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Writers' News

New indie publishing company aims to do things a little differently

nypost.com – Sunday September 19, 2021

Zibby Owens has interviewed nearly 1,000 authors in about 3 ½ years for her popular podcast, “Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books” (don’t let the title fool you: They do have time to read books, they just need a curated list of recommendations to help them cut through the overwhelming number of titles). Over the course of such conversations, and countless other opportunities to witness the publishing industry up close, an idea began to take shape: Why not start her own publishing company, and do things a little differently? 

Last week, the NYC native announced the start of Zibby Books, which she will launch as part of Zibby Owens Media with publishing veteran Leigh Newman. Starting in January 2023, Zibby Books will publish 12 books a year, a mix of memoir and fiction from debut and established authors. 

“I figured if we published more than a book a month, I’d just be competing with myself for readers’ time,” says Owens. “Plus I want readers to not only read our books, but all types of books from all types of publishers in different genres. Some of the books we’ve acquired already are by people who I’ve told, ‘You should write a book!’ ” 

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Book Publishing's Rousing First Half of 2021

publishersweekly.com – Sunday September 12, 2021

By any measure, the first half of 2021 was a good period for trade book publishing. Revenue at the companies that report trade sales to the Association of American Publishers’ StatShot program rose 17.6% over the first six months of 2020; NPD BookScan reported that unit sales increased 18.5% in the period; and bookstore sales jumped 30% over what was a miserable first six months of 2020. So it comes as no surprise that the four publicly traded major publishers also posted strong increases in the period.

Of particular note is the fact that while sales were strong, profits were even better, with operating margins showing healthy gains. In general, the publishers cited higher sales of both backlist books and digital content, especially digital audiobooks, for the improved margins. Though supply chain issues and the uncertainty over the delta variant are causing some concerns about how the rest of the year will unfold, publishers are hoping that the increased interest in reading will carry over through the 2021 holiday season and beyond.

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Jerome leaves Aevitas to join Curtis Brown

thebookseller.com – Wednesday September 8, 2021

Natalie Jerome has left Aevitas Creative Management (ACM) after two years to join Curtis Brown as a literary agent. 

She will continue to be based in Newport, Wales, and began work at Curtis Brown on 1st September. 

Jerome has been an independent agent with Aevitas since 2019, with clients including Lenny Henry and David Harewood, and she was shortlisted for Literary Agent of the Year at the British Book Awards 2021. Previously she worked at a senior commissioning level at publishers including Ebury, Pan Macmillan, HarperCollins and Bonnier.

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‘Unreal’: Samaritans volunteer has life turned around by six-figure book deal

theguardian.com – Monday September 6, 2021

A man living below the poverty line, helping others as a volunteer with the Samaritans, who self-published a book after literary agents showed no interest in his earlier work has had his book snapped up in a six-figure deal by publishers in 20 countries so far.

James Norbury, a 44-year-old self-taught artist and writer, who lives in Swansea, has had his life turned around after his collection of drawings of two unlikely friends – a panda and a dragon – captioned with life-enhancing proverbs, was picked up in the deal, an extraordinary achievement for a debut author.

[Read the full article]

Why authors are turning down lucrative deals in favour of Substack

theguardian.com – Sunday September 5, 2021

The subscription newsletter platform Substack announced on Wednesday it had signed an exclusive deal with Salman Rushdie – but he is just the latest in a growing number of authors making the leap to write serialised fiction delivered straight to the inboxes of subscribers who pay a monthly fee.

Several comic book writers and artists have announced lucrative deals to provide exclusive content for the California-based company founded four years ago, in some cases eschewing contracts with Marvel and DC to do so.

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'Devastating' copyright changes could put 64% of publisher revenue at risk

thebookseller.com – Wednesday September 1, 2021

Changes to current copyright laws could put up to 64% of publisher book revenue at risk, according to research by the Publishers Association (PA).

The PA says a post-Brexit move towards an international exhaustion regime being consulted on by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) would “spell disaster” for the UK industry with a projected loss of up to £2.2bn per year. It warns many small and medium sized businesses would be unlikely to survive and widespread job losses would be “inevitable”.

Authors and illustrators would also be hit, with up to £506m per year of their incomes at risk, making those professions unattainable for many, the PA says. There would also be a knock on effect for other creative industries, while big retail chains could reap the benefits, to the disadvantage of UK high street stores.

[Read the full article]

Indie Publishers Encouraged by 2021 Results

publishersweekly.com – Sunday August 29, 2021

In our second installment on how independent publishers are faring in 2021, presses reported a generally good year through the first six months of 2021, and while they are optimistic about the rest of the year, uncertainty about how the supply chain will hold up is raising concerns.

New Press had a record year in 2020, and publisher Ellen Adler doesn’t think the publisher will reach that sales level again anytime soon. “Beginning in May and continuing well into the fall, sales in 2020 were through the roof,” she said. Like some other publishers, New Press is using 2019 as a comparison for 2021, and by that gauge sales are up 29% from the same period in 2019.

[Read the full article]

Noirwich Crime Writing Festival to return this September

edp24.co.uk – Friday August 27, 2021

Noirwich Crime Writing Festival, the region’s largest annual celebration of crime writing and one of the fastest-growing literary festivals in the UK, returns to the city next month.

If you’re an avid reader, a budding writer or interested in the craft of literary translation, Noirwich is the perfect opportunity to discover new writers and sharpen your creative skills.

Now in its eighth year, Noirwich interrogates the present and future of the world today through the lens of crime writing. Many incredible writers have attended in recent years, including Val McDermid, Attica Locke, Nicci French, Lee Child, Ian Rankin, Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, Oyinkan Braithwaite and many more.

[Read the full article]

'The goal is to be as big as Penguin': Ilford writer on her publishing company for teen authors

ilfordrecorder.co.uk – Tuesday August 24, 2021

An Ilford woman who launched a publishing company for young authors is celebrating the publication of its seventh book. 

Eleni Sophia, 22, founded Perspective Press after being frustrated by publishers’ lack of interest in teenage writers. 

“When I was 13 I had written a novella but I was constantly getting rejected from publishers because I was too young,” she claimed. 

[Read the full article]

Line-up revealed for Bloody Scotland crime-writing festival

thenational.scot – Thursday August 19, 2021

AUTHORS Stephen King, Karin Slaughter and Ian Rankin are among those who will be taking part in a hybrid crime-writing book festival next month.

The Bloody Scotland festival will feature in-person events while some authors will join digitally from elsewhere, with audiences able to watch live in Stirling or online.

King, Kathy Reichs, Slaughter, Lee Child and Linwood Barclay are among those who will be beamed into the city’s Albert Halls where interviewers will be present to question them in front of a live and digital audience.

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