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.

Read More »

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.

Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 12/21-12/24

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 research paper from the Book Industry Study Group found that library patrons prefer to check out print books and physical audiobooks over digital.

Is something lost when comics are read digitally, or are digital comics changing the genre for the better?

Are big publishers hurting their chances of finding new literary authors by only reading solicited manuscripts from agents?

What are the takeaways from the bestselling books of the year?

Do librarians need new visionary leaders to push national debates that could improve libraries?

Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 12/14-12/18

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.

Can Waterstones’ rebound in the U.K. be a model for chain bookstores in the U.S.?

Which is more sentimental in content: commercial fiction or literary fiction?

What’s the real value of ebook reviews?

Should Amazon be concerned about crowd-sourced publishing?

How have physical books been selling this year?

Editor’s note: We mistakenly posted an out-of-date article in the original post, but have since replaced it with something more timely.

The Sound and the Story: Audiobooks and Podcasts

Hey, did you hear season two of Serial has started? Serial’s return was hard to miss on social media last Thursday. People were hungry to hear more of Sarah Koenig’s addictive storytelling and reporting. The keyword is “hear” — Serial, of course, is a podcast, and podcasts are growing in popularity, as are audiobooks. In publishing, trends come and go, but this love of all things audio may be indicative of a sea change. This year was a first in publishing: a podcast spawned a book. Not a collection of stories from the podcasts, nor a collection of new material with old; it’s a novel with all new material based on the popular fictional podcast Welcome to Night Vale (Harper Perennial, 2015). Published in October of this year, it has been on the New York Times Best Seller list, and sold over 47k  copies according to BookScan. It’s available in print, ebook, and of course, audio.

Audiobook & Podcast Timeline

Click here to see a full-size PDF download of a condensed audiobook and podcast timeline. Image by Jen Donovan.

Audio is a sector of the industry that has been steadily growing with no signs of stopping. Here’s a look at some important moments in audio history that have led to the boom that we’re seeing now. There are general timelines for audiobooks and podcasts, but I think to completely separate the two is a mistake. As the trajectory of a book like Welcome to Night Vale shows, the success of one of these mediums informs the successes of the other. So, here are some important moments in the respective histories of audiobooks and podcasts.

Cassette Tapes

In 1970 audiobooks made the transition to cassette tapes, which were much more affordable than LPs. Audiobooks on cassettes allowed public libraries to easily purchase audiobooks for patrons to check out. This caused rapid growth for audiobook sales and publishers. By August 1988, there were 40 audiobook publishers, up from about ten in 1984.

Audible opened for business in 1997, they sold a digital media player that held 2 hours of an audiobook at a time. In 1998, they became the first company to sell digital audiobooks.

Compact Discs

In 2002, CDs became the dominant format for audiobooks instead of cassette tapes. They reached their zenith of popularity in audiobook sales in 2008, and have been on the decline as a format for audiobooks ever since.

Digitally Downloaded Audiobooks

The Audio Publishers Association has been tracking the growing popularity of digitally downloaded audiobooks on and off since 2001, and regularly since 2006. Unsurprisingly, it’s been a steadily growing area for audiobook since 2006. In 2011, they reported that digital downloads had increased 300% since 2005 per dollar volume. Their most recent press release stated “73 percent of all audiobook listeners and 82 percent of frequent users report listening to audiobooks downloaded digitally. The younger the listener, the more likely they are to go digital.” Digital is here to stay.


The capability to podcast began in 2000, with the website that offered users audio-only broadcasts of sportscasts, the news, and so on. The website itself did not last long. Late in 2000, the ability to subscribe to certain audio-only feeds via RSS was instated as was the ability to “audioblog.” The term podcasting did not appear in print until 2004 in a Guardian article by Ben Hammersly. (His other suggestions for the medium were audioblogging and GuerillaMedia.) “Podcasting” was quickly adopted by many early podcasters and podcast enthusiasts and became the commonly accepted term for the media. Read More »

People Round-Up, Mid-December 2015


Ellen Archer was named President of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Trade Publishing, taking over for Gary Gentel, who is retiring in 2016. Archer was most recently President and Publisher at Hyperion.

Ben Greenberg will join Random House as Executive Editor in 2016. He was Executive Editor at Grand Central.

William Wood joined Barnes & Noble as CIO. He was CIO of EZCORP previously.

Matt Baldacci joined Shelf Awareness as Director of Business Development. He was most recently VP, Trade Marketing at Scholastic.

Jamie Levine will become Publisher at Diversion Books in 2016. She was formerly Executive Editor at Grand Central and Thomas Dunne Books.

Founder and CEO of Chicago Review Press Curt Matthews will retire at the end of the year. Independent Publishers Group COO Joe Matthews will take over as CEO. Matthews will stay on as Board Chairman.

Paul Taylor is now VP, Sales at Verso. He was previously VP, Educational Services and Sales at Shmoop.

Elizabeth Schaefer joined Del Rey as Senior Editor. She was previously Editor at Scholastic.

At Bloomsbury USA, Allison Hollett is now Senior Director, Marketing and Sales, Special Interest and Osprey.  She was VP, Sales and Marketing for North America at Osprey Publishing. Additionally, Rachel Ewen joined as Special Interest Marketing Manager. She was Senior Media Associate at Cambridge University Press. Margaret Michniewicz joined Bloomsbury Academic as Acquisitions Editor.  She was Commissioning Editor at Ashgate.

Lindsay Walter-Greaney joined Little, Brown Books for Young Readers as Associate Managing Editor. She was most recently Senior Production Editor at Scholastic.

Katie Benezra joined Abrams as Associate Art Director. She was previously Senior Designer at Klutz.

Jackie Burke joined Algonquin Books as Senior Publicist.

At Sourcebooks, Christina Rapacchietta joined as Ecommerce Marketing Coordinator, Molly Fletcher as Ecommerce Marketing Coordinator, and Janna Barrett as Graphic Designer for the Casablanca imprint.

Nell Casey joined Catapult as Books Editor-at-Large. She is a Founder of Stories at the Moth.

Kent Hendricks joined Zondervan Academics as Marketing Director, Online Learning. He was most recently Product Promotion Lead at Faithlife.

Kristin Kulsavage joined Glitterati Incorporated as Editor. She was previously Editor at Skyhorse Publishing.

Read More »

Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 12/7-12/11

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 study shows that children, especially boys, will read more using ebooks because it seems more “cool.”

Are audiobooks the future of publishing?

The Smashwords annual report shows that, in indie ebooks, preorders matter and $3.99 is the ideal price point for readers.

Why are reading and writing sometimes considered feminine activities?

Why are books getting longer?

Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 11/30-12/4

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.

The Boston Globe takes a look at the surging popularity of posthumously published books.

Has social media changed how readers connect with books?

Is genre fiction more popular than literary fiction?

Michael Pietsch, CEO of Hachette, reflects on the state of the publishing industry.

Is Barnes & Noble moving away from books to increase profits?