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Writers' News

The £6 Billion UK Publishing Industry Sees A 3% Rise In Digital, 5% Drop In Physical Sales

forbes.com – Monday July 1, 2019

The United Kingdom's publishing industry's revenues hit £6 billion in 2018 off the back of its digital sales growth, according to new figures recently released by the Publishers Association. The bad news: A 5% drop in total physical sales accompanied the industry's 3% digital sales growth. Here's what the leading representative voice for UK publishers found in their new report.

Despite digital's upward trend, total digital sales figures remain well below those of print sales, at £653 million compared to print book sales' total of £2.9 billion. A list of key highlights from the full PA Publishing Yearbook 2018 also notes that the total consumer audiobook sales income is up 43% in 2018, reaching £69 million — that's a steep growth rate worth noting, even if it's not exactly unexpected.

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New chapter? UK print book sales fall while audiobooks surge 43%

theguardian.com – Thursday June 27, 2019

UK book sales fell for the first time in five years in 2018, despite the success of bestsellers such as Michelle Obama’s autobiography, Becoming.

The UK publishing industry was hit by a surprise fall of £168m (5.4%) in sales of physical books last year, ending a period of growth stretching back to at least 2014.

Sales fell from £3.11bn in 2017 to £2.95bn last year, according to the latest figures from the Publishers Association, which published its annual yearbook on Wednesday.

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PFD's Agora Books launches writing community and prize

thebookseller.com – Thursday June 27, 2019

Peters Fraser + Dunlop e-book imprint Agora Books has launched a prize to celebrate its new writers’ group, Lost the Plot, which offers "no-nonsense advice, industry insight, and community connection".

PFD and Agora Books are introducing the community aimed at aspiring commercial fiction authors across all genres. Lost the Plot will provide "no-nonsense advice, industry insight, and community connection" including how to access support on writing, finding representation, and navigating the publishing process as well as connecting with other authors. 

The Lost the Plot Work in Progress Prize is for unfinished manuscripts with "the aim is to get books out of a drawer and into the world, to encourage writers to stop procrastinating in pursuit of perfection and get feedback sooner," PFD said. 

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E-Book Revenues Were Down In March

forbes.com – Sunday June 23, 2019

E-books revenues were down in March, according to the Association of American Publishers. The group, which releases data collected from 1,372 publishers each month, reports that e-book revenues decreased 4.5% in the period of January through March of 2019 over the same period in 2018; January through February saw revenues decrease 3.5% over the same period in 2018.

This news is on-trend for the market, which has seen decreases reliably for years now. The initial fervor over e-books quickly faded.

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PRH to acquire F+W book publishing assets

thebookseller.com – Wednesday June 19, 2019

Penguin Random House is set to acquire the book publishing assets of F+W Media following the media company’s bankruptcy, with the effects on F+W's UK division unclear.

The deal, which includes F+W's new titles and 2,000-strong backlist of illustrated non-fiction books, according to Publishers Weekly, is expected to close by the end of the month. PRH declined to comment on the sale when contacted by The Bookseller.

PRH posted the winning bid in an auction held on Thursday 6th June by the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. The list of successful bidders for the “communities” assets of F+W - separate to its book publishing assets - was submitted for approval to the court yesterday (Monday 17th June).

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David Nobbs comedy writing prize opens

chortle.co.uk – Monday June 10, 2019

Entries have opened for this year’s comedy writing bursary set up to commemorate  Reggie Perrin author  David Nobbs.

The contest is aimed at those early in their writing career – but entrants must already have a broadcast credit for their written material and accompany their entry with a 500-word statement of intent, describing their writing career goals. 

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Paradigm Taps Lit Agents Ryan Saul & Katt Riley

deadline.com – Friday June 7, 2019

Paradigm has hired Ryan Saul in their Motion Picture Literary department, and Katt Riley in their TV lit section. Both will be based out of the LA headquarters.
 
Saul’s clients include directors Wes Ball; his producing partner Joe Hartwick, Jr.; Oscar-nominated animation director Tim Reckart; Golden Globe-nominated director Klaus Haro; and award-winning commercial directors Henry Hudson and Gevorg Karensky.

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Kate Shaw to launch new literary agency

thebookseller.com – Thursday June 6, 2019

Kate Shaw is leaving The Viney Shaw Agency to set up her own literary agency next month. 

The Shaw Agency will be launched on 1st July and Shaw will take her existing client list which includes novelists Isabel Ashdown, Lesley Lokko and Susan Elliot Wright, journalists Ian Cobain and Alex Crawford and children’s novelists Fleur Hitchcock, Vashti Hardy, Alan MacDonald, James Nicol and Holly Smale with her. 

An agent since 2001, Shaw worked at Aitken Alexander Associates before joining The Viney Agency in 2009. She became director in 2017 and the firm was renamed The Viney Shaw Agency.

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New writing prize inspired by Nan Shepherd, Knives in Hens performed for scholarship fund, Brexit play for Scottish Youth Theatre

heraldscotland.com – Friday May 31, 2019

A new writing prize inspired by the work of Nan Shepherd has been launched by the leading publisher Canongate, with the Nan Shepherd Estate and the University of Aberdeen.

The winner of the Nan Shepherd Prize for Nature Writing will receive a book deal with Canongate, including an advance of £10,000, and the option of literary representation with Jenny Brown Associates.

[Read the full article]

Primadonna Festival launches inaugural writing prize

thebookseller.com – Friday May 24, 2019

The Primadonna Festival has launched its inaugural prize to celebrate "brilliant writing from emerging as well as established artists". 

Staged in Suffolk from August 30th to 1st September, the festival aims to focus on women’s writers to redress the gender inequality in publishing and says it will "give prominence to work by women, while welcoming all genders, on stage and off."

The Primadonna Festival is the brainchild of a group of women from publishing and entertainment, who include Sabeena Akhtar, Joanna Baker, Jane Dyball, Catherine Mayer, Kit de Waal, Shona Abhyankar, Jude Kelly, Alexis Kirschbaum, Lisa Milton, Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, Sonia Purnell, Monisha Rajesh, Catherine Riley, Athena Stevens, Cathryn Summerhayes, Sandi Toksvig and Sioned Wiliam.

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