RHG raises £60k for hospice charity
Random House has raised mor...
In depth: New Adult
If last year’s erotic...
Argentine import laws stifling digital sales
The Argentine government&rs...
HMRC needs to apply rules to Amazon
Keith Smith from Warwick an...
Avon plans free e-book giveaway
HarperCollins imprint Avon ...
Bezos tops Guardian book trade power list
26.09.11 | Graeme Neill
Amazon c.e.o. Jeff Bezos has been named as the most powerful man in books in a Guardian and Observer "power list" of the 100 key people in the trade.
Heads of houses from publishing's four biggest companies all make the top 20, with 23 publishers and editors listed overall. Hachette UK c.e.o. Tim Hely Hutchinson is fifth, Random House chair and c.e.o. Gail Rebuck is ninth, Penguin Group c.e.o. John Makinson and Penguin UK c.e.o. Tom Weldon are jointly at 13 and HarperCollins c.e.o. and publisher Victoria Barnsley is 15th.
However, the newspaper felt Waterstone's m.d. James Daunt and owner Alexander Mamut are more powerful than the publishing quintet, placing the pair jointly at fourth. The paper said Daunt has already taken some "fairly radical steps" and added: "Publishers have been virtually unanimous in their support for Daunt and, given his get-up-and-go, customers won't have to wait too long to give their verdict."
W H Smith c.e.o. Kate Swann is placed at number seven and is hailed for her cost-cutting focus on profitability, which turned the business around. Tesco misses out on the top 10, with book buyers Rachel Harcourt and Garry Blackman at number 12. Six retailers in total make the top 100: these plus The Book People and Foyles.
Bezos' position at the top of the pile is largely due to the success of the Kindle. The paper said: "With a digital library service and the Tablet, which Bezos hopes will rival Apple's iPad, both in the offing, plus a rapidly burgeoning self-publishing programme that has been the making of several hitherto-unknown writers, Amazon's assault on traditional bookselling looks set to continue for some while yet." The top 10 is heavy on digital pioneers with Google c.e.o. Larry Page at number three and newly appointed Apple c.e.o. Tim Cook at number 10.
Penguin is seen as having the two most powerful publishers in London with Penguin Press publishing director Stuart Profitt (33) and Hamish Hamilton publishing director Simon Prosser (36) placed highest among trade figures who are not running their own companies. There are also slots for Vintage Publishing publisher Dan Franklin (40); Granta publisher Sigrid Rausing (43); Bloomsbury editor-in-chief Alexandra Pringle (55); Virago publisher Lennie Goodings (65); Quercus publisher Christopher Maclehose (70);Atlantic publishing director Ravi Mirchandani (75); and Fourth Estate publisher Nick Pearson (77).
The most powerful agent is Andrew Wylie, at 14. The paper said: "Defenders say what drives Wylie is literary quality, not money or rivalry." Ed Victor places next highest at 23 with RCW's Deborah Rogers (44) and Peter Straus (87), and PFD's Caroline Michel (90).
Unsurprisingly, authors dominate the top 100 with J K Rowling (2), James Patterson (6) and Jamie Oliver (8) all making the top 10.
The top 100 follows The Bookseller's Century of 100 key figures in the trade, which has appeared annually since 2009.