that already have their routines well-established, like bookseller favorite ABA Winter Institute, though their commitment to moving the location of the meeting keeps the event fresh.  The Institute will be January 27-30 this year, this time in Minneapolis, MN, where the threat of difficult travel weather could rival the problems of Kansas City three years ago. But the need to vary locations so as to support booksellers from different regions is integral to the Institute’s mission. As for timing, ABA seems to be sticking with what has worked for them most recently with a January date. Not only does this have minimal conflicts with other meetings, but it is also early enough for publishers to be able to significantly impact the books they are trying to “make.”

ABA also launched the ABC Children’s Institute four years ago in the summer, and originally they thought to locate it near another event so in 2016, it was held in Orlando just before the ALA summer meeting there. But in response to feedback from the Children’s Book Council, the event will move to April in 2016 at a time that is more convenient for booksellers. As with the Adult version of the event, the ABA is committed to moving the meeting around each year so as to balance the travel burden for attendees from around the country. The location for 2017 is not yet announced but will be shortly.

There’s also the case of the rotating conference (which is, strictly speaking, a convention), like the BookExpo America, which returned to its previous model of going between Chicago and New York. After staying in New York for the last 7 years at the Javits Center, it spent 2016 at McCormick Place in Chicago, shifting from the end of May to the middle.  Perhaps because of the drop in attendees, BEA announced it would be returning to Javits for its next conference, at the more traditional time, May 31-June 2, 2017. No word yet on whether they’ll be going back to Chicago for 2018. Read More »

Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 8/1-8/5

number_5_redEvery week, we recommend 5 publishing articles/blog posts that supplement the major news for the week. Whether data or industry commentary, we hope these 5 links will be a simple way to keep you in the know.

Should indie authors offer print-on-demand in addition to ebooks?

Publishers can learn a lot about SEO from other media companies.

What can the latest quarterly financial reports from the Big Five tell us?

Is it smarter to make publishing decisions based on the data or on your gut?

Another reason to read: you might just live longer.

International Bestsellers, July 2016

Every month, Publishing Trends runs fiction international bestsellers lists from four territories–France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. This month, our four regular territories are joined by two more: Portugal and Malaysia. Those books that have been published in English are listed with their official English-language title. All others are translated as literally as possible from the original. Where applicable, the US publisher is listed after the local publisher, separated by a “/”. The lists are taken from major newspapers or national retailers, which are noted at the bottom of each list.

BestsellerJuly2016.France

BestsellerJuLY2016Germany

BestsellerJuly2016Italyl
BestsellerJuly2016Spain

BestsellerJuly2016Malaysia

BestsellerJuly2016Portugal

Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 7/25-7/29

number_5_redEvery week, we recommend 5 publishing articles/blog posts that supplement the major news for the week. Whether data or industry commentary, we hope these 5 links will be a simple way to keep you in the know.

A new survey shows that used and rented textbooks are still outselling digital textbooks.

A book designer shares her experience with gender and book covers.

Have we reached “peak superhero”?

Where will machine-learning systems take publishing next?

Could serialized fiction make binge-watchers into binge-readers?