Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 1/25-1/29

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.

Lee and Low released its Diversity Baseline Survey for 2015, which shows that publishing is mostly straight, non-disabled white women.

Why doesn’t speed reading work?

What does the future of publishing really look like?

What impact has Amazon’s uncollected sales taxes had on state and local governments?

Should publishers be producing less books?

Digital Book World’s Launch Kids: Looking Forward and Back

January is a great time to talk about children’s books, what with the aftermath of the MidWinter ALA and its accompanying Newbery, Caldecott, and other awards, presented earlier in the month.  While publishing for the adult market has its rewards and sense of community, children’s publishing has an infectious enthusiasm and sense of mission that is made manifest at ALA.

For four of its last five years, the Launch Kids conference has taken place in January – once on the actual day of ALA’s “Book Media Awards,” as they are collectively called.  As 2016 marks the fifth year of the Launch Kids conference (now held on March 7), we thought we would take the opportunity to look back — and forward — at changes in children’s books and media.

As many have noted, the digital world that we might have anticipated when we started these conferences in 2012 has not evolved much, at least for children’s books.

That’s not to say that children’s books haven’t been affected by the enormous changes of the last few years, from smartphone ubiquity to brand building through Instagram and Pinterest.  Rather, the effect has come in different ways than expected.  No, children don’t read that many ebooks, and no, online storytelling is not the only way teens read and write (though hats off to Wattpad for their continued success).  Subscriptions to downloadable ebook sites like Magic Town and MeeGenius didn’t take off in quite the way their founders had hoped, and interactive education has come a long way, but as Amplify found out, not as far as futurists had predicted.
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Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 1/18-1/22

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.

Do used book stores help or hurt authors?

Book Business published their findings from their 2016 Trendspotting survey.

How have independent bookstores grown in the age of digital?

Are high-priced ebooks hurting publisher profits?

Should authors be paid a fee to appear at literary festivals?

People Round-Up, Mid-January 2016


Suzanne O’Neill will become VP, Executive Editor at Grand Central at the beginning of February. She was previously VP, Executive Editor at Crown.

Jane Manning Hyatt joined Chronicle Books as Executive Director of Sales. She was previously VP, Higher Education at Teachscape.

Laura Dew is now Creative Director at Quarto Publishing Group USA.

At literary agencies, Molly O’Neill joined Waxman Leavell Literary Agency as Agent. She was previously Head of Editorial at Storybird. . . Angela Scheff joined The Christopher Ferebee Agency as Agent. She was previously freelancing. Jana Burson has also joined The Christopher Ferebee Agency. She was previously Owner of The Burson Agency. . . Megan Reid is now Senior Scout for Adult Fiction and Nonfiction at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. She was Associate Editor at Emily Bestler Books and Atria. . . MacKenzie Fraser-Bub has left her position as Agent at Trident Media Group to become an independent Agent. . . Molly Glick is now Agent in CAA’s books department, based in New York. She was previously Agent at Foundry Literary + Media, and will bring her clients over with her. . . Barbara Berson is now Agent at The Helen Heller Agency. She was most recently a Freelance Editorial Consultant. . . Margaret Sutherland Brown is now Agent at the Emma Sweeney Agency. She was most recently at Freelance Editor. . . Kent Wolf joined The Friedrich Agency as Agent and Foreign Rights Director. He was previously at Lippincott Massie and McQuilkin.

Ben Bruton launched his own book publicity firm Ben Bruton Literary. He was previously Senior Director, Publicity at William Morrow.

Eric Shoup joined Scribd as COO. He was previously Chief Product Officer at

David DeWitt joined Little Bee Books as Designer. He was previously Designer at Scholastic.

Paola Crespo is now Marketing Coordinator at Open Road Media. She was Publicity Assistant at Penguin Random House.

Jonathan Lee joined Catapult as Senior Editor. He was Editor at A Public Space.

Paul Fisher is now Senior Marketing Director, Fiction Books for HarperCollins Christian. He was previously  SVP, Marketing at THIEL Audio.

JD Wilson joined Northwestern University Press as Director of Marketing and Sales. He was previously Sales and Marketing Director at University of Alabama Press.

Nicole Pavlas joined Worthy Publishing as Director of Publicity. She was Publicist at HarperCollins Christian.

Matt Harris joined Vearsa as Head of Sales. He was Director of Business Development at LibreDigital.

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Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 1/11-1/15

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 outside forces significantly shape publishing today?

A scientist explains why adult coloring books are so popular.

How do movies make better writers?

Do interactive ebooks help or hinder students in the classroom?

Studies show that popular historical books published in the US and UK are overwhelmingly written by men.

Amazon and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Year Abroad

A recent article in The Telegraph calls 2015 “the year Amazon delivered on its founder’s vision.” The reporter James Titcomb explains that in 2015 Amazon grew to double its share price, finally became profitable, and is now “almost untouchable as an online retailer” due to its streamlined delivery  service. While it’s been a good year in many respects, the company has also had its share of troubles – facing government investigations, employee strikes, and new privacy laws in Europe.

Here’s a timeline of Amazon’s problems in Europe in 2015:

January 16, 2015

The European Union’s antitrust office (the European Commission) releases a preliminary report that the tax deal established between Amazon and Luxembourg’s government in 2003 gave unfair state aid and could have enabled Amazon to underpay its taxes. (Note: countries in the European Union can offer businesses low tax rates, but must offer all deals to every company. To not offer the same tax rates to Amazon’s competitors makes this a possible case of illegal state aid.) The investigation into this allegation began in October 2014 and included other multi-national companies like Apple and Starbucks, but this is the first announcement of any findings. Amazon and Luxembourg’s Finance Ministry “deny any special tax treatment or benefits” and say all allegations are unsubstantiated.

May 1, 2015

Amazon announces that it has begun reporting revenue from its operations in Britain, Germany, Italy, and Spain differently. Previously, Amazon reported this revenue via Luxembourg and Ireland for lower taxes. This change will have Amazon paying higher taxes in the aforementioned countries, therefore taking away more from its profits. Amazon says these changes were in the works for the past two years and that the EU’s investigation has no bearing on it. Ireland announces that it will phase out the tax arrangement that Amazon has, called the “Double Irish,” entirely after pressure from other European Union members.

June 11, 2015

The European Commission begins an antitrust investigation into “whether Amazon used its dominant position in the region’s ebooks market to favor its own products over rivals,” according to the New York Times. It reportedly did so by including clauses in contracts with European publishers to inform it if they ever offered more favorable terms for ebooks to other digital retailers. The article says that Amazon “has been estimated to sell about eight out of every 10 e-books in Britain. In Germany, the market share is just under half,” which brings into question whether these clauses are too anti-competition.

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Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 1/4-1/8

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 are the differences between US and UK children’s literature?

Digital supplier Overdrive reported that ebook and audiobook usage in libraries increased in 2015.

Why are college bookstores closing?

Will Barnes & Noble alienate customers if it abandons its Nook business?

Should a book be categorized as YA when it has young characters but adult themes, or does this hurt the book’s chance of success?

People Round-Up, Early January 2016


Kara Welsh will join Ballantine Bantam Dell as EVP, Publisher in mid-January. She was previously SVP, Publisher at Berkley Publishing Group. Mark Tavani will become VP, Executive Editor at Putnam in February. He was previously Editorial Director, Fiction at Ballantine.

Tara Parsons joined Touchstone as Editor-in-Chief. She was previously Editorial Director of fiction at Amazon Publishing.

Claire Wachtel left her position as VP, Executive Editor at HarperCollins.

Caroline Pincus resigned her position as Associate Publisher at Red Wheel/Weiser after 10 years with the company. She can be reached at [email protected].

Adam Kowit is now Executive Editor at America’s Test Kitchen. He was Senior Editor in the culinary division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Fay Rosenfeld will become VP, Public Programs at the New York Public Library in mid-January. She was Senior Director of Programs and COO of the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institution at Hunter College.

Nicholas Sinisi joined Diamond Book Distributors as Sales Manager. He was previously Independent Store Sales Manager, Publisher Services and Development Manager at Midpoint Trade Books.

John JD Wilson will join Northwestern University Press as Director of Sales and Marketing in mid-January.

Additionally at Penguin Random House, Kristen Schulz is now Library Coordinator at Random House Children’s Books. Sarah Grimm joined Crown as Publicist. She was previously Associate Publicist for Putnam.

Marlena Brown joined Picador as Publicist. She was previously at Oxford University Press.

At literary agencies, Elizabeth Evans has left her position as Agent at the Jean V. Naggar Agency to launch Elizabeth Evans Editorial, which will provide freelance editorial and publishing consulting services. . . MacKenzie Fraser-Bub joined Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. She was previously Agent at Trident Media Group. . . Amy Rosenbaum joined the Nancy Yost Literary Agency as Rights Manager. She was previously at Folio Literary Management.

Caroline Davidson is now Publicist at JKS Communications. She was previously Marketing Director at Turner Publishing.

Deborah Broide is now consulting as Media Relations/PR and Publicity Director at Founder and Former CEO of America’s Test Kitchens Christopher Kimball’s unnamed new company.

Miriam Markowitz retired from her position as Deputy Literary Editor at The Nation after seven years.

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International Bestsellers, December 2015

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: Canada and Hungary. 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.










Top 5 Publishing Predictions Posts for 2016

number_5_redEvery week, we recommend 5 publishing articles/blog posts that supplement the major news for the week. As we enter the new year, we are instead posting 5 links to articles with predictions for the publishing industry in 2016. 

Publishing Executive makes predictions for 2016 based on 12 key words from “mobile” to “quorum.

Publishing Technology’s CEO has 9 predictions of what’s in store for trade publishing and academic publishing in the new year.

Publishing Perspectives has 10 ideas for how Open Access will affect publishing in 2016.

DBW presents 10 things to keep an eye on in the new year from China to Pearson.

Nieman Lab suggests that this is the year news publishing will focus significantly on the business aspect of the industry.

Bonus: Here’s your chance to submit your predictions for 2016.