Traditional Publishing

Writers' News

New Literary Agency Listing: Great River Literary – Thursday June 17, 2021

An agency devoted exclusively to representing authors and author/illustrators of books for children and teens.

[See the full listing]

Imprints – Monday June 14, 2021

Astra Publishing House is launching an imprint dedicated to publishing illustrated books for children, to be led by Jill Davis. She was most recently executive editor at Harper Children’s. She will report to coo Ben Schrank and president Leying Jiang. Davis says, “My focus at Astra will be developing authors and illustrators from all over and helping them create unforgettable stories with sparkle, soul, and lots of surprises. The majority of my list will be illustrated books for ages 0–12, with an occasional teen title.”

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New Literary Agent Listing: Vanessa Browne – Thursday June 10, 2021

Vanessa is the Associate Agent to Chloe Seager. She joined the MM Agency in 2021. It’s her joy to work in the Children’s and YA space, where there’s so much fun to be had, and so many incredible stories yet to be heard.

Vanessa is excited to be working alongside Chloe and her talented authors, as well as beginning to build her own list.

[See the full listing]

Pan Mac and bks Agency host free demystifying publishing event – Thursday June 10, 2021

Pan Macmillan and The bks Agency are running a free online event all week to demystify publishing for those curious about entering the industry.

Running from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. until 11th June, it has been organised by ERIC, an organisation which hosts immersive career festivals and an app for Generation Z creatives. Pan Mac has received more than 250 sign-ups across a range of ages and backgrounds.

The Get a Job in Publishing event series covers the publishing ecosystem and how it works, as well as providing an introduction to each of the main career paths available. Pan Mac experts include Sara Lloyd, communications director and executive sponsor for diversity, publishing director Kris Doyle, Bluebird publisher Carole Tonkinson, adult publishing m.d. Jeremy Trevathan and Belinda Rasmussen, m.d. of Macmillan Children’s Books.

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New Imprint Listing: 4 Color Books – Tuesday June 8, 2021

Collaborates with the most forward-thinking and groundbreaking BIPOC chefs, writers, artists, activists, and innovators to craft visually stunning nonfiction books that inspire readers and give rise to a more healthy, just, and sustainable world for all.

[See the full listing]

Trade campaign warns of 'potentially devastating' change to UK copyright laws – Monday June 7, 2021

An alliance of organisations including the Publishers Association and Society of Authors has launched a new campaign warning of a “potentially devastating” change to the UK’s copyright laws.

The Save Our Books campaign, also backed by the Association of Authors’ Agents and the Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society, says government plans to reconsider the UK’s approach to copyright and trade following Brexit could lead to fewer books and fewer authors.

The Intellectual Property Office launched a consultation on 7th June which considers a weakening of copyright rules used for exporting books around the world. Changing the way these rules, known as copyright exhaustion, work would present “serious dangers for the health of the books industry”, the campaign argues.

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The London Book Fair Returns – Sunday June 6, 2021

After the London Book Fair was canceled just a week before the event was to take place in 2020, LBF is back again—albeit in a web-only format. The fair spans the month of June, with conferences taking place the week of June 7 and a further series of flagship digital events to run June 21–July 1.

LBF kicks off this year with four days of single-topic conferences: “Introductions to Rights” on June 7, “The Writer’s Summit” on June 8, “What Works? Education Conference” on June 9, and “Research & Scholarly Publishing Forum” on June 10. The fair will then reconvene on June 21 and 22 for talks and panels, including Industry Insights sessions focused on publishing issues. On June 23, tech takes center stage with “Digital Technology: What’s Next for Publishing,” and the June 24 program will highlight children’s books and edutainment, as well as scholarly publishing and human resources development.

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‘If publishers become afraid, we’re in trouble’: publishing’s cancel culture debate boils over – Saturday June 5, 2021

In the 1960s, Simon & Schuster’s co-founder Max Schuster was facing a dilemma. Albert Speer, Hitler’s chief architect and armaments minister, had written a memoir providing new insights into the workings of Nazi leadership. As Michael Korda, Schuster’s editor-in-chief, recounted in his memoir Another Life, Schuster knew it would be a huge success. “There is only one problem,” he said, “and it’s this: I do not want to see Albert Speer’s name and mine on the same book.”

In the liberal industry of publishing, the tension that exists between profit and morality is nothing new, whether it’s Schuster turning down Speer (the book was finally published by Macmillan), or the UK government introducing legislation to prevent criminals making money from writing about their crimes.

[Read the full article]

Curtis Brown launches writing scholarship in tribute to John le Carré – Friday June 4, 2021

The Curtis Brown Creative writing school is launching an annual novel-writing scholarship in honour of late thriller writer John le Carré, seeking out "compelling storytelling and political engagement".

The news comes six months after the death of the 89-year-old author, whose real name was David Cornwell. He was represented by Jonny Geller, c.e.o. of the Curtis Brown Group, for almost 15 years. 

A bursary will be funded by the Curtis Brown Literary and Talent Agency, with the support of the author’s family. Applications for the first scholarship are now open and will provide full funding for one talented writer of limited financial means to join Curtis Brown Creative’s three-month online Writing Your Novel course running from 6th September to 13th December. 

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Calling time on comps – Saturday May 29, 2021

It goes without saying that when agents, editors, publicists, marketeers and sales people have a book to get in the hands of readers, they use every means they can to ensure it is published well.

Unfortunately, to “publish well” has increasingly become a hopelessly standardized process, one in which every actor involved in the publishing process, according to the size of their respective companies, has to tick certain boxes in order to avoid savage retaliations from their fellow agents, editors, publicists, marketeers and sales people.

One of these boxes, which a Bookseller article pointed out this week, comes labelled “comparative titles”, i.e. those already-successful published titles to which a new book is compared when being pitched.

I am not sure when the habit of using comp titles became such a thing, nor why. I like to imagine that it started when an editor went to pitch a very quirky book to their publisher, and their publisher did not have time to read it so they asked the editor what it was like, and the editor said: “it is unlike anything that has been done before”. And the publisher said: “Let’s leave it, then. If no one has done it before, there is surely a reason why”. So from then on the editor learnt how to compare their picks to successful things which had been published in the past.

[Read the full article]

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