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Writers' News

Audiobooks Are Officially The Publishing Industry's 2018 Trend

forbes.com – Saturday September 1, 2018

Audible UK's 2017 revenues grew by 45% over the year prior and are now over £97 million. The news, out today from The Bookseller, aligns with similarly high audiobook sales and revenue numbers across the publishing industry. In 2018, digital audio is selling very well. 

In 2017, downloadable audio revenues across the rest of the publishing industry grew 28.8% over the previous year — not as impressive as Audible UK's growth, but far beyond any other format. In the first quarter of 2018, the format continued to grow: Digital audio was up 32.1% in Q1 2018. Ebook sales fell 3.2% in the same quarter.

[Read the full article]

OWN IT! founder launches literary agency

thebookseller.com – Thursday August 30, 2018

Multimedia publisher OWN IT! has launched a literary agency arm, signing author Courttia Newland as its first client.

Billed as a “storytelling lifestyle brand” spearheaded by founder Crystal Mahey-Morgan, the company already operates as a book publisher, a record label and an events arm. Mahey-Morgan will be OWN IT!’s main agent, helping to “diversify how it works with storytellers to include literary representation”. The company is currently negotiating with several sub-agents about a foreign rights partnership, according to a spokesperson for the organisation.

Mahey-Morgan's previous contract negotiation experience includes a year at PFD as well as a three-year stint in the contracts department at Penguin Random House between 2008 and 2012. She described setting up a literary agency as "an obvious next step for OWN IT!"

[Read the full article]

'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]

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]

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