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Writers' News

'Godfather of the industry' Michael Sissons dies

thebookseller.com – Wednesday August 29, 2018

Veteran literary agent and “godfather of the industry” Michael Sissons has died aged 83.

Various agents have paid tribute to Sissons who died on Saturday (August 24th), following a stellar career which saw him representing names such as Simon Schama, Margaret Drabble and William Hague, setting up the Association of Authors' Agents, and overseeing PFD for almost half a century before acting as a senior consultant for the agency for the last decade.

“I would say that he was the godfather of the industry,” said Caroline Michel, c.e.o. of PFD, who had known Sissons for 30 years, since before she entered the publishing industry.

[Read the full article]

2019 edition of Writers' Handbook now available to buy

firstwriter.com – Saturday August 25, 2018

The 2019 edition of firstwriter.com’s bestselling directory for writers is the perfect book for anyone searching for literary agents, book publishers, or magazines. It contains over 1,300 listings, including revised and updated listings from the 2018 edition, and over 400 brand new entries.

[Read the full article]

#shareyourrejection is exactly the hashtag we need right now

artshub.com.au – Thursday August 23, 2018

It hasn't quite taken off in Australia yet, but hopefully that is only a matter of time. Maybe Peter Dutton will get us started.

#shareyourrejection is the latest hashtag to highlight the reality of rejection in the arts and creative industries, and to show once again that resilience is key to any creative career. 

This will make you laugh and wince and understand the poetic power of revenge.

[Read the full article]

Publishers Association corrects key figure on author pay

thebookseller.com – Sunday August 19, 2018

The Publishers Association (PA) has admitted a key figure it released on author pay was wrong; in fact authors received more money from publishers in 2016 than previously thought, with the figure first cited close to £190m out. 

Writing in The Bookseller this week Stephen Lotinga, c.e.o. of the PA, said that a report released by the trade body in March, conducted by Frontier Economics, incorrectly calculated that the total payments consumer authors received in 2016 were £161m, based on advances, royalties, secondary licensing and rights.

However, Lotinga said the correct figure with the inclusion of advances stood at around £350m - a leap of £189m.

The report caused a furore when it was originally released earlier this year, with the Society of Authors (SoA) calculating that writers received around 3% of publishers' turnover in 2016 when taking into account the £161m figure, while publishers' profit margins were much higher.

[Read the full article]

Indie publishers unite for new podcast

thebookseller.com – Sunday August 19, 2018

Canongate, Faber and Profile imprint Serpent's Tail are launching a fortnightly podcast to champion independent publishing, authors and bookshops.

Read Like a Writeis hosted by journalist Anna Fielding and each episode will feature authors recommending their favourite books, often around a theme such as childhood favourites or favourite classics, and talking about their own work. They will also discuss their favourite local independent bookshop and its importance in their lives.

The first episode, featuring Matt Haig, has been released, with Shaun Bythell, Gina Miller, Sarah Perry, Elizabeth Foley and Beth Coates all lined up for future episodes.

[Read the full article]

Why Authors Are Earning Less Even As Book Sales Rise

forbes.com – Sunday August 12, 2018

HarperCollins reported $490 million in sales for the last quarter on Thursday, up $83 million from the same quarter in 2017, partially due to rising digital audiobook and ebook sales. It's just the latest confirmation that traditional book publishers are doing well for themselves: The Publishers Association recently found the UK publishing industry's £5.7 billion in book sales income to be up 5% over the year prior.

That's in contrast to a June 2018 report out from the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society that holds author earnings have dipped by 42% over the last ten years, and that median annual income for professional authors is now below £10,500. How can author earnings slip so far even as book publishers' incomes continue to rise? There's no simple answer, but plenty of factors contribute to the seeming disparity.

[Read the full article]

ICM Promotes Three to Agents

variety.com – Tuesday August 7, 2018

Talent agency ICM Partners has promoted three to agents.

ICM upped Celestine Au and Madeline Feder to agents in the talent department, and Viviane Telio to agent in the motion picture literary department.

Au started at ICM in 2015, spending two years as a talent department assistant before being promoted to talent department coordinator last year. Au was recognized as one of Variety’s 10 Assistants to Watch in 2017 and is part of Time’s Up Next Gen. She was born in Hong Kong and raised in Shanghai before moving to the U.S. to attend UCLA, where she completed 12 internships and graduated with a degree in communication studies. She is fluent in Mandarin and has traveled to China with ICM agents, acting as an interpreter, and helping the team close deals and sign clients.

[Read the full article]

Agent Danielle Smith’s Former Clients Speak Out

publishersweekly.com – Thursday August 2, 2018

The children’s book publishing world has been roiling for the past week over the disclosure that Danielle Smith, the principal of Lupine Grove Creative, an agency specializing in children’s and YA authors, acted more like a literary grifter than a literary agent. Since Smith emailed a letter to her clients on July 24, confessing that recently she had “not handled a situation as well as I should have” and thus was dissolving the agency effective immediately, 19 former clients have reached out to PW, sharing tales of a pattern of malfeasance that has shaken their confidence and adversely affected their careers.

According to some former clients, she claimed to have had offers in hand that didn’t exist, such as, one author requesting anonymity disclosed, a $50,000 two-book deal. She informed others that editors had expressed interest in their submissions, but subsequently told them that either the editors had then lost interest or had outright rejected those submissions. Clients also complained about Smith’s refusal to communicate with them honestly and in a timely fashion, as well as the lack of transparency, including a reluctance to render submission lists to them upon request. A few clients allege that she even forged emails from editors and passed this correspondence along to them.

[Read the full article]

Judith Appelbaum, a Guide for Would-Be Authors, Dies at 78

nytimes.com – Monday July 30, 2018

Judith Appelbaum, whose almost 60-year career in book publishing became a crusade to make the industry better — for writers, publishers and readers — died on Wednesday at her home in Bedford, N.Y. She was 78.

Alan Appelbaum, her husband of 57 years, said the cause was ovarian cancer.

Ms. Appelbaum held numerous jobs in the book publishing industry. During the early 1980s she was managing editor of Publishers Weekly and wrote the “Paperback Talk” column for The New York Times Book Review. But her best-remembered and most influential project may have been the 1978 book “How to Get Happily Published: A Complete and Candid Guide,” which she wrote with Nancy Evans.

[Read the full article]

Marjacq to push further into the heart of the action in its 45th year

thebookseller.com – Sunday July 29, 2018

Despite concerns about the "Spotification of literature" and the unknowns of Brexit, Marjacq’s director Guy Herbert is in an upbeat mood as he welcomes me to the central London office of the boutique literary agency, which turns 45 this year.

What follows is a more chaotic interview than the average company profile for The Bookseller, as his six-agent team piles into the small meeting space along with their leader. We are forced to conduct the interview in two stages as there are not enough chairs to fit all the staff in, but the conversation that follows is peppered with the words "collegiate" and "collaborative", and it is clear that these phrases are not merely paying lip service.

[Read the full article]

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