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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 30th October issue and via the Bookseller website:

    • the "threshold for publishers to get their books into the top ten is at its lowest level for at least five years..."
    • ... "but as the trade begins to head into its peak trading period before Christmas competition in the Original Fiction market is reaching the highet it has been in five years. The success of the likes of Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol, Stieg Larsson's The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest and Terry Pratchett's Unseen Academicals, means a publisher required weekly sales of on average 3,208 copies to get into the Original Fiction top 10 this autumn. Sales averaging 2,234 books would have been likely to secure a top 10 fiction hit during the same period last year"
    • the National Union of Journalists "is to approach Scottish MPs and commercial organisations in a bid to prevent the Edinburgh office of Chambers being closed"
    • Wholesaler Bertrams "is looking at acquisitions to grow its book and library supply businesses, after it posted a small profit in its most recent trading period... Bertrams recorded a profit of £500,000 for the five months until the end of August, according to results released by its parent company, Smiths News. The wholesaler recorded sales of £53.5m during the period. It has also been buoyed by recent contract wins to supply books to the Daily Mail and two library supply contracts in Scotland. The deals are believed to be worth around £3m"
    • BBC Worldwide "has said it has no plans to sell Lonely Planet, despite rumours that it is "top of the list" for a review of the corporation's activities... The 2007 acquisition of 75% of the travel guide publisher for £89m has faced a number of concerns, and been attacked by ministers as well as industry competitors such as chief executive of News Corp's European and Asian businesses James Murdoch"
    • Slow-moving publishers "risk being left out of an 'explosion' in demand for the creation of book applications for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch. At least one major non-fiction author is said to be planning to bypass his publisher and create his 'app' directly. Adam Martin, head of the interactive department at United Agents, said apps were a 'game-changer' for authors and publishers. He warned that publishers needed to move 'within the next six months'. 'If they are slow, they may get left out,' he said"
    • Critics of the Google Settlement "have asked the judge presiding over the agreement to make sure its opponents are given 'sufficient time to study and comment on, any amended settlement agreement'. In a court filing, Amazon, Yahoo, and Microsoft, among others, also asked the judge to 'reject any proposed restrictions on the scope of objections'"
    • French culture minister Frederic Mitterrand "is increasing pressure on his European Union (EU) counterparts to adopt a common stance over library book digitisation by Google or other private sector companies"
  • 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 23rd October issue and via the Bookseller website:

    • a second series "of the children's picture book programme Bookaboo is understood to have been commissioned by ITV for the autumn, according to industry sources. The series features a rock star puppy called Bookaboo who shares picture books with a variety of celebrities"
    • social networking sites "like Facebook and Twitter cannot be relied on to build book sales, as an overwhelming majority of readers do not use the sites for recommendations. The results of a survey, conducted in collaboration with book website Lovereading and market research firm BML, discovered that while 56% of respondents used the internet to find out about books, only 17% of respondents found Twitter 'useful' for recommendations"
    • the delayed "Library Service Modernisation Review now has a 'target' publication of the end of November, over a year after it was originally commissioned. A spokesperson for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, said: '[Culture minister] Margaret Hodge has cracked the whip and intends to publish before Christmas, and as soon before Christmas as possible'"
    • the consultation "into the closure of the Edinburgh office of Chambers Harrap will spill over into another week after the company failed to reach a resolution with the local National Union of Journalists yesterday. The NUJ is now taking legal advice over the consultation, and this week launched an online petition protesting about the likely closure"
    • publishers "have talked of a 'purposeful' and 'more positive' Frankfurt in 2009 despite a drop in exhibitor and visitor numbers over 2008"

  • 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 16th October issue and via the Bookseller website:

    • Books Etc "is likely to vanish from the British high street by the end of the year after the small chain launched a closing down sale this week"
    • "'Virtually every major territory' was bidding for the hottest book in Frankfurt, Nelson Mandela's private diaries" last week at the Frankfurt Book Fair...
    • publishers "have talked of a quiet and subdued opening to this year's Frankfurt Book Fair, with 'interesting' rather than 'big' titles coming to the fore"
    • a report "into consumer book buying has found that Britons are heavier book buyers than Americans, but Americans have a penchant for mystery and romance books and buy more titles on the internet"
    • John Blake "has acquired an unauthorised biography of bestselling author Stephenie Meyer... due out next March"
    • The Booksellers Association "has accused culture minister Margaret Hodge of promoting unfair competition after she suggested libraries should consider selling books as well as lending them"
    • booksellers "are putting contigency plans in place to ope with the impending postal strike, which analysts predict could cost the UK retail induststry as much as £270m"
    • The Society of Authors' plans "to increase its recommendations for e-royalties to make them 'more favourable' for writers have been called 'unrealistic' by publishers"
    • a "'high-level meeting' to discuss the proposed closure of the Edinburgh office of Chambers Harrap has been called by the staff body within the publisher's parent company Lagardere"
    • the "Google Settlement could take three years to be resolved, according to the Publishers Association. The trade body said there was a 'very, very strong likelihood' that the case would not be resolved until 2012"

  • 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 9th October issue and via the Bookseller website:

    • Publishers prepared for scaled-back Frankfurt: "The UK editorial presence at the Frankfurt Book Fair next week will be sharply reduced from its usual levels, with US editors expected to be even fewer on the ground. Transworld publisher Bill Scott-Kerr said four editors, half the usual number, would attend, although rights and international sales staff would go in full numbers..."
    • Electronic Book Tokens delayed until 2010: "The Booksellers Association has postponed the launch of its electronic National Book Tokens gift card until next year, citing "an ongoing regulatory issue" caused by a third party as the cause."
    • Wirral campaigners demand inquiry publication: "Library campaigners have expressed strong concern over the announcement by culture minister Margaret Hodge that publication of the inquiry into the Wirral library service will be further delayed."
    • Penguin wins new Almond titles in six-figure deal: "Penguin has won the auction for two new novels by Skellig author David Almond. Puffin and Viking have jointly acquired the two titles paying a 'good six figures' for UK and Commonwealth rights after a 'hot' pre-Frankfurt auction..."
    • 'Robust' Faber moves back into profit: "Faber has recorded a pretax profit of £1.08m over the year to end-March 2009, reversing last year's loss of more than £900,000. Chief executive Stephen Page said he was 'extremely pleased' by the change in company fortunes, which saw company turnover grow 8.5% to £15.8m"

  • 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 2nd October issue and via the Bookseller website:

    • the "public library service is 'woefully' lacking in leadership and a new Library Development Agency for England is needed to articulate a national vision, the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Libraries has said in a report published [on the 2nd October]"
    • Andy McNab, Rolf Harris and Peter James "are among the authors lined up to write Quick Reads for next year's campaign, the fifth anniversary of the initiative. The Quick Reads will be backed with new designs and marketing, with the series to be rebranded as 'short, sharp shots of entertainment'"
    • a new "'buddying' programme organised by The Reading Agency (TRA) as part of its Reading Partners scheme will see top librarians linking up with prominent publishers to increase understanding between the sectors"
    • Dorling Kindersley "has signed a two-book deal with production company Shine TV and the BBC to publish two new 'MasterChef' titles as the series moves from BBC2 to BBC1 in the new year, with nine series lined up over the next three years"
    • Tindal Street Press "has said it is watching its 'promotion costs and print runs with care' after the level of returns from campaigns it participated in over the past year hit its latest financial results. The Birmingham-based indie celebrates its 10th anniversary in October in 'upbeat mood', despite admitting that trading has become harder over the past year"

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