China e-book market hungry for growth

Where can publishers look towards to really drive international e-book sales growth? There are obvious opportunities in the US and in the UK where the e-book markets are relatively mature and have a consumer market hungry for content. Read more »


Paperback pioneers

Commenting on the announcement of Lynda La Plante’s new company, my colleague Philip Jones noted in his recent FutureBook blog that “format shift doesn’t always work as you’d imagine.” How true, as we seem to discover afresh each day. Read more »

Old possum's piece of publishing wisdom

Anyone involved in the book business will have found it impossible to read Robert McCrum's Observer piece, From bestseller to bust: is this the end of an author's life?, without a mixture of emotions. If the twitter response was anything to go by there would have been a range, from defensiveness to denial; from anger to agony. And so on. Read more »


Publishing's hits and misses

"Self-publishing through Amazon changed my life but the way Macmillan have handled me has made that grow." And so writes the author Kerry Wilkinson in a blog about his journey from self-published 'Kindle King' to Pan Macmillan author. Read more »


Self-publishing changed my life, but my publisher grew my sales

Two and a half years ago, according to more than one national newspaper, I was the 'Kindle King'. Brilliant, yes? Except two of them also called me a "she", which gives you an indication of how deep their research goes. Read more »

What books want

Who will determine the future of the book? Readers? Writers? Publishers? Educators? Technologists? The discombobulated west, or confident emerging markets? Existing trends, or behaviours that haven't yet come to light? Selecting this month's winner of The Bookseller's Essay Competition was a very tough call, because each of the shortlisted entries took a very different approach. Every one doubled in richness and relevance when read alongside the rest. Read more »


Publishing has entered a new and different era

“Describing yesterdays as if they were tomorrows”… That’s how author Hugh Howey recently characterized publishing predictions. There’s more than a grain of truth in his assessment. Read more »


Hugh Howey's revolution

On Radio 4's Today programme this week I overheard a discussion between climate change denier Nigel Lawson and the climate scientist Sir Brian Hoskins. It ought to have been a slam-dunk for Hoskins. Not only is Britain experiencing the worst floods in a life-time, but no serious person now denies that man-made climate change is a reality. But actually Lawson came out on top. Where Hoskins expressed quite reasonable scientific doubt, Lawson was confident, bombastic, and assured. Lawson's best rhetorical technique was to use Hoskins' words against him. Read more »


The biggest books of 2013 across print and digital

What was the biggest selling book in 2013, across all editions, including digital? My former colleague Philip Stone reported the following in The Bookseller last week. Read more »


A Policeman's Lot Is Not A Happy One

[Lady Justice via Wikipedia, under CC Attribution-Share Alike Licence 3.0 Unported, see here for author etc.]

I've been a bit quiet recently, at least in these pages, because I've been working on actual books rather than thinking about publishing, but I have to put my head above the battlements to query some of Richard Mollet's polemic from Jan 3. Read more »

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