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Interview with Jo de Vries: commissioning editor, literary agent and lecturer

Jo de Vries is a commissioning editor and literary agent; her role is all about finding and developing books that will spark the imagination, and striving to increase diversity and innovation in all content areas is at the heart of her work. Jo also lectures in Publishing & Journalism at Bath Spa University. Find Jo on Twitter at @JodeVries1.

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Publishers Love Audio

Publishers Love Audio: key highlights from the social media celebration

From Monday 11th June until Sunday 17th June, publishers across the UK shared their love for audiobooks during a week-long campaign titled Love Audio; an initiative of the Publishers Association. Whilst audio publishing continues to make headlines, the following publishers have been committed to audio for some time. Each publisher approached the #LoveAudio social media campaign differently but all with the same central aim – to spread awareness around this growing and engaging format.

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Death of digital overstated in recent report

The Publishers Association numbers show consumer ebook sales have collapsed by 17 per cent, but physical book sales are up by 8 per cent[1]. 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.

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Strong year for UK publishing industry as it grows to £4.4bn

New figures released on Friday by the Publishers Association shows that the UK publishing industry is in good health with total sales of book and journal publishing up to £4.4bn in 2015. The figures also revealed that the UK’s love affair with the printed book is far from over as for the first time since the invention of the ebook, overall physical book sales increased while digital sales decreased.

Top stats from the research include:

  • Sales of physical books from publishers increased for the first time in four years while digital sales fell for the first time since The PA started collecting figures
  • Export revenues dropped slightly by 3% to £1.42bn with education, academic and ELT (English Language Teaching) accounting for two thirds of this
  • There was particularly strong growth in sales of physical non-fiction/reference books which saw sales increase by 9% to £759m
  • Academic journal publishing also continued strongly up by 5% to £1.1bn with digital revenues accounting for 95% of this
  • School books sales were up overall by 9% to £319m with growth in physical and digital both home and abroad.
  • Audiobook downloads had another good year with 29% growth in 2015.

Commenting, The Publishers Association Chief Executive, Stephen Lotinga, said:

“These figures show that the UK publishing industry continues to go from strength to strength and the UK’s love for print is far from over.

“Digital continues to be an incredibly important part of the industry, but it would appear there remains a special place in the consumer’s heart for the aesthetic pleasure that printed books can bring.

“UK publishing leads the world in terms of exports, but the small drop last year is a reminder of the importance of having certainty in the relationships with our most important markets.

“2015 was a great year for learned journals sales and demonstrates the strength of academic publishers in driving new innovative business models that contribute towards maintaining the UK’s position as a hub of global research excellence.

“The performance of educational publishers, who saw increased sales across all formats, both at home and overseas, is testament to the outstanding learning resources the UK continues to create.

“Whether it be the latest fiction bestseller, our world renowned scientific journals or textbooks for the classroom, the UK publishing industry continues to punch well above its weight. At a time when the Government is looking for world leading sectors to drive growth in the UK economy, they could do a lot worse than look to the success of our publishing industry.”

Ed Vaizey MP, Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy, said:

“The UK’s publishing industry is a huge success story, and I’m delighted the sector is continuing to flourish. The publishing industry contributes £10.2bn a year to the UK economy, and these latest figures are welcome news, particularly in a year when we’re celebrating one of the UK’s most famous literary exports, William Shakespeare.”

publishers green network

Publishers Green Network Open Meeting and Relaunch [EVENT]

Thursday 26th May 2016

Pearson, 80 Strand, London, WC2R 0RL

16.00 – 17.00 Open Meeting

17.30 – 19.00 Keynote from David Nussbaum, WWF UK, followed by a drinks reception

The Publishers Green Network will relaunch on Thursday 26th May with an open meeting followed by a keynote presentation from David Nussbaum, CEO of WWF UK.

The Publishers Green Network aims to help those in the book industry increase sustainability and reduce their overall environmental impact. The PGN looks at the complete process / supply chain for physical and ebooks by providing a networking / information sharing forum to facilitate this.

The meeting, from 16.00 – 17.00, is open to any interested parties. To reserve a place, please email smacleod@publishers.org.uk

Following a short networking break, there will then be a keynote presentation from David Nussbaum. To book tickets, register here.

David Nussbaum, CEO of WWF UK, will speak on recent developments in the international and national sphere, setting a framework for the global Climate agenda, and current priorities for WWF. Focusing on what this might mean for the publishing industry, Nussbaum will look at the need for partnerships with environmental charities.

Stephen Lotinga, CEO of The Publishers Association will then lead an ‘in conversation with’ David Nussbaum, taking questions from the floor.

The afternoon will close with a drinks reception.

PGN Chairman, Ashley Lodge, says; “I am really delighted to be relaunching our group with David Nussbaum, the CEO of WWF UK. I passionately believe the PGN’s information sharing forum has an important role to play in ensuring that the publishing industry continues to minimise its environmental impacts.”

Note for editors

The Publishers Association and BIC are co-supporters of the Publishers Green Network.

The Publishers Association is the leading trade organisation serving book, journal, audio and electronic publishers in the UK. Membership comprises over 100 companies from across the trade, academic and education sectors. www.publishers.org.uk

With over 120 organisations in membership, BIC is the UK book industry’s independent supply chain organisation, committed to improving the efficiency of the trade and library supply chains.

BIC is committed to creating an efficient supply chain for both physical and digital products across the entire book industry, working with all relevant stakeholders to eliminate wasteful and time consuming practices and implement solutions acceptable to all. Being in a unique position of trust with all parties in the supply chain makes it possible for BIC to reach agreement on dependable standards and ways of working. Training is also at the heart of BIC’s activities. www.bic.org.uk

The Publishers Green Network is a voluntary group designed to help the publishing industry increase sustainability and reduce its overall environmental impact. The PGN looks at the complete process/supply chain for physical and ebooks by providing an environmental networking/information sharing forum to facilitate this. www.bic.org.uk/151/publishersgreennetwork

Contact: Seonaid MacLeod, 020 7691 9191, smacleod@publishers.org.uk

#WorkInPublishing week: our best careers posts

It’s The Publisher Association’s #WorkInPublishing week. To join in on the action, we’ve collected together some of our best posts on Publishing skills, courses, freelancing and tips on how to get into the industry.

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