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Writers' News

For Publishers, 2018 Is Off to a Decent Start

publishersweekly.com – Saturday May 19, 2018

The four large publicly traded consumer publishers that recently reported their financial results for the quarter ended March 31 were all able to point to some good financial news.

HarperCollins had the best results, with sales up 6.4% compared to the same quarter last year and profits rising 16.2%. In a conference call discussing results, Susan Panuccio, CFO of HC parent company News Corp, said the sales gains were led by the general and Christian publishing divisions. Backlist titles did particularly well, accounting for 58% of revenue in the quarter, compared to 52% a year ago, Panuccio said. She added that the strong performance of the backlist helped to boost margins.

[Read the full article]

Chambers and HarperCollins launch writing bursary

thebookseller.com – Saturday May 19, 2018

Crime author Kimberley Chambers and HarperCollins have launched a writing scholarship, the 'Kickstart Prize', in association with Peters Fraser and Dunlop (PFD) Literary Agency and CrimeFest.

The prize, announced at Crimefest in Bristol on Saturday (19th May), aims to "kick open doors to writers who need a leg up into the world of publishing", through a £1,000 bursary to help with writing essentials, time with Chambers’ editor, writing tips and feedback, and an offer of representation from PFD.

[Read the full article]

Writers Of all Ages Encouraged To Enter Africa Day Writing Competition

hotpress.com – Wednesday May 16, 2018

Now in its fourth year, the competition marks Africa Day 2018 celebrations and offers a platform for emerging talent, as well as established writers of all ages.

Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciarán Cannon has announced that Irish Aid has again partnered with The Irish Times on an African-themed short story and poetry competition.

Entries are invited across three categories: Primary School, Secondary School and Adult. Writers are invited to submit a short story or poem relating to the relationships and interactions between Ireland and Africa.

[Read the full article]

Novelist Tim Winton left 'deeply wounded' by axing of his publisher Ben Ball

smh.com.au – Wednesday May 16, 2018

Leading Australian novelist Tim Winton says he has been left "deeply wounded" by the decision of the country's biggest publishing company, Penguin Random House, to axe his highly respected publisher, Ben Ball.

Ball was appointed publishing director of the newly created Penguin Random House Literary division less than a year ago and has an illustrious career publishing literary heavyweights including Winton, Peter Carey, Robert Drewe and Sonya Hartnett.

[Read the full article]

Marian Keyes to fund Curtis Brown scholarship for budding author

thebookseller.com – Tuesday May 15, 2018

Bestselling author Marian Keyes is funding a £2,600 place on Curtis Brown’s online six-month writing course for one “talented writer with limited financial means”.

Keyes is providing financial support for the place on Curtis Brown Creative’s (CBC) next novel-writing course starting in September.

The scholarship will be awarded on the basis of quality of material – applicants fulfilling the eligibility criteria should send in the opening 3,000 words and one-page synopsis for the novel they would like to work on during the course.

[Read the full article]

Amazon Publishing launches non-fiction arm

thebookseller.com – Monday May 14, 2018

Amazon Publishing is breaking into non-fiction in the UK through imprint Little A.

The retailer's publishing arm has been “keen to explore quality non-fiction from UK authors for some time”, according to editorial director Laura Deacon, and is calling on agents to submit a broad range of titles ranging from history, science, lifestyle and popular culture. Agents The Bookseller spoke to have greeted the news with enthusiasm.

Amazon Publishing currently publishes fiction under four imprints in the UK: Thomas & Mercer, Lake Union Publishing, Montlake Romance and 47 North. In the US, Little A publishes literary fiction and non-fiction, but in the UK it will currently just focus on non-fiction.

[Read the full article]

Daily Mail and PRH launch third £20k writers' competition

thebookseller.com – Tuesday May 8, 2018

The Daily Mail and Penguin Random House have launched the third year of their nationwide competition to search for a new writing talent.

The winner will receive a £20,000 advance and publishing contract with PRH imprint Century and the services of literary agent Luigi Bonomi.

Entrants are invited to submit the first 5,000 words of their novel, along with a 600-word synopsis. Submissions can be of any adult genre except for saga, science fiction and fantasy. Entrants must not have had a novel published before.

The competition will be judged by a panel of experts: author and TV presenter Fern Britton; Bonomi, managing director of LBA Literary Agents; crime writer Simon Kernick; the Daily Mail's literary editor Sandra Parsons; and Selina Walker, publisher for Century & Arrow.

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An Indian-American filmmaker wants fans to help 'fix' Simpsons character Apu

digitalspy.com – Friday May 4, 2018

Indian-American filmmaker Adi Shankar has come up with a solution to the problem of The Simpsons' character Apu: he wants to hand the character over to the fans for a rewrite.

The character has become the subject of controversy in recent months, especially after the release of 2017 documentary The Problem With Apuwhich discussed the way the long-running TV series has helped to perpetuate the (negative) stereotypes of Indian-Americans, as well as the problems of having a white actor putting on a heavy accent to voice the character.

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Michael Lynton, David Steinberger Buy Arcadia Publishing

publishersweekly.com – Wednesday May 2, 2018

Two former book publishing CEOs have teamed up for a series of acquisitions in the book field. The first of those purchases has just closed—Lezen Acquisition LLC has purchased Arcadia Publishing, the Charleston, S.C.-based publisher that specializes in doing books on local history.

Lezen was formed by Michael Lynton and his sister Lili. Prior to serving as CEO of Sony Entertainment, Lynton had been CEO of Penguin. He will serve as non-executive chairman of Arcadia.

[Read the full article]

Traditional Publishing Ebook Sales Dropped 10% In 2017

forbes.com – Sunday April 29, 2018

Traditional publishers sold 10% fewer ebook units in 2017 compared with the previous year, according to data released by PubTrack Digital. Total sales were 162 million in 2017 rather than the 180 million units sold the year before.

The news won't come as a surprise to anyone who has followed traditional ebook sales trends over the past few years: Nielsen's reports put 2016 ebook unit sales from the top 30 traditional publishers down a full 16% from their 2015 numbers. But this isn't a comeback story for print, and shouldn't be considered evidence of a waning public interest in ebooks. The fact that traditionally published ebook sales fell 10% last year isn't the full picture. As traditional publishers saw sales drop, audiences moved to indie publishers, largely on Amazon. The reason, according to Jonathan Stolper, who was the SVP and global managing director for Nielsen Book in 2016, comes down to pricing. Nielsen’s Books and Consumers survey, according to a Publishers Weekly paraphrase of Stolper, found "that price is the top priority for e-book buyers when considering which book to purchase." In 2015, the Big Five publishing houses raised ebook prices to around $8 a book, far higher than the $3-a-book price point independent publishers settled on.

[Read the full article]

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