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firstwriter.com's database of publishers includes details of 2,773 English language publishers that don't charge authors any fees for publishing their books. The database is continually updated: there have been 33 listings added or updated in the last month. With over a dozen different ways to narrow your search you can find the right publisher for your book, fast.

News

thebookseller.com – October 2, 2022

More than 300 authors including Neil Gaiman, Naomi Klein, and Lawrence Lessig have teamed up with advocacy group Fight for the Future with an open letter demanding publishers and trade organisations "cease efforts to undermine the essential contributions of libraries to an accessible and inclusive world of books”. 

The letter mainly focuses on the lawsuit brought against the Internet Archive, over its Open Library programme, involving mass scanning and distribution of literary works under a process called Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) which publishers and trade organisations have criticised for “facilitating the distribution of millions of pirated books without paying a penny to the authors and publishers who produce them”. 

There is also reference to the Association of American Publishers (AAP) suing to block a Maryland law that would have required publishers to offer commercially available e-book licences to libraries on “reasonable terms”. 

The Authors Guild called the open letter "highly misleading” while the AAP and Publishers Association (PA) have sought to stress that the Internet Archive is “not a library” but instead “a pirate website”. 

reuters.com – October 1, 2022

A federal judge on Thursday dismissed two antitrust lawsuits accusing Amazon.com Inc and five large publishers of illegally conspiring to fix U.S. prices of electronic and traditional books, causing consumers and bookstores to pay more.

U.S. District Judge Gregory Woods in Manhattan accepted a magistrate judge's recommendations to end both cases against Amazon, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Macmillan Publishing Group, Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster.

Consumers accused the defendants of signing agreements that let the publishers inflate e-book prices by locking in a 30% "agency" fee for Amazon on each sale, and guaranteeing that Amazon's prices would not be undercut.

reuters.com – October 1, 2022

A group of more than 300 authors including Neil Gaiman and Naomi Klein issued a letter Thursday criticizing lawsuits from major publishing companies over the lending of digital books.

The authors said in the open letter, organized by digital-rights advocacy group Fight for the Future, that publishers and their trade groups are "undermining the traditional rights of libraries to own and preserve books, intimidating libraries with lawsuits, and smearing librarians."

The letter said the authors were "disheartened by the recent attacks against libraries being made in our name."

thebookseller.com – September 23, 2022

The Publishers Association (PA) has written to the new secretaries of state for digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS) and business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) to urge them to continue with the UK’s current copyright exhaustion scheme. 

The PA, alongside its Save Our Books campaign partners, including the Association of Authors’ Agents, Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society and Society of Authors, want the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) to stick to the current regime when it makes a final decision in March 2023.

The IPO consulted on changes to the UK’s copyright exhaustion regime last year, including considering a move to an international exhaustion regime. The Save Our Books campaign fought to retain the UK’s current regime, arguing that the proposed changes “would cause a projected loss of up to £2.2bn to the publishing industry, disincentivise the UK’s thriving book exports, and flood the UK with international copies of books tailored to other international audiences, typically American”.  

Articles

firstwriter.com

In April 2011, Marion Grace Woolley found her first publisher through firstwriter.com's database of publishers. A year later, she has published three books with two different publishers, both from our listings.

publishersweekly.com

When Hachette Book Group acquired Workman Publishing, HBG CEO Michael Pietsch observed that Workman was one of the biggest, if not the biggest, remaining independent trade publishers left in the U.S. Based on available data, a case could indeed be made that Workman was the largest of its kind. Which has raised a question in publishing circles: why are there so few independent publishers of size? There is a dearth of what can be called midsize publishers that fall between the Big Five and the many independent publishers with sales of $20 million or less.

The Houghton Mifflin Harcourt trade division, with 2020 sales of $192 million, was what could have been considered a mini-major before it was acquired by HarperCollins. The Scholastic trade group, with sales of $355 million in the fiscal year ended May 31, is a major player in the children’s trade market, but as part of a $1.3 billion publisher, it is clearly not independent. Other trade publishers that could be considered midsize that are also part of larger companies are Disney’s publishing division and Abrams, which is owned by the French company La Martinière Groupe, which was itself acquired by Media Participations.

huffingtonpost.com

Signing a contract with even a brand-name traditional book publisher initially feels like a ticket to Nirvana. You may expect, for example, your new publisher to set you up with a big fat advance, a multi-city promotional tour, your very own personal PR rep and multiple copies of your book on every bookshelf in the nation (and Canada) for as long as you and your book shall live.

But to understand how book publishers really work, study this list of what I call the four great “myths” of traditional book publishing. Then, by all means, proceed to seek out a publisher if that’s your goal but do so with your eyes wide open. Your relationship with your publisher will run much smoother if you recognize its pitfalls as well as its glories.

spiked-online.com

In 2021 author, poet and teacher Kate Clanchy gained an unwelcome new accolade: the award for the most liberal target of a cancellation yet. Clanchy’s much-celebrated Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me, about her experiences of teaching poetry to disadvantaged children around the UK, won the Orwell Prize in 2020. But a year later, thanks to a handful of the book’s sentences being shared out of context on social media, she found herself publicly shamed by today’s self-appointed moral guardians. She went from being applauded for bringing poetry to working-class children to being humiliated into accepting sensitivity-reader approved rewrites of her work.

It might be a new year but Clanchy’s punishment beating continues. It was announced last week that plans for a woke rewrite of Some Kids I Taught had been dropped – not because it was a God-awful idea to begin with, but because Clanchy and her publisher, Pan Macmillan, have decided to part company ‘by mutual agreement’.

The publisher’s statement notes: ‘Pan Macmillan will not publish new titles nor any updated editions from Kate Clanchy, and will revert the rights and cease distribution of Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me and her other works.’ This is an astonishing attempt by a publishing company to distance themselves from an author and her work.

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