Last week’s IPG conference unearthed some strong criticisms of high street booksellers from Iain Dale. He slated WH Smith for their “marketing fee”, hit out at Waterstones’ changed buying policy, got angry at Amazon’s demands for discount, and questioned the ethics of buying places on bestseller charts. Importantly, Dale seems quite convinced that we should be preparing for the post-bookshop world. Personally, I’m far more optimistic about the ability of publishers and retailers to work together for mutual benefit, but fortune favours the… prepared. So here are some tips for those of you now anticipating a high street devoid of novels.
There’s a lot of hype in the press at the moment about Kickstarter, and how it can be used to raise money for authors looking to publish a new book. Comic book artist Rich Burlew raised over $1,000,000 dollars from his fan base to fund his new book ‘The Order of the Stick’. An exciting model, and something to keen an eye on.
So when Carl Rodrigue got in touch with us to ask if we would help his team with their campaign we agreed, and here we go – here is the idea behind the campaign:
Today, as most people reading this will be aware, is World Book Day, the self-explanatory global celebration of reading with a particular focus on encouraging children and young people to read: vouchers are distributed, books given away for free and, following the success of last year’s efforts, an event organisers are calling The Biggest Book Show On Earth will be streaming live on the World Book Day website for an hour from 11am to classrooms (and more) across the country.
Ricardo Redisch kindly gave up some time to talk to me before the first BookMachine Toronto. Working as Executive Publisher at Grupo Editorial Nacional, one of the biggest 3 Academic and Educational Publishers in Brazil, Ricardo is based in Toronto and has some really interesting insights into why publishers should be listening to their readers through social media…
In perhaps the most welcome news of a musician having written a memoir since R. Kelly unleashed Soula Coasta: The Diary of Me upon the world last year, universally beloved Roots drummer, producer, tweeter, house band anchor and all-round muso extraordinaire Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson will publish an autobiography this summer entitled Mo’ Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove. Presumably seeking to right the wrong of his not being included in Barnes & Noble’s children’s hip-hop biographies section, Questlove has co-authored the book with Ben Greenman, acclaimed author of fiction in his own right and an editor at The New Yorker. The memoir will be released by Hachette imprint Grand Central Publishing on June 18 in America and a week later in the UK and, as you can see by casting an eye above, has the cover art to beat this year.
In the run up to BookMachine Oxford, we’re compiling some interviews with publishing-type folk who will be going to the event.
Richard Sullivan (who is our key speaker) is the MD of Osprey Publishing which is a leading publisher of military history, amongst other things and part of Osprey Group – the destination for enthusiasts. Richard has a particular interest in seeking new partnerships to develop print and digital products for niche audiences across the globe. He was previously Marketing Director of Osprey and is currently reading some gritty crime noir alongside a history of Dreadnought battleships. You can hear him talk at BookMachine Oxford.
Kelvin Kong is Foreign Rights Manager at The Rights Factory and gave us a quick interview on what he does, what his expectations of BookMachine will be and also if he has any predictions for the future of Publishing.
A massive tip of the hat to the A.V. Club for the wonderful discovery that the online store of American bookseller Barnes & Noble has an entire section entitled ‘Rap and hiphop musicians – Biography – Children’s nonfiction‘ and, by subsequent implication, that there is a burgeoning subgenre (seventy-four entries!) dedicated to ensuring the youth of today has a foundational knowledge of, say, the Roxanne Wars. No more will parents have to endure the awkward conversation that ensues when their progeny ask ‘Dad, what’s a Queen Latifah?’, able instead to hand over one of the six titles deemed suitable for kids that will answer any questions they might have about how exactly Mama Gave Birth to the Soul Children.
If you’re keeping track of trends in young adult publishing then it has been pretty hard to miss the rise of the ‘steamies.’ There was an article in The Independent. And The Telegraph. And The New York Times. The steamy, or ‘new adult’ novel, is similar to a young adult book in length, subject matter and emotional impact, but a steamy contains more detailed sex scenes than a typical YA title.