Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 3/17-3/21

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. 

Following a shaky financial year, will the Nook bounce back after opening its self-publishing platform to European authors?

How can books hold readers’ attention on mobile devices?

What are the best practices for an e-book subscription service?

Will The Independent’s stand against gendered book marketing result in greater representation of female writers?

Given the success of Scandinavian thrillers, could Polish crime novels be next?

Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 3/10-3/14

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. 

Survey results from Library Journal reveal libraries are spending more on audiobooks and DVDs than ebooks.

Will the Twitter Fiction Festival be able to produce good fiction?

In the wake of the Google Books court case allowing books to be scanned, concerns grow over transformative and fair use laws.

Should online retailers separate self-published ebooks from ebooks that come from traditional houses?

In an age of digital distractions, writing the perfect first line of a book may be more important than ever.

Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 3/3-3/7

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 is one of the strongest brands in publishing? Studies on consumer preference and author loyalty in the thriller genre reveal a surprising winner.

Why do billionaires keep buying up traditional print media companies in the age of digital?

Could the aggressive tactics of marketing firm ResultSource buy any author a spot on a bestseller list?

What can publishers stand to learn froventure capitalists?

Could ebook subscription services revolutionize the publishing industry through the data collected from readers?

People Roundup, March 2014


Tara Catogge has been named Vice President, Sales Director at Quarto Publishing Group USA (previously Quayside); she was previously Senior Vice President, Marketing and Inventory at Readerlink.

Shimul Tolia has been named President of Bonnier Publishing‘s newly created New York office. She was Editorial Director, Sandy Creek at Sterling Publishing.

David Boyle, SVP, Consumer Insight for HarperCollins is moving to the BBC Worldwide Brands team as EVP of Insight.

Patsy Jones has moved to Hachette Nashville as VP Marketing; she was VP Sales & Marketing for books at Anderson Merchandisers.

Casey McIntyre will join Razorbill on March 5 in the new position of Associate Publisher. She was most recently Publicity Manager at Harper Children’s Books.

Dreamworks has announced it is launching its own imprint separate from Simon & Schuster, and headed by Emma Whittard, who was most recently at Disney Worldwide Pulishing.

Michael Selleck, Simon & Schuster‘s EVP Sales & Marketing, announced that Michael Carley has decided to retire after 34 years at Simon & Schuster.  He was most recently Sales Manager for

Also at S&S, Reka Simonsen will be joining Atheneum Books for Young Readers as Executive Editor, reporting to Justin Chanda.  She begins March 10th and was recently Executive Editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Regan Arts has announced Ron Hogan will be joining as Editor, acquiring both fiction and non-fiction, with more announcements expected. Ron has been a Contributing Editor for Shelf Awareness.

Beth Ineson has been appointed to the new role of Executive Director, Book Marketing, Sales, and Operations at Boston Common Press. Most recently, she was Head of Field Sales at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. She will oversee expansion of the marketing and distribution of efforts of the Cook’s Illustrated, America’s Test Kitchen, and Cook’s Country cookbooks.

Esther Margolis has left HarperCollins after two years as Executive Editor.  She is setting up her own “publishing and media venture to consult, agent, package, and market fiction and nonfiction books, including cross-media projects in the film and entertainment area.” Newmarket Press was founded by her in 1981 and acquired by HarperCollins in 2011. She may be reached at [email protected]

Scottie Bowditch joined Macmillan as Director of the Macmillan Speakers Bureau on February 24. Previously she was Director of School and Library Marketing for the Penguin Young Readers Group. Janet Rasche joined Macmillan in the newly created position of VP, Operations Planning, , after working at startup MediaRadar.

Joy Aquilino is now Acquisitions Editor at Quayside. She was most recently Executive Editor at Sixth & Spring.

Scholastic has appointed Heather Cassano to the newly created position of Chief Experience Officer; she was previously at Pearson.

Sara Sargent is joining Simon Pulse as Editor, after working for the Balzer & Bray imprint at HarperCollins Children’s Books. Prior to her time at HarperCollins, she worked at Waxman Leavell Literary Agency.

Sharon Fantera, Editorial Director of Bookscan, has left the company.

Margot Atwell is now Publishing Project Specialist at Kickstarter.  She was Associate Publisher at Beaufort Books and has been freelancing for the past year.

Megan Wilson has left her position as Media Specialist & Account Executive at Krupp Kommunications to join Rubenstein Public Relations as Associate Vice President. Read More »

Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 2/24-2/28

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. 

Statistics from VIDA reveal that books by men were reviewed more often and sold better than books written by women over the past five years.

Big Bang Press asks whether or not fan fiction can sell within traditional publishing models.

Will changes in format and pricing allow fiction of varying lengths to achieve commercial success?

Author Kerry Wilkinson began by self-publishing his hit crime novels, but says traditional publishing was what bolstered his sales and name recognition.

The editors of Simon & Schuster‘s new site dedicated to business books,, discuss their goals.

Partners’ Corner February 2014

Partners’ Corner is a place where the principals of Market Partners International can share their observations of the publishing industry for the month.

Publishing Trends attended the Publishers Weekly panel discussion entitled “Are Publishing Seasons Relevant?” (see PT’s PW Panel: Are Publishing Seasons Relevant? for details) and came away with some unanswered (and unanswerable?) questions and musings.

The short answer to the question is, yes, if you consider each new title to be the equivalent of a new product launch, then allowing 1 ½-2 years to position, plan a marketing campaign, and create the best product possible makes sense.

The excellent panelists (a retailer, a distributor, and a publisher) made a good case for the way business is done—i.e., much as it’s always been done—but might it be time to take a deeper look?

Realistically, is each book going to receive the sort of care and attention suggested by these seasonal schedules? And does the slow, methodical process that most all publishers employ help the average book find its market in a timely fashion?

Listening to the panelists, it was clear that the systems have evolved to incorporate “drop-ins” and “add-ons” but only so far; despite the considerable number, there are unresolved problems attached. Most notably, open-to-buy issues at accounts (not to mention the general chaos involved in making sure metadata and rationale are fully communicated) often result in these titles being skipped. So even if publishers adopt ways to create a more fluid publishing model, it will only work if retailers change as well.

Clearly, it’s daunting. So even though improved digital processes have dramatically decreased some of the original production reasons for the long time it takes to bring a book to market, and even though Edelweiss offers an efficient means of announcing titles instantly (goodbye print catalogs), the old ways prevail. Those of us who have spent our careers in book publishing understand why, while those on the outside with content they want to see in book form are shocked and dismayed at how long it takes.  Maybe a little more dismay on our side might nudge the schedule, at least a bit?

PW Panel: Are Publishing Seasons Relevant?

On Feb. 26, Publishers Weekly hosted its first discussion series of 2014 with a panel featuring Andy Laties, Store Manager at Bank Street Bookstore, Kim Wylie, VP Deputy Director of Sales at PGW, and Mary Beth Thomas, VP of Sales at HarperCollins. PW’s Jim Milliott moderated.

Bringing together a representative from retail, distribution, and publishing, the panel addressed questions related to the pros and cons of traditional seasonal lists from 3 different angles. In the end, though, the differences between the publisher viewpoint and the distributor’s viewpoint were negligible. Both Wylie and Thomas described the rhythms at their companies and expressed similar convictions that the extensive time to market ensures that a book is at its most ready—properly edited, positioned, packaged, timed, and ready to benefit from a coherent and well-planned marketing campaign.

Laties defined seasons and seasonality from a retail perspective, pointing out that, while the holiday season is clearly the most critical for many booksellers, those in vacation areas or coastal areas, might have very different peak selling seasons.  But when questioned as to whether publishers might spread out their titles more evenly throughout the year, he replied that one of the reasons the current structure works is that booksellers don’t have time to be making buying decisions all year long and it’s convenient that the heavy fall publishing lists are presented in early summer when store traffic is often light.

While the arguments for the usual practice of two or three seasons were convincing—and both Wylie and Thomas suggested that the seasonal approach created essential deadlines without which chaos would certainly reign—clearly the enormous increase in “drop-in” titles points to some frustration with the usual timetables. Wylie said about 5% of the titles they sell each year are drop-ins; based on a rough title count of 2000, that means 100 or so each year. Harper’s numbers were even higher; Thomas said they do about 1100 adult titles and 600 children’s titles each year and roughly 250 are what they call “add-ons.”  Read More »

International Bestseller Lists, February 2014

Every month, Publishing Trends runs fiction international bestseller lists from four territories–France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. This month, our four regular territories are joined by two more: Ireland and Israel.  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 Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 2/17-2/21

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. 

Given the thin margins of Amazon’s profits each year, could raising the price of Amazon Prime be a huge mistake?

What are ebook subscription services like Oyster, Scribd, and Entitle learning about users’ reading habits?

In light of George Packer‘s lengthy exploration of Amazon, who is willing to speak publicly about Amazon, and why is everyone else so scared to?

Making authors into mega-brands can be a successful tool for book publicity, but it also poses dangers for readers who cherish diversity.

Why do authors face an onslaught of negative reader reviews after winning prestigious awards?

Second Screens and Customization: Digital Kids Conference at Toy Fair 2014

Article written with reporting from Kimberly Lew and Lorraine Shanley.

Books and toys often present licensing opportunities for the author or brand, but this year’s Toy Fair further proved how closely these industries are linked when it comes to selling to parents and children. This was also the first year that Toy Fair partnered with BEA to cross-promote the conferences to their respective trade attendees, and with more toys popping up in bookshops and special sales opportunities for publishers, this symbiotic relationship is only strengthening.

digitalkidscon2014-logo-final-w17-19-200x87Digital Kids Conference, an Engage Digital event co-located with Toy Fair, on February 18-19 also echoed many of the themes at the Launch Kids/DBW Conference in January. As with Launch Kids, a primary concern in the industry is reaching children in a way that is COPPA compliant while still profitable, as is an emphasis on personalization and customization. Finally, both the toy and publishing industries are grappling with how to keep the physical relevant in an increasingly digital world.

Technology has brought the cost and ease of customizing to a reasonable level for many physical and digital products. 3D printing now makes it easier for smaller companies to come out with digital products that can be made physical, as Alice Taylor of Makie Lab and Antoine Vu of Potatoyz discussed at length. JibJab is another company that has been doing customization for years, starting out with adult customized ecards but now moving into the children’s space with StoryBots, a subscription play world where kids can watch videos, read books, and play games with their own faces projected onto moving avatars.  The journalists on the last panel of the day, Tales from Toy Fair, urged game makers to use 3D to replace missing figures, dice, tiles, etc. When it came to what company  successfully combines tech and physical toys , everyone  still cited Skylanders (and by extension, Disney Infinity) as a good example of toys that kids can hold and form personal relationships with but that also have functionality and purpose within the digital space.

Second screens were also a big topic of conversation throughout the conference, with many panelists seeing a majority of kids owning their own tablets not only as a possibility, but an inevitability. After all, as Michael Cai of Interpret shared, 36% (Android) and 19% (iPad) of kids have their own tablets, and 17% named tablets their favorite gaming device, beating out other consoles like the Xbox 360 and PCs. Given those stats, there was also a lot of talk about apps. In the wrap up panel, Warren Buckleitner of Children’s Technology Review and the Dust or Magic conference, mentioned the iPad and its myriad apps as being his favorite showings from the fair, including the Furby apps. Other panelists liked the newest iteration of Monopoly, MyMonopoly, which combine physical and digitally customized components.  And several people throughout the day mentioned Rainbow Loom, a game that both boys and girls can enjoy that incorporates the physical with digital to allow kids to create their own projects. Read More »