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Writers' News

Students crowdfund to launch writing anthology

thebookseller.com – Wednesday June 6, 2018

An anthology of work by students on the University of Warwick's MA in Writing programme is to be launched next week, after students crowd-funded the £5,000 needed to publish the title.

The anthology – manifest: New writing from Warwick – features the work of 21 students on the Warwick MA in Writing and includes poetry and prose, fiction and non-fiction, a mix of full stand-alone pieces and excerpts from longer works, and a foreword from novelist Gonzalo C Garcia. 

Students used the university's newly-launched crowdfunding platform, Spark, to recruit almost 100 ‘Friends of Manifest’ who each contributed towards the cost of publication and launch of the work. 

[Read the full article]

PFD rebrands e-book imprint

thebookseller.com – Saturday June 2, 2018

Literary agency Peters Fraser + Dunlop is to rebrand its e-book list Ipso Books as Agora Books, and will look to expand its digital output with commercial frontlist titles.

Ipso Books was launched in September 2015, drawing on PFD’s estates business, with titles from the likes of Eric Ambler and Margery Allingham. The rationale was that in cases where publishers did not want to publish deep backlist titles, or did not have the rights, the agency would make them available to readers via e-book and print on demand.

Agora will also now seek to publish new writing, leading its push with Missing Pieces, a début novel by Laura Pearson, on 21st June, part of a three-book deal the list has struck with the writer.

[Read the full article]

Diane Banks' agency rebrands with backing from Luke Johnson

thebookseller.com – Thursday May 31, 2018

Diane Banks Associates has relaunched as creative talent agency Northbank Talent Management, aiming to be a “new force in the agenting world”, in collaboration with business leader Luke Johnson, who is financially backing the venture.

Northbank's c.e.o. Diane Banks approached Johnson, formerly chair of Channel 4, last year with the idea of creating a “360 degree service”. The revamped agency will now give equal weighting to books, broadcast, brand licensing and public speaking.

Agent Kate Burke will be responsible for the fiction side of the books strand and Chloe Seager will oversee children’s, young adult and fantasy. Northbank’s executive director Martin Redfern will deal with non-fiction, James Carroll will handle broadcast and brand licensing, while Northbank's non-executive director Alex Hickman will head up the public speaking bureau which aims to be "market beating". Banks promises that "Alex and I will use our combined experience of the bureau and talent management models respectively to create a new model which integrates the two". 

[Read the full article]

Banker sets up new publishing house offering budding novelists £24,000 annual salary

inews.co.uk – Wednesday May 30, 2018

Jonathan De Montfort knew he wanted to be a novelist at the age of 15, but went into banking after his parents encouraged him to pursue a more stable career.

It was when he took a break from his job as a hedge fund manager and finally sat down to write his book that he saw a gap in the publishing market.

The banker’s new publishing house, De Montfort Literature, offers new writers £24,000 a year to join its ranks while they write, develop and produce their novel. The aim of the company is to “make being a novelist a valid career choice for aspiring writers”, while also creating more best-selling writers, it states.

[Read the full article]

Writers & Books launches The Ladder literary conference

rochestercitynewspaper.com – Wednesday May 30, 2018

Writers are all too familiar with dry spells, creative roadblocks, and blank-page totalitarianism. The analogies are plentiful, and for good reason. But once victory is claimed -- finished manuscript raised triumphantly in the air -- what next?

In part, this is exactly the question that Writers & Books and its Executive Director Kyle Semmel want to answer with the new literary conference called The Ladder. The June 16 conference at Rochester Riverfront Hotel will be a marathon: a day-long boot camp featuring the expertise of more than 40 literature industry professionals -- published writers, editors, agents, and assorted panelists among them -- and 12 different workshops, all designed to help writers up their game.

[Read the full article]

We're entering a golden age for radical publishing

thebookseller.com – Monday May 28, 2018

Hosted by the Alliance of Radical Booksellers (ARB), the London Radical Bookfair, held on this Saturday 2nd June, brings together a diverse community of radical booksellers and publishers from across the UK, showcasing the depth and breadth of radical publishing today.

But what does ‘radical’ really mean?

The Latin origin of the word denotes a change ‘from the root’ - and certainly a desire to create meaningful and positive social change from the ground up is what all those present on the day, booksellers and visitors alike, will have in common. Finding a single word to define a wide range of political positions is always going to fail to capture the many complexities covered: ‘radical’ is an imperfect word, but it is one with a rich tradition within British political struggle.

[Read the full article]

Another Romance Author In #CockyGate-Level Move

goodereader.com – Saturday May 26, 2018

Ah, who can forget only a couple of weeks ago when a romance author destroyed any hope of having a career and a dedicated following by being a jerk to other authors? Dubbed #cockygate, author Faleena Hopkins filed a dubious trademark-slash-wordmark on the word “cocky” as it pertains to her Cocky Brothers book series. She then moved forward with threatening other authors who had used the very same word in their titles, despite the fact that her wordmark was for the logo she created of the book series.

[Read the full article]

Publishers urge government on e-book VAT ahead of crunch EU meeting

thebookseller.com – Saturday May 26, 2018

Publishers are urging the UK government to support measures that would allow VAT to be removed on e-books, audiobooks and online newspaper and magazine subscriptions in the UK. 

At a European Union meeting today (25th May) taking place in Brussels, finance ministers will consider new proposals that would allow all member states to reduce the amount of VAT they apply to e-publications, or not tax them at all.

[Read the full article]

Poetry Gone Viral

tabletmag.com – Tuesday May 22, 2018

“Every revolution in poetry is apt to be … a return to common speech,” wrote T. S. Eliot in his essay “The Music of Poetry.” Indeed, the spikes of poetry’s popularity, in our time, have been directly related to poets’ attempts to bring poetry back to the masses—and to speak, again, the vernacular language of the street. This happened in T. S. Eliot’s days with the advent of Modernism. It happened again with the Beats in the 1950s. Bob Dylan single-handedly brought on another wave with his poetic lyrics in the 1960s. Slam Poetry happened in the 1980s, and was reincarnated as Def Poetry Jam in 2000s.

Today, a new poetic revolution may be afoot.

Caroline Kaufman is a Harvard freshman, and her collection light filters in is being published by Harper Collins this week. As Kaufman pointed out to me during a recent interview over Zoom video conferencing, she didn’t seek out the publisher. Instead, the agent, Penny Moore at Empire Literary, approached her, having noticed Caroline’s Instagram account, @PoeticPoison, which now has more than 220,000 followers.

[Read the full article]

Traditional publishers’ ebook sales drop as indie authors and Amazon take off

geekwire.com – Saturday May 19, 2018

Ebook sales are dying. Ebooks are insanely popular.

If the short definition of cognitive dissonance is holding two contradictory ideas to be true, ebooks are about as dissonant as digital content gets.

Yet ebooks may also represent a chapter in the still-being-written story of how keeping track of what’s happening with content hasn’t always kept pace with the technology that’s transformed it.

Let’s start with the bad news. Two new sets of numbers covering 2017 show ebook sales are on the decline, both in terms of unit and dollar sales.

The first, released in April by market research firm NPD’s PubTrack Digital, saw the unit sales of ebooks fall 10 percent in 2017 compared to 2016. In absolute numbers, that meant the roughly 450 publishers represented saw ebook sales drop from 180 million units to 162 million over a year’s time.

The second, just released by the American Association of Publishers, reported a decline in overall revenue for ebooks, a year-to-year decrease of 4.7 percent in 2017. AAP tracks sales data from more than 1,200 publishers.

[Read the full article]

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