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Writers' News

Religion Publishers See Growth in Children’s Books

publishersweekly.com – Wednesday May 10, 2017

New research shows that storybook Bibles, board books, and children’s devotionals are among the most popular books on the market in religion today, and Christian publishers are taking heed.

NPD BookScan presented a report at the 2016 Children’s Book Summit that revealed a compound annual growth rate of 4% in the children’s market from 2004-2015. (At the time the report was issued, BookScan was owned by Nielsen; in January, NPD Group acquired the research company.) Children’s religion book sales have jumped 22% from 2013-2016, according to BookScan (which tracks roughly 80% of print sales). The same report indicated that 11 of the top 20 bestselling religion titles from 2015-2016 were board books, while six were Bible storybooks.

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New Amazon Buy Button Program Draws Ire of Publishers, Authors

publishersweekly.com – Tuesday May 9, 2017

A new program from Amazon is drawing a range of reactions from those across the publishing industry, from fear to downright anger. The e-tailer has started allowing third-party book re-sellers to "win" buy buttons on book pages. The program, publishers, agents, and authors allege, is discouraging customers from buying new books, negatively affecting sales and revenue.

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Record year for UK publishing

printweek.com – Saturday April 29, 2017

2016 was a record-breaking year for the UK publishing industry, according to the latest figures from the Publishers Association.

Sales of books and journals reached £4.8bn last year – their highest ever level. The increase in sales of 7% on the previous year is the largest growth in a decade, when in 2007 digital was included for the first time.

Physical book sales grew by 8% to £3bn, rising to the highest level since 2012. Overall digital sales, meanwhile, grew by 6% to £1.7bn despite a continuation of the drop in e-book sales, which fell by 3% to £538m.

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Famous novelist turned down by over 100 publishers dies

usatoday.com – Thursday April 27, 2017

It was a novel that made history after it was turned down by more than 100 publishers. Robert Pirsig, author of “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” has died. He was 88-years-old. Aaron Dickens reports.

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David Mamet to Teach Online Drama Writing Course

variety.com – Thursday April 20, 2017

David Mamet, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, screenwriter, and director of such works as “Glengarry Glen Ross,” “American Buffalo,” and “Wag the Dog” will offer his first-ever online writing class through Silicon Valley startup MasterClass.

The class, which will cost $90, will launch later in the spring. In the course, Mamet will teach writing for both the theater and screen, with lessons on how to structure a plot, create compelling characters, write dialogue, and create a compelling scene. Pre-enrollment for Mamet’s class is open now (at this link).

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The Devil’s Door: A call for contributions

dark-mountain.net – Thursday April 13, 2017

Each year, we publish two books: a spring anthology which follows in the line of our early issues, and an autumn special issue, whose editors get to play with other ways of making a Dark Mountain book, while pushing deeper into a theme on which this project touches. We started doing this two years ago with Techne, followed by last October’s Uncivilised Poetics. This year, we are planning a special issue on the theme of ‘the sacred’. Today, as we announce our call for contributions, Dark Mountain co-founder Dougald Hine explains why we chose this theme, what we understand by it, and the different approach we are taking to the submissions process this time around.

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Publishers Did Marginally Better in 2016

publishersweekly.com – Sunday April 2, 2017

Four of the five large publicly held trade publishers managed to improve their operating margins in 2016 over 2015, despite generally weak revenue performances.

Penguin Random House, which reported its results last week, saw revenue fall 9.6% in 2016, to €3.36 billion, but since EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) dropped only 3.6%, its operating margin in the year rose to 16%, from 15% in 2015. In a letter to employees, PRH CEO Markus Dohle said that a key to maintaining strong profitability levels has been the company’s commitment to “preserving a vital and vibrant bookselling community” as well as “maximizing efficiencies in our cutting-edge supply chain.” Dohle also noted PRH’s long-term commitment to print—“even when it was in decline earlier this decade”—and its use of technology to increase the reach of its books.

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Could YOU be the next Agatha Christie? Now the Mail gives you the chance with the return of our novel writing competition that could land you a £20,000 book deal

dailymail.co.uk – Friday March 31, 2017

Have you ever dreamed of writing a book that becomes a bestseller? Could you be the next Agatha Christie, queen of the crime novel? Well, here's your chance to make that fantasy come true.

Last year, we launched the Daily Mail First Novel competition with the prize of a £20,000 publishing deal with one of the world's biggest and most respected publishers, Penguin Random House.

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Missing Oxford comma shows why writing skills matter

ft.com – Wednesday March 29, 2017

“For want of a comma, we have this case.” So begins a ruling this month by David Barron, a US Court of Appeals judge, deciding in favour of five Maine truck drivers who claimed they had been wrongly denied overtime payments by a dairy company with an inadequate grasp of English punctuation.

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Short story contest – deadline delayed

firstwriter.com – Sunday March 26, 2017

The deadline for firstwriter.com's Thirteenth International Short Story Contest has been delayed by one month to May 1, 2017, to allow for last minute entries. 

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