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Writers' News

UK faces ‘serious loss of writing talent’ due to rising costs, Writers’ Guild survey finds

thebookseller.com – Wednesday November 16, 2022

The UK is facing a “serious loss of writing talent” due to the rising cost of living, a survey conducted by the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (WGGB) has found.

Of 250 writers surveyed by the trade union, 55% said that rising energy and food costs were impacting their ability to sustain a writing career, with other factors including having less time to work as a writer, or apply for funding, development schemes or other opportunities.

More than two thirds (67%) reported having to rely on their savings in order to manage day-to-day expenditure, while 37% said they had to rely on their partners’ earnings. Moreover, more than 70% of respondents had earned £18,000 or less for their writing work in the last financial year. The majority (over 80%) said they were freelance writers.

[Read the full article]

Publishers happy ever after as sales of romantic fiction keep on climbing

sundaypost.com – Sunday November 13, 2022

One of Scotland’s best-selling novelists will celebrate nine million sales this week as publishers report surging sales of romantic fiction.

Publishers from around the world will join Jenny Colgan to mark the multi-million copy milestone spanning her 30 happy-ever-after novels, which have been translated into 26 languages and enjoyed by fans around the world.

Publishers suspect readers are seeking uplifting, heartwarming escapist reads more than ever with romantic fiction, in particular, enjoying a huge uplift and love stories accounting for 26% of the titles in the Sunday Times best-sellers’ chart, up from 18.6% last year.

[Read the full article]

US Judge lays out case for blocking publishing giants merger

abcnews.go.com – Wednesday November 9, 2022

WASHINGTON -- A federal judge has laid out a data-laden case for why she blocked Penguin Random House’s proposed purchase of Simon & Schuster, handing a victory to the Biden Justice Department in its contention that combining two of the world’s biggest publishers would hurt competition for top-selling books.

In her ruling filed Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Florence Pan also waved off as not relevant the publishers’ assertion that Penguin Random House would be the best “home” for Simon & Schuster and that other buyers — notably private equity firms — could destroy it. That argument isn’t relevant to the case and her decision, Pan wrote, which turns only on the issue of how the merger would affect competition.

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Frankfurt 2022 from a Children's Book Perspective

publishersweekly.com – Saturday November 5, 2022

For many rights professionals, the recent Frankfurt Book Fair was their first opportunity since 2019 to attend a fair in person. Attendees said they were delighted to be back, even amid industry challenges and world uncertainty on several fronts. We spoke with a number of savvy agents and scouts about their impressions of the fair, and asked them to talk about trends they were noticing.

“It was wonderful to be back at a fair, and to be among so many fellow book people again,” said Sara Crowe, senior agent at Pippin Properties. “Being back in Frankfurt was energizing, emotional, and re-affirming,” said Rachel Hecht, founder of Rachel Hecht Children’s Scouting. “There is no replacement for the in-person connections to be made over tables while gasping over sample spreads, or the bolt of joy from waving down an old colleague while rushing between stands. We are a community of book people who thrive when we gather, and while Zoom is a convenient tool, it cannot replicate the alchemy that happens during a fair.

[Read the full article]

Brown Books Publishing Group Partners with Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference to Grant $80K Book Contract to 2023 Writing Contest Winner!

businesswire.com – Wednesday November 2, 2022

On Saturday, October 29, Thomas Reale (President and COO of Brown Books Publishing Group) announced a first-ever partnership with the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference, wherein BBPG will award an $80,000 publishing contract prize to their 2023 nonfiction book manuscript contest winner. The winner of this contest will receive an all-inclusive book contract with national distribution, PR, and Marketing. Once the winner’s book is published, it will be offered to BBPG’s agency partners in Asia and Europe for foreign language rights opportunities, and will be included in their English export program to 36 countries.

“Our goal is to make one lucky contestant’s book a bestseller,” said Milli Brown, Founder and CEO of Brown Books Publishing Group.

[Read the full article]

Books at Berlinale Issues Its 2022 Call for Submissions

publishingperspectives.com – Tuesday November 1, 2022

The annual Books at Berlinale program now is accepting submissions from film-rights holders for novels with high adaptation potential.

The Books at Berlinale program—long familiar to our Publishing Perspectives international readership—has issued its call for submissions for its 18th edition, scheduled to take place as a part of the Berlinale Co-Production Market, February 18 to 22.

A joint initiative of the Berlin International Film Festival and Frankfurter Buchmesse.

As usual, the 18th edition of “Books at Berlinale” will take place during the Berlinale as part of the of the Berlinale Co-Production Market (Feb 18-22, 2023).

As you know, the program selects 12 or so books to pitch to an audience of some 150 internationally established producers during the film festival.

[Read the full article]

US judge blocks $2.2bn Penguin Random House merger

theguardian.com – Tuesday November 1, 2022

A US judge has blocked the $2.2bn planned merger of Penguin Random House, the world’s largest book publisher, with rival Simon & Schuster.

Judge Florence Pan of the US district court for the District of Columbia said in a brief order on Monday that she had found that the justice department had shown that the deal would “substantially” harm competition “in the market for the US publishing rights to anticipated top-selling books”.

Unlike most merger fights, which are focused on what consumers pay, this one focused on authors’ earnings. The US government argued that fewer publishing houses being in competition with each other would lead to lower advances for authors across the board, but focused on a small part of the market: bestselling writers who were paid $250,000 or more.

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Publishing: The Cancel Mob Targets Amy Coney Barrett's New Book | Mind Matters

mindmatters.ai – Sunday October 30, 2022

Last year, Mind Matters News covered the new phenomenon of publishing house staff going to war against the publisher’s own books. It’s a far cry from the days when publishers might have to defend their books in a courtroom. Last year the target was, among other authors, best-selling psychologist Jordan Peterson.

We were informed by Maclean’s Magazine that “Employees at Penguin Random House Canada speak out on how they’re rethinking their workplaces and why publishing, writ large, should weigh its moral responsibilities” in connection with Peterson’s latest, Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life (Penguin 2021).

The book did get published, despite them, to five star reviews. But Cancel Culture staff continue to lead the charge for “depublishing” and have succeeded with many less well known targets. Orwell Prize-winning author Kate Clanchy’s memoir was Canceled by its original publisher (though acquired by another. Blake Bailey’s biography of author Philip Roth was Canceled by W.W. Norton due to the author’s and subject’s Me Too sins. Young adult author Jessica Cluess was Canceled after she defended literary classics.

The latest attempt at big-name Cancelation is aimed at U.S. Supreme Court justice Amy Coney Barrett. Early in 2021 she was signed by Penguin’s Sentinel imprint to write a book on her judicial philosophy and the reasoning behind her decisions.

[Read the full article]

The Moth and Caterpillar magazines to cease publishing but prizes will continue

thebookseller.com – Thursday October 27, 2022

Arts and literature magazines the Moth and the Caterpillar will cease publishing next summer, its directors have announced, but the four literary prizes associated with the magazines will continue with increased prize pots. 

Directors Rebecca O’Connor and Will Govan said: “We will have had 13 happy years. It feels like the right time to focus on things other than the publications.”

Govan said back issues of both magazines will be sold online so people can complete their vintage collections. 

[Read the full article]

The Bath Children's Novel Award

artshub.com.au – Thursday October 27, 2022

The Bath Children’s Novel Award is a £3,000 international prize for yet to be published and independently published children’s authors.

The award is judged by leading children’s literary agents from a shortlist chosen by Junior Judges aged up to seventeen years. Submissions are open worldwide until 23:59 GMT 30th November 2022.

This year’s judge is Amber Caravéo. Co-founder of the Skylark Literary Agency and previously Editorial Director at Orion Children’s Books, Amber has worked with some of the best authors in Children’s and YA fiction today and is looking for “potential rather than perfection and new voices that offer something unique and brilliant either in terms of story or style.”

[Read the full article]

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