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News stories from the book world in January 2016


Penguin Random House UK forced into climb-down

19 December 2016

The power of authors to influence their publishers was shown this week when Penguin Random House UKPenguin Random House have more than 50 creative and autonomous imprints, publishing the very best books for all audiences, covering fiction, non-fiction, poetry, children’s books, autobiographies and much more. Click for Random House UK Publishers References listing, formed four years ago when Penguin and Random House merged to form the biggest international trade publisher with turnover of £2.4bn, had to climb down after announcing that it had terminated its formal relationship with Unite and the National Union of JournalistsRepresents British journalists and photographers. Has a useful list of links to media resources. site links to a NUJ freelance fees site.  Read more

Paying poets

12 December 2016

Poetry is not often the focus of attention, but this week we've chosen to feature two links to substantial articles which look at the state of poetry and how poets can be supported, from different sides of the Atlantic. Both are worth reading by anyone who is concerned about the state of the poetry world.  Read more

Costa Short Story Award open to public vote

5 December 2016

It's a measure of the growing interest in short stories, amongst both writers and readers, that Costa launched its short story prize in 2012 and that the public is currently invited to read and listen to the shortlisted stories selected from over 1,000 entries on the Costa Book Awards website, and to take part in the public vote.  Read more

Readers expect low ebook prices

28 November 2016

The question of how to price ebooks is still of great concern to indie authors and to publishers alike, and recent research from Good e-Reader reveals that readers are prepared to pay disappointingly little. Over the last two months they asked 553 Americans how much they were prepared to pay for a new e-book and the results are sobering.  Read more

Self-publishing has changed the world for writers

21 November 2016

So what can we say that's positive about the big changes in the situation for authors over the last few years? It's really a matter of the way writers now have the opportunity to get out there and shape their own destiny.  Read more

Is self-publishing replacing traditional publishing?

14 November 2016

There's been a lot of discussion recently about how things have changed for writers over the last few years. In some ways it's a radically different picture, in others not so much so.  Read more

Authors on Trump

7 November 2016

After the turmoil of the Brexit vote in the UK referendum, 2016 has now delivered another stunning and unexpected political turnaround in the United States. It's impossible at this stage to gauge what the effect on writers and publishing of a Donald Trump presidency will be, but many writers have spoken out to voice their anxieties and hopes.  Read more

Publishers robust but self-publishing may be getting trickier

31 October 2016

The recent Book Fair at Frankfurt showed a slight increase in attendance figures but otherwise seemed much the same as ever, with corporate publishers surveying the international publishing world from their huge stands and life going on pretty much as usual.  Read more

'A novel that is recklessly, scabrously funny, politically of-the-moment and hugely erudite'

24 October 2016

This year's Booker result raises so many interesting issues that a longer report on Frankfurt, the Book Fair and other issues relating to international publishing will come next week. The links this week give a clue to the many themes that Paul Beatty's win with The Sellout has raised.  Read more

So what is the Frankfurt Book Fair?

17 October 2016

This is a strange week, in London at least. The publishing world decamps to Frankfurt for the Book Fair and the news which rumbles out of the Fair, in an increasingly sophisticated series of trade press ‘show dailies' is very much focused on the doings of big publishing groups and the latest big money book auctions.  Read more

Unknown short story writer wins 2016 BBC National Short Story Competition

3 October 2016

K J Orr, winner of the just-announced 2016 BBC National Short Story Competition, is a debut writer and that makes it surprising that she has won this hotly-contested prize. Her winning story Disappearances was up against a heavyweight shortlist including Man Booker winner Hilary Mantel and Costa Poetry Award shortlisted Lavinia Greenlaw.  Read more

Morpurgo on the love of story

26 September 2016

Bestselling children's author Michael Morpurgo has savaged school reading culture by attacking the over-testing of children at school and saying it is sucking the joy from reading and putting weak readers off for life.  Read more