Traditional Publishing

Writers' News

Simpson joins Paper Literary as subsidiary rights and literary agent – Thursday September 14, 2023

Jenny Simpson, previously at CAA, has joined Paper Literary as a subsidiary rights and literary agent. She joins founder Catherine Cho, agent Katie Greenstreet and editorial consultant Melissa Pimentel. 

Simpson began her publishing career at ICM Partners in New York in the subsidiary rights department. She was promoted to agent in 2021, handling all domestic subsidiary rights on behalf of the department, with a focus on audiobook and first serial rights. 

She has negotiated and sold rights at significant six-figure levels on behalf of prize-winning and bestselling authors and journalists. During her time at ICM (now CAA), Simpson worked across the publishing and podcasting departments, servicing clients in their ventures into the original audio and podcast marketplaces.

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More writers sue OpenAI for copyright infringement over AI training – Tuesday September 12, 2023

A group of U.S. authors, including Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon, has sued OpenAI in federal court in San Francisco, accusing the Microsoft-backed program of misusing their writing to train its popular artificial intelligence-powered chatbot ChatGPT.

Chabon, playwright David Henry Hwang and authors Matthew Klam, Rachel Louise Snyder and Ayelet Waldman said in their lawsuit on Friday that OpenAI copied their works without permission to teach ChatGPT to respond to human text prompts.

Chabon's representatives referred queries about the lawsuit to the writers' lawyers. Those lawyers and representatives for OpenAI did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Monday.

The lawsuit is at least the third proposed copyright-infringement class action filed by authors against Microsoft-backed OpenAI. Companies, including Microsoft (MSFT.O), Meta Platforms (META.O) and Stability AI, have also been sued by copyright owners over the use of their work in AI training.

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Self-publishers must declare if content sold on Amazon’s site is AI-generated – Monday September 11, 2023

Amazon has introduced new rules and guidance for Kindle books generated by artificial intelligence tools, including the requirement that authors inform it when content is AI-generated.

The company announced the new rules on its Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) forum on Wednesday. It said in a statement: “Beginning today, when you publish a new title or make edits to and republish an existing title through KDP, you will be asked whether your content is AI-generated.” KDP allows authors to self-publish their books and put them up for sale on Amazon’s site.

Amazon also added a new section to its content guidelines focused on AI, which now includes definitions of “AI-generated” and “AI-assisted” content and states that sellers are not required to disclose when content is AI-assisted.

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Mackintosh, Ware and more confirmed for inaugural Chiltern Kills crime writing festival – Monday September 11, 2023

Authors Frederick Forsyth, Mark Billingham, Claire Mackintosh and Ruth Ware are among a raft of crime authors confirmed as part of the programme for the first ever Chiltern Kills crime writing festival in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire.

Taking place on Saturday 7th October, all proceeds will be going to youth homelessness charity Centrepoint. The one-day event, described by the organisers as a “14-hour rollercoaster of crime”, will see more than 70 authors attending the event at the historic Grade II-listed Colston Hall.

The schedule will run from 9 a.m. until 11.30 p.m. and includes book signings and interviews with authors, 20 panels across two stages, live podcasts, BBC One and Two TV shows on site, and the world premiere of a specially-written play performed by crime writers.

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Phoenix Publishing House acquires Karnac Books – Thursday September 7, 2023

Phoenix Publishing House, winner of the 2023 IPG Nick Robinson Newcomer Award, has acquired Karnac Books, with Phoenix changing its name to Karnac to “encapsulate this new single entity".

Karnac Books is a publisher and bookseller of psychoanalysis, psychotherapy and related subjects such as organisations, family, child and adolescent studies titles, founded in 1950.

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Evans and Virginia to launch Inkspot Publishing list – Wednesday September 6, 2023

Catherine Evans and Jurcell Virginia have launched a new publishing company, Inkspot, and will be hosting a launch event in Piccadilly, London on Tuesday 26th September, to celebrate the publication of its first two titles.

Founder and publishing director Evans acquired world rights for all the titles Inkspot has acquired so far.

Evans is a trustee and long-time supporter of ChipLitFest and the founder of Fiction Junkies. Virginia started his career in hedge funds, then moved to private equity. He is an avid martial arts fanatic and has written a book with his sensei, Hideo Muramatsu, The Neglected Samurai, which will be published by Inkspot in 2024.

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Viking to sponsor the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards featuring new category – Monday September 4, 2023

Exploration company Viking will be sponsoring the 2024 Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards, run by map and travel book retailer Stanfords. 

A new category called the Viking Award for Fiction with a Sense of Place has also been introduced this year. Viking guests will have the opportunity to nominate their favourite books that have been published in the past 12 months.

Other categories for 2024 include The Edward Stanford Travel Book of the Year, the Children’s Travel Book of the Year, the Bradt New Travel Writer of the Year and the Edward Stanford Outstanding Contribution to Travel Writing Award, which was first presented to the author Bill Bryson in 2015.

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The Working Class Writers Grant – Sunday September 3, 2023

Since 2013, the Working Class Writers Grant has been awarded annually to speculative fiction writers who are working class, blue-collar, financially disadvantaged, or homeless, who have been historically underrepresented in speculative fiction due to financial barriers which make it hard to access the writing world. Such lack of access might include an inability to purchase a computer, books, and tuition, or to attend conventions or workshops. Often, these writers, many of whom work more than one job, have less time to write. The SLF seeks to bring more of these marginalized voices into speculative fiction.

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DHH Literary Agency unveils new logo and 'extensive' website overhaul – Saturday September 2, 2023

The DHH Literary Agency has rebranded its logo for the first time since the company’s inception in 2008, and unveiled plans for an "extensive" website overhaul.

Managing director David H Headley employed the services of Leeds-based digital agency Ascensor to help with the rebrand. The company’s David Eggington also created the logo for Headley’s Goldsboro Books.

While the new logo is now up and running as part of the agency, the website overhaul will be an “extensive” project, the agency says, scheduled to take place over the autumn and winter months later this year.

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UK publishers urge Sunak to protect works ingested by AI models – Thursday August 31, 2023

UK publishers have urged the prime minister to protect authors’ and other content makers’ intellectual property rights as part of a summit on artificial intelligence.

The intervention came as OpenAI, the company behind the ChatGPT chatbot, argued in a legal filing that authors suing the business over its use of their work to train powerful AI systems “misconceived the scope” of US copyright law.

The letter from the Publishers Association, which represents publishers of digital and print books as well as research journals and educational content, asks Rishi Sunak to make clear at the November summit that intellectual property law must be respected when AI systems absorb content produced by the UK’s creative industries.

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