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Top 5 Publishing News Stories 7/27-7/31

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.

Amazon struck a huge deal with New York City’s Department of Education to make an ebook marketplace for textbooks.

Literary magazine, PANK, announced that it is folding at the end of 2015.

Several European countries are in an uproar over the Value Added Tax placed on ebooks.

Amazon wants their own airspace to fly drones.

South Carolina’s book festival, which had been in operation since 1997, has been canceled indefinitely.

Dress for Publishing Success: Ladies Edition

Let me start by saying that I am by no means a fashion expert or publishing industry dress code guru. In fact, when I sat down to write this article, I dug through my closet and noticed that I have a penchant toward sundresses, cat sweaters, and animal print blouses. Zooey Deschanel is probably my spirit animal and I look like a librarian or a Sunday school teacher on most days. So, I guess I’d be more suited to write an article titled “How to Dress like a Librarian,” but librarians work with books and so do people who work in book publishing. I suppose it’s one in the same.

All jokes aside, when I decided that I wanted to work in book publishing, I researched publishing house dress codes, but noticed that there were very few articles or blog posts about dressing for this particular industry.  There were plenty of articles about dressing for a law firm or Wall Street, and even more articles for making an impression at your Cosmo interview, but none for book publishing.

Reality check: book publishing is creative because words are artistic (the Met and MoMA staff may disagree with me on this one), but it’s not “deck yourself in designer labels and feathers” creative—that’s too, well, Vogue. So, while you may not want to show up to work in sequins and Chanel, you probably don’t want to show up in a full pantsuit either.

After interning at a literary agency and working at a small publishing house for over a year, I’ve made some astute observations about dressing the part of a badass book publishing woman. Here are a few tips and suggestions:

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Top 5 Publishing News Stories 7/20-7/24

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.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt signed agency deal with Amazon, Apple, and Google, stabilizing its ebook prices on most retail websites.

Rizzoli Bookstore will open in its new New York City location on Monday.

HarperCollins launched its Agency Portal, to make royalty statements, U.S. sales data and anti-piracy information easily accessible to agents of HC authors.

The ebook soundtrack company Booktrack raised an additional $5 million in funding.

Diversion Books’ EverAfter Romance imprint now has a print program for its self-published authors.

Columbia Publishing Course 2015 Super-Grad

Editor’s note: This article was originally posted on our parent site, Publishing Trends.

It’s that time again! This year’s Columbia Publishing Course (formerly the Radcliffe Publishing Course) Graduates are an impressive bunch. As is our yearly tradition, we’ve culled the most remarkable and curious tidbits from the students’ biography to create one supernaturally talented candidate. With the exception of some connecting phrases, the words are the students’ own.

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This year’s Typical Columbia Publishing Course Grad, let’s call her Genevieve, was born an accidental Canadian on her sister’s seventh birthday. She was named after a British girl who believed herself to be a dog. She grew up in a small town in Hometown, USA, but spent most of her youth pretending to be in Middle Earth, slaying orcs in live action role-playing games. Her first break in publishing came at the age of ten when she won a caption contest in Nickelodeon magazine. Genevieve has been playing guitar in various rock and heavy metal bands since she was eleven years old, and has been collecting theatre posters and Playbills since the age of 12.

In college, she was known as the opera-singing rugby player. Genevieve spent her days attending Jamaica Kincaid’s and Mary Gaitskill’s fiction workshops. During semesters abroad, she studied Jonathan Swift’s manuscripts at the Bodleian Library to determine if marks were commas or blotches, and excavated plague skeletons in Ireland. She published a study on the linguistics of college dating and cofounded an organization modeled after TED Talks. Her April Fools’ Day article “Nutella To Be Discontinued By The End Of 2015, Hearts Break Worldwide” captivated readers and grossed over one million views. To prove her commitment to paper, she once refused to download known doorstopper The Luminaries and instead carried it with her, in brick form, in a backpack around India.

After graduation, she became stage manager for a film production company and manager of the drummer-themed app launched by Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Genevieve, a woman of many talents, has also been a miniature train conductor, a beekeeper, and has sold books at Garrison Keillor’s bookstore. She tackled Mount Kilimanjaro and a 500-mile hike across Spain and was once evacuated from Beirut when the government there collapsed. At the White House, she analyzed constituent mail addressed to the president.

An equal opportunity reader, Genevieve is just as likely to pick up a Janet Evanovich novel as the latest Kazuo Ishiguro. She has a voracious appetite for food, and is a Yelp Elite. She keeps a word/phrase notebook as well as a “lookbook” full of aesthetic inspiration. She is fluent in Spanish, confident in Chinese, and prone to buying purses based on whether or not she can fit a book in them. Currently, she is learning to bind books and hopes to have a homemade collection of her own writing one day.

Genevieve ended six months backpacking around the Americas to attend the Columbia Publishing Course. She hopes to pursue a career in book publishing so she can give back to the literary community that has been like a second family to her over the years. She wants to edit heartbreaking works of staggering genius, to borrow a phrase from Dave Eggers.

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To find out more about seeing participants’ resumes (or to read the real biographies) please contact Columbia Publishing Course Assistant Director, Stephanie Chan at (212) 854-9775 or swc37 at Columbia dot edu.

New York’s other major summer publishing course, New York University’s Summer Publishing Institute, celebrated its 37th year this summer. To learn more about NYU’s eligible grads or about the program, contact Executive Director Andrea Chambers at (212) 992-3226 or andrea.chambers at nyu dot edu.

Top 5 Publishing News Stories 7/13-7/17

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.

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee shattered first day sales records in the United States after going on sale this Tuesday.

The New York Times eased their previous ban on Ted Cruz’s book from appearing on the bestseller list.

Facebook wants a share of those sales made through the social network, including but not limited to, books.

Jet Blue has put free book vending machines in underserved communities in Washington, D.C.

San Diego Comic-Con sales went up this year, as well as the number of comic book stores.

Top 5 Publishing News Stories 7/6-7/10

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.

Amazon is now removing customer reviews if its data mining shows that the customer has a personal relationship with the author.

Apple is now being investigated in Canada for possibly conspiring to fix ebook prices.

Nook stores outside of the US and UK will close on August 7th, making the accounts of affected users no longer accessible.

Macmillan expanded its agreement with Scribd, to include an additional 1300 titles.

The Man Booker International Prize is now an annual award, whereas in the past, the prize was awarded every other year.

The Beginner’s Guide to Publishers Beyond the Big 5: Adult Fiction Publishers You Might Not Know

Often in publishing, those who are new to the industry are only familiar with the Big 5 publishing houses. It’s important to get to know the medium- and smaller-sized houses as well, especially if you’re looking for your first job in the industry. The Beginner’s Guide to Publishers Beyond the Big 5 is a list of a few adult fiction publishers that might be less familiar to you.

The publisher/owner is either the parent company or parent publishing house. The imprints listed are only the fiction imprints within that parent company.  The approximate number of employees is according to the company’s website or LinkedIn and refers to the employees of the publisher/owner as a whole, unless otherwise specified.

We hope you find our key facts helpful and utilize the website and Twitter accounts listed to learn more about the companies you find interesting.

Click here to download a PDF of the full guide to Adult Fiction Publishers You Might Not Know.

Click here to download a PDF of the full guide to Adult Fiction Publishers You Might Not Know.

Top 5 Publishing News Stories 6/29-7/3

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.

Apple lost the appeal for its ebook price fixing lawsuit.

Scribd is adjusting its subscription catalog, in what the CEO is calling a “purge” of romance titles.

It was discovered that Amazon’s new pay structure will pay self-published authors as little as $.006 per page read.

In more Amazon news, it added new features to Kindle books to make it easier to share passages.

Disney combined its children’s publishing and interactive media divisions into Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media.

Top 5 Publishing News Stories 6/22-6/26

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.

W. W. Norton made agreements with Baker & Taylor, Overdrive, and 3M to make all of trade and professional ebooks available in libraries.

Scribd acquired ebook subscription service Librify.

Penguin’s Berkley and New American Library imprints will be combined to form Berkley Publishing Group.

Since the announcement of Harper Lee’s new novel, sales of To Kill a Mockingbird have skyrocketed.

Yale’s Rare Books Library is keeping the Chipotle “Cultivating Thought” series cups and bags for their collection.

Technology and the Travel Guide

Editor’s note: This article was originally posted on our parent site, Publishing Trends.

CubaguideFodors

Fodor’s new travel guide on Cuba.

Not so long ago, one of the first steps to planning an upcoming trip was to go to the bookstore. Once the future traveler picked out where they wanted to go, travel guides helped them research and plan their trip. As with many things in publishing, the internet changed that. With the proliferation of websites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and other free-to-access review-based sites, consumers seemed to feel less and less inclined to buy books to help guide their travels.

While the rise of digital ruffled feathers across the publishing industry, travel guides took a significant hit. Jon Marcus wrote in the Boston Globe that travel guide sales sunk by 41% in the beginning years of the recession, which is more than double the loss that was felt by overall book sales. Many couldn’t pinpoint why travel guides in particular were hit so hard. Former director of Lonely Planet, Eric Kettunen said, “Many attributed this [loss] to the rise of ebook sales, but that wasn’t correct. It was the ease at which travelers could access destination content online, especially ‘perishable’ info like rates at hotels, prices at restaurants, etc.” While there is a need for perishable information, there is also a need for well researched information, and that’s what travelers began to realize. Slowly, but surely, sales are finally looking up, and that’s due in part to the fact that the physical guide has figured out how to coexist with a world full of free, digital information.

Amanda D’Acierno, SVPand Publisher of Fodor’s, spoke with me about how technology and travel guides can work together: “Print guidebooks and digital resources work in tandem…There’s nothing like having a print guidebook on the ground in a destination – no roaming charges or worrying about battery.” Of course, there’s more to it than battery power. Advances in digital technology have also been very helpful in the production of print guidebooks: “Our digital content complements our print content…We publish eBook editions of our guidebooks simultaneously or before the print edition.” Technology also helps with the agility of updating existing guides. D’Acierno told me, that Fodor’s has “implemented a brand new custom content management system that allows us to be more nimble – not only will we be able to create new print guidebooks and quickly bring them to market, but also develop custom content.”

Digital technology lends a helping hand to the travel guide industry in another way: licensing opportunities. Pieter Van Noordenen, Director of Digital Development at Rowman & Littlefield told Publishers Weekly that they can “easily syndicate to third parties” like weather.com or City-Data.com.

There’s a middle ground between digital and print to be found in the consumer-facing side of ebooks as well. There is room for a stranger’s Yelp review when a hungry traveler is already settled in to their hotel room, but they can check that review against formally published material as well. Bill Newlin, the publisher of Avalon Travel, said in Publishers Weekly that the ebook versions of their guides have “hyperlinked content listings and pan-and-zoom maps.”

While there is a glut of free online information available to travelers, the realization has settled in that just because it’s free, doesn’t mean it’s worthwhile.  “Smart travelers know that this unfiltered information gathered from average folks can’tcompete with selective content compiled by pro writers such as those that work for say, Time Out, Frommer’s, Moon, Rick Steves or Lonely Planet,” said Kettunen.  Another aspect of all the free information out there is that you can never be sure who wrote it, or why. Sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp can be “manipulated by hotels and restaurants,” Arthur Frommer told Publishers Weekly in their most recent look at travel guides. “It’s becoming increasingly difficult to know which comments are honest and which are fake.”

But are travel guides truly making a comeback in the face of our increasingly digital age? The best answer to that question is a little. The significant decrease in sales has slowed, and last year there was a 3% rise in travel guide sales according to Marcus’ Globe article.  (It’s important to note that this 3% increase does not include travelogs or travel memoirs, but applies strictly to the guide business. So  perennial travel-related favorites among book buyers like A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson or Into Thin Air would not affect the numbers). 3% is obviously not huge but take against the 41% slide between 2007 and 2012; it is certainly a good comeback.

The travel guide industry rebound from the recession is still ongoing, but it’s clear that this part of the industry has learned to embrace digital technology to make themselves flexible. Travel guides now aim to be agile in terms of the publishing print editions quickly and easily, syndicated content, and ebooks include links to helpful information and maps. Above all, travel guides are here to stay.