HarperCollins c.e.o. Victoria Barnsley said she anticipated HC having "more clout" as a result of parent company's NewsCorp's decision to split its business, as she thanked authors and staff at the annual Author Party last night (28th June).
Barnsley told guests: "We are quite happy to make the news, but being the news is less common. Today we heard that we will be part of a separate publishing company. My gut feeling is that it is good news—we will be a bigger fish in a smaller pond . . . We will have more clout. I think we will have more investment, which will be good for all of us.”
She also said that she was "very positive" about the changes affecting the industry, saying: "The digital age brings us an incredible relationship with our readers, which is the most important thing; it has given us the ability to sell books throughout the world with a single click; and it has created all sorts of innovative ways of producing content.
"People are actually reading more—maybe not on traditional platforms—they might not be paying-but it is an absolutely wonderful thing."
She added: "Competition is growing for these readers—not just competing with other publishers and authors—we're competing not just with the self-publishing phenomenon but with readers' Facebook habits."
She acknowledged that HarperCollins, and all publishers, are asking "authors to do more for us—to tweet and to blog—and asking you to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 12 months a year. It's only right that you should expect more from us as publishers. Some authors here tonight are yet to be published—you can expect even more from us next year."
The party was held at the Orangery in Kensington Palace Gardens, west London. Among the 650 attendees were authors including Fern Britton, Lorraine Pascale and David Starkey; and industry figures and agents such as Curtis Brown chairman Jonathan Lloyd; Luigi Bonomi of Luigi Bonomi Associates; and Eugenie Furniss of Furniss & Lawton.