Talking About Books to a Global Audience

This is a guest post by Rob Chilver. Rob is a Social Media assistant for Waterstones, working on a number of mediums from blogging to Twitter and Instagram. He also writes about books at and hosts a fortnightly books podcast. He can be found on Twitter and on Instagram: @robchilver

I wouldn’t have guessed when I began working as a Christmas temp at a small town Waterstones that I’d end up in Head Office with a view of the London skyline. Yet, from talking to customers on the shop floor to interacting with them on social media and blogs, the core concepts have remained the same. Here’s what I learnt along the way.

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Second volume of Patti Smith memoir coming this year

Revered punk-poet-musician Patti Smith released her first volume of memoir, Just Kids, in 2010. Focusing on her relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe as the pair traversed the art world of 1970s New York City, the book was warmly received even outside of Smith’s expected fanbase, winning the National Book Award for non-fiction and placing on many best of 2010 lists. Now, Smith has announced a second volume, M Train, to be published in October of this year by Knopf.

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Book fairs

Top Tips for Attending Book Fairs

This is a guest post from Alex Hippisley-Cox. Alex is a freelance publicist and Head of PR for the Frankfurt Book Fair in the UK. She also works with many of the top publishing houses, and handles for the PR for book prizes and the Daily Mail Chalke Valley History Festival. You can find her on Twitter at @AHippisleyCox

Book Fairs can seem like daunting places, especially for those who are relative newcomers. All fairs are different, but they all work on similar principles, so ahead of the London Book Fair next week I thought it might be helpful to pass on some friendly, and hopefully useful, tips.

1. Planning

Try and make as many appointments in advance as you can. People’s diaries get very booked up, so grab that slot in plenty of time. Make sure you have a schedule, and confirm every meeting before you arrive. Each half hour slots counts, so prepare exactly what you want to discuss in advance, so you don’t waste time.

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Cargo publishing Social Bite Cookbook

Social Bite is, as the name suggests, a social enterprise: a chain of cafes selling soups and sandwiches, whose profits are given entirely to charitable causes. With two outlets apiece in Glasgow and Edinburgh, the business currently invests in Shelter Scotland, the Vision Eye Care Hospital in Bangladesh, the MicroLoan Foundation in Malawi and Zambia, and the STV Appeal. One in four of its staff are from homeless backgrounds and customers can ‘suspend’ coffee and food – pay for a meal that can later be given to a homeless person.

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Digital Business

Jam-packed report for internet-based business models, a website renowned for analysing new technologies in the book world, have released a white paper outlining New business models for publishing houses, bookshops, libraries and distribution platforms.

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This report is definitely the most informative discussion of new business models on the Internet that you will read. It has been written specifically to help professionals in book-related industries design the best mix of business models to meet the needs of their customers.

Javier Celaya, CEO of comments: “It is our hope that with this study we are able to provide you with a broader view of the multiple opportunities offered by new business models in the digital age, and clear up any doubts or preconceptions you may have about them”.

To learn more about the study, Javier Celaya (Founder of and Laura Ceballos-Watling (Head of Business Development, CEDRO) will be interviewed at The London Book Fair by BookMachine. Join them at 12.30 on Thursday 16th April in the Tech theatre.

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Orion acquires new Alan Partridge book

BACK OF THE NET – Orion has acquired a second book by Alan Partridge, the former BBC chat show host, sometime sports correspondent, current North Norfolk Digital DJ and wholly fictional comic creation of Steve Coogan named ‘man of the moment’ by TV Quick Magazine in 1994. The as yet untitled book will be, according to The Bookseller, ‘a collection of diary entries, letters, “think pieces” and programme and business ideas.’ PARTRIDGE THINK PIECES. If we’re lucky there might even be some hot takes. As was the case with Partridge’s earlier memoir – I, Partridge: We Need to Talk About Alan – the book will be, uh, co-written with Coogan, Rob Gibbons and Neil Gibbons. It is scheduled for publication in October 2016.

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Book Fairs

Book Fairs Broadening Their Horizons

This is a guest post from Tom Chalmers, Managing Director at IPR License.

The last few years have certainly seen a rise in the importance of the children’s and YA books/ebook sector within the publishing industry. This rise in profile is further underlined by recent figures emerging from this year’s Bologna Children’s Book Fair which suggested that attendee numbers were circa 35,000, representing a 15 per cent increase from 2014.

There were also reported to be 1,200 exhibitors from 77 countries and a 10 per cent rise in the number of non-Italian visitors compared to last year. These are very encouraging figures and it’s clear that this event will be at the core of much ongoing business and is one which we are looking to work with more closely in future years.

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YA writer

On being a YA writer: Kerry Drewery interview

Head In A Book is a cycle of literature events in Hull scheduled throughout the year to maintain the momentum of the annual Humber Mouth Literature Festival. At a recent event, Stephanie Cox, met author Kerry Drewery and interviewed her about her books, her writing technique, and the categorisation of literature.

1. Please tell me a little bit about yourself and your career.

Although I’ve always made up stories in my head (even as a child) it was never something I thought I’d be able to do as a career – at school the idea of being a writer certainly was never an option. (I did learn to touch type at school though and I actually enjoy the physical act of typing, which I suppose is a good job!). I’ve had a multitude of different jobs including legal secretary, bank clerk, shop assistant, faculty clerk in a university and learnt a lot about what I don’t like doing! When my youngest son started school, I was looking at returning to work. I’d written a novel in the evenings while he was young, had sent it out to agents and got nowhere, but it had got me thinking that if I didn’t really strive for it then, then I never would. I returned to uni, got a first class honours degree in Professional Writing and wrote another novel on the course. That wasn’t taken either, but I did rewrite it into script and submitted it to a BBC writing competition which I was shortlisted for. Following the degree, and working part-time as a BookStart co-ordinator (which was a great job!) I wrote another novel (my third now), which turned into A Brighter Fear – my first to be published. The funding in my area for BookStart was taken as I was offered my publishing deal.

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#5MarketingTips – A Photo/Twitter blog from BookMachine London

To celebrate the launch of Alison Baverstock’s new edition of How to Market Books, Clare Somerville (Deputy MD of the Hachette’s Children’s Group) and Richard Charkin (Executive Director of Bloomsbury and President of IPA) joined Alison to each share ‘5 Marketing tips that last’.  Alison has over 25 years’ publishing experience, has written 18 books and jointly launched and lectures on the Publishing MA at Kingston University. Now in its 5th Edition, How to Market Books is testament to Baverstock’s knowledge of and accomplishments in Publishing.

Here’s a collection of tweets, tips and photos to sum up the night.

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