Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week, 11/18–11/22

number_5_redEvery week, our sister site, Publishing Trendsetter, recommends 5 publishing news stories that young book professionals should read to feel more connected to what’s going on in the industry. To continue that tradition here on Publishing Trends, we will be recommending 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.

Disney faces challenges in the mobile game business, trying to both increase revenue and respect their young audience.

Could the slowing in eBook sales be a blessing in disguise that indicates a stabilizing market?

Can OverDrive continue to expand and dominate public library eBooks as other segments of library lending open up?

A survey on publishing salaries shows worrying trends about starting salaries and the stability of publishing jobs.

eBooks are growing in popularity as a gift for this holiday season, leading to more sales of eReaders too.

And as a bonus: Macmillan CEO John Sargent gives a TEDxTimesSquare talk called “The Decision Point” about making decisions with little historical context, as he did with partnering with Apple to create the iBookstore.

Introducing Partners’ Corner

As a new monthly feature, we will be posting “Partners’ Corner,” a place where the principals of Market Partners International can share their observations of the publishing industry for the month.

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Market partners logoWe’ve been doing a lot of searches at MPI this year, and having read more resumes and met more publishing people than most of you might meet in a whole career, we’ve been noticing something new: In the good old days, most trade publishing people stayed in the department where they started so their career advanced upward, but rarely could you make a switch from sales to editorial or rights to marketing. But those barriers seem to have fallen somewhat and a recent look at current resumes reveals some surprising career tracks.

Take, for instance, these real examples: From Promotions Coordinator to Senior Editor at a Teen Magazine to senior roles in the Publicity Department; From Editor to Associate Publisher to Editorial Director of Digital Publishing to Publishing Director at an internet start-up; from Editor to Agent to VP of Business Development to Publisher; from Foreign Rights to Domestic Rights to National Accounts Manager to Director of Sales to Director of Client Services; from Editor to Licensing Manager to Packager to Editorial Director.

Then there are the seismic shifts, from music to books; from book publishing to national nonprofits; from books to magazines and vice versa; from digital startups to books and vice versa.

None of these may seem radical, but they do point to a definite change. Employers now embrace a resume that has variety, which could mean different companies, job descriptions, or even – increasingly – industries.  Digital initiatives transcend departments, requiring skills and knowledge regardless of one’s primary responsibility. Editors, encouraged to create original content, must understand the world of licensing in order to exploit the potential of their creations. Even sales, once the clear domain of people on the ground and in the field, is now redefined as ebooks go automatically to platforms in the sky.

Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week, 11/11–11/15

number_5_redEvery week, our sister site, Publishing Trendsetter, recommends 5 publishing news stories that young book professionals should read to feel more connected to what’s going on in the industry. To continue that tradition here on Publishing Trends, we will be recommending 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.

The number of self-published books on work on the market rose 59% in the last year.

HarperCollins and Hachette are seeing rises in their eBook sales, which raises questions about whether or not the eBook market is flattening out

Do publishers need to start partnering with start-ups like Scribd and Wattpad to keep up with entrepreneurial spirit and new technologies?

A lot of the latest big novels have been surprisingly lengthy–some thoughts on why this might be.

This infographic, based on Nielsen research, gives some insight into teen reading trends.

Is Free the Future?: A Review of The Curve by Nicholas Lovell

PT Book Review LogoEWPublishingTrends.com continues its regular column in which we review, explicate, and excerpt books that we think will resonate with people in the business of publishing and media.

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Implementing what we know as “the freemium model” scares a lot of businesses, and understandably so. It’s not necessarily a groundbreaking idea; consumers are used to free trials of online services, a few issues of a magazine, or a song off of an album. Yet in Nicholas Lovell’s new book, The Curve (US Hardcover, Portfolio Penguin, October 2013), he suggests that free is not only an inevitability, but it’s actually in businesses’ best interests to start giving away some of their products for free.

Lovell’s solution to the inevitability of free is to give away products to build an audience, and then offer a variety of products to give supporters different ways of converting to customers. As Lovell demonstrates through multiple examples, a large amount of revenue can be built from only a few high-paying customers, making sales less about number of units and more about the monetary value that consumers place on products they love.

Each level of consumer exists somewhere on Lovell’s Curve, and they are not at a fixed point. The goal is the move them from freeloader to superfan. Listen to Lovell explain the whole process in the video below.

A prime example of the Curve is Lovell’s detailing of Pocket Frogs, a gaming phone app. The app itself is free, but there is the potential to spend money within the app. Approximately only 4% of users ever spent money in the app in the game’s first year, but their revenue was estimated at about $3 million. Pocket Frogs users have the option to spend $.99, $4.99, or $29.99 on packages within the game. Forty-two percent of those who spent money in the app bought the $4.99 package, which accounted for almost half of the revenue made from the game. Only 8% of those who spend money in the app bought the $29.99 package, and yet, that accounted for 49% of the revenue for that app in a year.

So how can the Curve be applied to publishing? The clearest publishing-related advice Lovell gives is for fledgling writers, as he writes from the well-informed perspective of having self-published a book. He frequently cites the success of Amanda Hocking, a self-publishing success, who then got a traditional book deal. The Curve, in a way, is actually based off of her successes. So unsurprisingly, Lovell says going digital and self-publishing is the way to go for new authors. He sees curation as a barrier to entry, and self-publishing as an easy way for authors to gain fans through low price points. Authors then learn about those fans through direct marketing data, and are able to use that fan base to get noticed by a publisher. Self-publishing also allows authors to move away from what Lovell describes as the “tyranny of the physical,” as consumers no longer only respond to a product that they can hold in their hands. But once a self-published author gets picked up by a publisher, this is where creating unique opportunities for fans to spend their money comes in. And as we saw from Pocket Frogs, it only takes a small percentage of superfans to create a lot of revenue. Read More »

Freelance Publicists Contact Sheet 2013

This year’s edition of Publishing Trends’ annually updated contact sheet of freelance book publicists includes 56 firms and individuals specializing in a wide range of genres and approaches. We’ve added 13 new companies (Buxus PR, Franklin Public Relations, The Hendra Agency, JSA Kids Marketing, Lorna Garano, McCartin / Daniels PR, Rare Bird Lit, VM / PR, Richards Public Relations, Sarah Russo Public Relations, Whitney Peeling Public Relations, Wiley Saichek, Marketing and Publicity Consultant, and Your Expert Nation) and removed the following 5 companies (AuthorBuzz, Authors on the Web, Deborah Sloan & Company, and Social Media PR Solutions, and Sonnet Media).

The majority of the freelance publicists listed use both traditional and digital approaches (this year even more so than in years past), plus 3 digital-only publicists who specialize in various aspects of online and social marketing and publicity. Each firm chooses a few specialties to list here; to download a PDF of the whole sheet, click below.

* Updated 11/14/2013 to include Kaye Publicity, Meghan Phillips Public Relations, and Parsont Publicity Group

* Updated 11/12/2013 to include Barclay Publicity

* Updated 1/10/2014 to include Peppersoup Media

* Updated 1/23/2014 to include Kathryn Hall

* Updated 3/4/2014 to include Ein Communications

* Updated 4/7/2014 to include Jennifer Prost Public Relations

Click on the image of the chart above for a full PDF version of the 2013 Freelance Publicists Contact Sheet.

Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week, 11/4–11/8

number_5_redEvery week, our sister site, Publishing Trendsetter, recommends 5 publishing news stories that young book professionals should read to feel more connected to what’s going on in the industry. To continue that tradition here on Publishing Trends, we will be recommending 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.

While many claim that YA is ruled by female authors, a more detailed analysis shows that, in terms of the NYT YA Bestsellers List, men dominate.

Are UK Publishers going out of business because of Amazon/other discount retailers and the continued success of eBooks?

With the recent announcement of Macmillan Entertainment expanding its in-house film and TV efforts, it is clear publishers are continuing to move into TV/film– will publishers be successful?

Are ebook sales are flattening out due to readers wishing they could share their ebook library?

Is Amazon losing interest in monopolizing the book industry and changing business model tactics?

People Roundup, November 2013

PEOPLE

Scribner President Susan Moldow announced that Stacy Creamer, VP and Publisher of Touchstone, will be leaving the company and that Moldow would serve as Interim Publisher.

Yale University Press announced that it has appointed Benjamin Schwarz as Consulting Editor, based in LA, where he will acquire books in the areas of history, biography, and cultural affairs.  Previously, Schwarz was the Literary and National Editor for the Atlantic.

Larry Kirshbaum will leave his position as Publisher of Amazon‘s US trade publishing imprints on January 17, and will return to life as a literary agent.  Daphne Durham has been named Publisher, Adult Trade and Children’s Books, at Amazon; she was previously Publishing Editor in Chief.  According to Publishers Lunch, a few editors have left Amazon’s various imprints during 2013, with the departures of Tim Ditlow, Eleni Caminis (for Samsung), David Moldawer (for an education company), and Liz Egan (for Glamour Magazine), and Editorial Director of Amazon Publishing in New York Julia Cheiffetz currently out on maternity leave. But Amazon Publishing’s website still lists 27 editors from across the company’s sprawl of imprints.

Mary Ann Zissimos has joined Disney Publishing Worldwide as Publicity Manager. She formerly worked at HarperCollins, Abrams, Penguin, and Random House.

Former Crown Deputy Publisher Michael Palgon has joined Open Road as SVP, Distribution & Business Development. He will lead their distribution arm and will also “build new editorial verticals including religion and business.”  Also at Open Road, Charlotte Greig has been named Strategic Advisor for Acquisitions.  She was previously Editor at Picador UK. Laura Ferguson will join as Open Road as VP, Special Markets. Previously, she was Director of Premium, Corporate and Customer Driven Publishing at S&S. 

Mobifusion has hired Michelle Lewy as Director of Publisher Accounts, based in New York. Most recently, she was Director of Digital Media Services at Baker and Taylor.

Blaise Base has been named Associate Director of Online Marketing at HarperCollins. He had been Consumer and Social Media Marketing Manager at Manning Publications.

Longtime Reed Exhibitions Executive with oversight for BEA, SVP Courtney Muller has resigned from her position. BEA has been under the supervision of Greg Topalian, a former BEA Show Director.

Simon & Schuster Children’s is planning a new sci-fi, fantasy and horror imprint for “YA and above.” Justin Chanda will be Publisher, and Joe Monti has moved from the Barry Goldblatt Literary Agency to become Executive Editor. Navah Wolfe moving over to work as Editor for the new line. Meanwhile, Dana Trocker has joined S & S as Associate Marketing Manager. Previously, she was Speaker Relations Coordinator at Macmillan Speakers Bureau.

St. Martin’s publisher at large Dan Weiss has resigned  after 4 years with the company. He can be reached at [email protected]. Weiss will focus on consulting, strategic investment and philanthropy.

Jeff Alexander has joined The Penguin Press as a Senior Editor. Previously he was an Editor at Vintage/Anchor.

Kathy Daneman has joined the Portfolio, Sentinel, and Current imprints as Publicity Director. She spent the past seven years at FSG, where most recently she was Assistant Director of Publicity. She also founded FSG’s online reading community, Book Keeping.

Dan Gerstle has joined Basic Books as Associate Editor. Previously he was Assistant Editor at FSG.

Emily Keyes has joined Foreword Literary as an Agent. Previously she was an Agent at the L. Perkins Agency. Read More »

Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week, 10/28–11/1

number_5_redEvery week, our sister site, Publishing Trendsetter, recommends 5 publishing news stories that young book professionals should read to feel more connected to what’s going on in the industry. To continue that tradition here on Publishing Trends, we will be recommending 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.

Twitter may be changing the role of the literary critic, even if many literature-affiliates seem wary of the form of social media.

Is Amazon going through a retreat? Here are some strategies they might consider during this time.

US bestseller lists indicate trends such as: children’s/YA books have grown in popularity, self-help books are losing traction in the market, fiction is more popular than nonfiction, and more.

Singularity&Co is a bookstore taking on under-appreciated genres like sci-fi and republishing the works as e-books.

Librarians are facing two problems: it is difficult to find job placement and librarians’ salaries can’t pay for their educations.

International Bestseller Lists, October 2013

Every month, Publishing Trends runs fiction international bestseller lists from four territories–FranceGermanyItaly, and Spain. This month, our four regular territories are joined by two more: Norway and Russia.

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.

BestsellerOctober2013.France (1) (1)BestsellerSeptember2013.Germany (1)

BestsellerOctober2013.Italy (2)BestsellerOctober2013

BestsellerOctober2013.Norway (1)BestsellerOctober2013.Russia (1)

Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week, 10/21–10/25

number_5_redEvery week, our sister site, Publishing Trendsetter, recommends 5 publishing news stories that young book professionals should read to feel more connected to what’s going on in the industry. To continue that tradition here on Publishing Trends, we will be recommending 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.

Some publishers shy away from lowbrow literature, yet it powers the industry financially and appeals to consumers

It’s possible that in a digital world, physical periodicals are losing appeal, but physical books are still valued.

The self-publishing industry grows, in ways that are difficult to account for, which may be leading to growth in the erotica genre

 Rethinking the role of the production manager is becoming necessary in a changing industry.

Tumblr continues to be a hub for both amateur and established writers: here is a list of fun and interesting literary Tumblrs.