Tue, 23/04/2013 - 14:49
The greatest achievement of the Victorian era (apart from cinematography and the A-frame bicycle) was the public library. Machine-readable catalogues were the precursor to the web, which still has some of the utopian orientation of the library voiced in Antonio Panizzi's evidence...
Mon, 11/03/2013 - 16:53
The following is a speech I gave at the Independent Publishers Guild conference last week. I was asked to give an overview of bookselling across all sectors, and set out the opportunities and threats for retailers in the years ahead. Since...
Mon, 17/12/2012 - 15:01
The short story is the most versatile of literary forms, and the most neglected.
In this country, it is too often treated as a minor art, condescended to by readers, editors and critics who act as if the novel is the only legitimate format for prose fiction.
Rather than a condensed or abbreviated version of a novel, a good...
Wed, 31/10/2012 - 14:54
The bookshop event is undergoing a quiet revolution. Publishers’ publicity budgets have been cut, so they are less able to fund writers’ journeys to provincial bookshops. At the same time, there has been an explosion of literary festivals. These festivals, funded by canny entrepreneurs who get funding via the Arts Council and...
Tue, 30/10/2012 - 12:27
When Penguin bought self-publishing platform Author Services, I wrote that the publisher had changed the conversation. In agreeing a deal that sees Penguin form a new company with Random House, what can now be said is that the two publishers have redefined what it means...
Fri, 19/10/2012 - 17:00
It may have only been three days, but an awful lot has already been written on Hilary Mantel’s record-breaking feat of winning the Man Booker Prize for two consecutive books, only three years apart. She is also the first woman, and the first Brit, to win the award twice.
As we have already begun to see, this double win looks...
Fri, 19/10/2012 - 14:13
Publishers are concerned about the potential impact that universal e-book lending could have on their business models and on author’s earnings, as well as the risks of piracy. Meanwhile booksellers are particularly alarmed by the idea that any e-book could be borrowed free just by pressing a button.
Both are right to be...
Thu, 18/10/2012 - 14:58
Hilary Mantel’s welcome victory in the Man Booker race highlights the view that publishing and bookselling are not linear industries where the pathways to success are clear and well delineated. Publishing is a lumpy business, it does not often go to plan.
Before Wolf Hall, Mantel said that her publisher was always...
Thu, 18/10/2012 - 11:14
Events are a growing part of publishers' author strategies, but do they always result in a move up the bestseller lists?
Speaking at the Cheltenham Literature Festival last week, Clare Balding, whose memoir My Animals and Other Family was recently published, said she's gunning to be number one in the charts this...
Mon, 15/10/2012 - 12:33
Tomorrow the winner of the prestigious Man Booker Prize 2012 will be announced.
William Hill's previous favourite Hilary Mantel's Bring up the Bodies is currently neck and neck with Will Self's Umbrella. Since just about everything else in the world of book publishing has turned digital of late—...