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News stories from the book world in January 2012


The year ends with a surprise

31 December 2012

December ended with a piece of news combining the two big news stories of the year - the continued rise of the ereader market and the efforts of Pearson to work out a future for itself.  Read more

Big deal for ghost-written books

17 December 2012

 The recent news of a £15m (over $24m) deal between Wilbur Smith and HarperCollins worldwide, a new publisher for the author, has caused some controversy this week. The deal is for six books but the Sunday Times claimed that Smith will not write them himself.  Read more

Futurebooks on the changing role of publishers

10 December 2012

 The Bookseller's big Futurebook conference last week gave top publishers an opportunity to lay out their stalls in terms of the future. The keynote speaker was Charlie Redmayne, CEO of Pottermore , (see this week's Comment).  Read more

Audiobooks - still seeking an audience?

3 December 2012

 Audiobooks have long been the Cinderellas of the publishing business, with many anticipated new dawns which have failed to produce much bigger sales.  Read more

Self-publishing booms in the US

26 November 2012

Recent figures from Bowker show self-publishing continuing its rapid growth in the US. The number of self-published books coming out has nearly tripled since 2006, with 235,625 new print and ebook titles published in 2011.  Read more

Twenty years to become a bestseller

19 November 2012

 After twenty years of rejection, Hilary Boyd certainly didn't expect to achieve phenomenal success with Thursdays in the Park. A 62 year-old grandmother, she was very much more used to failure.  Read more

More merger talk

12 November 2012

Things are settling around the idea of Random House and Penguin merging, but there are plenty of dire predictions. Some think it will change the nature of publishing as we know it, others that it will lead to further consolidation.  Read more

Random House and Penguin in mega merger

29 October 2012

There's no doubt about the top story this week. The news that Random House and Penguin are negotiating a merger came out of the blue. Both companies are large, with Random House currently the biggest UK publisher with 16.2% of books sales, and Penguin with 10.9%, giving them a combined 27.1%. In the US the merger would give the combined entity slightly less of the total at 25%.  Read more

Romance rides high in ebooks

22 October 2012

New imprints are being set up to publish genre fiction in ebook form.  Read more

Frankfurt trends

8 October 2012

 A report on ebook statistics and trends to be launched at the Publishers Launch Conference which precedes the Frankfurt Book FairWorld's largest trade fair for books; held annually mid-October at Frankfurt Trade Fair, Germany; First three days exclusively for trade visitors; general public can attend last two. next week suggests that some of the wilder predictions about ebook adoption have been off the mark.  Read more

Rowling grabs the headlines

2 October 2012

 It almost seems as if the only thing which has happened this last week is that J K Rowling has published her first adult novel. There's been no escaping the coverage gleaned by the media from a generally unreachable author.   Read more

How winning a prize can help your career

24 September 2012

 There's little doubt that winning a literary prize can give a big boost to your career as a writer. Unfortunately though many of the prizes which attract the most attention and are most financially attractive to the winner are only open to writers who have been published by a publisher, ie not self-published.  Read more