In the run up to Publishing: the next 5 years, BookMachine will be featuring a number of opinions about what might be next for the industry. This is a guest blog from Christine Munroe. Christine is a former literary agent and international book scout, and the current US Manager for Kobo Writing Life. She helps authors, agents and small publishers reach millions of readers worldwide through Kobo’s free self-publishing platform. She’s a lifelong book nerd who spends her free time walking her two toy poodles around Toronto.
In the run up to Publishing: the next 5 years, BookMachine will be featuring a number of opinions about what might be next for the industry. This is a guest blog from Ami Greko. Ami recently relocated from working for Goodreads in New York to working for Penguin Random House in London. Outside of the office she founded Book Camp NYC, an unconference for publishing types, and co-created a soup zine (called Stock Tips) that was well over-funded on Kickstarter.
In the next five years, I think we’ll see a wildly successful book-ish tech startup. I don’t mean a startup oriented around books. I mean a publishing startup created by and for those of us with towering stacks of books taking over every flat surface of the home.
Doyenne of all romance publishers Mills & Boon has teamed with WHSmith and Kobo for Romance Writing Life, a competition that aims to find new romance authors (have I used the word ‘romance’ enough yet? Romance romance romance). Interested authors should submit a synopsis of no more than 500 words of their unpublished or self-published novel, in any genre of romantic novel (supernatural, historical, comedy etc.), alongside a first chapter of no more than 5,000 words. The winner will receive a print and digital contract with Mills & Boon. Second and third prize will each receive a Kobo Glo HD on which they’ll be able to read the winner’s much better book.
Though online activity may offer the illusion of anonymity and impermanence – of a malleable realm where we can throw caution to the Vonnegut and not care how careful we are about who we pretend to be – everything leaves a footprint, as anyone who’s ever requested their tweet archive has no doubt discovered to their chagrin. Now, with the advent of e-readers, you can’t even do a simple thing like lie about having finished Infinite Jest or skipped merrily through Ulysses in under a week without cold digital evidence to contradict your claims: Kobo has released figures illustrating which books downloaded by British readers this year most often went unfinished.
The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2014 shortlist was announced in style at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in Kensington Gardens. The party was buzzing with creative and passionate women including Kate Mosse, Mary Beard, Helen Fraser and Sarah Walters. It was a beautiful event to celebrate excellent writing from the following female novelists:
Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche
Burial Rights – Hannah Kent
The Lowland – Jhumpa Lahiri
A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing – Eimear McBride
The Undertaking – Audrey Magee
The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt
The winner will be announced on 4 June 2014.
The first day of the fair saw a giant choccywoccydoodah cake, the SYP seminars How to get into publishing & How to get ahead in publishing and the announcement of another shortlist.
I announced the Kim Scott Walwyn shortlist at the beginning of our second seminar. This is an award that celebrates exceptional female publishers:
Melissa Cox – Children’s New Titles Buyer at Waterstones
Lindsey Dalladay – Community Manager at Penguin Random House
Sarah Hesketh – Freelance Project Manager at The Poetry Translation Centre
Hellie Ogden – Literary Agent at Janklow & Nesbit
Anne Perry- Editor at Hodder & Stoughton
The winner will be announced on 13 May 2014.
The place to be was BookMachine pre-drinks at the fair and then the rockin Kobo party at Underbelly in Hoxton Square.
A few of us from the SYP went along to The Bookseller drinks — I had a Q&A in Tuesday’s LBF Daily and wanted to celebrate my newfound fame.
After a fabulous week, I was well and truly ready for bed! Instead I went out in Soho with a friend I met interning a couple of years ago. #TGIF
Sophie Kahan has a great job. She is the Manager of Publisher Promotions at KOBO. As part of her role, she develops eBook promotions for retailers such as Indigo Books & Music, Kobo’s award-winning eReaders and apps. She also partakes in events including Book Expo America and the London Book Fair. Tahira Rahemtulla interviews Sophie, ahead of her talk at BookMachine Toronto.
Last week saw the release of a new Kobo range, and (not to be outdone) the yearly release of the new Kindle line. Despite Bezos’ insistence that he doesn’t need his customers on the ‘upgrade treadmill’, Amazon released an upgrade to pretty much every single one of their devices, including two new Kindle Fire tablets and the predicted backlit eInk reader. So, as readers, what are we looking at for Christmas this year?
You know how before you got to see The Avengers you had to sit through all the Iron Mans and Captain Americas and Scandinavian God Fall Downs, so that all the preliminary character work was done and blowing stuff up could commence immediately? Well, that’s an exceedingly generous analogy to draw to the contents of this post, which brings news of new deals for two separate e-readers before both join forces with a third. 3D glasses will not be provided, but if you’re reading this on public transportation then we can offer you something approximating a D-Box seat.