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A publisher’s guide to APIs

This is a guest post from Emma Barnes. Emma is co-founder of General Products, and indie publisher Snowbooks. General Products is the company behind FutureBook-award-winning Bibliocloud, the web-based all-in-one publishing management system.

API is one of those acronyms you hear bandied about. “APIs”, people say, “are vital. Vital!” But if, as you fervently nod in agreement, you’re thinking of another acronym — “WTF?” — then this article is for you.

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Sam Husain to retire as CEO of Foyles

Sam Husain joined Foyles as Chief Executive back in 2007, and today it’s been announced that he will be retiring in April. Husain achieved great results in the role, with Foyles winning Bookseller of the Year in 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2013, and Children’s Bookseller of the Year in 2012. The bricks and mortar book retail market has been under tremendous challenge in recent years but, despite this, he has steered the business through five consecutive years of profitable trading.

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author payment

Is a royalty-only system the way forward for author payment?

Jasmin Kirkbride is BookMachine’s new blogger. Jasmin is the Editorial Intern at Tenebris Books. She is a freelance editor and published author.  You can find her on Twitter @jasminkirkbride.

Last year, The 2014 Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest Author Survey revealed that of the traditionally published authors who took part in the survey, 59.3% earned less than £600 per year. A report from the Authors’ Licensing & Collection Society (ACLS), What Are Words Worth Now?, furthered that average author earnings were below £11,000 per year, down almost £3,500 from the previous report in 2005. Not enough to live on and well below the minimum wage.

The debate over how we pay our authors was hot all year, and it looks not less important as we enter 2015. Clearly, many authors are not making enough money to live on, but is this because we’re paying them unfairly or because their content isn’t selling?

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Foyles Birmingham

Foyles to open in Grand Central Birmingham

Foyles, the award-winning independent bookshop chain, is to open a new branch at Grand Central Birmingham, the city’s new £150 million premium retail destination, in September 2015.

Sitting above the newly transformed New Street Station, Grand Central Birmingham is owned by Birmingham City Council and set to open in September 2015. The 500,000 sq ft development, whose anchor store is a 250,000 sq ft John Lewis, is poised to welcome an anticipated 50m visitors per year.

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A non-technical, beginners’ guide to ONIX for Books

This is a guest post from Emma Barnes and Rob Jones. Emma and Rob are co-founders of General Products Ltd, and indie publisher Snowbooks. General Products is the company behind FutureBook-award-winning Bibliocloud, the web-based all-in-one publishing management system. Here is an edited extract from The Bibliocloud Book: read more at 

About XML

XML is one of those boring ideas that can make business run more smoothly, like ISBN numbers or barcodes. Really it’s just some general rules for how to write down information so that computers as well as people can read it – mainly computers, though. It’s not even a full set of rules; it’s just enough to help people make a start on designing their own formats for sharing information.

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Photo © Grey Trilby

Ways to make your book publicity even better

This is a guest post from Louise Rhind-Tutt, who is an award-winning freelance publicist specialising in traditional and digital PR campaigns for the book and publishing industries. She most recently worked for the Random House Group (UK) Ltd for six years where authors included Susan Hill, David Lodge, Richard Mabey, Sadie Jones, Caryl Phillips and Jonathan Littell. She has won several awards for her campaigns including Publicity Campaign of the Year at the British Book Industry Awards, Waterstone’s Award for Best Publicity Campaign, and The Bookseller Award for Hardback Fiction. Her current freelance clients include National Geographic Books, New Holland Publishers, Penguin Random House and several authors.

What is PR, and why is it important?

There is an old saying, “Advertising is what you pay for, publicity is what you pray for.”

According to Forbes:

Advertising is paid media, public relations is earned media.  This means you convince reporters or editors to write a positive story about you or your client, your candidate, brand or issue.  It appears in the editorial section of the magazine, newspaper, TV station or website, rather than the “paid media” section where advertising messages appear.  So your story has more credibility because it was independently verified by a trusted third party, rather than purchased.

PR is important because it has more credibility, often has more impact, and it’s free.

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Suzanne Collier

So you think you are due a pay rise?

This is a guest post from Suzanne Collier, who is described as THE person to see if you want to get ahead in book publishing. With over 30 years’ experience of publishing, in both trade and academic, she founded alongside her sales and marketing role within the business.  Fully qualified in Careers Guidance she sees private clients from Managing Director level downwards (@suzannecollier | @bookcareers).

No doubt, like many others, you’ve read the results of the salary survey  and you think now is the time to go in all guns blazing and negotiate a pay rise.  Hold on, don’t go blustering in straight away and ask for more money because the ‘survey says so’. The survey figures are only part of the picture, do some research first.

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Sara Donaldson - Freelance

Top 5 tips for Freelancing in 2015

This is Sara Donaldson’ s second guest blog post. Sara is a freelance editor with an eye for a mystery. When not editing a range of projects (mostly non-fiction) she can be found with her Sherlock hat on as a professional genealogist. You can find her on Twitter @psychodwarf

In case you missed it, it’s the New Year. On the horizon are a few months of crossing out the date when you write 2014, wondering where the last year went and a barrage of people telling you how to de-tox, de-clutter and deliver your business.

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The End of the Indie Gold Rush?

This is a guest post from Ricardo Fayet. Ricardo is an avid reader and startup enthusiast who has been studying the publishing industry with interest for several years. He co-founded Reedsy, to help authors collaborate with publishing professionals.

An  ALCS survey in the UK last summer crystalised industry concerns about whether career authorship is a viable profession these days. The report painted a somewhat grim picture for professional and part-time authors alike–regardless of whether those authors publish traditionally or independently. (For a crash-course on the industry landscape, I recommend Kristine Kathryn Rush’s exhaustive report on “things indies learned in 2014”.)

The question now is, has the inde “Gold Rush” passed? Is success finite, and has it been mined to depletion?

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