The Bookseller 100
10.12.10 | Tom Tivnan & The Bookseller team
What a difference a year makes.
It may be a reflection of the changing nature and dynamism of the times, but The Bookseller 100 2010—our second annual listing of the top movers and shakers in the trade—has quite a different look from last year's first instalment.
Thirty-six new names grace the list. Some of the movement is down to a few of last year's entrants simply leaving the business. So adieu to publishing stalwarts Helen Fraser and Martin Neild, both of whom retired from top posts. There were personal reasons: Asda's Steph Bateson has been on maternity leave for most of 2010, for example. Businesses folding created a few further casualties (Borders' Luke Johnson). There were the inevitable sackings, Waterstone's Gerry Johnson and Elsevier's Ian Smith (let go after only eight months as c.e.o.) the most high-profile. Yet what has caused the reshuffle of the 100 deck is what caused our consternation when compiling our inaugural list: there is too much talent to choose from, it is far too difficult to whittle it down to only 100.
As might be expected, given the way the industry is going, many of the new names are from the digital sphere including Apple iBookstore's Georgina Atwell, Google's Santiago de la Mora and Bloomsbury's Evan Schnittman. Restructures at some of the big players introduced new faces like Dominic Myers and Tim Watson from Waterstone's.
As in 2009, this is a list for those in the trade based in Britain. So there is no room for Arnaud Nourry of Hachette, Markus Dohle of Random House, Jeff Bezos of Amazon or Steve Jobs of Apple; all of whom one could reasonably argue have an influence in the UK. We also have a policy of no joint entries though many could have included one or two other names who are just as integral to the respective businesses, such as Steven Williams and Jacks Thomas with Tony Mulliken or Seni Glaister with Ted Smart.
We followed many of the same criteria as last year. We were judging on four measures: turnover (size does matter); longevity; innovation, in order to praise the creatives, entrepreneurs and risk-takers; and influence itself, the people who were the major players this year, and are shaping the next. Some of The Bookseller 100 show all four qualities, some a combination, some are strong enough in just one to merit inclusion.
Just under half (47) of the list are publishers; of those, 35 are trade, seven academic and five children's. Eighteen are retailers, and there are as many online retailers (six) as there are booksellers whose principal business you would term a chain. There are three indie booksellers—four if you count Penguin c.e.o. John Makinson who owns a shop in Norfolk—though you could argue that James Daunt's Daunt Books and Sam Husain's Foyles are mini-chains. Lastly, there are 29 women on the list, up two from last year, but well short of gender parity. In our defence, we are reflecting the state of the industry; perhaps more companies need to follow Pearson's example.
John Wiley, v.p. and c.o.o. global professional trade
A mouthful of a job title, but Allin is basically the main man for Wiley UK, Britain's 10th -biggest publisher. He took over his role in January as former UK boss Steve Smith moved to the US and will replace worldwide c.e.o. William Pesce in 2011. Allin's remit includes overseeing a move into more technical publishing for the For Dummies series and building up Frommer's—the US' biggest travel brand—in the UK.
Faber & Faber, sales and marketing director
Sitting at the fulcrum of the Independent Alliance, Faber's sales supremo is helping to drive one of publishing's true success stories. The group of likeminded indie publishers have increased their market share year on year since coming together in 2005: this year up about 15% on 2009 through BookScan. New for 2010 is Faber Factory, the digital “backroom” services which signed up 20 indie publishers at its launch.
Apple, iBookstore UK manager
Atwell cut her digital publishing teeth at DK and Rough Guides where she developed the two publishers' online brands and content. In August she was appointed the UK books head of the iBookstore, a position that will influence how the UK digital publishing infrastructure will play out.
Victoria Barnsley HarperCollins, c.e.o. and publisher
Barnsley would perhaps be the first to admit it has not been the most scintillating of years for HC on the home front—sales through BookScan are down 12% year on year, and this on a weak 2009. Still, with investment in digital paying off with higher than expected revenues, robust foreign rights and export sales, plus savings from a restructure in 2009, HC had an increased operating profit on the previous year.
The HC boss and Fourth Estate founder can also be cheered by having the literary event of the year, Jonathan Frazen's Freedom, though a typesetting mistake meant the first edition had spelling and punctuation errors. Peter Mandelson's memoir was a hit, a good post-Man Booker surge for Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall (including an enhanced app) saw it becoming the second biggest selling Booker winner by value, and HC's estate business did a clever bit of publishing and promotion around Agatha Christie's 120th anniversary.
Penguin Children's Books, m.d.
Barton and her team have responsibility for imprints Frederick Warne, Ladybird, BBC Children's Publishing and Razorbill, as well as the iconic Puffin, which celebrated its 70th anniversary this year. Children's is now the second-largest division within the Penguin group, behind only Michael Joseph. In parent Pearson's half-year results, Penguin Children's market share grew from 10.7% to 13.3%.
Tesco, senior buying manager for books
Blackman deliberately eschews publicity and is far less clubbable than his predecessor David Cooke. However, the supermarket is quietly continuing to be a major player in British bookselling. It is the only mass market retailer with an e-book offer (although Sainsbury's is set to challenge with its new web offer). Its exclusive deal with Robbie Williams to be the sole supplier of his memoir also angered competitors—always a good sign a retailer is doing something right.
Blackwell Bookshops, president
The reliably contrarian Toby Blackwell, 81 earlier this year and 50 years at the top of the family firm, sprang another surprise this autumn when he revealed he was setting up a John Lewis-style trust to provide a long-term ownership structure for his eponymous chain. He is therefore ensuring that the chain will not pass down to a fourth generation of Blackwells, but instead will see the employees collectively take ownership and control of the business, under a board of trustees. “No pissing about: -the employees get the lot,” was how Toby characteristically explained the shift.
John Blake Publishing, m.d. and founder
Tabloid journalist and editor turned publisher, John Blake has steadily endeared himself to the trade with his trademark fast-turnround books. He will react within hours to an event like the death of Michael Jackson or the announcement of a royal engagement to get a book on the shelves. His discovery of Jordan's writing talents is one highlight of a 20-year publishing career that has seen him build a rock-solid, profitable indie with a turnover of £6m-plus.
Luigi Bonomi Associates, m.d.
It's not all A-list celebs and heavyweight authors (Alan Titchmarsh, Josephine Cox, Richard Hammond, James May et al) for Bonomi, the reigning Bookseller Industry Awards Agent of the Year. The former Mills & Boon and Penguin editor has a knack for finding commercial gold in the slush pile, and for looking for opportunities in cross-media deals. Witness the People's Author Award, a sort of “Britain's Got Writing Talent” search, with Bonomi bringing together Orion, Tesco and “The Alan Titchmarsh Show” for the project.
Cambridge University Press,
With global sales rising beyond the £215m mark, helped by a boost of 11.5% on the textbooks and journals side, Bourne's steady hand is steering CUP through the rough times. Digital will drive future growth; Bourne expects two-thirds of the CUP's revenue to come through the channel by 2020.
London Book Fair, director
Burtenshaw and his team ensure that year after year LBF continues to be a massive player on the international scene and grows in importance. In 2010, the LBF operation was sorely tested by something beyond its control: the eruption of the Icelandic volcano. Despite attendance being down by a third, it still managed to deliver an upbeat and dynamic fair.
Arts Council England, director, literature strategy
As ACE's head of literature, Byatt (daughter of A S) has a heavy burden as she moves to implement the organisation's strategy changes. Hit by swingeing 30% overall cuts to its budget by the government, this January ACE will deliberate which publishers, literacy charities and reading organisations will continue to receive funding.
Canongate m.d. and publisher
In an Industry not short of passionate people, Byng stands out. Pretty much off his own back after teh Book Industry Conference, the Canongate boss kick-started what is proving to be the most exciting industry-wide initiative for more than a decade—World Book Night , the scheme for 20,,000 people to give away one million adult books. Byng rallied the trade, and attracted high-profile patrons including J K Rowling, Damien Hirst and Margaret Atwood.
And, oh yes, there's the publishing. Canongate followed up its 2009 Obama-driven annus mirabilis with almost identical revenues of around £15m, with success from Karl Pilkington's An Idiot broad and Philip Pullman's The Good Man Jjesus and the Scoundrel Christ. It helps that Byng has recruited some of publishing's sharpest minds to the Canongate braintrust including Nick Davies, Anya Serota, Jenny Todd and Polly Collingridge.
Sainsbury's, books department manager
Sainsbury's straight-talking books head has realised the supermarket's potential as the best placed mass-market retailer to sell books after years of an undercooked offer. With a team including the well-regarded books buyer Sainsbury's Gurney, the supermarket is continuing to grow sales. Carroll clinched a 54% share of Jamie Oliver's Jamie Does . . . earlier in 2010 and matched that in the first four weeks' sale of the runaway success of this autumn, Jamie's 30-minute Meals.
Simon & Schuster, m.d.
Chapman is in the rare position of being a top 10 publisher boasting sales growth in 2010. The affable S&S m.d. led his team to a sales rise of 21% in the first three quarters of this year. It has been spending money wisely: a relatively cheap purchase of Dannii Minogue's memoir paid dividends in an “X-Factor”-obsessed autumn. Chapman's double capture of Kerr MacRae and James Horobin from Headline has led to a sharpening of sales in mass-market channels.
Bloomsbury, executive chairman
A stalwart of the publishing industry, Charkin has been at Bloomsbury since 2007, following stints as the top of Oxford University Press and Macmillan. A key part of Bloomsbury's post-Potter direction, Charkin has helped c.e.o. Nigel Newton keep Bloomsbury in the spotlight with some inventive digital plans (such as Bloomsbury Library Online), which will surely be enhanced by the introduction of new m.d. for group sales and marketing Evan Schnittman.
The tenacious library campaigner, with an unswerving pro-book message, was this year elected to the chair of the umbrella group for London library campaign groups, Libraries for Life for Londoners (LLL). Coates is warning that 1,000 libraries may go in the wave of cuts now sweeping through library services across the country and will no doubt remain an indefatigable voice for libraries through the next, most -troubled period.
Jamie Byng Canongate, m.d. and publisher
In an industry not short of passionate people, Byng (or the Honourable James Edmund Byng, second son of the eighth Earl of Strafford, to give him his proper title) stands out. Pretty much off his own back after the Book Industry Conference, the Canongate boss kick-started what is proving to be the most exciting industry-wide initiative for more than a decade: World Book Night, the scheme for 20,000 people to give away one million adult books. Byng rallied the trade, and attracted high-profile patrons including J K Rowling, Damien Hirst and Margaret Atwood.
And, oh yes, there's the publishing. Canongate followed up its 2009 Obama-driven annus mirabilis with almost identical revenues of around £15m, with success from Karl Pilkington's An Idiot Abroad and Philip Pullman's The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ. It helps that Byng has recruited some of publishing's sharpest minds to the Canongate braintrust including Nick Davies, Anya Serota, Jenny Todd and Polly Collingridge.
Harlequin Mills & Boon, direct and digital marketing director
The best trade digital publisher in Britain? It may be the 102-year-old Mills & Boon, with Cooper leading the charge as digital chief. HMB's e-book offers brilliantly leverage the brand with e-book exclusives and bundles; and while the rest of the industry is soul searching about the agency model, HMB seems to have resolved the vexing issue of price with canny non-agency pricing.
Off the Kerb Productions, director
Cockney wide-boy and agent to the stars, Cresswell has a client list that is made up of the cream of British comedy (Jack Dee, Jonathan Ross, Alan Carr, Michael McIntyre, Phill Jupitus, Dara O'Briain, Jo Brand...) which has translated into massive book sales. Alan Carr's 2009 entry, Look Who It Is, has had sales of more than £3.5m and MacIntyre's memoir is a Christmas 2010 hit.
Daunt Books, founder
Daunt's may be a chain—its seventh London store opened this year—but it is still indie all the way. Former banker Daunt's credo—no discounting, proper pay for his booksellers, motivated staff—is miles away from many a corporate big boy. Yet it pays dividends. Daunt's has had year-on-year growth in each of its 20 years and the Marylebone flagship was named the fifth best bookshop in the world—and the best in Britain—by Lonely Planet this year.
Anthony Forbes Watson Pan Macmillan, m.d.
Two and a half years after Forbes Watson took the helm at Pan Macmillan, the publisher is very much on the front foot, launching its new Mantle imprint headed by Maria Rejt, and publishing some of the autumn's most high-profile titles including Alan Sugar's autobiography, Emma Donoghue's Man Booker-shortlisted Room, and Nelson Mandela's Conversations with Myself.
The genre fiction list is thriving with young(ish) guns like C J Sansom and Peter James, while the ever-reliable Ken Follett has another hit with Fall of Giants. A recent deal ensures that old warhorse Wilbur Smith will be with the company through 2014, his 50th year with Pan Mac. Backlist and tie-ins have been key: Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones and Julia Donaldson's The Gruffalo have been Pan Mac's top sellers in 2010. Innovations continue to come out of digital director Sara Lloyd's department, including the recent launch of MyKindaBook.com, a young adult interactive online community.
Santiago de la Mora
Google, director print content partnerships, EMEA
Google Editions (now rechristened Google eBooks)is coming. You may have heard that before about the long-anticipated, much-delayed move into digital bookselling by the internet giant. The cloud-based “anywhere, anytime” system may possibly be a game changer, will almost certainly be controversial—and it will be the London-based de la Mora who will answer the questions.
Random House Children's Books, chairman
With bestsellers like Quentin Blake, Barack Obama, Malorie Blackman and Jacqueline Wilson in her stable, Dickinson is one of children's publishing's top figures. Having worked previously at Puffin and Transworld, she became the head of RHCB in 2000. In November RHCB created its first app, a game with the first chapter included, for Malorie Blackman's new title Boys Don't Cry, called My CriBaby.
Random House Digital, director
After a career with roles as new media development director at Macmillan, vice-president of new media at EMI Europe and chairman of the Digital Content Forum, Duggan joined Random in 2007 to set up the company's new digital division. A highlight this year was the hugely successful Nigella Quick Collection app. A restructure of Duggan's team saw Zoë Howes take on an expanded role and Canongate's Dan Franklin brought in to the new role of digital editor.
Orion, deputy c.e.o. and group publisher
Second in command to Peter Roche at the third-biggest chunk of Hachette (which is still bigger than fifth-placed Pan Mac), the brainy, affable and commercially astute Edwards helps drive the house that balances crime (Michael Connelly, Ian Rankin) with women's fiction (Maeve Binchy) and prestige celeb memoirs (Keith Richards, Judi Dench). Fun fact: fanboy Edwards co-founded the influential sci-fi magazine Interzone in the '80s.
Pearson International Education, c.e.o.
Fallon, as the head of Pearson Education outside of North America, leads the group's second-biggest division (to Pearson's North American Education behemoth), which is worth about £1bn of the com-pany's overall £5bn-plus annual revenue. It's been another cracking year for the man from Hull and his team: Int Ed has grown over 11% on the previous year, the sixth consecutive year of double-digit growth.
Since joining Transworld as a copywriter in 1983, Finlay rose through the ranks to become m.d. in 2001 and, if Transworld is taken as a single entity, now heads up the fifth-biggest publisher in the UK. The Ealing-based leviathan publishes some of the biggest brands in modern bookselling that we all recognise by surname alone: Brown, Kinsella, Steel, Cooper, Pratchett, Bryson, Child. Transworld has scored more number ones (31) in The Bookseller's fiction charts this year than any other publisher, but it is the careful management of its authors' backlist that particularly impresses, with numerous titles by the likes of Pratchett, Child and Kinsella enjoying consistently solid sales.
Hay Festival, director
Arguably the most famous international literary festival brand, Florence's “Woodstock of the mind” continues to expand internationally, with its first event on the Indian subcontinent taking place last month. The main UK festival exceeded 200,000 ticket sales for the first time this year, an increase of 13% on 2009. Hay has signed a three-year deal with the Telegraph, in effect from January 2011, after the link-up with its former media partner the Guardian lapsed in July.
Anthony Forbes Watson
Pan Macmillan, m.d.
Two and a half years after Forbes Watson took the helm at Pan Macmillan, the publisher is very much on the front foot, launching its new Mantle imprint headed by Maria Rejt, and publishing some of the autumn's more high-profile titles including Alan Sugar's autobiography, Emma Donoghue's Man Booker-shortlisted Room, and Nelson Mandela's Conversatiosn with Myself.
The genre fiction list is thriving with young(ish) guns like C J Samson and Peter James, while the ever-reliable Ken Follett has another hit with Fall of Giants. A recent deal ensures that old warhorse Wilbur Smith will be with the company through 2014, his 50th year with Pan Mac. Backlist and tie-ins have been key: Alice Sebold's Lovely Bones and Julia Donalson's The Gruffalo have been Pan Mac's top sellers in 2010. Innovations continue to come out of digital director Sara Lloyd's department, including the recent launch of MyKindaBook.com, a young adult interactive online community.
Jonathan Cape, publishing director
Since joining the Cape imprint in 1993—which he once said would be the first port of call for any -literary agent pitching a novel described as dark and violent—Franklin has shaped one of the most prestigious literary lists in London, from heavyweights such as -McEwan and Pynchon to -rising stars including Tom McCarthy, shortlisted for this year's Man Booker. -Unarguably one of the top editors of his generation.
Frostrup remains one of the few regular ambassadors of books on television. She continues to front Sky Arts' “The Book Show”, the only TV show entirely about books, which, in its fifth season, has launched a Get Creative funding competition and expanded its coverage of literary festivals. She also presents the hugely influential “Open Book” on BBC Radio 4.
The best-selling author, polymath, tweeter extraordinaire, national treasure and noted expert on female sexuality hits the list for being digital publishing's standard-bearer.- He is a technophile who works in a variety of formats—his latest memoir was simultaneously number one in hardback, audio download, app, e-book and enhanced e-book. He helps other authors too: a casual mention on Twitter sent David Eagleton's Sum rocketing up the charts.
books department m.d.
The head of books at one of London's biggest agencies, former thesp Geller's enviable roster of clients includes Nelson Mandela, David Mitchell, Tracy Chevalier and Adele Parks. Geller's reputation for moving authors strategically was not reduced by shifts for two authors: pre-Man Booker Howard Jacobson (from Cape to Bloomsbury); and John le Carré (to Penguin after 38 years with Hodder).
Booksellers Association, c.e.o.
Godfray has been busy this year, giving a voice to UK booksellers in uncertain times —whether it was over spending cuts, VAT, or the future of libraries. On top of this, he's also overseen the continuing development of the BA's electronic gift cards (Book Tokens) scheme, and the launch of IndieBound—the independent bookselling movement based on the US scheme of the same name.
David Higham Associates, m.d.
Goff's client list runs the gamut from upmarket celebs like Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie to Nobel laureate J M Coetzee and the estate of Roald Dahl. Managing director at David Higham for a decade, he was elected president of the Association of Authors' Agents in February; all eyes will be on him as he leads the AAA through uncharted digital waters.
Tim Hely Hutchinson, Hachette c.e.o.
The top dog at the biggest UK publishing group, Hely Hutchinson is a tough but pragmatic negotiator, not afriad to use Hachett'e considerable weaight on what he believes is a point of principle. A couple of years ago, there was the high-profile tussle with Amazon over terms. This year, Hachette was the first UK publisher to cross the Rubicon and demand agency pricing for its e-books. Some retailers rebelled-Waterstone's, W H Smith, The Book Depositorry and Tesco- yet Hely Hutchinson seems content to wait them out. At the time of Writing, Waterstone's and WHS have now agreed to agency terms.
There is some irony that Hely Hutchinson is a self-described "free trader" and was a proponent of abolishing the Net Book Agreement in the 1990a. Yet he feels agency is in the best interests, not only of Hachette but of the whole industry. Given his enviable track record-which includes founding Headline at the tender age of 32, later helping to engineer the creation of Hachette UK-he may yet win this battle.
Hodder Headline, c.e.o.
Scion of the legendary Hodder publishing family, Jamie eased in to the top slot at Hodder and Headline last November, after eight years as m.d. of Hodder & Stoughton, a move that saw him effectively replace both Martin Neild and Kate Wilson. Now in his mid-40s, he looks a decent bet as the long-term successor to Tim Hely Hutchison at the top of Hachette, but time will tell. The Hodders have been involved in London publishing since the 1840s, with family firm H&S, founded in 1868, bought by Headline in 1993.
Author, Society of Authors chair
The novelist and historian has been a forceful and intelligent advocate for his fellow writers since he succeeded Margaret Drabble as Society of Authors chair in 2009. He once described the transition to digital as “the biggest upheaval since Gutenberg” and has taken publishers to task for “not remotely fair” e-book deals.
Taylor & Francis Group, c.e.o
While many of his publishing brethren on the trade side have struggled in the past few years, Horton's T&F goes from strength to strength. The academic powerhouse has continued to grow during the recession, up 8% year on year in 2009, with growth in line with expectations thus far in 2010, and now accounts for just under a quarter of parent Informa's £1.2bn annual turnover.
Random House, deputy c.e.o.
This year has been a quieter one for Random House's ambitious number two after the twin pressures last year of co-ordinating the Bertram's rescue and dealing with the aftermath of Peter Bowron's tragic death. In charge of the vital area of digitisation at Random, much of Hudson's year has been spent doing the spadework on expanding the publisher's sizeable e-book estate through complex negotiations with agents.
Foyles opened its fifth bookshop in the capital at the end of October—a “booktique” store in the new retail hub, One New Change, near St Paul's Cathedral. Earlier this year, the retailer launched an electronic version of its “Foyalty” loyalty scheme, and announced that its operating profit in the year to 30th June was up five-fold.
Colman Getty, c.e.o. and founder
Irving set up PR powerhouse Colman Getty in 1987 and the company, which includes well-regarded m.d. Liz Sich, oversees a number of author brands including Nigella Lawson and J K Rowling. Colman Getty also runs some of publishing's biggest campaigns from World Book Day and the Times Cheltenham Festival to the Man Booker, Samuel Johnson, Desmond Elliott and Warwick Prizes.
Hachette UK, m.d. children's books
Working for Hachette for more than 20 years in a variety of roles, Johnson was made m.d. of the children's division in 2005, following the merger of Watts Publishing and Hodder Children's Books. She oversees imprints Orchard books, Hodder Children's Books, Franklin Watts and Wayland, which between them clock up big-selling brands like Charlie and Lola, Enid Blyton and Felicity Wishes.
Presenter, journalist and author
As the presenter of Radio 4's flagship evening arts programme “Front Row” Lawson is one of the most erudite and well-read book critics working today. With opportunities for in-depth author interviews increasingly few and far between on broadcast media, he is popular with publicists and readers alike for his open-minded and probing style.
Gardners Books, chairman
If an army marches on its stomach, the book trade does so by its distribution network. For over two decades Alan Little and his son Jonathan have built up Gard-ners into the UK's biggest distributor. With a turnover of £135m-plus, this year it has expanded its non-book range for shops and is a strong backer of 2011's World Book Night.
Christopher Little Literary Agency, founder
Little's agency does have a wide range of clients including Darren Shan, Gorillaz and Chelsea Football Club. But, as you are all aware, the company represents J K Rowling, who has finally consented to let her Harry Potter novels be made into e-books. What price Rowling's digital rights? The mind boggles, and Little will be on course to make the biggest e-rights deal in publishing history.
Little, Brown, c.e.o. and publisher
Little, Brown, with Mackenzie's sure hand on the tiller, was a worthy winner of Publisher of the Year at this year's Bookseller Industry Awards for its blend of high quality lit—including Orange winner Marianne Robinson and Man Booker-shortlisted Sarah Waters (both Virago titles)—and the more commercial end with authors from Dorothy Koomson to Val McDermid and, oh yes, someone called Stephenie Meyer. A robust voice for the industry—see her recent championing of publishers in the Guardian—Mackenzie also chairs the PA's Trade Publishers Council.
MacLehose Press, publisher
The bounce in Quercus' step this year comes a good part as a result of publishing grandee MacLehose, who snapped up a trilogy from an obscure Swedish author by the name of Stieg Larsson a few years ago. The former Harvill chief has previous, having successfully published a slew of foreign authors here including Peter Høeg, Henning Mankell and Haruki Murakami. It's not all Larsson; MacLehose Press has published the past two Independent Foreign Fiction Prize -winners.
John Makinson Penguin Group, chairman and c.e.o.
The astute former journalist and Saatchi & Saatchi adman's reorganisation of Penguin UK last year seems to have borne fruit, with the Penguin Group raising sales by 9% in the first half of 2010 and doubling profits, a result Makinson himself described as “remarkable” given economic conditions. Under Makinson, the company has expanded its reach globally, with particular inroads into the Middle East, China, Brazil and India; indeed, this summer Makinson was one of a group of UK business leaders, and the only publisher, that accompanied David Cameron on the PM's first trip to India.
Perpetually mooted to step up when boss Marjorie Scardino decides to retire from the Pearson chair, Makinson is also a force behind Penguin's emphasis on digital development. In his spare time, he is an indie bookseller. Five years ago, he and his brother bought the Holt Bookshop in Norfolk, voted by the Independent as one of the UK's 50 best bookshops.
St Ives, c.e.o.
Martell took over as head of Britain's largest printer a year and a half ago in what is probably the most challenging time for the UK print industry. It was a baptism of fire, as he oversaw the closure of two plants and scores of redundancies. A difficult job for the St Ives lifer, who started with the company in 1980 as a 16-year-old apprentice. The ship has steadied, though, as the company focused on its core products and sharpened up its digital businesses.
With the furore over agency pricing, McBride played a canny hand in 2010, placing the multi-billion dollar company as the underdog fighting on the side of the meek consumer. A letter directly to Amazon customers explaining why it believed agency pricing was wrong caught publishers flatfooted. Amazon has since implemented- agency pricing but if Amazon's forums are anything to go by, the consumers are backing the retailer. Add to McBride's year the UK launch of Kindle and the usual 12 months of strong sales, growth and aggressive (and publisher and retailer-baiting) pricing and marketing.
The Reading Agency, director
A passionate advocate of reading, McKearney heads charity The Reading Agency, which forms a vital link between publishers and the library world through its Reading Partners and Children's Reading Partners schemes. She also runs the ambitious children's reading project, the Summer Reading Challenge, aiming to get one million children involved by 2012.
Egmont, senior v.p. and m.d. UK, USA & Australia
Not only the boss through the Anglophone world, this year McMenemy took on the additional role of regional manager for Egmont's Central Europe Area and Egmont Holding, Germany. He joined Egmont UK in 1993, and took over as UK m.d. in 2004. The UK's biggest children's-only publisher with successful brands like Thomas the Tank Engine and Ben 10, Egmont UK achieved record sales of £49.7m in 2009, a 2% rise on the previous year (£48.9m).
Play.com, head of books
Mileham continues to be a prominent figure in the trade, heading up the internet retailer's increasingly important books wing, especially considering the wane in its previous core area, DVD sales. Play may not be heavyweight enough to stop the Amazon juggernaut but Mileham has done an impressive job diversifying its offer. The underrated books site is clean, simple and uncomplicated.
Atlantic Books, editor-in-chief
How do you follow up a Man Booker win? Buy your winner's next two books—not necessarily a given, yet Mirchandani managed to sew up Aravind Adiga's story collection, Between the Assassinations, which has gone on to sell a respectable 60,000 copies, and recently signed Adiga's second novel. In three years, Heinemann refugee Mirchandani has found a home at Atlantic, solidifying his reputation as one of publishing's best commissioning editors.
Publishers Association, c.e.o.
The former naval officer might be a newbie to book publishing but Simon Juden's successor brings plenty to the role. With a background in the music industry Mollet is well versed on stopping copyright pirates, and as a former political consultant and the Labour candidate who stood against Jeremy Hunt he's media savvy and should know a thing or two about lobbying government. He only started in September, but has already got stuck into library e-book lending policy and spoken at this year's FutureBook conference.
Michael Joseph, m.d.
Promoted from an editorial role in the reorganisation of Penguin last year, Moore now heads the MJ division, with responsibility for massive commercial brands including Jamie Oliver and Jeremy Clarkson, as well as Stephen Fry. Still hugely in demand for personal editorial attention to her long-established list of women's fiction, which includes Marian Keyes and Jane Green.
It has been an eventful couple of years for Headline, with the departures, for varying reasons, of Martin Neild, Kate Wilson, Kerr MacRae andJames Horo-bin, and a restructure of the non-fiction team that led to redundancies. Former deputy m.d. Morpeth, with the aid of new boss Jamie Hodder-Williams, has ably stepped into the breach to steady the ship. Martina Cole (£3.5m sales through the TCM), Penny Vincenzi and Jill Mansell have all had stonking years, while Andrea Levy's The Long Song made the Man Booker shortlist.
Co-founder and honorary director of the Orange Prize, Mosse's support for women's writing received another boost this year as it emerged in June that the bestselling Orange Prize winners had eclipsed Man Booker winners, apart from Life of Pi, in sales. Unfortunately, the sister award, the Orange Prize for New Writers, was dropped this autumn after five years. Yet Orange has promised in its place online promotion for 12 début authors. Mosse's own novels have sold millions, with her latest The Winter Ghosts (Orion) débuting at number one in the mass market charts.
Midas PR, chairman
Midas is really a three-headed beast. Joining Mulliken at the top are c.e.o. and fellow co-founder Steven Williams, and Midas' other c.e.o. Jacks Thomas. Mulliken gets the nod because of our one person, one entry rule, and he is first alphabetically. Their adept handling of many a book trade customer—the BA, London Book Fair, Sharjah International Book Fair, author Peter James, Mills & Boon, etc—proves that the triumvirate works.
Toby Mundy Atlantic Books, chairman and publisher
There is something big brewing at Atlantic. After a robust 2009 following Avarind Adiga's 2008 Man Booker win, founder Mundy has steered Atlantic through another bumper 12 months, with the company looking to expand. In came publishing heavyweight Anthony Cheetham to run new imprint Corvus—which will up its production to 48 titles by the end of this year—and a brand new contract publishing business, Callisto. Aussie publisher Allen & Unwin, an Atlantic shareholder, launched a UK list with the company. New distribution deals have been inked with Birmingham's Tindal Street Press and Dave Eggers' US indie McSweeney's.
There were more Man Booker boosts: Damon Galgut's In a Strange Room made the shortlist, and The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas, from author Colm Tóibín and agent Peter Straus' imprint Tuskar Rock, became perhaps the most talked-about book on the longlist. Mundy himself this year signed up novelist and critic A N Wilson to a massive eight-book deal.
After the dubious fun of a highly uncertain future at the start of 2009, Neil's impressive stewardship of Bertrams, following its Smiths News takeover, is one of the book trade's great success stories of the past few years. Its public championing of the independent bookselling sector as well as strong international sales led the wholesaler to report a profit of £4m in its latest set of financial results.
Dominic Myers Waterstone's, m.d.
With so many routes to market closing in recent years, the trade needs a healthy Waterstone's. Enter Myers, the former m.d. of Blackwell UK, dubbed “Mr Fixit” by The Bookseller during his previous key role in Waterstone's integration of Ottakar's. He has certainly lived up to his name in 2010, since being parachuted in to mend the mis-firing bookseller.
Whether it is down to Myers re-jigging the buying structure in Brentford, or a rejuvenation of the brand, physical sales at the bookseller are slowly improving. The wholesale range review is almost completed, though this has led to a spike in returns, which has aggrieved a number of indie publishers. Sales are rocketing within the e-sphere, up 73% in Myers' tenure. But Myers' biggest accomplishment thus far this year has been to win back the locker room that the previous regime had unquestionably lost. His decision to give staff more power to target their local, loyal customers, and simply make them feel like proper booksellers again has been a huge tonic on the shop floor.
US-born Newton set up Bloomsbury, the home of publishing wunderkind
J K Rowling, in 1986. The publisher has not had the best year, with profit for the first half of 2010 more than halving to £949,000, despite a sales increase of 4.2% to £36.8m. With Richard Charkin and newbie Evan Schnittman on board, and a sizeable war-chest to fund acquisitions in the bank, Newton's Bloomsbury is still forward looking and it will be expanding its successful online library -service Public Library Online to Australia in January 2011.
Nielsen Book, president
Another busy year for the ebullient Nielsen Book front man in the UK. India was added to the territories measured by Nielsen, while more progress was made on US metrics. Nowell has taken on the chair of the BIC committee, while his major challenge next year will be the introduction of charts covering e-books. As “keeper of the numbers”, Nowell probably has the single best view of the British book trade of any individual.
A month ago, the pukka fella became only the second author to pass the £100m sales barrier since records began, and sales of his latest cookbook, Jamie's 30-minute Meals, are up 60% on his fastest-selling one to date. But his £102m-and-counting worth to the industry isn't restricted to his publishers (Penguin) and his employers (Sainsbury's)—in 2010, 30-minute Meals has been a bestseller at independent bookshops, too, as well as the chains and online behemoths.
Faber & Faber, c.e.o. and publisher
Under the eloquent and commercially astute Page, Faber is continuing to up-end its tweed-and-elbow-patches image. The inventive digital team, led by Henry Volans, is developing new products while Faber Finds, the print-on-demand service that mines the company's extensive catalogue, continues to grow. The Indie Alliance is up 15% on last year and new this year is its “digital alliance”, Faber Factory. The wildly successful creative writing programme Faber Academy expanded to Australia. Through it all there are still the books—including Barbara Kingsolver's Orange-winning The Lacuna.
Oxford University Press, c.e.o.
Portwood has delivered some impressive results in his first year—global pre-tax profits of £98.5m on turnover of £612m (that does include about a half year under old chief Henry Reece). A major decision was restructuring the three global academic divisions under the single leadership of Tim Barton. There has been an OUP since Queen Elizabeth I granted the university permission to print books in 1586 (Cambridge got its licence in 1534), but the company's digital strategy is looking to the future.
Random House UK, group sales director
Irrepressible, and likeable, Prior holds sway over the entire RH sales team, one of the best in the business. New for 2010 was the creation of the role of digital sales director, filled by Ben Wright. This year was Prior's 30th in the game—he started in 1980 as a marketing assistant for Transworld.
Penguin General, m.d.
Another high-level promotion after Penguin's 2009 reorganisation, the highly experienced former communications chief now heads Penguin's literary division, incorporating Hamish Hamilton, Viking and Fig Tree. It's not an easy area to focus on these days, but Prior has presided over notable successes in the past year including Kathryn Stockett's The Help, which has sold over 370,000 paperbacks through Nielsen BookScan.
Penguin Digital, m.d.
Formerly the publisher's digital marketing director, the effervescent Rafferty now has overall responsibility for digital publishing and marketing. The woman behind creative ventures like teen site Spinebreakers and Penguin Dating, Rafferty has branched out this year with an interactive iPad app for Spot the Dog, the role-playing game Topsy and Tim and a Peppa Pig app.
Gail Rebuck Random House, chairman and c.e.o.
Tony Blair's A Journey (Hutchinson) won't end up being the bestselling book of the year (though at £3.6m in value and counting, it is near the top), but it was certainly the most talked about. That he brought his memoirs to RH is undoubtedly down to Dame Gail; the former PM is a long-time friend and Rebuck is married to his former strategist Lord Philip Gould. But, of course, The Most Powerful Woman in Publishing™ has a larger remit than convincing old New Labour mates to write books with RH. The company overall has thus far been “in line with expectations” during 2010 and has maintained its 13.2% market share. It has had an enviable chunk of the bestseller lists, with hits including Lee Child's Gone Tomorrow (Transworld), Audrey Niffenegger's Her Fearful Symmetry (Vintage), Jo Nesbø's The Snowman (Vintage), and the Christmas, zeitgeisty hit A Simples Life: The Life and Times of Aleksandr Orlov (Ebury). Plus, old reliable James Patterson has five books in the top 100 bestselling titles of 2010.
Hachette UK, deputy group c.e.o., Orion c.e.o.
The second in command across the entire Hachette UK empire, Roche has been at Orion since its inception and c.e.o. since Anthony Cheetham's departure in 2004. A digital pragmatist, he this year urged the trade to look forward to e-books, but not let “the excitement distract us from the other 98% of our business which remains printed books”.
Cactus TV, m.d.
This has been Ross' year to prove her importance to the trade without “Richard and Judy”. Her “The TV Book Club” launched its three-year run on More4 this spring, bringing in book sales of £2.4m over the first 11-week series. Ross listened to initial criticism, and reshuffled the presenters, bringing in viewing figures that trounced the dying days of “R&J” on Watch, although not quite scaling the heights of past book sale glory.
HarperCollins, group digital director and publisher
If you are promoted twice in a year, you must be doing something right. Roth-Ey, previously group digital publisher, and director of digi-tal development, is a well regarded, eloquent and canny exponent of all things digital at HC's Hammersmith HQ. Initially overseeing the company's leap into the unknown with the Apple iBookstore, Roth-Ey's charm will be tested as he tries to sell the agency model to a sceptical public.
W H Smith, business unit director for books
Suffering from the downturn in celeb memoirs, recent statements from WHS have said that sales are indeed down year on year, but only marginally. It is still comfortably one of the biggest book retailers in the UK. Its link-save promotions are among the most popular on the high street, while its “Richard and Judy Book Club” promotion has proved a huge success in 2010. Russell is the face of W H Smith in the trade.
Sandon presides over Random House com-pany Cornerstone, home of commercial giants like Grisham, Patterson and Reichs. This autumn, Tony Blair was one of its authors too, with his 250,000-selling memoir performing better than many observers expected. Sandon has just joined the Random House Group's board.
With soaring profits for the biggest beast in global publishing, Dame Majorie has called the first half of 2010 for the academic and education giant, Penguin and FT Group owner “as good a start to our year as I've seen”. Impressive, considering she has been at the top job since 1997. Scardino is a pioneer for breaking the executive glass ceiling, and Pearson this year came tops in an Observer poll of FTSE 350 companies for women in the boardroom.
Bloomsbury, m.d. for group sales and marketing
Schnittman, who divides his time between his native New York and his flat in Mayfair, claims that he was always a third English. He is, after all, a Tottenham Hotspur supporter. The former OUP man has joined Bloomsbury at a pivotal moment, and is charged with helping to transition the publisher from the “Harry Potter publisher” beloved by arts journalists, to a grown-up group with interests in academic, professional and even databases. What Schnittman does in the next six months will colour Bloomsbury's future for years to come.
Transworld, deputy m.d.
Transworld's award-winning Scott-Kerr (Editor of the Year, 2006) has come a long way since his Pan Macmillan days when he “snapped up” a tie-in to Clint Eastwood clunker “Pink Cadillac” in the late '80s—a “comedy” film so poorly received it was never released in Britain. Now, as publisher of Transworld, he gets to look after authors whose works have raked in cash at UK box office such as Sophie Kinsella, Andy McNab and, of course, the mega-selling Dan Brown.
Little, Brown, deputy publisher
One of this year's debutantes, Shelley certainly has his plate full. He was made second in command at L,B last autumn, assisting boss Ursula MacKenzie in the publisher's overall strategy, while still continuing as Sphere publisher and digital director. Shelley's coups this year include swooping on Dennis Lehane's next two novels and signing up comedy duo Alexander Armstrong and Ben Miller.
British Bookshops & Stationers, c.e.o.
The former European m.d. of TV's the Jewellery Channel is in charge of one of the UK's few expanding booksellers, having opened 12 stores in as many months. It is a remarkable turnround for a chain that just 18 months ago was losing money hand over fist. How-ever, the reversal did come at a painful price—150 positions were made redundant.
Independent Publishers Guild, executive director
With approximately 480 companies signed up to her organisation—which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2012—Shine, once publishing director of Crown House, is the indies' champion. At the helm of the IPG since 2004, she helps steer her members, whose turnover is a combined £500m, through industry challenges from issues such as the recent high level of returns from Waterstone's to the need for companies, however small and lean, to embrace digital.
The Book People, founder
After turbulent times, discount bookseller The Book People returned to the black—posting a pre-tax profit of nearly £1.7m earlier this year (for the 2009 calendar year). This is despite sales dropping almost 6%. Thanks to shrewd business management, however, The Book People cut other -expenses by around £7m. Smart's certainly smart.
The Book Depository, m.d.
Sales at the multi-award-winning e-tailer (the UK's largest home-grown dedicated online retailer) are booming—up by more than 20% in the latest financial year. Approximately 60% of its revenue comes from international sales helped, no doubt, by the fact it offers free worldwide shipping. Prolific tweeter Smith heads a team that dispatches around 130,000 parcels a week worldwide.
Mark Smith Quercus, c.e.o.
4,150%. How's that for a tidy rise in profits? That's what Quercus earned in 2009, after chalking up a 75% rise in turnover to £19.1m, largely owing to the phenomenon of the past couple of years: Stieg Larsson. And it hasn't stopped; the first half of 2010 has seen revenue triple (!) to £15.1m. Not bad for a company whose employees a couple of years ago in the teeth of the recession took a 10% pay cut across the board to stave off redundancies.
This must come as some vindication for Smith, after the high-profile, and at times rancorous, departure of Anthony Cheetham. A key point of the recovery is that it's not all Larsson: the rest of the list is up about 25% on 2009. Smith has assembled his dream team for post-Larsson growth, including David North, Iain Millar and Mark Thwaite. And there is expansion: ex-Gollancz Jo Flectcher will set up a sci-fi/fantasy and horror imprint in January and Quercus will link up with Sterling to start an imprint in the US.
Rogers, Coleridge & White, agent
Straus has been at RCW since 2002, quickly rising though the ranks to m.d., and his clients include Kate Atkinson, Carol Ann Duffy and Mariella Frostrup. He has worked at Hodder & Stoughton, Hamish Hamilton and Macmillan and spent 12 years as publisher of Picador. A busy man, he also edits Atlantic imprint Tusker Rock with another client, Colm Tóibín.
The Bookcase, owner; Booksellers Association, president
Indie-owner Streeter, who has operated her shop in Lowdham, Nottinghamshire for 14 years and previously worked at Hammicks, was named BA president in May and quickly made her mark as a forceful advocate for shops. She hit the ground running with three industry-wide proposals: Book Relief; a National Reading Group Day; and an events calendar, all of which she aims to get running by 2012.
Lightning Source, senior vice-president, content acquisition international
Taylor's job title actually goes on further in that interminable way of US companies, but the short version is that Taylor is simply the print-on-demand king in the UK for Lightning Source, owned by US giant Ingram. LS' p.o.d. business has increased exponentially in the past decade, and the company is increasingly moving into all facets of content management and digital publishing.
Scientist -Thomas boasts a PhD from Yale in cell biology and neurobiology, and a biochemistry and biophysics degree from Harvard. Her publishing career began at Nature, where Richard Charkin later promoted her to m.d of the science group, before she moved effortlessly into the c.e.o. role upon his departure in late 2007. Her time at the head has seen smart moves, from bringing in Anthony Forbes Watson as Pan Mac m.d. to increasing Sara Lloyd's digital role.
Man Booker Prize, literary director
Trewin took over the Man Booker Prize in 2006, and his long distinguished career in publishing and at the Times (where he was literary editor) made him ideal for the role. He has upped the -Man Booker's game, encouraging greater links with retailers and improving the marketing programme. Its enhanced website (which includes extras like sampler audio files of the shortlist) has now become an active online community.
United Agents, head of books
Trewin the Younger's (he is Ion's son) roster has a blend of bestsellers (Danny Wallace, John Boyne, Robert Goddard), young gun lit-hipsters (Scarlett Thomas, Clare Kilroy), big brands and estates (Manchester United, Ian Fleming Publications), a couple of “him off the telly” (Marcus Brigstock, Mackenzie Crook), even a former poet laureate (Andrew Motion). The deal for Ian Fleming Publications to publish the James Bond e-books has been one of the more controversial digital rights moves of the year.
Usborne Books, founder
Co-founder of satirical magazine Private Eye, Usborne remains integral to his eponymous publishing company's day-to-day strategy, which he set up in 1975. It takes just a third of its about £35m annual turnover from the UK trade; the rest is in export and co-edition sales. Usborne began publishing e-books this year, with a programme of apps and enhanced e-books due out in 2011.
Ed Victor Ltd, founder
A publishing lion about town, Victor has been one of the world's premier agents for more than three decades. Bronx-born, but London-based, his literary stable is made up of A-listers and estates including John Banville, Raymond Chandler, Nigella Lawson, Keith Richards and Alistair Campbell. His agency will launch a speaking engagement arm early next year, which will be managed by Charlie Campbell and Victor's son Ryan.
Waterstone's, product director
The popular Watson left Waterstone's as a divisional manager at the end of 2009, only to return two months later as product director. Since his re-appearance in Brentford, Watson has overseen the sweeping overhaul of the chain's buying structures, from top to bottom, and has headed the plan to realign the chain as a “bookseller” (in the traditional sense), rather than a mere “seller of books”—something that has gone down well with the rank and file.
Tom Weldon Penguin UK, deputy chief executive
Currently in a deputy role, but due to move up to full chief executive at the end of this year, Weldon is admired for his strategic brain, and was singled out by Penguin Group chief executive John Makinson as the man to guide Penguin UK through the choppy waters of the digital revolution after the company restructure last year.
He will have an even bigger profile next year when he steps up, but Weldon has already made waves. He has set out Penguin's stall on e-book pricing, robustly defending the agency model in a letter to agents, saying it “protects the value of our authors' books, as well as the long-term health of this exciting new segment of the publishing industry”. Weldon has been at Penguin since 1997, joining at the same time as fellow Heinemann refugee Louise Moore. Weldon was instrumental in first publishing Jamie Oliver, who has gone on to shift more than £100m worth of books for the company.
Amazon EU, director of Kindle
Working as the head of Amazon.co.uk's books department until the autumn, he ensured the e-behemoth's book sales remained strong in 2010, when many other book retailers were suffering from poor sales in uncertain economic times. Now, as director of Kindle, he's responsible for the world's premier e-reader, and has secured it a position on the UK high street in time for Christmas—John Lewis has stocked it since November.
For her unstinting and fearless support of literacy, libraries and children's issues, Wilson is effectively Britain's perpetual children's laureate. She has achieved enormous success since her breakthrough, The Story of Tracy Beaker (1991). In almost three decades she has sold more than £73.5m worth of teen and pre-teen books and was the most borrowed author in libraries during the noughties. Her website, run by Random House, is a veritable template for online books communities aimed at children.
Daily Telegraph, editor
Gaby Wood was made head of books at the Daily Telegraph in January, as part of an effort from the newspaper's reclusive owners, the Barclay brothers, to embed books coverage across the newspaper. In October the paper took over the sponsorship of the Hay Literary Festival from the Guardian. Wood was recently unveiled as a Man Booker judge for the 2011 award.
Amazon, co.uk, head of books buying at Amazon.co.uk
As head of books buying at Amazon, Worth is one of the industry's key players. A tough negotiator, she has overseen several of Amazon's most popular campaigns, including its Customer Favourites selections and Amazon's Rising Star of the Year competition. Worth was also part of the 25-person editorial long-list committee for World Book Night.
W H Smith Travel, trading controller for books
Wright is back in familiar territory having rejoined WHS from Simon & Schuster. In her time away from the retailer, the WHS travel wing has been transformed into a retail success story and City darling, and is a solid contributor to the retailer's continued success. The travel business is also WHS' first substantial foray into the Republic of Ireland.