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News stories from the book world in January 2015


Books for Africa

28 December 2015

This year the charity Book Aid InternationalSupplies much-needed books to developing countries, raising funds from publishers and general public; 'Reverse Book Club' is masterly idea-for just £5 ($10) month you can provide 48 books to go to where they're most needed, which goes from strength to strength, has sent over 1.1 million books to partners in Africa, beating their previous donation levels. Books and libraries are a crucial resource in sub-Saharan Africa. They are vital for quality education; they raise literacy levels, provide information and underpin development.  Read more

Big books in demand

14 December 2015

This article in the Guardian, Are books getting longer, shows that in both commercial bestseller lists and literary lists (measured by Booker Prize winners), the books that feature are tending to get longer. But this goes against a number of trends which you would expect to be pushing readers in the opposite direction.  Read more

Is your agent your manager?

30 November 2015

Lizzie Kremer's amusing article about being a nerd, which we link to this week, disguises a greater truth about agents, which is that behind the showmanship and flair that many of the better-known and possibly more successful ones show there is a great deal of attention paid to the detail of their clients' affairs, particularly their royalty statements and subsi  Read more

Indie publishers thriving

23 November 2015

The news from the independent publishing sector is good. The UK Independent Publishers Guild has just published its first report into the independent sector in the UK. What it shows is a thriving picture, with 600 independent publishers and just 15% of the respondents saying that their business is contracting.  Read more

Making short stories controversial

16 November 2015

The fuss that's been sparked off by the recent publication of Philip Henscher's selection of short Stories in The Penguin Book of the British Short Story suggests that short stories may be achieving more traction and visibility than they did even a few years ago.  Read more

Digital Census has plenty of surprises

9 November 2015

The recent Digital Census 2015 revealed some surprises in the responses. In the book trade in general there's been much talk of a slowdown and reversal in the speed of ebook adoption, accompanied by a revival in the fortunes of print. So what exactly did the Census reveal?  Read more

Self-publishing or traditional publishing, which is best?

2 November 2015

To self-publish or to go for a publisher? To publish your own book confidently as an indie author or to feel that only a publisher will be able to give you what you want?  Read more

Translations in the news

26 October 2015

Two of our links this week relate to AmazonCrossing's announcement of $10m to be spent on publishing translations, an impressive figure which shows how much translations are entering the mainstream. Whatever your view about Amazon's initiative, there's no doubt that translations in general are garnering much more international attention than they used to.  Read more

The Frankfurt Book Fair/Amazon sues fake reviewers

19 October 2015

We had intended to report on 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. this week, but all we have been able to glean so far is that it was a busy fair, with a great many successful rights deals, and the new layout of the Fair was generally liked.  Read more

Man Booker goes to stunning (and persistent) Jamaican Marlon James

12 October 2015

This week's story was to have been on the rise in support for short stories, until, that is, Marlon James had his stunning Man Booker Prize win last night.  Read more

Subscription service Oyster hits the rocks

5 October 2015

The announcement that the subscription service Oyster is to close down has prompted a lot of ruminating on the subject of how these services work.  Read more

Bestselling children's author leaves publishers to publish her own work

21 September 2015

In an unusual move, the UK children's publisher Chicken House and US publisher Little Brown Young Readers have both parted company with bestselling children's author Cornelia Funke, who both have published right from the beginning of her writing career. What's unusual about the split is that it's not about money, or more promotion, but about differences relating to editorial advice.  Read more