New Literary Agent Listing: Sophie Scard
firstwriter.com – Friday December 4, 2020
Actively building her client list, and is looking for excellent writing of all types, fiction or nonfiction. For submissions please email a brief cover letter along with a biographical note and the first 10,000 words of your text.
New Literary Agent Listing: Jen Marshall
firstwriter.com – Thursday December 3, 2020
Represents a range of fiction and nonfiction. She is most interested in: literary fiction, commercial fiction, crime, thrillers, style, pop culture, and compelling narrative nonfiction.
PRH Purchase of S&S Draws Objections
publishersweekly.com – Tuesday December 1, 2020
Following the announcement that Penguin Random House parent company Bertelsmann won the bidding war for Simon & Schuster with a $2.2 billion offer, members of the book business and related organizations have begun to weigh in.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Authors Guild laid out its opposition to the proposed deal. The sale "would mean that the combined publishing house would account for approximately 50% of all trade books published, creating a huge imbalance in the U.S. publishing industry," the Guild said. (Penguin Random House's global CEO, Markus Dohle, told PW that he believes PRH's publishing market share is about 14.2% and S&S's 4.2%, including self-publishing; others have estimated the combined companies' market share would amount to roughly one third of the U.S. book market.)
New Magazine Listing: Scribbler Arts and Literary Magazine
firstwriter.com – Friday November 27, 2020
Magazine aimed at children and young adults, publishing original work by children aged 7-13. Submit up to 5 poems or up to 3,000 words of prose.
The Monster Publishing Merger Is About Amazon
theatlantic.com – Thursday November 26, 2020
Penguin Random House purchasing Simon & Schuster is not the gravest danger to the publishing business. The deal is transpiring in a larger context—and that context is Amazon.
In 1960, Dwight Eisenhower’s attorney general, William Rogers, read the paper with alarm. He learned that Random House intended to purchase the venerable publisher Alfred A. Knopf. Rogers began making calls to prod his antitrust division into blocking the sale. In those days, monopoly loomed as a central concern of government—and a competitive book business was widely seen as essential to preserving both intellectual life and democracy. After checking with his sources, Rogers discovered that the merger would yield a company that controlled a mere 1 percent of the book market, and he let the matter drop.
Not so long ago, Democratic and Republican administrations alike wouldn’t hesitate to block a merger like the one proposed today, which intends to fold the giant publisher Simon & Schuster into the even more gigantic Penguin Random House. How big would the combined company be? By one estimate, it might publish a third of all books in the U.S. This deal is so expansive that it’s hard to find an author to write about it who isn’t somehow implicated. Based on the odds, I suppose, it’s not terribly surprising to reveal that I’m published by Penguin Random House.
New Agent Listing: Will Lippincott
firstwriter.com – Thursday November 26, 2020
Agent based in Los Angeles. Interested in politics, journalistic narratives, history, health, technology, and memoir, with a special focus on multi-media storytelling.
Penguin Random House to Buy Simon & Schuster for $2.175 Billion
lunch.publishersmarketplace.com – Wednesday November 25, 2020
ViacomCBS announced Wednesday morning that it has a definitive agreement to sell Simon & Schuster to Penguin Random House for $2.175 billion in cash, “from existing liquid funds.” The transaction is expected to close in 2021, with S&S ceo Jonathan Karp telling staff that will “likely” happen “in the second half of 2021 at the earliest.” It is subject to regulatory approvals — primarily in the US — and competing bidders such as HarperCollins parent News Corp. have already declared they believe “it will clearly be a serious antitrust issue.” Bertelsmann has already indicated it does not expect approval issues. (Internal PRH documents on “messaging” with industry partners about the deal acknowledges “rumors” they “will face antitrust challenges because of our size” and asserts “these are not grounded in fact and we assume may be perpetuated by competitors.”) The agreement includes a termination fee in the event the acquisition fails to win approval.
CBC launches Breakthrough Writers' Programme
thebookseller.com – Wednesday November 25, 2020
The Curtis Brown Creative Writing School is launching a Breakthrough Writers’ Programme, which features fully funded courses, mentoring and scholarships for underrepresented writers.
The programme – which is intended to run for a minimum of three years – aims to seek out writers and deliver teaching and industry advice, through interaction with successful authors, agents and publishers.
The programme of courses and mentoring is fully funded by Curtis Brown Group and its literary agents. Opportunities are targeted to address specific barriers to entry and will commence in February 2021.
New Literary Agent Listing: Zoe Ross
firstwriter.com – Monday November 23, 2020
Works with a list of writers ranging from exciting new voices in literary fiction and narrative non-fiction, to award-winning food writers and academics. With a background in modern languages and psychoanalysis, she has a particular taste for stylish prose, sly humour and complex characterisation in fiction, and for challenging ideas and questions of identity across all genres.
Does Twitter pitching work?
thebookseller.com – Sunday November 22, 2020
As this week’s FutureBook20 conference has shown, this is a year where change is at the top of the agenda for the publishing industry. And when it comes to changing the sort of books that get published and the sort of authors whose voices are heard, broadening the acquisition process is crucial.
Approaching literary agencies and publishers can feel intimidating to new writers, especially those who feel they don’t traditionally ‘belong’ in the trade. One way publishers, agencies and individual agents and editors have been trying to broaden the net and make the process feel more approachable is through social media.
But does it work?
US-based pitching project #PitchMad, and Curtis Brown’s UK equivalent, #PitchCB, are two of the highest-profile examples. Richard Pike, who was one of the Curtis Brown agents supervising the hashtag, explains the rationale behind the initiative.
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