Bookseller Magazine Launches New Award to Celebrate YA

Louise O'Neill has won the inaugural YA Book Prize for her debut ONLY EVER YOURS - peoplewhowrite

Louise O’Neill

Louise O’Neill has won The Bookseller‘s first annual YA Book Prize for her debut novel Only Ever Yours. The industry publication announced the prize in 2014 in response to the dearth of literary awards recognizing Children’s literature — one of the only sectors of the publishing market that is growing. The honor comes with a £2,000 check.

Judge Rick O’Shea, at presenter at Irish broadcaster ITE, called Only Ever Yours “one of the best speculative fiction books I’ve read in years.” Rounding out the judging panel were Melissa Cox, head of range and children’s at Waterstones, World Book Day director Kirsten Grant, Foyles children’s buyer Jo-Anne Cocadiz, author Philip Reeve, vlogger Rosianna Halse Rojas, freelance journalist Imogen Russell Williams, and teen readers Erin Minogue and Rodrigo Raimundo-Ramos.

For the win, Only Ever Yours edged out A Song for Ella Grey by David Almond, Salvage by Keren David, Say Her Name by James Dawson, Lobsters by Lucy Ivison and Tom Ellen, Half Bad by Sally Green, Finding a Voice by Kim Hood, Goose by Dawn O’Porter, Trouble by Non Pratt, and The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick. The magazine, which is based in Britain, specifically sought to celebrate UK- and Ireland-based authors with the prize.

British Booksellers Caution Publishers Not to Bypass Them

British bookseller Dan Johns - peoplewhowrite

British bookseller Dan Johns said: “If I cannot put my trust in a publisher or a publisher’s rep, I will simply not communicate. I will order my books, but I will not tell you anymore than that. I need to know any information I give to you is not being used to get direct e-book sales.”

The battle for readers between booksellers, publishers, and Amazon continues–although this time Amazon has nothing directly to do with the beef. According to a piece on The Bookseller this week, English booksellers are peeved at publishers for selling titles directly to institutions at the Bookseller Association’s Academic, Professional and Specialist conference in Brighton last week. This incident marks the latest threat to bookstores’ relevance in the age of the e-book. 

Back in 2012, when Amazon launched a publishing division, Barnes and Noble refused to carry their titles which hurt the e-tailer’s book sales may have forced them to focus on bookstores outside the U.S. Last year, when B&N felt Simon and Schuster was not showing strong enough support in their vulnerability to Amazon, the 140-year-old bookstore reportedly reduced orders of Simon and Schuster titles “by as much as 90%.” It took eight months for S&S and B&N to mend fences.

Publishers, Bookstores May Lose Out on Man Booker Boost

Jhumpa Lahiri's The Lowland is currently scheduled for a September release. - peoplewhowrite

Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland is currently scheduled for a September release.

Two days after the Man Booker Longlist was announced, six of the books have yet to be released. That’s almost half the list of 13 titles! The Bookseller reports publishers are either “considering” or scrambling to push up the release dates for Alison McLeod’s Unexploded, Eve Harris’ The Marrying of Chani Kaufman, Charlotte Mendelson’s Almost English, Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries, and Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland.

Though publishers could not have known which books would make the cut, the books that were in contention should have been released or at least a small print run should have been ready to go upon announcement. Now, as British bookseller Henry Layte pointed out, “Customers who want to get hold of those books will probably end up pre-ordering them on Amazon.”

The industry really needs to do a better job at synergy and anticipating business opportunities. Though the direct correlation between prizes and sales numbers is questionable, the boost in publicity and name recognition the longlisted titles get presents an easier sell in bookstores at a time when they need it most.

UK Bookstore Chain Waterstones Loses 66 in Restructure

Waterstones restructure has sent 66 managers packing - peoplewhowriteJust two months after Waterstones invited customers to share “the book that made me“, 66 managers have left the company after declining to reapply for their jobs. As the chain goes through a restructure, The Bookseller reports “all 487 branch and assistant manager positions were earmarked for redundancy.” Employee morale has reportedly hit “rock bottom.”

Penguin UK Hires Digital Director

Laylah West, Director of Digital Channels at Penguin UK - peoplewhowrite

Laylah West

Penguin UK has created a new Director of Digital Channels role and Laylah West will fill it. West used to head up the digital efforts of E4.com, an arm of the UK’s Channel 4 media conglomerate which includes Film Four among other entities. The Bookseller says “The Penguin website currently receives 6.5m unique visitors a year, the publisher said, with 1.1m fans on social media, including 625,000 Twitter followers.”

Baileys Irish Cream Brand Will Sponsor Women's Prize for Fiction

Baileys will sponsor Women's Prize for Fiction starting 2014 - peoplewhowrite

Baileys Irish Cream

Let the drunken writer jokes begin. Baileys, the brand behind the Irish whiskey cream liqueur, is now the sponsor of the Women’s Prize for Fiction — now known as the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. Formerly, it was called the Orange Prize, after the Orange technology brand that sponsored the literary award for the 16 years since its 1996 launch.

Kate Mosse, chair of the Women’s Prize for Fiction board, told The Bookseller, “We were delighted by the range of interest-and enjoyed meeting brands in various sectors-but in the end, the Women’s Prize for Fiction board felt Baileys was the ideal choice as our new partners.” Citing the alcohol brand’s “passion for celebrating outstanding fiction by women and willingness to help in bringing the prize to ever wider audiences,” Mosse added “we were interested in a brand fit from outside, that brings more interest and money into the industry.”

As an added benefit, the Prize doesn’t have to look far for a liquor sponsor for their upcoming award ceremony. Baileys will, of course, furnish the beverages to be served on Wednesday June 5th when the shortlisted authors — Kate Atkinson, Zadie Smith, Barbara Kingsolver, A.M. Homes, Maria Semple, and Hilary Mantel — will learn who gets the award.

Amazon Launching "Kindle Worlds", Allowing Authors to Sell Fan Fiction

Amazon.com logoThis June, Amazon is expected to launch Kindle Worlds, a platform that will enable fan fiction authors to sell their work in the Kindle Store. The Bookseller reports:

Amazon has obtained licenses from Warner Bros Television Group’s Alloy Entertainment division for Cecily von Ziegesar’s Gossip Girl series, Sarah Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars, and L.J. Smith’s Vampire Diaries, and has said it has further licenses to be announced soon. Through the licenses, Kindle Worlds will allow any writer to publish authorized stories inspired by them and make them available for sale…

“[W]e see this as an evolution in publishing and a valuable way of broadening our brands and engaging fans,” Alloy Entertainment President Leslie Morganstein told The Bookseller. Indeed, E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey juggernaut originated as self-published fan fiction.

Amazon’s platform will launch with commissioned works, but will accept submissions as well. According to The Bookseller, “The standard author’s royalty rate, for works of at least 10,000 words, is to be 35% of net revenue and paid monthly.”

On "Obooko.com" Readers Download E-Books Legally, for Free

Obooko.com allows readers to download books for free - peoplewhowriteStarting May 1, 2013, The Bookseller reports, readers can download ebooks for free on Obooko.com.  Copy on the site explains: “While many established authors create free ebooks to complement their print sales, more new writers are distributing their work free of charge on ebook download sites like obooko as a first step towards traditional publishing.” The site also gives writers a list of reasons why they should be interested in submitting their work for free download, one of them being, they don’t have to pay any self-publishing costs.

I’m skeptical of the benefit. At present, writers can already make their works available for free digital download; why do it through Obooko? Perhaps the main benefit is the site will likely be working to establish a community on their own and driving clicks to the site through advertising and publicity efforts. If that’s the only plus, writers are better off going through tested sites like Wattpad which spawned the career — and Random House book deal — of teen author Beth Reeks.

 

 

"Novelicious" Goes from Blog to Book Publisher

Kirsty Greenwood, founder of Novelicious.com and director of Novelicious Books - peoplewhowrite

Kirsty Greenwood

Novelicious.com, a four year old blog for writers and readers of Women’s fiction, is spinning off a new digital imprint called Novelicious Books. Working in partnership with the rights specialists at The Marsh Agency, the new imprint will digitally re-issue light, romantic fiction from the past 20 years and publish new novels and novellas aimed at female readers.

According to The Bookseller, “The new imprint is accepting submissions, with translation rights and UK print rights for selected works being handled by The Marsh Agency. Authors will receive 50% of net receipts of all copies sold.”

Novelicious founder Kirsty Greenwood aims to leverage the following she has built toward the success of the imprint. “Novelicious is already an established authority in the women’s fiction genre. Since 2009 we’ve amassed a large community of women’s fiction readers and writers who visit our website every day, in their thousands.” She adds, “Novelicious Books is working with a fantastic, experienced team of editors and designers and look forward to building a list to be proud of.”

Andrew Lownie Literary Agency Sets Up In-House Imprint

Andrew Lownie - peoplewhowrite

Andrew Lownie

As the publishing industry business model adjusts to the increased importance of digital sales and discovery, agents have also been adjusting to the new digital reality. They’ve allowed Amazon to circumvent publishers and work directly with authors, while others have extended their businesses to include film production based on their clients’ books. Now, UK literary agency Andrew Lownie has announced it’s launching a new imprint called Thistle Publishing.

Using Amazon publishing program White Glove, Thistle will “release e-books and print-on-demand copies of titles where the e-book rights are not controlled by a publisher” according to The Bookseller. In the piece, Lownie says the economics of Amazon’s program are just better for authors, and agents by extension. The White Glove program pays authors 70%, if the e-books are priced between £1.49 and £7.81.

He added, “Publishers will be left behind if they don’t adapt.” Just last month, bestselling author Joe Simpson parted ways with Random House citing disadvantageous e-book royalty rates.

Lownie said the agency was still focused on representing authors, but it made sense to expand into publishing. “There are some books that don’t fit the conventional model, where publishers don’t see the market for it, but we do — or they can’t publish it quickly enough.”

Fellow UK lit agency Curtis Brown has also partnered with Amazon. It launched a digital self-publishing program called Curtis Brown Creative via Kindle Direct Publishing and CreateSpace in December 2012.