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2012 Fiction Uncovered titles announced

Fiction Uncovered creates the opportunity for eight British fiction writers to be part of a summer promotion supported by key retailers and independent bookstores across the UK.

On Wednesday,  eight books were selected for the promotion amidst a buzzing atmosphere at The Union Club in London. The judging panel was chaired, by John Sutherland, Lord Northcliffe Professor Emeritus of Modern English Literature at UCL, with Katy Guest (Literary Editor, The Independent on Sunday), Jasper Sutcliffe (Head of Buying, Foyles Group) and the writer Matt Thorne. You can check out the winning titles here.

On top of this there are two related events to follow which might just pique your interest…

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It’s good to talk: How networking saved my book bacon

Jamie-Lee Nardone is Publicity Manager for Duckworth Publishers and is on Twitter: @JamieBookPR. She never turns down a glass of red or Ben’s cookie. Duckworth are always looking for people interested in work experience so feel free to get in touch:

Some might say I was a late bloomer when it comes to the publishing industry. At the tender age of 24, my eyes were opened to the world of book PR via a small pub event. As I began to mingle, I realised how much I enjoyed talking to everyone about things that I really cared about-rather than just smiling and nodding. At the time I was doing work experience in events and paying the rent by working in a dog grooming salon. Nevertheless, I thought that I could reignite my childhood passion for reading (I was a proper bookworm) and combine it with talking a lot, meeting people and chin-wagging over a glass or two of vino. Subsequently, I decided to hound a Publicity Director I’d met-and three weeks later started working for her and never looked back.

That was just over two years ago, and now I am fortunate to have a job I love, great colleagues and friends I have made in my short career, alongside a swift education in social media. I get to meet amazing authors, journalists and fellow publishing folk, and despite the taboo subject of pay (publishing is notorious for this), I wouldn’t swap it for anything. Admittedly no expert on employment and a relative newcomer myself, here are my personal top tips for getting into book PR.

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Why Foyles Won Bookseller Of The Year

or ‘Know What You Do And Do It Well.’

I’m not sure the words ‘outrage’ or ‘controversy’ fully convey the level of disgust with which the publishing and bookselling industry responded to last year’s announcement of Sainsbury taking Bookseller of The Year at the Book Industry Awards. Thankfully, this year there will be no need for a riposte titled ‘On Sainsbury’s: A Defence’ (a name whose weighty resonance harks back to old school publishing, but whose content belies a shift away from leather bound hardbacks) from the judicial body, as the ever-loved darling of bookstores, Foyles, has walked away with the industry’s most esteemed accolade.

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BookMachine Weekly BookWrap: publishing stories from around the web

This week on the site, we were Revisiting elearning in the Web 2.0 age with Anna Faherty, and Felice Howden asked What Game Is Anobii Playing? Meanwhile, the London Literature Festival announces 2012 line-up, and Century buys rights to Wool, inevitable sheep jokes.

Elsewhere on the  web, it appears that Amazon aims to launch front-lit Kindle in July and Amazon launches CreateSpace in Europe.

As Pottermore adds Kobo as a Harry Potter e-book partner, and apparently Moglue Makes It Dead Simple For Anyone To Create And Publish Interactive Ebooks, there’s A Humorous Yet Truthful Look at Publishing, and The Book Designer is asking: Are You Trying to Create an “Impossible” Book?

And then there’s the big questions: Paper Book vs. Digital Book – Who reads which, where and why?

Finally, it appears that In E-Reader Age of Writer’s Cramp, a Book a Year Is Slacking.

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Revisiting elearning in the Web 2.0 age

Anna Faherty
Anna Faherty is a writer, editor and lecturer in publishing.

A decade or more ago, elearning was heralded by many as the panacea to organisational training needs. The reality? It didn’t live up to the hype. Elearning was too often just a bunch of files uploaded to a website or learning management system; unhappy eye-strained learners read reams of text on screen. Today technology has moved on, and elearning can finally deliver what most learners really want: personalised, interactive, social and mobile learning experiences. So, for anyone who still thinks elearning is dull, disappointing or dead in the water, here are eight tips to debunk your views.

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Retailer Plus Social Reading Equals: What Game Is Anobii Playing?

If, like me, you spend a lot of time on the internet (like… y’know… enough to clock when adverts change on the same web pages) you will probably have noticed the intense ramping up of aNobii activity across all digital channels recently. In the past two months, their online advertising reached the level of intense saturation usually reserved for dating websites – displaying as gates on pirated videos before you watch them, weird sidebar ad placement on forums, promoted tweets, heaps of whacky Pinterest boards… and so on.

So given the company launched in 2006, why now?

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What we’ve learned from writers on CompletelyNovel – a ‘read-this first’ for self publishers

Anna LewisThis is a guest post from Anna Lewis, who co-founded the book technology company CompletelyNovel with Oli Brooks in 2008. Since then, they have created, a community powered book-publishing platform bringing modern publishing tools to an online network of readers, writers and publishers. You can follow Anna on Twitter via @anna_cn and @completelynovel.


There is endless advice that goes out to self-published authors about building their brand, identifying their audience and how to promote their work. This is all vital in the success of a book, but writers shouldn’t let it detract from other parts of the self-publishing process – namely, the technical and project management (let’s be honest, slightly more boring) side of things.

Working with self-publishers on CompletelyNovel has been massively inspiring. Every day we see new writers produce something that they have often been waiting many years to see in print. The advent of new tools on the internet has opened up so many doors. But, like anything, it throws up new challenges as well. So here are some dos and don’ts for aspiring self-publishers and their mentors to mull over, learned through watching the experiences of others.

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The literary critic: an endangered species?

This a guest post from Simon Appleby, who runs Bookswarm, a digital agency specialising in work for authors, agents and publishers – services including e-book design, website and blog design, author videos and more. He’s also a director of AMS Digital Publishing, which runs a number of online marketing channels for publishers, including and, and operates the Real Readers review generation service. He’s a hands-on computer geek and a prolific reader and reviewer of books via the blog that he founded in 2008,

Everyone’s a critic

The web, and not least Amazon’s customer review functionality, has been blamed for the demise (or at least the endangered species status) of the professional literary critic. There’s not doubt that the amount of space in the national press given over to books is less than ever, and the number of literary editors has diminished too. Needless to say, the whole newspaper market is changing and shrinking, thanks to this Internet thingummy. So, Bookmachiners, I ask you – is this such a bad thing?

I have a weird dual perspective on this issue…

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Prospects for UK publishing: retail, eBooks and digital opportunities [event]







Thursday, 24th May 2012 (London)

Guest of Honour: Richard Mollet, Chief Executive, The Publishers Association

This seminar will offer a timely opportunity to consider the current and future challenges posed by structural change in the publishing industry emanating from the increased popularity of the eBook, declining sales of physical books and the rise of supermarket retailing. Timed to follow the consultation on Public Lending Rights from library loans and the coming changes to copyright law following the Hargreaves Review, it will address emerging issues concerning the future of book revenues in an already pressured market.

Delegates will assess future trends in book retailing, with planned sessions exploring the maturing eBook market, the growth of the tablet and mobile internet, and how they will affect the future of the eReader. The agenda includes discussion of the effect of reduced sales on publishers and authors, as well as high street, independent and online booksellers, and the future role of the book shop as retailers choose new, diverse models for book promotion, discounting and improving customer experience.

For more details or to book click here.

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London Literature Festival announces 2012 line-up

Line-up announcements have been made and tickets have gone on sale for this year’s London Literature Festival, happening at the Southbank Centre from 3-12 July. Amongst the big names making appearances in those ten days are Michael Morpurgo (whose Q&A will almost certainly consist entirely of variations on the question ‘so what’s Steven Spielberg really like?’), John Pilger, Will Self, Andy Kershaw, Siri Hustvedt, Clive Stafford Smith, Noo Saro-Wiwa, Stella Duffy, Mark Haddon and Andy Stanton.

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Century buys rights to Wool, inevitable sheep jokes

Fed up with self-publishing success stories yet? Waiting for the straw that breaks the camel’s back and sends everyone scurrying back to tried and tested means of publishing? Well tough noogies, because it looks like that ain’t happening any time soon, with The Bookseller bringing news of the latest DIY bidding battle. Century has beaten out four other contenders for the rights to Hugh Howey’s Amazon bestseller Wool, a post-apocalyptic epic initially published in five parts beginning last summer. Not that Amazon reviews necessarily mean anything, but the flurry of four and five star raves for the book might help explain why, despite no marketing push from anyone but Howey himself, Wool is currently sitting in the top 50 paid downloads for Kindle, and has already been downloaded over 140,000 times worldwide.

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BookMachine Weekly BookWrap: publishing stories from around the web

On the site this week, we asked Do Publishers Expect Authors To Market Themselves? There was also the chance to Win a great new novel by asking the author a question!

While in the news, Virago to release ‘coming of age’ collection aimed at young women, Maya Angelou completists and ‘I don’t set out to make children happy’: RIP Maurice Sendak.

Elsewhere around the web, Are publishers waking up from their dream about apps? It seems this may be true for magazines, at least if you agree with these reasons Why Publishers Don’t Like Apps.

But as for books, there were some interesting thoughts this week from Nick Harkaway on the Evolution of Books, an outline of The Future Of Books In 7 Easy Steps, and Seth Godin revealed what he thinks is The real threat to (big time) book publishing.

On the digital front, here’s The complete guide to iBooks: from reading to selling, though it seems that iPad E-Reading Market Share Stagnates as Tablet E-Reading Rises, and a handy Infographic: Are eBook Readers Reading More?

Meanwhile, according to Smashwords CEO Mark Coker: Indie Authors Need to Become Great Publishers, while also knowing all about The Business of Writing Books.

And finally, why not Meet The 16-Year-Old Book Reviewer.

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