Publishing Trendsetter is a production of Market Partners International and Publishing Trends.

Top 5 Publishing News Stories 7/18-7/22

number_5_orangeEvery week we recommend 5 publishing news stories that young book professionals should read to feel more connected to what’s going on in the industry. There are only 5, so even if you weren’t able to read a thing all week, these should help keep you in the know.

Hachette and Booktrack are partnering to provide soundtracks for select young adult novellas.

Amazon launches “Singles Classics” for the Kindle app, a service dedicated to stories and essays from years past.

The Library of Congress continues to recover from a July 17 denial-of-service attack.

With its expansion into “Channels,” Audible brings “a Netflix sensibility to reading junkies” – but don’t call it podcasting.

Hastings Entertainment is shutting down all of its stores for liquidation.

Bonus: See the original homepage from Amazon’s 1995 launch.

Top 5 Publishing News Stories 7/11-7/15

number_5_orangeEvery week we recommend 5 publishing news stories that young book professionals should read to feel more connected to what’s going on in the industry. There are only 5, so even if you weren’t able to read a thing all week, these should help keep you in the know.

After a long wait, Carla Hayden was confirmed to be the new librarian of Congress.

Tor began a new monthly book club that offers a free ebook each month.

DC announced the new Superman will be Kong Kenan, a Chinese boy.

IPG purchased InScribe Digital.

Barnes & Noble announced two new changes, a partnership with Adaptive Studios and selling cosmetics in their college bookstores.

A Trendsetter Farewell from Jen Donovan

waving emojiEditor’s note: It is with both great excitement for Jen and sadness for me that I share this today. Last Wednesday was Jen’s last day with Trendsetter. She’s given so much energy and work behind Trendsetter, and I can’t wait to see what comes of her new chapter at St. Martin’s.

After what feels like the shortest two years of my life, I’ve decided to leave Publishing Trendsetter to work as an assistant editor at St. Martin’s Press.

I originally joined the Trendsetter team hoping to learn more about the publishing industry as a whole, especially the more business-oriented aspects that are often ignored in editorial departments. I’m so happy to be taking away a wealth of knowledge from this experience and can’t wait to put it to use in my new position.

The things I’ve learned by writing for Trendsetter and for its parent site Publishing Trends have varied greatly, from the basic like how ISBNs work in self-publishing and which newsletters I should subscribe to, to the more complicated like how libraries license ebooks and what VAT has to do with DRM in Europe. This is in large thanks to my editor Samantha Howard who always encouraged me to research whatever interested me or whatever I cared to learn more about.

In addition to learning by writing, a lot of what I’ve learned here was done through reading. This learning was achieved partly by reading as many books in as many genres as possible to broaden my reading horizons. But I believe an even larger amount was through reading everything and anything on news sites that had to do with the book publishing industry. This is how we find articles for our Top 5 Links series, but it’s also how I learned about the trends in the industry, which I think is important knowledge for anyone who hopes to find the next bestselling novel.

So here’s my parting advice to anyone in the beginning of their publishing career, based on my own limited experience:

  1. If there’s any small part of publishing that interests you or that you don’t understand but want to, research it until you know everything about it. Just because you might’ve finished school doesn’t mean it’s time to stop learning. Instead, it’s time for you to take the initiative to learn about your chosen industry on your own.
  2. Read everything. Don’t limit yourself to one genre, or one publishing department or one company, but instead read whatever books are recommended to you, read the news, and read the op-eds. Everyone knows publishing is in a state of flux. You need to know what’s changing and how it affects what you do or want to do.

I hope you find this advice helpful and that you’ve found my posts helpful. Thanks for everything!

Top 5 Publishing News Stories 7/4-7/8

number_5_orangeEvery week we recommend 5 publishing news stories that young book professionals should read to feel more connected to what’s going on in the industry. There are only 5, so even if you weren’t able to read a thing all week, these should help keep you in the know.

Scholastic Books entered into a partnership with American Girl.

Harlequin settled the class action lawsuit filed against them in 2012 over ebook royalties.

Random House and Christopher Myers, son of Walter Dean Myers, will make a new children’s imprint called Make Me a World.

Harlequin started a new literary imprint called Park Row Books.

Amazon will open a physical bookstore in New York City.

Book Jobs Not by the Book: Cristina Mezuk, Publisher Content Coordinator for [email protected]

Cristina Mezuk graduated from the University of Michigan in 2005 with a Bachelors of Fine Arts. Her first publishing-related job was as a Publicity Assistant and in-house creative for an independent bookstore which hosted author readings and other events. She then worked as a Production Assistant at JSTOR, in the journal archives division on the Archival Accuracy and Completeness team. Later, she was hired as a Content Digitization Project Manager at the publisher Cengage Learning (formerly Gale), who publishes and distributes fiction and higher ed books. Currently, she is working at JSTOR again, this time as the Publisher Content Coordinator for the [email protected] program, where she is the main point of contact for books in the content management division. She currently resides in Ann Arbor, MI.cristina mezuk

What was your first exposure to book business and what were the most important things you gained from it?
My first book-related job was technically working as a clerk at a comic book store. It was a dream job, since I had been obsessed with comics for most of my childhood. It was so much fun to know about the latest comics coming in, recommend books based on people’s preferences, and (most importantly) fuel my comic book addiction. But really, being able to interact with people about a product I was passionate about was incredibly rewarding and fun.

A few years later, I was hired at a local independent bookstore to help with textbook rush. This shop was located on the University of Michigan campus, and sold quite a few humanities titles for college classes for a short period of time. The amount of awesome literature I wound up buying during that time helped shape my reading habits. Plus, the camaraderie between my fellow co-workers during this rush period of 2-6 weeks was incredible, and long lasting. The majority of my best friends worked with me at this store, so I owe quite a bit to that experience.


How do you explain your current job to people?
I usually say that I work at a digital archive and platform, and do stuff with eBooks. If their eyes don’t glaze over at that point, I might continue with a “have you ever seen how a book product page looks on Am
azon?” and try to explain metadata and electronic book production to them. Since it’s such a strange job, I don’t go into too much detail because often the listener has no idea what I’m talking about. Every so often I’ll meet someone who knows XML and we can geek out about ONIX tagging together.


In what ways did your previous jobs or internships prepare you for what you do here?
I think my time working at a book publisher helped put everything into perspective in my current job. In my last gig, I was literally sending eBooks to retail platforms like Amazon, Yuzu, etc, so now I know what the other side is like. I know what processes are involved in creating eBooks, how publisher internal data management systems might work, and most importantly, what the expectations the publisher has for their content. In that regard, I think my time working for a publisher was invaluable.


What value has this job brought to the way you think about book business as a whole and your own relationship to books?
At this point I’ve worked for a brick-and-mortar retail shop, a publishing platform, and a publisher. Because of this, I feel like my knowledge about the book business is more well-rounded than most. Of course, part of me still secretly thinks I now need to work at a library and printing press to complete my book publishing knowledge!
As for my relationships with books – even though I look at them every day in PDF form, I barely read anymore. I often see content I’d like to read while I’m at work, but because it’s “work” related I just can’t get motivated to look them up later. I used to read voraciously when I had hard copies at my fingertips during my time working at a bookstore, so perhaps I’m an old fashioned gal that needs a real book in order to get excited about reading.

Top 5 Publishing News Stories 6/27-7/1

number_5_orangeEvery week we recommend 5 publishing news stories that young book professionals should read to feel more connected to what’s going on in the industry. There are only 5, so even if you weren’t able to read a thing all week, these should help keep you in the know.

Barnes & Noble announced a print extension of their self-publishing platform.

Author Gay Talese renounces his controversial new book after finding out his source may not have been credible.

Amazon is starting a new platform for education called Amazon Inspire.

Former Editorial Director of Amazon, Sara Nelson is moving to HarperCollins.

German publishers are taking a stand against Google.

With Great Power, Comes Meh Comic Sales

This article was originally published on our parent site for the book publishing industry, Publishing Trends


* * *

Superhero movies – and to an extent TV shows – are one of the biggest trends in entertainment of recent years.  But success on the screen doesn’t guarantee comic book sales. To better analyze the correlation, I took a look at the trade paperback sales of two comic books for two of the most popular superhero films in 2016 so far: Deadpool and Captain America: Civil War, both of which happened to be Marvel titles.  In addition, I reviewed what some industry professionals have said on the subject.

The Deadpool movie grossed over $132 million during its opening weekend and over $778 million in theaters worldwide since its release in mid-February 2016. Deadpool Volume 1: Dead Presidents (trade paperback collection of issues 1-6, ISBN 9780785166801) has sold 32,269 copies since its release date of June 11, 2013. Deadpool Volume 8: All Good Things (the trade paperback collection of issues 41-44, ISBN 9780785192442) was published closest to the movie’s theater release and sold 5,772 copies since coming out on June 1, 2015.

I took a look at their sales on Nielsen Bookscan before and after the movie’s release, by looking at their sales during its first week available, the week after the trailer premiered in September, during the film’s first week in theaters, and when the movie was released on DVD. With Vol. 1, I saw a slight upward tick in sales during the week of the movie’s release in theaters, but the number was nowhere near its initial sales week. With Vol. 8, the sales’ rise and fall seem to reflect the movie’s prevalence in media at the time.

Comics Chart FINAL


Why don’t more movie fans decide to pick up the comic? A big part of the problem, according to Ian Warren on Comic Book Daily, is the vast universes don’t always match up. For example, “the movie Iron Man cherry-picked the most fun, glamorous, dynamic elements of the 60s-80s,” Warren said. So when fans tried to shift from the movie franchise to the comic, they found a completely different Iron Man from the Robert Downey Jr. version.

This isn’t a problem limited to the films, but extends to cartoons as well, where storylines and characters from the comic books don’t always match up with the ones that make people fall in love with the universe on the screen.

On top of this, Warren feels “DC and Marvel don’t make it easy for new readers. Their broad sweeping storylines can be daunting to a new reader for sure.” And even more annoyingly for new readers, “the writers champion existing readers by making stories about incidents from years ago without any thought about trying to garner a new audience.”

Read More »

Top 5 Publishing News Stories 6/20-6/24

number_5_orangeEvery week we recommend 5 publishing news stories that young book professionals should read to feel more connected to what’s going on in the industry. There are only 5, so even if you weren’t able to read a thing all week, these should help keep you in the know.

Travel book publisher Fodor’s will be purchased by Internet Brands.

The aftermath of Brexit promises to have serious trade implications in Britain.

Consumers across ereading platforms received credits to their accounts per Apple‘s antitrust ruling in the Supreme Court.

Thomas Dunne Books is being revamped into a smaller imprint at St. Martin’s.

After another quarter of losses, Barnes & Noble plans to build more physical “concept stores.

Bonus: We’re hiring! Join the Trendsetter squad.

Internview: Say Hello to Margo!

We are excited to welcome Margo Fitzpatrick to the fold of Market Partners International, Publishing Trends, and Publishing Trendsetter this summer as our intern! She comes to us from University of Chicago, and you can read more about her on our about page.

What aspects of Publishing Trends and MPI interest you most as you enter the internship?13329428_10156970701085075_87468033237163231_o

Publishing Trends and MPI are attractive to me for their dedication to the ever-changing nature of the industry.  As a work-community, MPI is comprised of seasoned professionals who are knowledgeable about the industry’s evolution.  Working as an intern in this environment will facilitate my interactions with such professionals from whom I can’t wait to learn!

As a relative newbie to the industry, Publishing Trends interests me as an active source for information concerning the business’s evolution.  Without access to such informational tools, getting up-to-date news concerning the industry would be considerably more challenging.  MPI’s other book-business website Publishing Trendsetter also is especially helpful for me, because it offers beginners resources that I have already found incredibly helpful, such as “A Beginner’s Guide to Industry Newsletters.”

What “skill-sets” or areas of your knowledge would you most like to broaden with this internship?

Through this internship, I would like to expand upon my knowledge of trends in book publishing.  Because this internship will allow me to do much research, I hope to acquire a more comprehensive understanding of how the publishing industry evolves and how it currently exists.  Working on Publishing Trends and Publishing Trendsetter, sources of intelligence, should aid me in this goal.  Overall, I would like to emerge from my internship able to speak intelligently with other professionals about current trends in the industry.

What kind of value do you think might be unique to a non-traditional book-business internship (as opposed to other more traditional internships with a publisher or agent)?

Working as an intern for a non-traditional book-business holds value in its capacity for broad teaching.  This internship promises to teach many facets of the publishing industry, providing a more “macro view” of the industry than perhaps could be gained from a more traditional book-based internship.  As a relative newcomer to the industry, I believe a more “macro”-focused internship is very valuable, as it will allow me to discover what aspects of the industry I am most interested in.

You’ve had other publishing internships as well, what makes you so drawn to publishing as a field?

When asked in childhood what I wanted to “do” as an adult, I would answer that I wanted to get paid to read books.  How people laughed!  But once I learned of the publishing industry, I rephrased my answer and began telling people that this was the business for me.  In addition to the perks of being employed to read (and write, another dear past-time of mine), those working in the publishing industry are guaranteed to be interested in ever-continuing their education.  After graduation from school, learning does not stop for those entering the publishing work force.  I want to surround myself with other people who are as passionate as I am about literature and its innovation, and publishing is a career path that allows for this excitement towards literary achievement.

Top 5 Publishing News Stories 6/13-6/17

number_5_orangeEvery week we recommend 5 publishing news stories that young book professionals should read to feel more connected to what’s going on in the industry. There are only 5, so even if you weren’t able to read a thing all week, these should help keep you in the know.

In the first change at Perseus since Hachette’s acquisition, Seal Press is now an imprint of Da Capo Press.

UK bookstore Waterstones has announced that if Brexit goes through, then jobs will be cut.

Texas-based retailer Hastings Entertainment filed for bankruptcy this week. 

The decision for former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura’s defamation case against the late American Sniper author Chris Kyle was reversed in the court of appeals.

Amazon plans to open a third bricks-and-mortar bookstore; this time in Portland.

BonusThe Community Bookstore cat Tiny the Usurper went missing this week, but is back home now.