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Writers' News

New specialist kids agency launched

booksandpublishing.com.au – Thursday November 1, 2018

Lawyer and writer Justine Barker has launched a new literary agency focusing on children’s and YA books.

Mayfair Literary Agency will represent authors writing picture books, junior fiction, middle-grade and YA titles, and is only open to Australian writers. The agency is currently accepting submissions by previously published authors, and also has a pre-submission pitching service open to unpublished authors.

[Read the full article]

US trade sales increase despite a fall in publishing revenues

thebookseller.com – Wednesday October 31, 2018

Publishing revenues declined 1.4% in the US in the first three quarters of the year, despite a rise in trade revenues of 4.4%, according to the Association of American Publishers (AAP).

Trade publishing revenues increased 4.4% to $228.3m compared to the same period in 2017 and adult books - the largest category - experienced a rise of 4.4%. Publishers revenue for children’s and young adult books (+3.5%) and religious presses (+7.6%) also increased.

[Read the full article]

Abrams Artists Agency Adds New Agents In New York & Los Angeles

deadline.com – Monday October 29, 2018

Abrams Artists Agency has hired two new agents for its Los Angeles and New York offices. Jason Zenowich will join the Talent Division in Los Angeles and Sara Barkan will join the Theatrical Literary Division in New York. The appointments are effective immediately.

[Read the full article]

What’s the Matter with Fiction Sales?

publishersweekly.com – Sunday October 28, 2018

According to 2017 estimates released this summer by the Association of American Publishers, sales of adult fiction fell 16% between 2013 and 2017, from $5.21 billion to $4.38 billion. The numbers, though not a major worry, raise questions about the books the industry is publishing and what consumers want to read.

Since 2013, fiction sales fell every year with the exception of 2015. That year they rose 1%, helped by Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman and three other novels that topped one million print copies sold. (The AAP tracks all major formats—print, digital, and audio—in its sales estimates.) Interviews and discussions with various industry members uncovered different theories about why there’s been a downturn in fiction.

[Read the full article]

Writers Guild Launches Campaign Against Free Work

variety.com – Wednesday October 24, 2018

The Writers Guild of America West has launched a campaign to urge its members not to work for free.

“All writers need jobs, and especially when it’s early in their careers, it can feel like they have to do whatever it takes to get hired,” said screenwriter and WGA West board member Michele Mulroney. “But leaving behind a treatment for a producer or executive is the equivalent of writing for free. It opens the door to what can often be months of more free work like getting notes on the treatment and revising it multiple times. Guild rules do not allow for uncompensated work and members need to know that they simply don’t have to give in to these requests.”

[Read the full article]

61% of Canadian publishers are producing audiobooks, up from 16% in 2015

booksandpublishing.com.au – Monday October 22, 2018

In Canada, 61% of publishers are producing audiobooks, up from 16% in 2015.

According to a recent study on audiobook use published by BookNet Canada, the average audiobook listener in Canada identifies as female, is aged between 25 and 34, and listens to audiobooks between one and ‘several’ times per week. Audiobook listeners over the age of 55 grew by four percent from the previous year.

[Read the full article]

Penguin Random House Merges Two of its Successful Publishing Lines

nytimes.com – Friday October 19, 2018

Penguin Random House, the largest publishing company in the United States, is merging two of its most prestigious publishing lines, Random House and the Crown Publishing Group.

The new joint division will be lead by Gina Centrello, currently the president and publisher of Random House. In a memo to employees, Madeline McIntosh, the chief executive of Penguin Random House U.S., said that Crown and Random House “will retain their distinct editorial identities.”

[Read the full article]

Literary-minded phishers are trying to pilfer publishers’ manuscripts

nakedsecurity.sophos.com – Monday October 15, 2018

A scammer has been trying to steal manuscripts by spoofing their email address to make it look like messages are coming from literary agent Catherine Eccles, owner of the international scouting agency Eccles Fisher.

The scammer is targeting literary agencies, asking for manuscripts, authors’ details and other confidential material, as the industry publication the Bookseller reported on Thursday.

The attack on Eccles Fisher is just part of a broader, global spate of phishing attacks that’s prompted Penguin Random House (PRH) North America to issue an urgent warning to all staff just as the five-day Frankfurt Book Fair began, the Bookseller then reported on Friday.

[Read the full article]

Publisher warnings as cyber criminals attempt to pilfer manuscripts

thebookseller.com – Friday October 12, 2018

A spate of global phishing scams attempting to access agencies’ and publishers’ manuscripts and other sensitive information prompted Penguin Random House (PRH) North America to issue an urgent warning to all staff as the Frankfurt Book Fair began.

The company sent an email to staff on Wednesday (10th October), when The Bookseller revealed scouting agency Eccles Fisher was hit by a phishing scam. Owner Catherine Eccles said someone was purporting to be her in emails and attempting to access manuscripts, authors’ details and other confidential material. The PRH email was circulated with the subject line “Important: New Phishing Alert” and reads: “We have recently seen an increase in attempts to steal our manuscripts. This has occurred in multiple locations across the globe. The individuals attempting to access these manuscripts have a sophisticated understanding of our business. We need to protect ourselves from these threats.”

[Read the full article]

3 Ways This Startup Aims To Democratize Book Publishing

forbes.com – Thursday October 11, 2018

Time was, the publishing industry could claim a stable existence, safe within its leather-bound borders. If a publishing business was held and run by competent hands, it could typically expect a nice payoff from those gilded-edge pages. Over the past decade (or more), however, sales numbers have become increasingly unpredictable.

The merging of some traditional publishers and the shutting of doors by others has made becoming a debut author perceptibly less likely. Literary agents have more methods than ever for heaving even the most adventurous and resolute new author out the door — particularly if the author doesn’t arrive on the agent’s doorstep with an existing base of eager readers. What new and unaided author can show up with the needed number of followers in tow? I would guess the number may amount to about zero.

[Read the full article]

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