How Have Publishers Survived the Pandemic? ‘It’s Kind of a Miracle’
thetyee.ca – Tuesday August 10, 2021
When the pandemic arrived, it hit the book business hard, closing stores, tying up titles in backed-up warehouses and threatening the survival of publishers — including British Columbia’s vibrant sector of smaller presses.
A year and half later, the virus that altered every corner of the economy has spurred changes for publishing. One effect: More of us are reading and in different ways. Another: More of us are writing books, which has produced a surge in self-publishing.
Abbott, Peace and Cha headline Noirwich Crime Writing Festival
thebookseller.com – Saturday July 31, 2021
Megan Abbott will deliver this year's Noirwich Crime Writing Festival Lecture, focusing on adaptation and crime writing in the era of Netflix and HBO.
The festival is now in its eighth year and will run from 9th–12th September, delivered by the National Centre for Writing and the University of East Anglia (UEA). This year's festival will be a hybrid programme with in-person creative writing workshops at Dragon Hall, as well as free online events to extend the reach to international audiences.
Joining Abbott in topping the bill are David Peace and Korean-American novelist Steph Cha, who won the Los Angeles Times Book Award for her crime fiction novel Your House Will Pay (Faber). The programme will also include a showcase of new voices in crime writing from UEA’s MA programme and a celebration of over 50 years of creative writing at the university. Further programme announcements will be made in the coming weeks.
Conservative children’s publisher Brave Books debuts with ‘Elephants Are Not Birds’
nypost.com – Sunday July 25, 2021
A new conservative publishing house wants to get the “wokeness” out of bedtime.
Launching this week, Brave Books will focus exclusively on stories for kids, and offers parents “a conservative alternative to the current cultural activism that our children are being taught in schools, in the entertainment they watch and the books they read,” according to their website.
Company CEO Trent Talbot, who had his first child a little more than a year ago, conceived of Brave Books when, he said, he started to notice “that there is a real war going on for the hearts and minds of our kids. And everywhere I looked was propaganda,” the Montgomery, Texas-based dad told The Post.
Why Ireland’s literary journals are brilliant stepping stones for emerging writers
independent.ie – Monday July 12, 2021
None of us foresaw how long lockdown would last or what the outcome would be. One unexpected result has been an increase in the number of people who have used the time to tap into their creativity and get writing. And to cater for the increase in output, there has been a surge in new literary journals and online publications.
Tolka, Beir Bua, Strukturiss, Riverbed Review and Sonder are just some of the new titles being created to publish, in a variety of forms, writers’ experiences.
Literary Cleveland's 2021 Inkubator Writing Conference features nationally recognized writers, interactive workshops
news5cleveland.com – Wednesday July 7, 2021
CLEVELAND — Literary Cleveland’s annual Inkubator Writing Conference is back this summer with more than 30 free events for writers and readers.
The virtual conference taking place from July 11 through July 25 will offer a wide range of interactive classes, craft talks, open mics and panel discussions.
Attendees will hear from nationally recognized writers including Viet Thanh Nguyen and Thrity Umrigar, along with a panel of New Yorker writers originally from Cleveland: Andy Borowitz, Mary Norris and Kathryn Schulz.
An all-star lineup of local authors will lead panels on writing in prisons, solutions journalism, ethical representation in literature, how storytelling can affect social change and writing about illness beyond the pandemic.
Children’s Book Imprint Heartdrum Focuses On Contemporary Native Stories
forbes.com – Monday June 28, 2021
HarperCollins Children’s Books and HarperTeen Native-focused imprint Heartdrum launched in January 2021 to “offer a wide range of innovative, unexpected, and heartfelt stories by Native creators, informed and inspired by lived experience, with an emphasis on the present and future of Indian Country and on the strength of young Native heroes.” Children’s book author Cynthia Leitich Smith is the imprint’s author-curator, and editor of one of Heartdrum’s first titles, Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids, released in February, as well as author of Sisters of the Neversea, released in June, both aimed at ages eight through twelve. Heartdrum has published nine titles to date, including repackagings of three of Smith’s novels: Rain Is Not My Indian Name, Jingle Dancer, and Indian Song.
Bergstrom unveils publishing consultancy and agency
thebookseller.com – Monday June 28, 2021
Abigail Bergstrom has launched a publishing consultancy and literary agency, Bergstrom Studio, “to break down the barrier between aspiring writers and the industry”.
Bergstrom Studio is a "360° publishing consultancy" which aims to help “emerging writers find their voice, turning good ideas into published books and writers into published authors", Bergstrom said. The announcement comes three months after she left Gleam Titles following five years with the company.
Her new venture will offer a range of services to help authors and build their brands. “The studio will offer an exciting range of bespoke editorial services and creative consultations, to help writers develop a commercially viable idea, finish their novel or realise a non-fiction proposal,” Bergstrom said. “The packages on offer also include IP development offerings for content formats – such as digital bookclubs, podcasts, newsletters – Bergstrom Studio will work with authors directly to help them cultivate an author brand and reach their readers.”
Writers’ conference will be held via Zoom
times-standard.com – Saturday June 26, 2021
The Mendocino Coast Writers’ Conference will hold its 32nd conference online via Zoom from Aug. 5 to 7.
This year’s conference faculty includes keynote speaker Wendy C. Ortiz, workshop leaders Lillian Li, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Saretta Morgan, Chris Dennis, Alex Sanchez, Suzanne Rivecca, Krys Malcolm Belc and Sam Krowchenko, and literary agents Elise Capron and Tricia Skinner, along with other special guests, writers and publishing experts. View the complete schedule by visiting http://mcwc.org.
Audio royalties come under scrutiny as sales of audiobooks continue to soar
thebookseller.com – Saturday June 26, 2021
Debate is raging in the publishing industry over whether authors are benefiting fairly from the audio and e-book boom, with concerns over the “Spotification” of books, as sales soared even further in lockdown.
Agents are urging for a greater share of royalties for authors beyond the standard 25% from these formats, while publishers argue writers do receive their fair share.
According to the Publishers Association’s recent Publishing in 2020 report, audio downloads have soared by a third to a value of £133m (+37%), while consumer digital sales rose by almost a quarter to £418m (24%), of which £267m is domestic (+29%), across invoiced sales. Over the past five years, audio downloads have risen by 241% overall.
However, almost every agent who spoke to The Bookseller revealed concern for how authors are getting the “thin slice of the digital pie”. Caroline Michel, c.e.o. of PFD, believes the situation is too rigid. “Publishers very quickly made [e-books and audio] part of the volume rights to a book, but have stuck religiously to 25% of net receipts as a royalty. You get movement on backlist books... but when it comes to frontlist titles, it is pretty set. I know that publishers for certain authors—you know, the huge sellers—can get some movement, but for most authors it is set and publishers seem to treat it as a nice add-on rather than actually a pretty established format.
Imprints: Quarto and Bonnier UK’s New Lines
lunch.publishersmarketplace.com – Monday June 21, 2021
As previewed previously, Quarto will launch a new children’s imprint, Happy Yak, led by associate publisher Rhiannon Findlay. First titles will debut this summer, and the list will include board books, picture books, and more for children up to seven.