Here’s our publishing industry news roundup for July 2016.
1 – Romance is in the air
A romantic story has taken the internet by storm this month, and it makes for heartwarming reading. An admirer of the Waterstone’s Oxford Street store Twitter account started a back-and-forth, which has ended in the happiest of ways; a marriage! It’s the stuff of fairytales.
2 – New Peter Swanson
Another book by Peter Swanson, following the last year’s The Kind Worth Killing is to be published by Faber & Faber. The second book is titled Her Every Fear, a thriller story about a Kate Priddy who moves from London to Boston only to find mysteries in her new apartment, in which her neighbour is suspected to have been murdered. The book is described as a “brilliant, Hitchcockian thriller.”
3 – A colourful world
Compared to the end of 2015, the sales of adult colouring books are not as vast. However, they remain so popular that it sees an increase in the print unit sales of several categories in the first half of 2016. Looking at the increase per category, the adult nonfiction units rose by 133% in the crafts, hobbies, antiques, and games category, 51% in art, architecture, design, and photography, 9% in juvenile and 3% in juvenile fiction, 15% in science fiction, fantasy, and magic, 28% in holidays, festivals, and religion.
4 – Ambient Literature
Enter ‘Ambient Literature’: a revolution of form and content making up a literary experience delivered by pervasive computing platforms, that will respond to the presence of a reader to deliver the story. This new genre could include writing in, of, and through the city via smartphones, performance, or installation using text, audio, and/or video to find new ways to deliver the story. Ambient Literature was coined by a group of innovators based at the Pervasive Media Studio in Bristol, through a four-year Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project finished in early 2016.
It was initiated by the question, “What next?” when the group looked at highly successful literary experiments including Writer on the Train which used GPS to deliver stories corresponding to the time and location of the passengers’ smartphones riding the mainline train from Bristol to London. These projects motivated the interdisciplinary team, headed by Professor Jon Dovey of the University of the West of England to think about the relationship between text, book, digital platform, and the reader. Over the next two years, the interdisciplinary team will take an academic look at the potential Ambient Literature.
5 – Kindle Singles Classics
Amazon has announced the launch of Kindle Singles Classics which is a new series of more than 140 articles, essays, and stories from famous authors writing for top magazines and periodicals. Works from writers such as Susan Orlean, Norman Mailer, Gloria Steinem, Lawrence Wright, Margo Jefferson, Gay Talese, and Chang-rae Lee are available exclusive to Kindle starting from $0.99 and free for Kindle Unlimited members. Writers and publishers are able to sell their previously published work via Kindle Direct Publishing, which will earn them up to 70% royalties from the sales.
The idea is to provide “today’s readers the opportunity to discover great works like Ron Rosenbaum’s ‘The Secrets of the Little Blue Box’, Marcelle Clements’ ‘The Dog Is Us’ or TIME Magazine’s legendary 1966 cover story ‘Is God Dead?’, said David Blum, Editor of Kindle Singles. Singles Classics could be accessed on Kindle E-Readers, Fire Tablets, and the free Kindle app for iOS, Android, PC, and Mac.
6 – A reaction to Brexit
Between the announcement of Brexit on Friday and the following Monday, $2 trillion were wiped off of the global stock markets. The Brexit itself brings a global impact, which includes the publishing industry. Observations made by Liz Thomson, a veteran publishing journalist are as follows. Brexit brings uncertainties, which means multinational houses dominating the industry will model various scenarios from putting new projects and contracts on hold to the extent of hiring younger and cheaper staff, as some employers did with the 2008 recession.
Brexit will also put both high street and Amazon sales to a decrease, especially by the loss of European sales. Before the Brexit, UK publishers were able to acquire exclusive English-language rights for the entire EU market, however subsequent to it, Britain becomes an open market, where the cheapest edition wins out. Moreover, Europe used to give UK publishers a scale as US counterparts already have Latin America and sometimes Canada. Not to mention, the EU copyright laws originating in Brussels – with the Brexit, the copyright law of the UK will be rewritten. Lastly, the observation includes the fact that prior to Brexit, interests also come from translated fiction in Britain which originates from Brussels such as the Ariane Project set up in 1997 offering assistance to European publishers for cross-border cooperation and partnerships.
7 – Movers and shakers
Recent news on people and promotions are as follows: Stephen Twillinger (current CFO at Dorling Kindersley) will join Rodale as EVP and CFO in August, Rhea Lyons (previously Senior Literary Scout at Franklin & Siegal Associates) is now Subsidiary Rights Director, Thomas Dunne Books announced that it will become a smaller and more focused group with Peter Joseph as the Executive Editor, and Macmillan, Jonathan Hollingsworth is now Ebook Channel Associate Director. Additionally, upcoming events include the SCBWI Summer Conference on Jul 29-Aug 1 in Los Angeles, CA, Otakon Anime Convention on Aug 12-14 at the Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, MD, and Edinburgh International Book Festival on Aug 13-29 in Edinburgh, UK.
The complete list of information could be accessed here
8 – Lyrical Press
Kensington Publishing announced at the 2016 Romance Writers of America Conference in San Diego that a couple of days ago, Lyrical Press will launch a line of mass paperback originals under the Lyrical Press banner. It will feature authors new to print who were previously published digitally in Lyrical Press through their eBook titles and series. Starting in January 2018, the Lyrical Press will release competitively priced mass market title per month. Three Lyrical Press authors have already been signed, namely Leah Marie Brown, Heather Heyford, and Jenna Jaxon. Martin Biro, Editor of Lyrical Press states that the goal is, “to first build an audience, then establish a brand and strong sales within the digital market.”
9 – A cloud partnership
MediaValet (Canadian-based world-leading SaaS vendor of cloud-based digital asset management) and Wave2 Media (UK-and-US-based global-leading automated publishing solutions) have partnered to produce a fully-automated Dynamic Publishing solution for small-to-medium sized corporate market. Chris Hodges, CEO of Wave2Media said that the aim for product is to, “introduce on-demand generation of promotional material and to save cost in agency production.”
10 – The Digital Publishing Awards
The Association of Online Publishers (AOP) has revealed the winners of its esteemed Digital Publishing Awards at the ceremony hosted by comedian, writer, presenter, and actress Katherine Ryan. The event was held at the Roundhouse, London to celebrate excellence across the industry. The awards are widely acknowledged as the benchmark for innovative digital publishing.
The winners include Incisive Media and Dennis Publishing ( awarded the Digital Publisher of the Year – Business to Business), PC Gamer and Best Online Media Property (awarded the Best Online Media Property/Consumer), and Made for Mums (Best Editorial/Audience Development Team – Consumer). Richard Reeves, managing director at AOP stated that, “The winners and finalists showed a deep understanding of not only their audiences, but also the tools needed to develop a strong connection with each user. We are delighted to offer the acknowledgment they deserve.”