Welcome to the Golden Age of Indie Publishers

indie publishersA number of years ago, I predicted the publishing and bookselling industries would follow a boutique model, with the large and small and little in between. Note: this also applies to other industries, in most part due to the digital age and today’s customer.

Book sales would be split between higher priced print books, for which the margin would be found, and low price digital books, which would provide the mass quantities. Bookstores would be split between the large chains with the budgets and economies of scale, and a wide range of independent bookstores that successfully built and became indispensable to their communities. Likewise, publishers would consist of the huge conglomerates with the advertising and bargaining power, and a vibrant independent publishing sector in touch and adaptive to the book buying community.

As the market is finally showing signs of growth after a different last five to 10 years with so much change and evolution required, the large publishers are fulfilling that prediction: the big six is now five, with more consolidation expected to come. I also think the largest publishers have rapidly improved in terms of their adaptability and innovation over the last year, but, in my view, the most exciting sector in publishing currently is the independent one.

Much more.

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Diversity In Book Publishing Isn’t Just About Writers (NPR)
In the world of books and literature, “diversity” has recently become hotly debated, along with other cultural and media spheres. Though a few writers of colors seem to be getting more shine, the demographics of those working behind the scenes in publishing remains almost entirely white.

CliffsNotes Adds Personalized, Subscription-Based Digital Guides (DBW)
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and digital learning platform BenchPrep announced today that they have partnered to add a set of new digital features to the CliffNotes study guide series. HMH, which acquired CliffNotes in 2012, will provide subscription-based test prep and subject review guides by CliffsNotes for both web and mobile through BenchPrep’s platform.

London Bookstores Go Rogue as No Wi-Fi Zones (NY Times)
What do literary tourists look for when they visit the British Isles? Often it’s the quaint, old-fashioned bookshops that provide the perfect excuse to browse uninterrupted and to disconnect from the world. Until recently, the trend for barista-made coffee and high-speed Wi-Fi was considered by some in the city’s bookish crowd to be ruining London’s centuries-old tradition of disconnected browsing.

10 Indispensable Tips for Writing Online Copy (BookMachine)
Does your work involve writing or signing off on online copy? If so, take a look at my top tips for making your copy as engaging and effective as possible.

Retail Sales Up Despite Brexit (Bookseller)
Retail sales are holding up after the UK’s decision to leave the EU, figures have revealed today. Total high street sales increased by 1.9 percent in July in comparison to the year before, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KMPG’s latest survey, while like-for-like sales were up by 1.1 percent.

Sales Rise at Quarto (Pub Lunch)
The Quarto Group also reported results for the first half of 2016, with acquisitions helping to boost sales, at $73.3 million up from $67.7 million a year ago. The biggest, and most profitable, growth came from Quarto USA, where sales gained almost $4 million to $31.7 million for the period, with an adjusted operating profit of $2.5 million.

Bonnier Publishing Plans $100 Million U.S. Book Division (PW)
Bonnier Publishing, the English-language book publishing division of Sweden’s Bonnier Group, has formed Bonnier Publishing USA. The new company is composed of Weldon Owen US and the children’s book publisher, Little Bee Books, which Bonnier started in New York City in 2014.

Author Drops Ebook Royalty Suit Against S&S; Is Wiley Next? (PW)
A lawsuit filed in May accusing Simon & Schuster of cheating authors on ebook royalties has been dropped, but the legal action may not be over.

10 (More) Book and Publishing Podcasts (Futurebook)
Back in April 2016 we published a list of 10 book and publishing podcasts you should listen to if you love the industry. Now, we’ve found 10 more for your listening pleasure.

Sisters in Crime on Diversity: Multiculturalism, They Wrote (Pub Perspectives)
A writers’ support organization with 50 chapters in the US and Canada looks inward to discover who they are. They’re exploring the difficult mystery of diversity in today’s publishing industry.


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