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

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

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.

Scribd announced this week that they’ve raised $22 million toward their ebook subscription service.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg started a book club, causing sales to skyrocket for his first selection.

Recorded Books has officially acquired Tantor Media.

Google’s ebook program continues to grow steadily as it begins its fifth year.

The Author’s Guild’s case against HathiTrust was officially dismissed this week.

Listen Up! The Audiobook Revolution

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

With audiobook sales numbers on the rise over the past two years, retailers have been searching for new ways to appeal to wider audiences. So far, the most common trends have been straight-to-audio publications, library digital downloads, abridged audiobooks, and an increase in subscription services.  However, speculation has begun to spread as to whether publishers should repackage audiobooks to be more similar to podcasts, given the format’s latest successes.

At the end of November, Audible published The Starling Project by thriller writer Jeffery Deaver.  This publication differs from other audiobooks in one major way: it has never appeared in print.  In The New York Times, Alexandra Alter wrote that the book will “test the appetite for an emerging art form that blends the immersive charm of old-time radio drama with digital technology” and points out that this initiative shows that audiobooks are “coming into their own as a creative medium” in the publishing industry.

Deaver, who has no plans to authorize publication in print or digitally, is the most recognizable name in Audible’s content creating program, which has produced 30 other audio-exclusive original works.

Audible is not alone.  According to the same New York Times article, audiobook producer GraphicAudio is planning on releasing two of its own original series in 2015.

These new audio-first programs aren’t surprising given the surge of popularity for audiobooks in the last two years.  According to The Digital Reader, the American Association of Publishers (AAP) released a new report in October that stated downloadable audiobooks are the fastest growing format with a +26.2% growth in 2013.  In 2014, the AAP reported that sales were up 28%.  Meanwhile, ebooks are the second fastest growing with +7.5% growth in 2013 and 6% in 2014.

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Top 5 Publishing News Stories 12/29-1/2

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.

Kindle Unlimited authors are upset with Amazon for selling their books at low prices, affecting royalties.

The Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Torture sold out in stores after Melville House’s  quick transformation of the report into a book.

Wattpad users can now design their own book covers in its new Covers app.

Amazon ended the year with an increase in Kindle sales and Prime subscriptions.

HarperCollins had to remove Collins Middle East Atlas from stores because it didn’t include Israel.

 

Top 5 Publishing 2014 Reflections and 2015 Predictions

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. As we near the end of the year, we thought we would change things up and instead post 5 links to articles with predictions for the publishing industry in 2015.

Digiday outlined what we learned about publishing this year, focusing primarily on web and magazine publishing.

Publishers Weekly offers some ways we might improve diversity in book publishing like watching other industries and collaborating.

Publishing Perspectives asked publishing executives to contemplate the future of book pricing internationally while taking countries’ varying book cultures into consideration.

Harvard Magazine discussed some of the problems in academic publishing today and some possible solutions that should be explored.

Future of Publishing Founder Thad McIlroy compiled the Top 11 Trends and Opportunities for Digital Publishers in 2015 for the upcoming DBW 2015 conference. The complete compilation is only available for download from Digital Book World by submitting an email address.

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

Second Annual The Best of the End of the Year “Best of” Lists of 2014

As soon as December 1st rolls around, “best of the year” lists start flooding the internet. And just like you, our favorite best of lists are the ones about books, bookstores, next year’s books, book trends, and well, anything about books and reading. For the second year in a row, we’ve compiled what we think are the best best of lists for 2014. You’ll recognize a few of the best of series from last year’s post, but they’re new for this year. Kick back, relax, and prepare yourself for the best bookish lists of the year.

Trendsetter Word Cloud 2014

Best and most used words on Publishing Trendsetter

Best list to help you visually shop for the year’s best books.

Best list to show you just how tough of a customer we can all be.

Best list to prove that 2014 was the year of strong starts.

Best list to prove that sometimes it’s just fine to judge a book by its cover.

Best list to show the biggest trends in fiction this year.

Best list to demonstrate that some of the most fun publishing projects don’t come about traditionally.

Best list that gives independent and poetry publishers some love.

Best interactive list to show that even picking out your next book can be an adventure.

Best standard “best of” list.

Best list to show you what books you may have missed this year, but shouldn’t have.

Best list of comics you should know about.

Best list to give you a clue of what’s being read in The White House.

Still the best list to see what some of the year’s most buzzed about readers and thinkers read.

Best compilation of all of the best ofs.

Top 5 Publishing News Stories 12/15-12/19

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.

Macmillan and Amazon have made a multi-year deal.

Apple is back in court for the ebook price collusion case with an appeal, but this time things seems to be going well for them.

Google is considering adding a buy button and two day shipping to compete with Amazon Prime and one click ordering service.

A tablet made just for children, named Fable, will be available in March 2015.

A German app called Blinkist, which condenses nonfiction books into 15 minute summaries, has launched an audio version.

Just Ask for It! The Art of Asking: A Trendsetter Roundtable

Amanda Palmer is a musician, artist, and entrepreneur of asking. Those who haven’t listened to her music perhaps know her from her Ted Talk, called The Art of Asking, which led to her getting a contract for a book with a similar title: The Art of Asking, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help (Grand Central, 2014). Palmer starts her story with her job as a statue in Boston, and takes readers on a journey throughout her life of asking for what she needs to keep doing what she loves, all while dealing with the occasional haters that come her way.  Samantha and Jennifer sat down to discuss the method of simply asking for what you want and how that might help you get a leg up in the publishing industry.

Jennifer: Singing Mulan in my head as a pump-up… I’M READY.Palmer_TheArtofAsking(HC)

Samantha: Yes! Okay, so let’s just start simple and ask, well, did you like it?

Jennifer: I did. I thought it was interesting and different and a fun read. What did you think?

Samantha: I was really pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. I wasn’t sure what I’d think of it since I don’t know a lot about Amanda Palmer herself. It started off a little rocky for me, but once I realized it was part memoir, I liked it a lot. What made it “interesting and different” for you?

Jennifer: I think it was largely the structure. I liked that it moved easily from anecdote to advice without feeling the need to be strictly linear with the timeline.

Samantha: That’s definitely a good point. Was there any advice or anecdotes that particularly struck you?

Jennifer: I love the part about taking the donuts. I think creative people tend to have their own processes and the idea that, as consumers, we should respect those processes and, as creators, we shouldn’t feel guilty about them was a great realization. I think my favorite anecdote is when she finally sees her mom, like really sees her as a real person and not just her mom. That was beautiful.  What stood out for you?

Samantha: It’s certainly a learning curve for consumers and creators in this book. I think the most basic concept of the book was what kind of blew me away, just asking for what you want, like, all of the time. It’s so stupidly simple, and yet so hard to do. But at the same time, asking for what I want is due in large part to how I ended up in the publishing industry, so I don’t know why it still seems so difficult to me to ask for what I need.

Jennifer: I think she explains that feeling perfectly too. I talked to other people about their feelings on asking while I was reading in a reflecting out loud moment and most of them would never think to ask for things for themselves but were happy to help other people by asking on their behalf or helping someone who asked.  I think too many people today have the same mentality as that one guy from the opening band: that asking is equivalent to begging, when it’s not. But speaking of your start in publishing, do you want to expand on how asking helped you get to where you are today?

Samantha: I got my internship because my college mentor and I asked a professor that I didn’t know if he had any publishing connections, and put me in touch with a woman at W.W. Norton who ended up becoming my internship boss. Then with this job, I saw the posting, and asked my brother if he knew anyone here (the funny part being that I had no idea what a small company this is) and he put me in touch with a former employee. I just asked her for cover letter tips and she just forwarded my query straight to Lorraine and Kim and well, long story short, here I am! It wasn’t asking directly for the job, but asking was a huge part of landing those positions. Read More »

Top 5 Publishing News Stories 12/8-12/12

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 developed an ebookstore during its war with Amazon, but decided not to launch it.

BookCon announced that it is working with We Need Diverse Books to create panels with prominent diverse authors.

Melville House will publish The Senate Torture Report as a paperback titled The Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Torture.

The American Bar Association launched its new trade imprint.

Penguin Random House will layoff almost 300 employees from its warehouse and distribution facility in Kirkwood, NY.

 

Keeping the Conversation Going: Minorities in Publishing Podcast

Unsurprisingly, the internet is home to lots of publishing blogs. Some focus on trends, some news, some a smattering of publishing ephemera, and some a mix of all of the above. But few websites are dedicated to providing the industry with the reality check it needs. Jenn Baker and Bev Rivero started Minorities in Publishing as a blog and podcast series to get the conversation really started, and to keep itmoving, regarding the lack of minorities on publishing. The podcast is available for free on their Tumblr, and you can also find them on Twitter

MiP Logo_600x600I know episode one of your podcast is mainly about introducing yourselves, but for those who haven’t listened to it yet, tell us about your backgrounds and what brought you to publishing and starting the podcast.

Jenn Baker: Well, I’m a production editor at a small university press and also freelance as a copyeditor. My publishing experience is heading into the 12 year mark. I found publishing via the Publishing Certificate program at City College of New York and the main goal of that program was to get more people of color into publishing jobs. Once I got into the industry I jumped a bit from position to position until I find my fit as a production editor. It caters to my obsessive and overly organized tendencies.

Bev Rivero: Currently I am a publicity manager at an independent press. I’ve been working in book publishing since graduation, almost 10 years ago, and I had internships in college – it was sort of always in my mind. The podcast came out of a bunch of conversations that we started before a lot of the great media coverage that’s happened this year, like the PW salary survey backlash. We chose the format of a podcast rather than a blog or something more static to highlight how we consider this to be a conversation with everyone – readers, those working in the industry or looking to get into it, and of course authors and artists.

One of my favorite things about the podcast is that each episode zooms in on one particular person and part of the publishing industry and how it can expand within that arena. To place things in a wider scope, how would you place Minorities in Publishing in the entire context of publishing now, and your hopes for the future?

JB: It’s interesting because in one of our most recent episodes with Anjali Singh I had mentioned that we all (Anjali, myself, and Bev) worked at small presses. So the numbers are different and the diversity aspect is also a bit more emphasized. When you work with a dozen or two dozen people you may see more people like yourself, maybe not. In my company my department is mostly minorities. So sometimes that can sway opinion because your immediate viewpoint is working with those of the non-majority but in the larger industries, the Big 5 in particular, the lack of diversity is even more evident in terms of not just what is being published but in terms of who is behind the scenes and has power to make things happen for any particular title. I would say in my eyes that perhaps it is getting more diverse but from a larger standpoint I’d say it’s still a very slow going process that can be much improved.

BR: I put MiP on the spectrum of conversation starters. I work on this with the hope that people will think differently about their colleagues, perspective authors, and those around them, and work towards bringing more POCs into the literary world. Looking towards the future I hope that we can continue to be out there and reach a level where more people in the industry are aware of our work and encourage everyone to listen and send people our way to interview.

How can everyone in publishing, regardless of their background, encourage more minorities in publishing?

JB: I think one thing is to actively reach out to minorities. So many of our guests, and myself included, didn’t even consider publishing as a career. People of color know books get made but do they know they can be involved in the process of these books being produced, edited, marketed, and sold? Are publishers reaching out to a diverse group when they appear at career fairs? Are master’s programs in publishing providing the guidance (and financial assistance) to those who may not have the money to embark on this industry? How are resumes looked at and sorted? Is it all about the “in”? And where are the mentors for those new to publishing?

BR: My answer to this has and always will be “Pay them.” To me this doesn’t just mean paid internships, but also upping the starting salary for entry-level employees that hasn’t changed in decades. Read More »

Top 5 Publishing News Stories 12/1-12/5

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.

Nook and Microsoft will split after a revision of their original deal.

Google Books is back in court to determine whether or not their book scanning project is under fair use laws.

Wattpad announced it will be adding a paywall to access some of the content on their site.

HarperOne launched a new mind, body, and spirit themed imprint called Harper Elixir.

A Netherlands court scheduled a hearing to decide the legality of used ebooks later this month.