Friday’s FutureBook Conference, organised by The Bookseller, presented three conferences in one: alongside the main FutureBook programme, there were parallel streams on The Audiobook Revolution and EdTech for Publishers.
If you’ve begun to query agents and editors, you’ve heard the dreaded P word dropped.
The Publishers Association numbers show consumer ebook sales have collapsed by 17 per cent, but physical book sales are up by 8 per cent. The media took delight in Amazon bashing – “[The Kindle] was new and exciting,” says Cathryn Summerhayes, of Curtis Brown in the Guardian, “ but now they look so clunky and unhip, don’t they?”. Is this the death of digital? Absolutely not.
Jaclyn Swope is a Publisher Account Manager on the Book Research team at Nielsen BookScan, where she assists a variety of publishers with understanding and utilising both retail sales and consumer data, through training sessions, presentations and bespoke analysis of book industry trends.
Publishers recognise that they are facing a huge discoverability problem. While good quality metadata will never replace hand selling it can be a key to growing sales.
We often report on the overall UK bestsellers through BookScan, which in 2017 so far are showing a good mix of fiction, non-fiction and children’s, featuring both long-established names and successful debuts:
Back in 1995, Suzanne Collier ran her first Salary Survey, causing uproar within the industry. No one ever talked about pay and publishers were highly suspicious of the survey as they thought it would lead to a rush of staff demanding rises. This didn’t materialise, although one Managing Director complained about the results because they thought the salaries were too high!
Jon Watt of indie publisher Type & Tell hails the return of the novella and the part authors have played in it.