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

Top 5 Publishing News Stories 9/1-9/5

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 launched a new service this week that will allow authors to upload children’s books onto the Kindle platform.

Barnes & Noble is testing the use of Espresso Book Machines in three of their east coast stores.

Winner of the Man Booker Prize, Eleanor Catton, started a grant from her prize winnings that will allow writers to take the time to read.

The Future Book Project will be collecting one work each year from a prominent author and not releasing it until 2114.

USA Today announced at least 60 layoffs, including book reviewer Bob Minzesheimer.

A Beginner’s Guide to Industry Newsletters

When you’re trying to break into publishing or first starting out, there’s a lot to learn and a lot of places to learn it from.  Below is a list of  industry newsletters that we think are helpful to subscribe to and hope you do too.

1. Publishers LunchPublishers Lunch comes from the same people who bring us Publishers Marketplace.  The newsletters from this site will include the most recent deals posted on Marketplace, a job board, job moves, and “Today’s Lunch,” which is usually a good source of industry news gathered and written by its employees. It is published daily, “except when not,” according to its header.

2. PW Daily Publishers Weekly is a printed publishing news magazine.  If you’re too impatient to wait for a subscription to arrive in the mail (and let’s face it, we all are), subscribing to the daily newsletter will get you your updates quickly.  Some of its recurring newsletter sections include a job board, industry job moves, a roundup of articles from others, as well as links to its own articles.

3. Publishing Business Today – Sent out by Publishing Executive, this daily newsletter provides readers with book industry news and press release roundups.  The email also includes magazine publishing news, but happily for us, divides the two industries well so you don’t end up reading anything about magazines publishing unless you want to!

4. DBW DailyDigital Book World is a news site that sends out a daily newsletter with links to DBW’s new feature articles and hard news for the publishing world.  It’s a good source for hard news of what’s going on with technology in publishing. Personally, I have fun disagreeing with some of the opinion pieces.

5. YPG Newsletter – The Young to Publishing Group sends out a monthly newsletter about upcoming group events in the NYC area.  YPG is a solid way to meet new people who are also starting out in publishing.  Even if you don’t join or attend, the newsletters will let you know what young people in the industry are talking about.

6. GalleyCat –GalleyCat is a daily newsletter from the media news website Mediabistro.  It offers links and the first paragraph of articles from its own website as well as a job board made up of posts from the parent site.  Pro-tip: it advertises as “the first word on the book publishing industry,” but Publishers Lunch often wins that race.

7. Shelf Awareness – Shelf Awareness is a news site that sends daily newsletters.  When subscribing, be sure to choose the newsletter for book trade professionals instead of the one for readers. These newsletters have a few sections, but the most important to you are probably the news and job board ones.  It also provides more coverage on booksellers than any of the other letters.  One of the nice things about Shelf Awareness is that it posts the entire article in the newsletter, so no annoying click-bait or multiple tabs. However, Shelf Awareness is better for newcomers as its focus is more for readers.

8. Publishing Perspectives – The news site Publishing Perspectives sends a daily email that will give you a rundown of the news and opinions written by their own writers. It is a project by the Frankfurt Book Fair and aims to spread international publishing news.   The news is slower here, but the opinion pieces can be interesting to read.

9. USR Monthly – The US Review of Books publication will send you a monthly newsletter about which books its writers reviewed that month and which ones they recommend reading.  This is an easy source for new titles to add to your to-read list and can help you stay in-the-know about what books are making people talk.

10. Publishing Trends – Last, but certainly not least, is our very own host site.  Although aimed toward higher-level publishing professionals, Publishing Trends is another good source for news and trends updates.  Subscriptions will get you an email alert whenever there’s a new post.  Our recurring posts include weekly 5 links posts full of opinion pieces and data (unlike the news-oriented 5 links posts you find here on Trendsetter), a monthly international bestsellers article, and a bi-monthly people round-up.  It will also have the occasional feature article of an industry insight of a trend.

Top 5 Publishing News Stories 8/25-8/29

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.

University of Colorado Boulder researchers are using 3-D technology to recreate classic children’s books for the visually impaired.

Libraries in and around Ferguson, MO remained open during protesting, offering themselves as “a quiet oasis” for all ages.

The cry for diversity in children’s books has spread from the US to the UK.

Capstone Publishing Group acquired Engage Literacy, a K-3 literacy program.

Used eBook sales continue to be blocked in Germany, as consumer rights group loses its appeal.

Top 5 Publishing News Stories 8/18-8/22

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.

A judge in Delaware passed a law making digital content, including ebooks, inheritable after the original owner dies.

Romance publisher Ellora’s Cave announced cuts to their staff, due in part to a decrease in their Amazon sales.

Kensington Publishing joined up with Books-A-Million to put some of Kensington’s previously digital-only offerings into print.

Several German, Austrian, and Swiss authors took a stand against Amazon’s treatment toward books published by the  Bonnier Group.

Despite the cancellation of the Hachette/Perseus/Ingram deal, Perseus will retain Legato as an affiliate.

Somewhat Qualified Advice: Things to Avoid in a Job Application

Here at Market Partners International/Publishing Trends, we recently hired an Editorial Assistant / Office Manager. That, of course, meant an outpouring of applications from very talented, impressive people looking to get into publishing. The application process was classic, to submit a cover letter and resume. I’ve rounded up a few of the most common things that I encountered during the search process that hindered an application instead of helping it in the case of this particular job search. Before we begin, I’d like that make it abundantly clear that I am of course only one person, simply the first reader of the incoming applications. I do not work in human resources. I am not representative of what all of those who review job applications in the publishing business look for. My aim here is simply to offer a few suggestions. In the case of the below examples, they are based on real things that I saw in applications, but altered so as to not hurt any feelings.

Things to avoid:

The snail mail correspondence: I understand the urge to do this. It’s a personal touch, and that’s memorable. Many books and websites suggest taking the time to write a personal letter, but the fact of the matter is, sometimes publishing hirings happen quickly out of necessity. When relying on a system that takes days – instead of seconds – to deliver an application or thank you note, there’s a significant possibility that it will arrive too late.

The unprofessional email address: This is an age where we can all get as many email addresses as we want for free. Using the email address of “” is maybe not the right one to use to submit job applications.

The strange salutation: Our job posting had my name in it as the contact person. Many people addressed their resumes and cover letters to me because of that, and rightfully so. To me, that meant he or she was reading the listing carefully. Using “To Whom it May Concern” even makes sense, because perhaps someone looked me up on LinkedIn and saw I am not running the company. However putting “To Sam (I presume)” or “Dear Sam (or whomever)” is a bit off-putting. In my opinion, stick with the name listed as a contact, “To Whom it May Concern,” or “Dear Hiring Manager.” Read More »

Top 5 Publishing News Stories 8/11-8/15

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.

Sales in physical bookstores dropped 7.9% for the first half of 2014.

Amazon has opened a storefront  for students at Purdue University.

Writer’s Digest and Bookbaby have teamed up to offer author services to self-published authors.

Hachette CEO Michael Pietsch responds to Amazon’s statement that went up last weekend.

A round of layoffs have taken place at Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster.

Branding by Video

Editor’s note: This post also appears on our host site, Publishing Trends

It turns out Simon & Schuster, who has been gaining press attention with the release of its “Behind the Book” video series, isn’t the only publishing company that’s been building its video cache. We’ve decided to gather a few together for viewing.

Here’s a little background in case you missed it: S&S uploaded 5 videos of book editors giving details on how certain titles came to be as a start to their series last week. S&S Executive VP and Chief Digital Officer Ellie Hischhorn was quoted in the press release as saying that the series is “offering new and revealing information that can enhance and inform the reading experience” since “apart from the author, nobody knows a book as well as its editor.”

Digital Book World’s Jeremy Greenfield noted about the videos, “In the book publishing world, authors have traditionally been the brand: Everyone wants to buy the new James Patterson title, not necessarily the latest release from his publisher, Hachette.” So from here, we take that building a brand would ultimately lead to readers trusting a company for its judgment in acquiring great books, instead of relying on established authors or comparative titles to sell the book. But it doesn’t make sense for the average reader to buy something with this in mind, since publishers have such a wide variety of styles and genres.

Along with building a brand for the publisher as a whole instead of a specific author, he added that “this series of videos is another small way that publishers are saying to authors — and readers — that they add value.”

We talked to Nellie Kurtzman, co-founder and CEO of the video content agency Kid & the Wolf, which primarily creates book trailers, to get a little insight into a publishing marketer’s approach to videos. Before founding Kid & the Wolf, Kurtzman was the VP, Marketing of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

Kurtzman said of the Simon & Schuster videos, “It tells the behind the scenes, what people don’t know,” confirming that the videos prove the publishers’ worth to the public by bringing awareness to what publishers actually do for books.

Here are a few videos we found from publishing houses for comparison on how they’re going about (possibly) building their brand. First here’s one of the S&S ‘Behind the Book’ videos:

Read More »

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

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.

Hachette and Ingram cancel their plans to buy Perseus Book Group.

Google and Barnes & Noble team up to offer same day delivery in major metropolitan cities to strike back at Amazon.

Scribd announced a change in their search mechanisms to provide better browsing, mixing real-life curation and updated algorithms.

Authors United sent an open letter to Amazon signed by over 900 authors, asking Amazon to end the dispute with Hachette.

Kensington Publishing revealed that it took them 1.5 years to negotiate a one year contract with Amazon.


Tackling #GIRLBOSS: A Trendsetter Roundtable

#GIRLBOSS by entrepreneur and businesswoman Sophia Amoruso has shaken up the genre of business books in more ways than one. It’s being described as Lean In for young women, and Amoruso is definitely not your typical business woman. In the book, she confesses to thieving, hating school, and how she used Myspace to build her original fanbase. In a book that’s part how-to and part memoir, Amoruso outlined the rise of her clothing company, Nasty Gal. Editors Kimberly and Samantha sat down to talk about what takeaways Trendsetters could take away from the book, be they aspiring #girlbosses or #boybosses.

Samantha: Are you #ready to talk #GIRLBOSS?girlboss

Kimberly: Always ready to hashtag it up.

Samantha: Thank goodness!

Kimberly: So, what were you thinking you were getting into with #GIRLBOSS before you read it?

Samantha: I really wasn’t sure, to be honest. I guess I was expecting a bit of a relaxed how-to. What about you?

Kimberly: Well the hashtag and Sophia Amoruso’s pose on it really sets it up to be a kind of alternative self-help/business motivation book.

Samantha: Yeah, very true! After having read it, what would you categorize it as?

Kimberly: I would still say business motivation. It definitely tries to give concrete tips about running a business. I just think that her story, about kind of stumbling upon a big business that grew out of just selling vintage clothes on ebay, is more interesting/compelling than advice that she gives after the fact. Read More »