Faber & Faber
Sales and marketing director
Faber notched up record results this year, and while books brought the bulk of sales, a growth area is the Atkinson-driven back end—particularly the link-up with Perseus for the Faber Factory digital distribution business, which recently initiated a social media monitoring and analytics service. The physical distribution side, Faber Factory Plus, expanded its partnership with MDL, while the Indie Alliance sales force has added Constable & Robinson and David Fickling Books.
Picador did not grab any of the major prizes this year, but Baggaley and his team (including editorial director Francesca Main), have almost cornered the market on literary young guns, including Hannah Kent, Lottie Moggach (both Guardian First Book-shortlisted) and Richard House, whose digital-first The Kills was Booker-longlisted. But it is not just the kids. Jim Crace was Booker-shortlisted, and Picador recently announced a major coup: publishing fashion legend Vivienne Westwood’s memoir.
Edinburgh International Book Festival
Britain’s biggest lit-fest certainly had a 30th anniversary year to remember: record ticket sales (up 6% on 2012), record revenue through the on-site bookshops (also up 6%), and over 225,000 visitors to the festival site. Barley has continued to expand EIBF in his fourth year in charge, adding graphic novel and music strands, but the highlight of this year’s 700-plus events was undoubtedly the emotional memorial to Iain Banks on the festival’s closing night.
President, international and UK m.d.
The social sciences powerhouse has had another strong year, driven by Barr and his top team, including deputy m.d. Ziyad Marar and Martha Sedgwick, who was recently promoted to the post of executive director of product innovation with instruction to help direct the digital strategy. There has been expansion into Japan, in a partnership with fellow social sciences publisher Shinyosha, while 50 journals have been added to SAGE’s portfolio.
It is difficult to overestimate the profound impact Booktrust has on the UK’s reading culture. The charity, which Bird has been astutely running since 2007, operates many wide-ranging book gifting schemes such as Bookstart, Bookbuzz and Booktime (which, run with Pearson, recently gave away its 10 millionth book). In addition, it administers and/or sponsors 11 high-profile book prizes, including the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, and the recently announced Booktrust Best Book Awards with Amazon Kindle.
Julia Donaldson had an exemplary turn as the Children’s Laureate, yet Blackman seems set to (at the very least) equal The Gruffalo author’s campaigning zeal. Blackman has started her laureateship strongly since her appointment in June: she has called on local councils to ringfence library budgets and has clashed sharply with education secretary Michael Gove on the government’s schools policies, in particular Gove’s focus on predominantly reading the classics in the classroom. She even gave a slap down to Noel Gallagher over his comments that reading fiction was “a waste of time”. As the first laureate who primarily writes YA, Blackman has focused on teens: she is developing the first UK Young Adult Literature Convention (to be run alongside the London Comic Con), and is participating in new World Book Day promotions directed at YA readers. She sells a few books as well—over 1.3 million units for a value of £8.2m through BookScan since records began in 1998.
The Blair Partnership
Once again, Blair’s star client, Ms Rowling, was the talk of the trade when her Robert Galbraith pseudonym was unmasked. Yet, perhaps the most interesting thing in TBP’s 2013 has been its revamping of the Pottermore business, not just for the Rowling site (which included a refresh, rolling out more languages and new apps and games), but the launch of CreateMore, with Blair, former c.e.o. Charlie Redmayne, and new Pottermore c.e.o. Susan Jurevics already working on digital strategy with brands such as the Beano and GWR.
Yes, CILIP did waste time and money on its months-long “rebranding journey”, which eventually was voted down by members at its a.g.m. However, that blip should not detract from the organisation’s—and Bradley’s—good work and tub-thumping for the cause, such as demanding the government release documentation of library closures, a no-confidence vote for Ed Vaizey, and setting up the second annual National Libraries Day.
The British Council
With its work in taking UK publishers and writers abroad, there is arguably no better example of UK cultural soft power than the British Council. Various strands with its partners include the London Book Fair Market Focus, bringing the Granta Best of Young British Novelists 2013 to book fairs throughout the world, and a raft of literary festival link-ups, including the Hay Festival’s international programme. Former Reader’s Digest global editor-in-chief Butler has hit the ground running after taking over in May, and her cause will be helped by an additional £14m earmarked for international projects over the next two years.
Publisher and m.d.
Canongate’s 40th anniversary year has certainly been rewarding, with turnover and profits soaring. The Life of Pi film tie-in helped the coffers, as did its e-book appearing on Sony’s (and then Amazon’s) 20p promo. Byng’s verve, and his team’s publishing (led by associate publisher Jenny Todd and publishing director Francis Bickmore), remain as sprightly as ever, with recent highlights including Patrick Ness’ The Crane Wife, Ruth Ozeki’s Booker-shortlisted A Tale for the Time Being, and “Lost” creator J J Abrams’ S, boosted by an innovative multi-channel marketing campaign
Carroll and his team have continued to ramp up Sainsbury’s books offering, with enviable market shares in many categories, particularly cookery and children’s. A deal in March with several local history publishers saw bespoke regional titles being rolled out to 266 of its stores. Meanwhile, sister company E-books by Sainsbury’s continues to jostle for space.
Simon & Schuster UK & International
C.e.o. and publisher
A July restructure saw promotions for S&S braintrust Suzanne Baboneau, Ingrid Selberg, Rahul Srivastava and James Horobin, with Chapman himself given a more internationally-focused remit—a fine reward for the man who has steered S&S to ever-increasing market share in the past few years. Philipp Meyer’s The Son was 2013’s critical standout; Philippa Gregory’s backlist was boosted by the BBC; and a strong children’s offer was led by “The Octonauts”.
Bloomsbury continues to expand under Charkin and boss Nigel Newton’s canny combination of organic growth, acquisition and diversification. Acquisitions in 2013 included legal specialist Hart Publishing and the natural history list from New Holland. Charkin’s esteem within the global book trade was underscored by his recent election as vice-president of the IPA; he will become president in 2015.
W H Smith
In the top spot since June, W H Smith’s former High Street boss has, like predecessor Kate Swann, managed to record City-pleasing numbers. While the High Street has struggled, Travel has boomed, which explains why Clarke continues to expand WHS’ international (i.e. airport) shops, including recently wresting the contract for Dublin Airport from Eason. The partnership with Kobo to sell its devices continues apace, though the “explicit e-books row” led to WHS’ site being shuttered for four days of trading.
Penguin Random House
Group communications director, UK and international
Corish, who had been Random House’s comms boss since 2008, now directs communications for the publishing supergroup. It is a crucial role internally—especially in these nascent stages of the merger—but also externally, in this increasingly direct-to-consumer age. PRH’s role as the biggest British publisher has ramifications and responsibilities in the wider trade, and across the world: Corish’s role covers PRH’s English-language business outside of North and South America.
Waterstones is two and a half years into the Daunt era and there are many indications that he is righting the formerly listing ship. Daunt told The Bookseller in October that the refurbished shops (70 of the 287 stores in the estate thus far) have had sales boosts of 5%–10%. The new Dorking shop was the first of six planned openings in the next 12 months, the first expansion since Alexander Mamut took over. A loss is still expected when its next results are released, but the chain will be close to breaking even. A major 2013 restructure saw around 200 of 487 managers leave the business, a move which faced criticism—not least from former Ottakar’s boss James Heneage, who decried the resulting loss of shop-floor expertise. However, Daunt claimed the move was painful but necessary in the “current unforgiving bookselling environment”. Daunt’s strategy of selling the Kindle in-store, and more or less ceding the e-reading ground to Amazon, may pay off—particularly when looking Stateside at Barnes & Noble’s problems with its Nook, and a levelling off of digital sales.
Random House Children’s publishers
RHCP, which Dickinson has led since 1987, has had a busy year, including major licensing deals (CBeebies’ “Wooly and Tig”) and a link-up with online writing community Movellas.com. However, David Fickling took his DFB imprint independent in maybe the most amicable split in British publishing history. Jacqueline Wilson continues to shine—she’s responsible for 11 of RHCB’s top 20 books of the year—while the publisher’s biggest seller of the year so far has been 86-year-old legend Shirley Hughes’ WBD title Alfie’s Shop.
Penguin Children’s Books
Penguin is by far the biggest children’s publisher in the UK, with a market share of around 20% (the next biggest is at 9%). It is set to finish the year strongly, with Jeff Kinney’s latest Wimpy Kid sweeping aside the competition. Under Dow, the group continues its transformation into a format-agnostic, multi-channel, cutting-edge publisher, leveraging some of the sector’s biggest brands including Moshi Monsters, Peppa Pig, Charlie and Lola, and Peter Rabbit.
Deputy c.e.o. and group publisher
In situ as the number two at Orion for a decade, Edwards’ last two years have arguably been the sweetest. There have been huge hits in non-fiction (The Hairy Bikers/Dieters), fiction (newbie Gillian Flynn, old guard Ian Rankin), and some enviable prestige publishing with education campaigner Malala Yousafzai’s lauded I Am Malala.
The overall boss of the world’s second-biggest publishing group—which includes STM giant Elsevier, legal research firm LexisNexis and LBF, BEA and Comic-Con owner Reed Exhibitions—has presided over another year of amazingly strong results, with global net profits £1.1bn on £6.1bn in sales. He may be publishing’s best-remunerated c.e.o., taking home a tidy £4.5m last year.
It has certainly been a transformative 2013 for Fallon, in his first year at the helm of the world’s biggest publisher. He reshuffled the Pearson executive team, angled Pearson’s focus towards a concentration on massive open online courses (MOOCs) and on running courses, introduced an “efficacy framework” which will monitor how these services perform, and, of course, there was the small matter of steering through the completion of the Penguin Random House merger. A peek into the company’s future can perhaps be seen in its Pearson Catalyst business, which funds and works with educational tech start-ups. Like a lot of the global STM and education publishers, Pearson’s business model is starting to look a lot more like Apple’s and Google’s, and less like a traditional publisher’s. The end of the physical textbook? Not just yet, but perhaps soon: Fallon has said that by 2015, Pearson will get 70% of its revenue from digital and services.
BBC Radio 4
Producer, forward planning
In charge of the books, theatre and music guests for “Front Row”, “Woman’s Hour” and “Start the Week” on Radio 4, Finch’s choices often have an instant impact on sales. Recent beneficiaries of R4 sales boosts include Elizabeth Jane Howard’s Cazalet Chronicles, and John Drury’s George Herbert biography, which received a sixfold weekly increase on the back of a “Start the Week” slot.
It’s been a cracking 30th anniversary for both Finlay and Black Swan, and for 63-year-old Transworld. Dan Brown’s Inferno has been the biggest seller in value terms (£6m through BookScan); Lee Child’s latest Jack Reacher, Never Go Back reached number one; Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life was Women’s Prize for Fiction-shortlisted; and Rachel Joyce’s début, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, sold over 300,000 paperback units.
Director and co-founder
It may not be the oldest (Cheltenham) or biggest (Edinburgh), but Florence’s Hay remains arguably the most prestigious of Britain’s increasingly crowded festival scene: this year’s highlight was John le Carré making his festival début. Hay’s international programme has events on five continents and continues to expand, most recently with Hay Festival Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Anthony Forbes Watson
Pan Mac continues to ride the successful wave of the past few years. Julia Donaldson once again dominated the picture-book charts, and there were hits for Kate Morton, the late James Herbert, and the inimitable Jeffrey Archer. The 2012 senior team restructure has proved successful with an increased focus on reinventing authors (such as the rebranded Andrea Camilleri) and a sharp digital team. The trade group’s new global structure (Forbes Watson reports to John Sargent in the US) is bearing fruit, with the first worldwide acquisition of print and e-book rights in the Stage Dive series by Australian novelist Kylie Scott.
Cheltenham Literature Festival
Furze continues to display remarkable programming nous in her second year, snagging A S Byatt as a guest judge while celebrity comedians like Jennifer Saunders, John Bishop and Johnny Vegas gave festival-goers the giggles. Special strands included a day on Celebrating Proust, while William Dalrymple, Jung Chang, David Starkey and Sebastian Faulks lent a heavyweight hand.
It was a massive year for Gaiman’s books with the publication his first adult novel in eight years with Headline, a children’s book with Bloomsbury and a Sandman omnibus (to name just a few), generating sales of just over £1m. But it is for his unceasing appeals for the importance of libraries that he makes his first appearance in the 100, including his blistering attack on government-backed closures in the Reading Agency Lecture.
Library of Birmingham
C.e.o. of Library Trust
Gambles delivered the opening of Europe’s biggest public library—and here is a phrase rarely used in local government circles—on time and under budget. Though the money was approved pre-credit crunch, and the £183m price-tag was controversial, the finished product has been lauded by Brummies. Going forward, Gambles’ vision is to ensure the library will “serve the city for decades, perhaps centuries”.
Joint-c.e.o. and m.d., books
Geller is the epitome of the new breed of “360 agent” we hear so much about. His clients include Tracy Chevalier, Howard Jacobson and the latest author to take on Bond, William Boyd, but he and chairman Jonathan Lloyd are also thinking innovatively about what being a modern agent means. From its Curtis Brown Creative to its Pan Mac-partnered backlist e-book list Bello, the agency continues to thrive.
The Book People
Glaister and Ted Smart’s company last year sold “more books to more people than ever before”, growing sales by 9.2% to £93.1m. Yet it was a difficult year: a warehouse move from Kettering to Coventry saw 88 redundancies, and it hived off the loss-making The Puffin Book Club and Puffin Post, selling them back to Penguin. The teething costs of e-book investment led to a £2.5m loss, but it may have paid off: Glaister said autumn 2013 is seeing a “good increase” in sales year on year.
The Booksellers Association
It has been a robust 12 months for the BA chief, in which he has been shouting loudly for his members’ interests. In his most forceful public attack on Amazon, during the London Book Fair, he said the online giant could “destroy the book trade as we know it”; he also urged MPs to protect British bookshops; called on the Office of Fair Trading “to look again” at Amazon’s book trade domination; helped co-ordinate the Books Are My Bag campaign; and lobbied for the lowering of local business rates.
World Book Day
Grant has been in the WBD top job for two years, and continues to refine the organisation’s offer and boost its appeal for children. Next year will see WBD’s first-ever festival, with five events run across the country on 6th March 2014, and ongoing mini-festivals running throughout the year. An increased focus on teens will see the return of YA print books next year, too. Sales of the 2013 WBD titles increased 4% year on year, token redemptions were up 9%, and visits to the WBD website jumped 32%.
Head of vendor management, books
Hardy has been the point man for publisher relations and heading up the books team at the industry’s 800-lb gorilla for the past two years. He’s a fair but tough negotiator, and a canny operator who certainly knows his onions: he spent over a decade accumulating shop-floor experience at Blackwell’s before he made the jump to Slough in 2004.
Group communications director
Good communications bosses are like football referees: if you notice them, they are really not doing their job properly. Harington is one of the best in the business; she has been the quiet fixer behind the scenes at Hachette’s Euston Road HQ since 2007. She also has fingers in many trade-wide pies, including charity BTBS, at which she is a trustee having formerly been a director.
Latitude essentially invented the boutique festival which mashes music with other art forms, including literature—and publishers and authors are increasingly hopping on the trend to expand their audiences. Harrison has worked her programming magic on the last eight Latitudes, and secured a stellar 2013 literary line-up which would be the envy of any bespoke lit-fest, including Germaine Greer, Hadley Freeman and Sonic Youth frontman-turned-poet Thurston Moore.
Tim Hely Hutchinson
Despite his company losing the top spot in the UK’s publishing league table in 2012 (due to E L James) and, barring a merger, perhaps permanently losing it this year (due to the Penguin Random House deal), the Hachette boss is probably feeling positive about the group’s performance. The first half of 2013 saw a marginal rise (1%) in sales, led by J K Rowling/Robert Galbraith, The Hairy Bikers and Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. That performance has improved as the year has gone on—a “very strong summer” was boosted by record digital sales in August, up 80% year on year. Autumn has begun well with stand-out sport publishing (Sir Alex Ferguson’s recording-breaking autobiography, Andy Murray’s memoir), strong sales from perennials Martina Cole and Ian Rankin, and arguably the literary event of the year (Donna Tartt’s, Little, Brown-published The Goldfinch). In an email to authors earlier this year, Hely Hutchinson said Hachette was “the most consistently successful digital publisher in Britain”—competitors may quibble, but its digital share stands at around 30% of adult sales. He also claimed Hachette was investing in a “comprehensive and world-class” anti-piracy system to automate the search for copyright infringements, which will also launch in France, Spain and the US.
The Ed Victor Agency
Along with fellow joint-m.d. Margaret Phillips (and, of course, agenting stalwart Victor himself), Hicks has been taking the lead in developing The Ed Victor Agency’s ongoing strategy, including its e-book arm, Bedford Square Books, its Speakers Bureau and its recent link-up with United Agents for handling film, TV and theatrical rights. Hicks’ own stable of clients include a bevy of established bestsellers, such as Eoin Colfer and Alexander Gordon Smith.
Headline and Hodder
There has been diversification, new imprints and structural changes in Hodder-Williams’ three years steering the Headline/Hodder group, including last autumn’s splitting of H&S into two divisions, one overseen by returning Hodderite Nick Davies, the other by Carolyn Mays. Headline’s literary imprint Tinder Press launched incredibly strongly with Maggie O’Farrell’s Instructions for a Heatwave, and Sir Alex Ferguson’s memoir might just be this Christmas’ number one, aided by an eye-popping million-copy print run.
MP, Shadow culture minister
With her Tory counterparts Maria Miller and Ed Vaizey fronting the most anti-book culture ministry in living memory, Hodge has stepped up to bat for the industry, taking Amazon to task over its corporate tax avoidance. Still, it is easy to be in opposition. When culture minister herself, Hodge’s defence of libraries was tepid at best. If Labour returns to power, the industry will hope her backing of books and libraries is not mere political point-scoring.
The Sunday Times
If they were animals, the newspaper literary editor would certainly be on the endangered species list by now. That should not detract from the fact that Holgate’s Sunday Times pages are the most authoritative, important leaves for book-lovers in Britain. Holgate is also a member of the new Folio Prize Academy, and heads up the influential Sunday Times Short Story Award.
Taylor & Francis
Another year, another 12 months of technological innovation and organic and acquisitional growth for Horton and the T&F team. Horton added architecture and conservationist specialist Donhead Publishing and medical publisher Manson Publishing to the fold, and the 1,600-strong journals portfolio was augmented by an additional 100 titles, a record expansion which included Porn Studies, the world’s first scholarly title devoted to pornography. Routledge Interactive, an e-textbook initiative, was launched in March.
Penguin Random House
UK Deputy c.e.o.,
Gail Rebuck’s former number two at Random House stepped into a similar role at PRH, and with the international business (PRH’s English-language operations outside of North America), Hudson will have a crucial role with wide-ranging responsibilities. One of his most important jobs the outside world will not see: Hudson is tasked with overseeing the integration of various back-end systems of the two publishers, from finance to IT.
Four Colman Getty
Founder & c.e.o.
It was all change for Colman Getty last year, when Four Communications bought a 60% stake in the company set up by Irving in 1987. The merger has, if anything, increased the PR powerhouse’s reach, with the team led by m.d. Liz Sich campaigning for a range of high-profile clients including the Man Booker Prize, the Library of Birmingham, Foyles and Pan Mac.
It was a year of big numbers for the UK’s largest books distributor. Under Jackson’s leadership, Gardners has reported a 250% increase in sales through its Hive site in the past 12 months, and a 14.6% increase in overall operating profit (to £5.9m), helped by its investment in infrastructure, equipment and technology.
Keaney, who was promoted to c.e.o. in 2012 after being The Works’ m.d., has racked up impressive results in his first full year in charge: sales of £134m, up 1.1% on 2012. Some of the growth has been in non-book, but much has been in its book ranges—particularly children’s, arts and craft and entertainment—driven by buying director Andrea Bennett and her team. Meanwhile, the newly-created e-commerce arm continues to show promise.
Aitken Alexander/Folio Prize
Along with Folio m.d. Toby Hartwell, Kidd has been the driving force behind the biggest, splashiest book prize launch in decades. The Folio Academy set-up has attracted a who’s who of British and international authors (Colm Tóibín, J M Coetzee, Michael Chabon, Eleanor Catton), while Suzy Lucas has been appointed as the prize’s administrator. The Man Booker is worried; many would make the argument that its rule changes (effective for next year’s award) were a direct result of the challenge of the £40,000 Folio Prize.
Group commercial director
The man driving Hachette’s commercial strategy, Kitson has made a number of important hirings this year—bringing Damian Horner in to the newly created role of brand development director and EMI Music’s vice-president of global consumer insight, Louisa Livingston, to become consumer insight director.
Digital and communications director
Pan Mac restructured its sales, marketing and publicity teams into one single marketing and communications department, with Lloyd setting up three comms teams (fiction, non-fiction and children’s), each incorporating marketing and publicity functions. Lloyd and her teams have been innovating digitally too, working with Blippar to create interactive covers for books such as Peter James’ Dead Man’s Time.
Arguably Britain’s most famous bookshop turned 110 this year, a feat Husain chose to celebrate by moving house. The chain is shifting its Charing Cross flagship a few doors down into the former home of Central St Martins art college—Foyles held two Bookshop Workshops with The Bookseller, with industry insiders brainstorming ideas for “the future bookshop”. The new site is “on track” for a spring 2014 opening, and a Waterloo shop is in the works too (opening in January 2014). The six-strong mini-chain’s latest results did dip—the year ending June 2013 saw a 2.5% fall (to £22.9m), primarily due to external forces: the ongoing Crossrail construction and the Olympics which, ironically, disrupted the Westfield Stratford branch. Meanwhile, Charing Cross manager Siôn Hamilton was promoted to the chain’s board as retail operations director, and marketing director Miriam Robinson won the Kim Scott Walwyn Prize.
European v.p., international operations
Lopes, at Audible since 1999, has seen the company grow from a small player in a niche market to a power player (helped by Amazon’s 2008 acquisition) in the burgeoning audio sector; a position cemented by rival AudioGo self-destructing this year. It’s been a combative year for Audible, with the company aggressively looking to sign unabridged audio rights direct from agents.
In her second year in the top job at Walker, Lotz oversaw the creation of a unified team to handle all of the publisher’s international sales across Walker Books UK, Candlewick Press and Walker Books Australia—emphasising its global ambitions. It also launched an imprint for media-related publishing, called Walker Entertainment in the UK, and next year will see a year-long marketing campaign for the 25th anniversary of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury.
Mackenzie led L,B to a stellar 2013, publishing The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt’s first new novel for 12 years, to critical and commercial success. It also had a hit with Judy Finnigan’s Eloise, signed up former Orange Prize winner Marilynne Robinson’s next novel, and “Robert Galbraith” was the talk of the year. Venerable imprints Virago and Abacus also enjoyed their joint 40th birthday.
Bookselling’s answer to Roman Abramovich (oligarch purchases British institution as a sideline, hires The Special One to run the business) should be praised for saving Waterstones from the clutches of HMV. How much the secretive, bookish billionaire (worth $2.3bn, according to Forbes) influences the day-to-day running of Waterstones is open to conjecture, but the current spring in James Daunt’s step suggests the m.d. is being given free reign.
Senior v.p. English Language & Central Europe
With a new series from Lemony Snicket, the latest Barry Loser title, and the launch of a cross-platform community for Jelly Pie—a humour list for children aged five to nine—Egmont has had a jam-packed year. The company has been innovating digitally (new Transformers and My Little Pony apps) and also in special sales, such as partnering with hotel chain Jury’s Inn to provide 10 Egmont Press titles children can borrow over the summer months.
It has been a massive year of growth and critical success for Orion General, the new division Milton has headed since a 2012 restructure. The impressive figures have been led by Si King and Dave Myers, a.k.a. The Hairy Bikers, whose The Hairy Dieters Eat for Life topped the charts. The now-svelte duo have sold an impressive £3.3m over the course of the year. Orion General released an adult and a young readers’ version of Malala Yousafzai’s memoir I am Malala, which has been nominated for Non-fiction Book of the Year at the Specsavers National Book Awards.
Mobed joined the academic giant in 2011 from Cengage, originally to direct its STM unit, and stepped up to c.e.o. towards the end of last year. He has been an astute choice for a number of reasons, not least because he fearlessly waded into the debate among the scholarly community about Elsevier’s high journal prices—which led to a call among some academics to boycott Elsevier journals in 2011—saying he wanted to “listen to researchers and fix the problem”. Mobed argues that there can be an “equilibrium” in journals, with a combination of subscription and Open Access models. Like other academic giants, Elsevier is investing heavily in MOOCs, with a recent deal with US firm edX upping the number of courses it offers. Acquisitions in 2013 include UK science and engineering indie Woodhead Publishing and a $100m deal for Mendeley, an online platform for academics to share research and journals.
With a number of government reviews, papers and plans that will have consequences on various facets of Intellectual Property for perhaps decades (Sieghart, Hargreaves, press regulation), publishers are lucky to have an articulate and forceful champion in Mollet. A link-up for an awards programme with the London Book Fair was smart, and with Emma House helming the international side, the PA continues to spread the word about British publishing far and wide.
The imprint Moore has headed since 1997 published its initial Conn Iggulden book Stormbird (the first in a series about the Wars of the Roses) and Mary Berry’s autobiography, and donated a copy of Jamie Oliver’s latest, Save with Jamie, to every library in the UK. Recent acquisitions include a five-book fantasy series from crime author James Oswald and a six-figure, three-book deal with self-published writer Tina Seskis.
This year Headline launched literary imprint Tinder Press, published Martina Cole’s 20th bestseller, basked in a PR frenzy for Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and had two high-profile memoirs from Andy Murray and David Beckham. Changes to Headline’s top marketing and PR teams saw Viviane Basset join as marketing director from Michael Joseph, while Georgina Moore was promoted to comms director.
Author, Women’s Prize founder
After a year of uncertainty, the woman who founded the Women’s Prize for Fiction inked a deal with Baileys to sponsor the award in a three-year arrangement. Mosse received an OBE for those efforts, and maybe also for her robust sales, having shifted over £13.3m in physical book sales since the turn of the century.
Hilary Murray Hill
Scholastic Children’s Books
May the odds forever be in Scholastic’s favour. Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy continues to be hugely successful for the publisher, with the author selling nearly £2m worth of print books in 2013. This year also saw Scholastic sign a deal for bestselling author Holly Webb’s illustrated sequel to the children’s classic The Secret Garden and buy world rights in a companion book to the Shiver trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater.
HarperCollins Children’s Books
The woman who helped turn David Walliams into the new Roald Dahl, Murtagh has had much to celebrate this year: Walliams has been worth over £5m; HCCB developed “Clean Teen”, a new sub-genre in fiction for girls which focuses on everyday experiences; and it acquired Darkmouth, a monster-hunting adventure series for eight to 12-year-olds by Shane Hegarty.
Jaffé & Neale/BA
Neale is halfway through his two-year role as the Booksellers Association president, and he has forcefully voiced the issues facing bookshops and championed their place on the high street. His thought-provoking speech kicking off the BA Conference called for an upheaval of the bookselling financial supply-chain model, and challenged publishers to do more to help the books ecosystem.
Newton’s Bloomsbury recorded a 13% rise in turnover in the first half of 2013 (to £49.2m), with digital sales increasing by 22% (to £5.8m), and e-book sales up 58% year on year. This on top of a busy year: it launched new popular science imprint Bloomsbury Sigma; its academic division announced plans for Bloomsbury Collections, scholarly e-book packages direct to the libraries market; it revealed the first seven titles in its YA and New Adult e-book imprint Bloomsbury Spark; and snapped up the natural history list from New Holland publishers.
Rebecca Nicolson and Aurea
Carpenter Short Books
This is the first dual entry in Bookseller 100 history. Nicolson and Carpenter published the dieting phenomenon which spawned a whole slew of copycats: Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer’s The Fast Diet was the first and most successful of the 5:2 genre, and dominated the charts over the first quarter of 2013. The book has shifted over £2.3m through BookScan this year—more than Short Books had sold in the past three years combined.
It’s been an exciting year for Nowell-led Nielsen, with an expansion of BookScan into Brazil, its 10th market, marking a significant step into one of the world’s fastest-growing books markets. Nielsen also signed an agreement to purchase two of Bowker’s key businesses, Bowker Business Intelligence and Commerce Solutions, which will help provide greater coverage of book data in the British and North American markets.
Hot Key Books
Hot Key is one of the most exciting children’s start-ups in recent memory, with successes including Dawn O’Porter’s Paper Aeroplanes (£100,000 through BookScan) and Sally Gardner’s Maggot Moon, which won the Costa Children’s Award and Carnegie Medal; also, non-fiction imprint Red Lemon launched with a Desmond Morris art title. Bonnier c.e.o. Richard Johnson has given former Bloomsbury Children’s boss Odedina free reign.
Faber & Faber
Page continues to successfully steer Faber through ever-changing waters, with its blend of old-school commissioning and cutting-edge digital publishing. Distribution service Faber Factory continues to grow, as do its brand-expanding arms (Faber Social, Faber Academy), while Matt Haslum joined to head up the digital marketing and direct-to-consumer business. A year which saw record profits was only dampened by the death of Nobel Laureate and Faber stalwart Seamus Heaney.
Cambridge University Press
In place in the top job at CUP for a year and a half, former BBC man Phillips steered the publisher to a sales rise of 7% (to £261.7m), the press’ 11th consecutive year of growth. It has not been without pain, however. In May, CUP ended 400 years of tradition by shuttering its in-house printing operation, selling to failing printers MPG, which quickly went into administration—around 50 former CUP staffers lost their jobs.
Like his boss Jeff Bezos, North—arguably the most powerful person in the British book trade—keeps a pretty low profile. Still, that might be a good policy when your company is called before a parliamentary select committee on tax avoidance, given that Margaret Hodge famously reduced Amazon’s policy director, Andrew Cecil, into a gibbering mess. Tax avoidance has been one of a number of controversial issues surrounding the e-tailer (pay and treatment of staff, term negotiations with publishers, overall book trade dominance, etc), which one might expect to have caused a public backlash. But as long as Amazon keeps advancing in its standard-setting efficiency, excellent customer service, technological innovation, and so on, the public seems not to care a whit. Last year, in fact, Amazon had its best Christmas on record.
The pace of new initiatives coming out of Slough (via Seattle) must worry Amazon’s competitors: Sunday deliveries, a Kindle partnership with BookTrust, “p” and “e” bundling, an Amazon literary magazine, integration with Goodreads on the Paperwhite Kindle, its own digital currency. Most companies would struggle to launch that many schemes in a full year; Amazon launched these in 2013’s third quarter.
Redmayne reappears in the Bookseller 100, but in a different role. After heading Pottermore since its creation in 2009, he returned to his old haunt HarperCollins to take over the top spot from Victoria Barnsley, who unexpectedly left after 13 years in charge.
Redmayne freely acknowledged that he is not “the great book person that Vicky was”, but his reputation as an innovator (at HC he was digital director and before that he worked in tech and TV, creating teen site Mykindaplace, which he sold to BSkyB in 2006) will stand him in good stead.
A recently released HC-branded consumer-facing e-book app is perhaps an indication of how he will look to shape the publisher in the coming years. But he has vowed to put storytelling first, resolving to back editors and “put structures in place to help them do their jobs better” in the shadow of Penguin Random House.
An office move to the “Baby Shard” in London Bridge next year will mark Redmayne’s reign just as the extravagant atrium at Fulham Palace Road marked that of his predecessor.
Oxford University Press
Portwood continues to sharpen the centuries-old university press into a modern major publisher. OUP’s annual turnover is still on the rise, increasing 4.4% in 2012/13 to £760m, and the publisher reported a profit of £121m, transferring £50m to the university. This year Portwood announced that digital represented 19% of its sales, and more than half of its sales are in scholarly and professional, securing OUP’s position as a cutting-edge academic publisher.
Prescott’s stewardship of Blackwell’s is moving the bookseller upward; losses were slashed by £3.5m this year and the chain is stepping ever closer to profitability. The company disposed of its Dutch subsidiary Houtschild—which it sold to Bertrams for €1m in June—and received additional funding to the tune of £300,000 during the year from Toby Blackwell Limited. It has also struck a number of digital partnerships over the past 12 months, including with Ingram and CourseSmart to loan digital textbooks and, more recently, with US bookseller Barnes & Noble to sell its Nook devices.
Aside from heading four of Penguin’s key imprints—Penguin, Hamish Hamilton, Viking and Fig Tree—Prior was last year’s World Book Day chair and is a member of the board for the (now Baileys-sponsored) Women’s Prize for Fiction. This year, superstars John le Carré, Jennifer Saunders and Mary Berry have hit the charts in hardback, while Prior chairs the PA's Trade Publishers Council.
It has been an eventful year to say the least at Tetra-Pak heiress Rausing’s Granta: a slew of resignations on the publishing and magazine side, then a restructure which led to the departure of more staff, including well-regarded publishing boss Philip Gwyn Jones. Yet in book terms it was the indie’s best year ever, bagging a raft of prizes including the Man Booker (Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries), the Women’s Fiction (A M Homes’ May We be Forgiven), and the Dylan Thomas (Claire Vaye Watkins’ Battleborn).
Head of Zeus
C.e.o. and publisher
Ridout’s year began with her departure from Phaidon, but it was only a matter of months before the former Headline and HarperCollins m.d. had taken the helm at HoZ, with founder Anthony Cheetham becoming chairman. The publisher has made a slew of acquisitions in the past year—including a six-figure, three-book deal with MP Nadine Dorries—as it expands its list, and its presence.
Alliance of Independent Authors
Self-publishing has continued to become a more prominent part of the trade, with more services and products aimed at indie authors. ALLi founder Ross has become a key voice for self-published writers, increasing their presence at LBF, taking the Alliance global, and producing a handbook for those entering the field—as well as speaking out against ventures she sees as preying on unsuspecting newcomers.
J K Rowling
“Robert Galbraith’s” The Cuckoo’s Calling may have been the literary coup of the year, but it was Rowling’s ability to have the two bestselling books in the UK in the same week (Cuckoo’s and The Casual Vacancy) that really proved that the Harry Potter author has mastered the post-Potter world. Not that she’s left the wizard behind: she’s slated to write a film based on Potter-universe title, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, while Pottermore continues its expansion.
Matching the Fifty Shades of Grey-dominated 2012 was always going to be difficult, but Sandon has ensured Cornerstone continues to hold its own as one the biggest commercial publishers. David Jason’s autobiography has become one of the hits of the season, while publishing mega-brand James Patterson remains unstoppable, with JP’s sights now set on conquering India: Private India, the thriller writer’s forthcoming collaboration with Indian author Ashwin Sanghai, will be published by Sandon next year.
Revision guides may not be the most glamorous part of the publishing industry, but Servante has proved it can be a fruitful one, with the CGP m.d. seeing sales through BookScan of £7.8m in 2012—a 169% rise over the previous decade. The publisher has said that syllabus changes are usually beneficial to the business, meaning that the latest Ofqual GCSE shake-up could see another boon for the company’s bottom line.
Want to keep a secret? Confide in David Shelley. He was the only L,B staffer who knew Robert Galbraith’s novel was written by J K Rowling, until the wife of one of Rowling’s lawyers spilled the beans. Shelley’s ability to see something in “Galbraith’s” manuscript—which several editors who were offered the book didn’t—led to Rowling signing up with the publisher for The Casual Vacancy, the beginning of what may be a long and fruitful partnership.
Independent Publishers Guild
Shine’s astute leadership of the IPG has seen the organisation grow steadily in her near 10-year tenure; she now represents a group of 560 indie publishers whose collective turnover is around £600m. A new initiative this year is the IPG Digital Directory, an online search that links publishers with digital suppliers and distributors.
New titles buying manager
Essentially second in command of the good ship Waterstones, Skipper is key to the success of James Daunt’s central buying strategy, leading the team comprised of Melissa Cox (children’s), Richard Humphreys (non-fiction), Chris White and Mark Burgess (both fiction). Skipper has particularly championed the Waterstones Book Club this year.
The rebirth of Osprey continues apace under Smart’s, er, smart leadership. Last year saw a 50% jump in revenues (to £10.6m), partly due to the Duncan Baird and Watkins Publishing acquisitions. Digital is the impetus behind Osprey’s niche/community-driven model; a clever piece of digital publishing this year was the re-launch of Infinite If, the 1980s choose-your-own-adventure series which were published as enhanced e-books.
Quercus is settling nicely into post-Stieg life, with revenues up 10% for the first half of 2013—led by Peter May’s Lewis Trilogy, Dorothy Koomson’s The Rose Petal Beach and David Mark’s Dark Winter. The first titles in its US operation launched in September, while Jane Harris joined from Walker to head sales and marketing, bringing the sales operation in-house.
The Society of Authors
With copyright in flux, royalties in transition and PLR under threat (to name just three issues), Solomon has a full plate. She is a thoughtful, thorough campaigner for authors’ rights, this year raising concerns with the government over the Hargreaves Report and rounding on Hachette’s proposed change of author contracts. Philip Pullman, meanwhile, has begun his SoA presidency in forthright style.
Stone has led the supermarket to an excellent year, taking chunks of market share out of its competitors. Children’s, under kids’ buying manager Hayley Whittaker, has been a particular focus. Fifty per cent of bookshelf space in large stores is now earmarked for children’s (up from 30% a year ago), and the supermarket says that a third of its customers buy one children’s book each week.
Igloo, a children’s publisher launched less than 10 years ago by Styring and Tracey Lewis, has grown to a point that its turnover (£23m) easily eclipses that registered by the likes of Faber and Quercus. Igloo’s early growth was in its cheap and cheerful model (a major customer is The Works), but in recent years it has become a player in licensing, producing apps and enhanced e-books.
Ingram/Lightning Source UK
Senior v.p. content acquisition/group m.d.
Taylor continues to lead the expansion of Lightning Source UK, buoyed by self-publishing and publishers looking to cut print costs. A 2013 initiative is rolling out colour printing in its Milton Keynes plant. For Ingram, Taylor is the key man when it comes to forging deals internationally; an important partnership this year was the link-up with Russian major player EE Media.
Rogers, Coleridge & White/
Association of Authors’ Agents
Straus’ mission as president of the AAA is relatively simple: “preserving copyright, preserving authors’ remuneration and preserving the fragile ecology of the book trade”. These objectives may seem terribly 21st-century, but Straus argues that it has always been thus for agents. Even so, that has not stopped the RCW m.d. from jumping headlong into the key debates of the digital age. He has been vocal about a range of issues, including calling for limited licences (rather than for the length of copyright); urging publishers and retailers to be more transparent when reporting digital sales; and renewing a push for a 50% e-book royalty rate. Straus has a day job, too, with one of the starriest client lists in the business, including Kate Atkinson, Carol Ann Duffy, Colm Tóibín, Sophie Hannah and Philipp Meyer.
Macmillan Science and Education
For the past 18 months Thomas has headed Macmillan’s worldwide science and education division, and is thus responsible for almost 50% of parent Von Holtzbrinck’s circa €2bn annual turnover. Thomas will direct her empire from Macmillan’s new London “campus”, which consolidates its various UK businesses. This year has seen a major push into China: the publisher set up a Shanghai office after operating in the region for a decade.
London Book Fair
Senior exhibitions director
In her first year in charge, ex-Midas PR chief Thomas is putting her stamp on the UK’s premier book fair. The flagship digital conference will kick off the fair in 2014 (rather than ghettoised on the Sunday), whilst LBF and the PA will launch an international awards programme next year. Managing the move from Earls Court to a venue that satisfies the majority of fairgoers will be her toughest assignment to date.
Man Booker Prizes
This year’s annual Man Booker controversy was not about the award itself (most thought Eleanor Catton a worthy winner), but the rules changes for 2014, which will alter publisher submission processes and allow American authors to enter. The raging debate—opinion ranged from “canny move to become global literature’s premier prize” to a “cynical ploy to destroy the nascent Folio Prize”—only underscored just how important the award is.
Another year, another stonking set of results and expansion for Underhill’s Bertrams. The wholesaler saw sales and profits rise (by 7.8% to £187.9m and 6.1% to £7.2m respectively) in 2013, with much of the growth coming from new territories and businesses. International sales grew 30%; academic e-book sales jumped 38%; while consumer-facing website Wordery notched up £15m in sales in its first year.
The maverick with the razor-sharp publishing brain saw his titular company celebrate its 40th anniversary in style: solid growth, a blend of in-house content and sharp acquisitions, and international expansion—Usborne told a conference at Frankfurt Book Fair that a new European outpost in “Sweden, Poland or Turkey” would be added to its portfolio of six offices abroad.
Five years ago, if you were to bet on the author who would top the 2013 children’s charts for over half the year (27 of 46 weeks thus far), odds are you wouldn’t have picked the tall one from “Little Britain”. Published by Harper since 2008, Walliams’ popularity has soared. He has entered the Dahl/Donaldson realm, and has become the biggest homegrown British children’s author to début this century, with sales through BookScan standing at an incredible £5.4m thus far in 2013.
Touch Press is the answer to the question: does anyone make money on interactive apps? The ex-BBC producer’s company continues to make groundbreaking, format-bending, commercially successful products such as T S Eliot’s The Waste Land (with Faber), Disney Animated, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony—the last two Bookseller FutureBook Innovation Awards, too.
W H Smith
Books business unit director
Having been a part of WHS’ central buying team in various roles since 2007, the well-respected Wing took over as head of the books division from Rachel Russell—who moved to the retailer’s general merchandising department—in March. Wing’s team’s astute buying and its Richard & Judy link-up have enabled book sales to remain resilient in challenging times.
C.e.o. and group deputy c.e.o.
After seven years at the head of Hachette’s US business, Young has nimbly stepped into Peter Roche’s shoes as the Orion boss and number two to Tim Hely Hutchinson at the overall group. Tech-savvy, Young’s remit will focus on systems and IT, and getting the group to exploit digital communication, marketing and analytics.
Penguin Random House
What is different about the businesses of Penguin and Random House since the merger was completed in July? Well, not all that much at the moment. Yes, there has been some head office and backroom consolidation—RH’s Maureen Corish taking on the overall group communications role, Neil Morrison assuming combined HR duties, Helena Peacock becoming the group legal director—but Weldon is keen to continue the autonomy of the two companies, a sound strategy which will foster some friendly (and perhaps sometimes not so friendly) competition. Yet, there will undoubtedly be tough decisions to be made in the coming years (deciding on a half-decent group logo might be a good place to start). Weldon’s appointment seems to mark a generational shift, especially as he is a particular champion of multi-channel storytelling. Plus, his track record at the helm of Penguin—he led the publisher to its three biggest financial years in its august history—certainly augurs well for PRH.