Here’s your monthly summary of hot publishing news from around the interwebs! Don’t forget, you can read the full article over on the BookMachine blog.
This month in publishing news, there has been an unusual obsession with the smell of books. Not only did scientists pin-point that distinctive smell of second-hand bookshops, but the Guardian discovered what you can tell about an individual book from its smell – and why the scent is so addictive.
In the bookselling sphere, Amazon once again dominated the opinions columns, as their forays into bricks and mortar bookshops continue. Plans for a second New York City bookstore, and another in Massachusetts are underway, while Seattle has been tipped as the next Amazon experiment ground. Continue reading BookMachine | April Wrap: Publishing stories from around the web
It’s the time of the month where I round up all the internet’s top publishing stories and stick them in one place on the BookMachine blog for your perusal! Here’s a sneak peek – don’t forget to visit the BookMachine blog for more…
The big news from March in UK publishing is obviously the London Book Fair (LBF). Poland shone at this year’s Market Focus, and the Fair was busier than usual, with six-figure deals struck ahead of time and publishers cheerfully splashing cash as sales rose. This was seen as further evidence of the rise of print, with The Guardian stating that by the end of the month stats showing that print outperformed digital. Yet, despite the recent whopping $65m forward paid for the Obamas’ new book (which hasn’t pleased all and prompted a list of the biggest deals of all time) no single title emerged as this year’s big hitter. Continue reading BookMachine | The March Wrap
When BookMachine asked for an opinion, I couldn’t not comment. Read the full article here, or grab the snippet below:
Outrage abounds in the wake of Philip Hammond’s 2017 Budget announcement on Wednesday. Amongst other controversial moves, National Insurance (NI) payments on the self-employed have been increased by 2%. But what effect will this raise have on the growing number of self-employed and freelance workers in the publishing industry?
Let’s start by looking at the cold, hard figures. The 2017 Budget has brought in a 2% rise in NI contributions for the UK’s self-employed workers. The self-employed normally pay one of two different kinds of NI: Class 2, if your profits are £5,965+ per year, and Class 4 if they are £8,060+ per year. Class 4 payments are divided into two categories: 9% on profits of £8,060-£43,000, and 2% on profits over £43,000. Continue reading BookMachine | A tax on the precariat: what the 2017 budget means for the self-employed in publishing
You might remember that a couple of months ago, some of my articles from 2015 were selected for Snapshots III, the third annual collaborative book produced by BookMachine and Kingston University Press. I am pleased to say, you can now get you can get your mitts on your very own copy via Amazon!
If you’re in the industry or a publishing enthusiast, then it’s really worth picking up a copy. It’s full of insightful words from the industry’s movers and shakers as well as savvy predictions about where we’re headed next…
This fortnight on Bookmachine, I went a bit bananas…
Collaboration is the rage at the moment, yet the misleadingly straightforward word can hide a minefield of possible pitfalls: how do you reach out to others to start collaborating? And once you’ve formed a partnership, how do you maintain your needs and vision whilst still allowing for those of others? Collaboration can be pretty scary if you haven’t tried it before and if you’ve had a bad experience, it can be even more intimidating.
So what’s the answer? According to workshop leader Jamie Catto, the key is to think bananas!
According to Catto, and numerous psychological studies, we have reached a state of business in recent years where we all expect ourselves to be perfect but, not only is this perfect ideal unattainable, it actually harms our ability to reach our full potential. Continue reading BookMachine | Collaboration Nation: On the art of thinking ‘bananas’
This fortnight’s BookMachine article is up! This time, it’s on the effects of the digital revolution on business. Read it over on the Bookmachine blog, or get started right here:
World-famous travel and maps bookshop Stanfords has announced that, alongside books, they will now be offering horse-drawn omnibus tours of London to their customers. While this idea fits well with their brand, it definitely breaks the mould of what we have come to expect from a bookshop. And Stanfords aren’t the only ones employing lateral thinking to revamp their brand: it’s a phenomena happening across the board and it’s results are as exciting as they are intriguing.
Why digital forced us to adapt
The last decade has seen a revolution in the way we use technology. It has become unimaginably mobile, instant, easy and relatively cheap. Smartphones were released in 2000 but the iPhone, which really lit the smart-phone fire in line with the roll-out of 3G internet access, was launched as recently as 29 June 2007. The iPad only followed in 1 April 2010. The first mainstream eReaders, the Sony Reader and Kindle, were only released in 2006 and 2007 respectively. Continue reading BookMachine | Malleable Models: The real effects of the digital revolution on business
This fortnight’s Bookmachine article, sponsored by Getty images, has gone live! It’s all about the fine line between honest enough and too much in YA literature. Read it over on the Bookmachine blog, or get started right here:
The Office of Intellectual Freedom (OIF), an arm of the American Library Association (ALA), recently released the list of the most banned books in the US during 2014. It’s an annual report, but what’s surprising is that, year upon year, these lists increasingly contain YA and Children’s titles.
These challenges seem to be part of a wider movement debating the appropriateness and necessity of more mature themes cropping up in literature aimed at younger audiences. More importantly, it brings up the question, once you leave the parents out: what do young people really want to read about? Continue reading Bookmachine | Towing the Line: Banned books & YA fiction
This fortnight for BookMachine, I just had to jump on the Kamila Shamsie train, and because I believe that content is king (call me naive!) I had to put in my pennyworth about female protagonists. Read the full article on the BookMachine blog, or get started right here:
Just over a week ago, author Kamila Shamsie spoke out publically, including in The Guardian and The Bookseller, proposing that 2018 should become the Year of Publishing Women (YPM), in order to help counterbalance the prevalent gender bias in Publishing towards male authors. Continue reading BookMachine | Authorship versus content representation: What’s the way forward for equality?
Every year, self-publishing platform and book community, CompletelyNovel, offers ten writers the chance to launch their books collaboratively at the One Big Book Launch. The author selection process means that the opportunity is given to both traditionally and self-published authors to launch for their book with an event, when they might not otherwise be able to. Continue reading The One Big Book Launch with BookMachine & CompletelyNovel
In light of the fantastic time I had at the UK Games Expo this weekend, I thought I’d give a shout out to all those gorgeous RPG publishers out there in this fortnight’s BookMachine article. It’s a pit-stop tour of a diverse and lovely niche in our industry, so please forgive any generalisations: I did my best with a little word count! Read the whole thing over on the BookMachine blog, or get started right here:
This weekend saw one of Britain’s largest annual meetings of leisure games enthusiasts at the 2015 UK Games Expo in Birmingham. Amongst the 14,000 attendees (up 20% from last year) were some were some of the most successful Roleplaying Game (RPG) publishers in the industry, showing that this niche, with its many curious quirks, has a lot to teach the mainstream about publishing in the digital age. Continue reading BookMachine | Ahead of the Curve: What RPG publishers have to teach the mainstream
This fortnight’s BookMachine article, sponsored by Getty Images, is all about the growing importance of visual branding, in Publishing and beyond! Check out the full column here, or read this taster to get you started:
Having a recognizable iconography associated with a brand has always been a crucial marketing techniques to draw in consumers. Yet, in a world where we are bombarded by an increasing number of advertisements every day, standing out and having a consistent visual brand is becoming harder, and more important, than ever before. Continue reading BookMachine | WYSIWYG: The growing importance of visual branding
Another fortnight, another BookMachine column! This time, it’s all about the faceless model on bookcovers and how marketing with imaginative space separates Publishing from other industries. Read the full article over on the BookMachine blog – but here’s a taster to get you started:
There is a growing tradition in book publishing to use faceless models on book covers. Tried and tested, models whose faces are hidden are good at selling books. But what’s the psychological process behind this trend? What are the consequences of this marketing method for the reader and should we be keeping an eye on them? Continue reading BookMachine | Imaginative Space: The role of the faceless model on fiction book covers
On Wednesday night, I attended this launch of Snapshots II, a collaborative book produced by BookMachine and Kingston University Press. Each year, the Kingston Publishing MA students get together and hand pick their favourite articles from the BookMachine blog and curate them into one beautiful, publishing-nerd-friendly blook.*
Very excitingly, the 2015 blook featured, not one, but two articles by me! I am incredibly thrilled to have been featured at all and I have been thoroughly impressed by the final product. This year’s students really outdid themselves! Continue reading Launch of SNAPSHOTS II from Bookmachine & Kingston Publishing MA
I am very pleased to announce with this fortnight’s article, that my BookMachine posts, and BookMachine itself, are now sponsored by none other than Getty Images! This is a really exciting development and I couldn’t be prouder to be working with such a creative and forward-thinking company.
As for the article, this week its all about coding and how to futureproof your skill set. You can read the whole post right here on the BookMachine blog, but here’s a little taster to get you started:
The digital revolution might seem like a challenge to us now, but there’s a whole new generation of digital natives that will be coming into the jobs market over the next decade, for whom coding, apps and mobile technology are as natural as breathing. Continue reading Bookmachine | Coder Generation: Building digital skills doesn’t have to be scary
Another fortnight, another Bookmachine article: and this time it’s all about the Buzzword Trap. You could be trapped without realising it… As ever, read more over on the Bookmachine blog.
Last year, it was all about ‘disruption’, this year it’s all about ‘pivoting’. Buzzwords are a given part of any industry, but when do they start to do more harm than good?
Buzzwords flag up concepts quickly and easily, alluding to an entire theory with just one word or phrase. Let’s take ‘disruption’ as an example. Each time somebody says ‘disruption’, they are referencing the act of innovating against the industry norm, implicitly in such a way as to scupper their competitors. It’s undeniably convenient to be able to sum all that up with one word.
But ‘disruption’ was old hat by mid-2014. Nowadays those in the know are ‘pivoting’ their businesses. Interestingly, when you analyse both of these ideas, they actually mean almost identical things. This not unusual, in fact it’s a critical part of a buzzword’s life-cycle… [READ MORE]
Here’s the latest instalment from my fortnightly column over on Bookmachine. To read the rest of the article, visit the Bookmachine blog!
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become an increasingly important part of corporate identities during the last decade. Environmental and social concerns have become core, not just to forerunners such as The Body Shop and Timberland, but even huge corporations such as Starbucks, Unilever, and Walt Disney. The question remains, however: will a commitment to CSR add value to your business as a Publisher?
In its simplest form, CSR focuses on a triple bottom line of social, environmental and financial responsibility. In an increasing number of countries there are laws stating that, to a greater or lesser degree, each business should be responsible for its actions. Many businesses are choosing to go beyond simple compliance, though, and are creating CSR guidelines and commitments of their own.
This leaves an enormous scope for discussion, but for this article I’m going to look at environmental responsibility, as the figures for Publishing in this area are pretty astonishing… [READ MORE]