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Writers' News

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.

[Read the full article]

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.

[Read the full article]

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.

[Read the full article]

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.

[Read the full article]

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. 

[Read the full article]

Indie publisher Influx launches Kickstarter to raise £15k

thebookseller.com – Friday March 24, 2017

Influx Press has created a Kickstarter campaign in a bid to grow its business.

Supported by industry figures including author and editorial director Max Porter and author and campaigner Nikesh Shukla, the publisher intends to raise £15,000 to fund the press for the next two years.

After five years of publishing and receiving previous Arts Council funding, Influx has decided to "go down the crowd-funding route", following the successes of popular campaigns including those for The White ReviewDodo Ink and The Good Immigrant (Unbound).

[Read the full article]

Adult Book Sales Fell, Kids Books Rose in October

publishersweekly.com – Friday March 24, 2017

Sales of adult trade books fell 13.1% in October compared to October 2015, while sales in the children’s/young adult segment rose 1.9%, according to figures released Wednesday morning by the AAP as part of its StatShot program.

The decline in adult trade was led by a 24.1% drop in hardcover sales, the biggest trade format, as well as a 21.0% decline in mass market paperback and a 31.9% drop in the sale of physical audiobooks. Sales of digital audiobooks rose 7.6% in the month over October 2015, and e-book sales were up 2.6%. For the first 10 months of 2016, sales in the adult trade category were down 3.2% compared to the same period a year ago.

[Read the full article]

Lit Agents Join Forces In Agents Round Table

publishersweekly.com – Friday March 24, 2017

In response to a changing marketplace, 10 women literary agents have launched the Agents Round Table (ART), a consortium of independent agents who have pledged to share knowledge, resources, and contacts.

The goal of ART, according to Regina Ryan who has an eponymous shingle, is to better meet the needs of their clients. "This is new in the publishing world," Ryan said. "My authors love the idea of my being able to consult with this group. They know they’re getting advice and wisdom from first-rate agents with literally hundreds of years’ of experience in publishing."

[Read the full article]

Inside the Strange Symbiosis Between Independent Booksellers and Publishers

pastemagazine.com – Wednesday March 22, 2017

It may sound like a headline from The Onion, but the craziest thing about it is that it’s true: “Local bookseller buys out tech firm next door.” That’s how Anne Hollander describes what’s happening in Dallas, Texas, where Deep Vellum Books is set to expand into a neighboring space at some point in the next three months. Even crazier is that the bookstore is the successful outgrowth of a relatively new small publishing house.

[Read the full article]

London Book Fair 2017: For Publishers, Business Is Booming, but Brexit Means Uncertainty

publishersweekly.com – Wednesday March 15, 2017

The 2017 London Book Fair officially opened today, and at the fair’s opening press conference LBF director Jacks Thomas smiled as she raced through her slides. For the second year in a row, Thomas noted, publishers headed to London with fairly strong sales in the U.K. (and the U.S.), with literature in translation growing, children’s and digital audio surging, and print books—and bookshops—looking especially resurgent.

But following Thomas on stage at Olympia’s Grand Hall, a panel discussion broke down the potential effects of the looming Brexit on publishers, one day after British lawmakers cleared the way for the formal work of leaving the E.U. to begin.

[Read the full article]

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