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  • Bookseller redux banner

    Each Monday, here on Editor's Corner, I run through the latest issue of the Bookseller magazine and pick out the bits and pieces of book industry news that catch my eye.

    This quick round-up of book stuff is culled from the pages of last Friday's 4th December issue and via the Bookseller website:

    • publishers "are hopeful of emerging unscathed from Borders' collapse be recouping debts of between £5m and £7m"
    • booksellers "suffered their second worst month of 2009 in November despite increased discounts, as Christmas traffic failed to show and celebrity non-fiction bombed. The failure of Christmas to 'build-up' in November has been attributed as one of the causes of the collapse of Borders..."
    • Borders' "collapse could lead to more than £35m in sales permanently lost to the book trade, as around half its market share consisted of incremental trade"
    • librarians "are warning that government proposals to slash the Public Library Subsidy (PLS) scheme could damage the public's access to information about government activities"
    • Culture minister Margaret Hodge "was strongly criticised as she launched the latest stage of a libraries modernisation review that has been in progress for more than a year... shadow culture minister Ed Vaizey brand[ed] it 'a complete and utter waste of time'"
    • widespread approval "has greeted the publication... of the decisive report into the Wirral Library Service... The report found Wirral council's plan to close libraries this year was 'in breach of its statutary duties'"
    • the "cooks have defeated the freemasons, as Jamie Oliver beats Dan Brown to second place in the ranking of biggest selling authors of the Noughties
    • Quercus "has fully repaid the short-term capital it sought from its majority shareholder Pentland Group, six months after the funding had been negotiated... the company said they expected full-year results to be 'materially ahead of current market expectations'"
    • Jonathan Littell "has beaten stiff competition from Philip Roth, Nick Cave and Paul Theroux to the Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction award for his novel The Kindly Ones"
    • today is "Mega Monday" set to be "the busiest shopping day for online retailers as shoppers spend their last pay cheque before Christmas"
  • Bookseller redux banner

    Each Monday, here on Editor's Corner, I run through the latest issue of the Bookseller magazine and pick out the bits and pieces of book industry news that catch my eye.

    This quick round-up of book stuff is culled from the pages of last Friday's 27th November issue and via the Bookseller website:

    • administrators "have begun assessing the value of stock held across the entire Borders chain, with assessors from MCR in stores Friday (27th November)"
    • publishers "have expressed fresh commitment to celebrity memoirs, despite agents describing it as a 'disastrous' autumn for the genre"
    • Michael Joseph "has ensured at least one high-profile comic memoir will be published in autumn 2011 with the acquisition of a memoir by Lee Evans"
    • the restructuring of "Headline, including redundancies, a cutting of its non-fiction programme and promotions, will be completed by mid-December"
    • Kerr MacRae's "first tasks as executive director of Simon & Schuster will be to 'refine' its sales and marketing and paperback businesses"
    • women readers "are turning to angel books as the appetite for misery memoirs declines, with publishers repackaging angel titles in a mis-mem format"
    • Hodder & Stoughton "publisher Mark Booth has bought the novel Boyzone singer Stephen Gately was writing before he died last month"
    • English PEN "has welcomed justice secretary Jack Straw's revelation that the government was drawing up proposals for a wholesale reform of libel laws"
    • Culture Minister Margaret Hodge "will launch a consultation document about the future of the public library service" tomorrow
    • Random House "will partner with Sony to create a limited edition model of the Reader Pocket Edition, this time for James Patterson fans. Random House's e-reader will have a midnight blue finish and includes a case embossed with the Alex Cross logo"
  • Bookseller redux banner

    Each Monday, here on Editor's Corner, I run through the latest issue of the Bookseller magazine and pick out the bits and pieces of book industry news that catch my eye.

    This quick round-up of book stuff is culled from the pages of last Friday's 20th November issue and via the Bookseller website:

    • the UK Publishers Association "has given the revised Google Settlement its backing, having negotiated the inclusion of several revisions that have given UK rights-holders 'control over our works'. The new deal was unveiled late last Friday (13th November), with detractors immediately labelling it a 'sleight of hand'"
    • the UK's largest Christian bookshop chain "is under threat after parent company, the Christian book and bible charity IBS-STL UK (International Bible Society - Send the Light), said it was experiencing 'severe financial and operational strains'"
    • Irish bookseller "Eason & Sons has given up on its attempt to impose a 12.5% pay cut on its 1,500 employees, but an Irish union representing Eason staff is still pressing to have the Christmas bonus reinstated"
    • Atlantic "has hired another of Quercus' staff, with the publisher's former editor-at-large Otto Penzler joining to launch his own imprint under the Corvus brand in January. Working from the US, Otto Penzler Books will publish six to 10 new crime fiction, spy and thriller titles a year"
    • the "proliferation of scholarly information online means the librarian role will be as important as ever in the digital age, the CILIP conference 'What future for Digital Information: Order or Anarchy?' was told"
    • the "library-based national Summer Reading Challenge (SRC) does help to maintain children's reading levels and motivation to read during the summer break, according to new research by the UK Literacy Association (UKLA)"
    • Mills & Boon's "Black Star Crime imprint has been dropped after the publisher said it couldn't undertake the investment needed"
    • the Bad Sex Awards "is no respector of literary reputations and this year's shortlist features Man Booker winner John Banville, American literary giant Philip Roth and eminent Israeli writer Amos Oz. Nick Cave, Richard Milward and Jonathan Littell also feature on the latest list of writers up for the accolade of writing the most embarrassing passage of sexual description in a literary novel"
    • Borders UK's e-commerce team "is believed to have left the business... the team of three... left the company last week"
    • former poet laureate "Sir Andrew Motion is to be chair of the judges for the 2010 Man Booker Prize for Fiction"
  • Bookseller redux banner

    Each Monday, here on Editor's Corner, I run through the latest issue of the Bookseller magazine and pick out the bits and pieces of book industry news that catch my eye.

    This quick round-up of book stuff is culled from the pages of last Friday's 13th November issue and via the Bookseller website:

    • Sainsbury's "has signed a deal with Random House for its titles to feature in a book club twice a month, just months after it relaunched its existing club with HarperCollins"
    • the book trade "has responded positively to wide-ranging recommendations for changes to English libel law made in a new report from English PEN and Index on Censorship this week"
    • an essay by Salman Rushdie, "rejected by former Granta editor Alex Clark for inclusion in the magazine shortly before her departure has been reinstated by new editor John Freeman and will run in the next issue Granta 109: Work, available from January"
    • Cambridge University Press (CUP) "has reported a marginal increase in profits for the year to end-April 2009, despite turnover rising by more than 14%. Profits for the publisher rose from £3m to £3.4m. While turnover had risen from £179.5m to £205.1m, costs also increased from £177m to nearly £200m"
    • independent publisher "Beautiful Books has postponed floating on the stock market until at least next year, in the hope of lising in a more favourable economic environment"
    • the Australian government "has announced that it will abandon proposed changes to book import laws. It said online retailers and e-books would drive innovation and price reductions"
    • local interest and sporting press "Breedon Books has gone into administration, with its entire assets -- including unsold stock -- being transferred over to newly formed Derby Books Publishing"
    • The Book People "has 'deliberately' reduced the number of celebrity biographies it stocked this year because of the recession and a lack of 'immediately compelling' titles"
    • Bertelsmann "said cost efficiencies hace helped improve operating profits in its third quarter despite declining sales"
    • Northumbria University Press "has launched a trade-focused imprint, which will publish wide-ranging titles on areas such as photography, music, biography, art and travel"
  • Bookseller redux banner

    Each Monday, here on Editor's Corner, I run through the latest issue of the Bookseller magazine and pick out the bits and pieces of book industry news that catch my eye.

    This quick round-up of book stuff is culled from the pages of last Friday's 6th November issue and via the Bookseller website:

    • Irish bookseller Eason "is trying to impose a 12.5% pay cut on its 1,500 employees. The move has been resisted by staff"
    • John Grisham "has called the book price war in the US between Wal-Mart, Amazon.com and Target a 'disaster' for the book business"
    • retailers "are concerned about the performance of hardback non-fiction in the run-up to Christmas, despite hardback fiction books 'muscling' in to replace some of the lost revenue. Sales of this year's top 10 non-fiction books in October were down 52% year on year, while sales of hardback fiction titles soared by 90%"
    • Arts Counil England "has published for the first time its criteria for deciding which organisations it will fund regularly"
    • a "Europe-wide University Press Association is being created by 40 academic groups, including 12 from the UK, after a meeting in Frankfurt." However...
    • ... a "number of the UK's university presses are 'struggling' to keep their heads above water in the face of the recession and pressure from rising student-fees... it was announced this week that Middlesex University Press will close by the end of the year"
    • trade debate "about the potential of iPhone book applications intensified this week as new research claimed that one in five new apps launching for the iPhone App Store in October was a book"
    • printers have warned "publishers they can no longer absorb rising printing costs in the face of an impending price increase of 8% in paper early next year"
    • Scholastic "has ruled out redundancies in its London editorial team after the children's publisher announced it was in 'advanced' talks with HarperCollins about handling trade distribution"
    • Virgin Books "previously a standalone business within Random House, is becoming an independent imprint within Ebury Publishing"
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