Author Archives: theAdmin

New edition of Inside Book Publishing

The new edition of Inside Book Publishing will be published this summer!

Now in its fifth edition, it remains the classic introduction to the book publishing industry, being both a manual for the profession for over two decades and the bestselling textbook for students of publishing.

This new edition has been fully updated to respond to the rapid changes in the market and technology. Now more global in its references and scope, the book explores the tensions and trends affecting the industry, including the growth of ebooks, self-publishing, and online retailing, and new business models and workflows. The book provides excellent overviews of the main aspects of the publishing process, including commissioning, product development, design and production, marketing, sales and distribution.

IBP cover

Assange leaks

The decision by Canongate to publish this autumn the memoir by Julian Assange without the author’s permission raises interesting questions. The publisher appears to be attempting to recoup some of their investment – the reported advance paid on signature was £250,000. In the US Knopf have cancelled their contract with the author and will mostly likely lose the advance they paid – $250,000.

It is not clear why Assange did not want to carry on work on the book. It is suggested that he had realized that any money made would simply be swallowed up by his legal bills. He has said that he does not have the time to work on the book and needs to concentrate on his legal battle against extradition. What has transpired, however, is that the book was being ghostwritten by Andrew O’Hagan on the basis of interviews with Assange. (Canongate will also have to pay O’Hagan for his work.)

In Inside Book Publishing we highlighted a case from 2006 when Random House sued Joan Collins. The publisher was attempting to retrieve the advance paid to her of $1.3m, alleging that the manuscripts she had delivered for two books were unpublishable. Collins won the case since the original contract only said that the manuscript should be ‘complete’ – not satisfactory.

It is certainly not usual for a publisher to go ahead with publication against the author’s wishes, and it is fairly extraordinary that they have issued what is only a draft. They must be calculating that the author will not wish to be involved in another court case, and according to the Guardian, they are relying on a clause in the contract which says that if the manuscript is not acceptable, they can decide whether to publish the work. Untested also is the issue of the author’s moral rights – for example, the right to prevent false attribution, which prevents an author from being credited with something that they did not write. Would Assange have a case?


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Up in the cloud

Announced in the US this week is the launch of the new ebook service from Google. This draws on the books already digitized by Google and will offer millions of free books alongside ebooks for purchase. Taking books into the cloud, and therefore not stored on any particular machine, will enable readers to access their ebooks on a whole range of devices.
This is what Google say:

‘We designed Google eBooks to be open. Many devices are compatible with Google eBooks— everything from laptops to netbooks to tablets to smartphones to e-readers. With the new Google eBooks Web Reader, you can buy, store and read Google eBooks in the cloud. That means you can access your ebooks like you would messages in Gmail or photos in Picasa — using a free, password-protected Google account with unlimited ebooks storage.’
Quick to respond, Amazon have also announced a cloud-based service for the Kindle, to be made available in the coming months. See this article here in the Los Angeles Times

 

Borders in administration

This last week brought the sad news that Borders has gone into administration. The company lost over £13m last year and has struggled to find a buyer for the chain. Before a management buyout, it was owned by Luke Johnson (Chairman of Channel 4) and his private equity firm. They in turn had bought the chain from the US owners in 2007.

The first Borders superstore opened in Oxford Street in 1998. Borders had an urban bias, with a strong customer base amongst the 35-44 age bracket and an AB socio-demographic group. It sold a range of other products, including magazines, music, toys and DVDs, and had 45 stores.

A further decline in competition on the High Street is not good news for book buyers, and the problems faced by Borders can be attributed to the growth in discounted book sales through the Internet and supermarkets. Some are pinning their hopes on a revival of independent bookselling – see the article here sep 18, 2014 –

Inside Book Publishing – now published

The new edition of Inside Book Publishing is now available and this is the companion website to the printed book. We are delighted that Philip Jones from The Bookseller is blogging here on a regular basis, and he has already started the discussion. What is the future for the printed book, and will we have an iPod moment in book publishing? Certainly the ebook is growing in importance – there is an ebook of our book available from Routledge – but will you be reading a novel on the beach using a handheld reader such as the Amazon Kindle or the Sony Reader? Publishers are asking themselves this question at the moment. This is what we write in the Introduction to Inside Book Publishing:

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Widget for Inside Book Publishing

Book publishers are using widgets to help promote their new titles. If you follow this link here, you can view the widget for Inside Book Publishing . This widget can be pasted by the user into their own blog or social networking page. Readers can search inside the whole book and browse sample pages.