Publishing Round-Up: 11th January 2016.

First SYP Scotland event of 2016: How to Get Published

Ever wonder how to get your own work published? Or just how publishers go about acquiring books? Then SYP Scotland has the event for you!

We’ve put together a panel of publishing gurus who can offer the best insight into the various routes to publication open to writers today. We’ll be hosting an agent, an editor and, of course, an author.

Whether you’re a writer wondering how to get your work out into the world, or a young publisher looking to learn more about the industry this is a not-to-miss event to kick off 2016 with SYP Scotland.

Wednesday 27th January, 6pm
Augustine United Church, Edinburgh

Non-member tickets: £5.
Member tickets: Free.

Available on Universe:

Panelists will be announced soon!

More info on Facebook:


Kate Atkinson wins Costa Novel Award

‘The first book awards of 2016 are the Costa Book Awards category winners. Uniquely, the prize has five categories – First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book – with one of the five winning books selected as the overall Costa Book of the Year. It is the only prize which places children’s books alongside adult books in this way. The Costa Book of the Year will be announced on Tuesday 26 January 2016.

  • First Novel AwardThe Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley (John Murray)
  • Novel AwardA God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson (Doubleday)
  • Biography AwardThe Invention of Nature: The Adventures of Alexander Von Humboldt, The Lost Hero of Science by Andrea Wulf (John Murray)
  • Poetry Award: 40 Sonnets by Don Paterson (Faber and Faber)
  • Children’s Book AwardThe Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge (Macmillan Children’s Books)

Read about the award on the Publishing Scotland website.

PRH sells Author Solutions

‘Penguin Random House has sold its controversial self-publishing division Author Solutions.

Author Solutions, acquired by Pearson in 2012 for $116m (£74m), for integration into Penguin, was sold to an affiliate of Najafi Companies, an Arizona-based private investment firm, on 31st December. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The acquisition of Author Solutions by Pearson/Penguin was always controversial, with then Penguin c.e.o. John Makinson having to defend the company against accusations that the buy would muddy its brand image.

Read more about the controversial site here.

Society of Authors seeks better contracts from publishers

‘The Society of Authors has issued an open letter addressed to members of the Publishers Association and Independent Publishers Guild asking publishers to address the issue of author earnings which it says are “falling fast”.

The letter seeks “serious contract reform” and makes the case for authors on the basis they are “the only essential part of the creation of a book” yet “most authors can’t survive on writing alone”, with the percentage of UK writers living solely from writing falling from 40% in 2005 to 11.5% today.

The SoA said: “Provisions that would never be acceptable in other contexts have been taken for granted in publishing agreements. Authors are now standing together to say ‘no’ … It is time for all publishers to consider how they can give authors the respect and share of the profits they deserve while still obtaining a fair return for their input in the process.”‘

Read more about SoA’s requests here.

Independent bookshops see sales increase over Christmas 2015

A survey of UK bookshops by The Bookseller has indicated that 72% saw a sales increase over 2015 Christmas period compared to 2014.

‘Despite this, those shops that saw sales rises reported that the annual percentage increases ranged from as little as 1% to as much as 35%. Of the 51 booksellers that responded to the survey, conducted between the end of December and the 5th January 2016, 8% said sales were down on 2014’s festive trading figures, while 20% said that sales were flat in comparison to a year earlier.

Footfall was also up this year, according to a similar survey conducted by the Booksellers Association, with 54% of the 70 bookshops surveyed reporting that the number of customers enticed into stores had increased.’

See more results from the survey here.

Blackwell’s sees 3.1% increase in book sales over Christmas 2015

‘Blackwell’s continued the success of other brick and mortar retailers this Christmas, reporting a 3.1% like-for-like increase in sales over the festive period.

The company’s c.e.o David Prescott told The Bookseller he was “very pleased” with the academic book chain’s festive performance.

“The increase was driven by the physical book sales on display at the front of store and in our three-for-two promotion, with those sales up 10% like-for-like,” he said. “The spoof Ladybird for adults series was a big part of that, but even without the Ladybird titles, the promotional sales were up 3.9%.

“It was a great Christmas and we are very pleased with it.”’

Read more about the increase here.


Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 20.37.57Goodreads to host Emma Watson’s feminist book club

‘Emma Watson has named My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem (Oneworld Publication) as the first title for her “feminist book club” – and selected free book-recommendation website Goodreads to host it.

Watson tweeted her 20m fans a link to her group page on Goodreads yesterday (7th January) after announcing she wanted to set up a feminist book club on Wednesday (6th January).

Watson has decided to call the book club “Our Shared Shelf” after asking fans for help with deciding on a name for it. The profile image for her shared reading space a speech bubble that reads “Feminism is for Everyone”.’

Read more about the book club here.


bookseller-new-site-logoThe Bookseller’s review of 2015


The Bookseller provides a very extensive numeric look at UK publishing’s year in 2015 including total unit book sales, average selling prices, top selling books and more.

‘From 2008 to 2014, our annual round-ups were doom-laden dirges, with the print market falling yearly through Nielsen BookScan – the drop over the duration of that period totalled £403m, or 22%. But times are a changin’; 2015 is a bubbly-popping Review of the Year. After green shoots of abating decline in 2014, last year broke the print market’s miserable run, recording the first rise in sales for seven years.’

See The Bookseller for the full report.


Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 20.52.04Publishing industry leaders’ 2016 predictions

Leading figures in publishing have told The Bookseller what the upcoming challenges of 2016 may be.

  • PRH CEO Tom Weldon believes e-book pricing will be the main challenge.
  • Hachette UK CEO Tim Hely Hutchinson says publishers must ‘ensure that we compete with all forms of digital media.’
  • HarperCollins UK CEO Charlie Redmayne mentions Amazon as a continued pressure, expects to see more transmedia storytelling, audiobooks and diversity.
  • Scholastic joint MD Catherine Bell believes humour in fiction will be strong in 2016 along with YA and fantasy.

Read the predictions of many more leading industry figures here.

Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 20.56.20Only a few hours left to get early-bird tix!

And in case you forgot, today (Monday 11th) is your LAST CHANCE to get the cheapest tickets to our conference 2020: A Publishing Odyssey! More info on our dedicated page, tickets available HERE. Make sure you don’t miss out before the prices go up!


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