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Friday, 4 April 2008

Latest publishing news

I have been lagging behind in writing about the latest publishing news with the kind of zeal I did before. But here's something for you today, just out. Frankly, I'm pretty pleased as I stay a seeker of the New Age and anything that proves exhilarating enough for a faster-paced high-tech lifetstyle in the future - and this with the secure knowledge that there will always be a place for retro - has my vote.

In January, I wrote a post where Mr. Mark Shatskin, CEO of the Idea Logical Company in the US had outlined to Publisher's Weekly, 15 dramatic new trends that the American and European publishing industries would most likely manouvere their way into; destined to rock the world of books in a whole new way.

You can find that post over HERE.

The bottom line was that publishers and readers would turn more internet-savvy than ever before. And literary agents would start linking up together for partnerships in the subtle steady way that saw publishers forming conglomerates. I can't help thinking about how his predictions are turning up spot-on.


a) 2 long established literary agents in London who operated separately in the past, have from April 1st, 2008 made their partnership official after having signed a co-agenting agreement. The four agents from ICM - Books department will move to the Curtis Brown offices in Haymarket, London where the sale of UK and foreign rights for ICM clients will be jointly handled by the partnership. (this news is 2 days old.)

b) Philip Jones writes in The Bookseller today that HarperCollins will try to change an aspect of traditional publishing with the launch of a new global list that will pay authors a share of the profits and refuse returns.

Authors are said to be compensated in future through a profit-sharing model as opposed to traditional royalty payments and books will be promoted using online publicity, advertising and marketing. Approximately 25-popular priced books in multiple physical and digital formats will have the usual strong advantage taken care of with relation to trade publishing except that this time round, the Internet will be fully used to generate sales, marketing and distributing.

Their goal is said to be one that effectively publishes books that may not otherwise emerge or thrive at all in a 'big book' environment. In other words, with the aid of the worldwide web, opportunities will now abound in a new way for first-time authors and unknowns under HarperCollins, which prides itself on innovation and experimentation.

c) On 31st March (4 days ago), Benedicte Page had also reported in The Bookseller, that in a panel debate at a recent seminar, David Miller of Rogers, Coleridge and White (Literary Agents), had warned literary agents against becoming too lazy and start thinking seriously about podcasts and online benefits. Robert Hahn, who handles editorial rights at the Guardian had predicted that newsprint may just be slotted into a second, third or fourth activity for the Guardian as befits a news media organisation, in 10 years time.

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