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Lessons in digital from Andrew Wylie

Literary agent Andrew Wylie has been back on Radio 4, this time delivering a timely lesson in how publishers should respond to the demands of the big digital distributors as part of a series on the future of publishing running on "The World at One" this week.

I could not tell from listening to if Wylie's tongue was embedded in his cheek as he talked, but apparently the solution to the problems he accurately details is for publishers to offer authors a 50% digital royalty. Read more »

The infinite book

I started writing a very clever (but possibly boring) post for FutureBook last night – about the mechanics of perspective, and how we should use it to view the future of publishing in a new light – but then I got distracted by the hack on The Sun’s website. Read more »

The London cluster

By now everyone knows about innovation clusters. It goes something like this: people start doing interesting things, they achieve some success, so more people come to hang around, spin out of them, bolt on, get inspired and go beyond them, and they in turn achieve some success, and the process continues and keeps building and before you know it, boom, you’ve got Silicon Valley.
The lesson is that innovation breeds innovation, that proximity is important to spreading ideas and that clusters of talent, competition, investment and know-how are the motors behind productive change. Read more »

Monster licensing

2003 was an incredible year for licensed publishing—and terrific for Penguin. It was the year of Finding Nemo. The Disney/Pixar film catapulted tie-in books into the top of the children’s charts worldwide. Penguin’s records were broken again in 2008 when In the Night Garden books had their debut. But times are quickly changing. Read more »

Making the first move

It was after the FutureBook Innovation Workshop a few weeks ago that The Bookseller cornered me in the pub.

“You’re the girl that was rude about the book industry in New Media Age magazine,” they said. I took a slug of my drink and wondered if I should run away. Read more »

We must become active participants in the shaping of the future

Today we are running FutureBook's Innovation Workshop, in association with my own website The Literary Platform.

It’s been an extraordinary year for book publishers. Every day we seem to witness a new twist or turn of events – many are calling it the Wild West and you can understand why – as these are challenging times for publishers. Read more »

FutureBook Innovation Workshop final programme

We have finalised the programme for our workshop on the 16th June. Venue is Propsero House, 241 Borough High Street. More info here. In my opinion, Sophie Rochester of The Literary Platform has put together one of the most interesting programmes for a digital publishing event to date.  Read more »

A Bibliography of Sponges; or, can publishers mop up the backlist market?

With Google’s interest in ebooks apparently on the wane, might successful e-publishers step into the breach? Read more »

Ken Auletta's "Googled"

If you work in the book trade and you have not yet read Googled, now is the time.

Auletta's book is readable and engaging, but that's not really the point. The point is that it provides an understanding of Google's ethos - both the soft, cuddly internal one with onsite massage and free food and buses, and the aggressive legal/technical drive to push boundaries and be as disruptive as possible. Read more »

Google again cuts publishers the pass

More than once I’ve called this one of the greatest challenges for publishers in coming years: the global and simultaneous availability of your titles. One of the biggest limitations in the modern book world is the way translation rights are (still) arranged. Was it not that big of a problem in the ‘old world’, with e-books and the internet (anyone can visit Amazon from anywhere) this is not quite the case. If a new book of your favourite author is being released, you want to read it. Read more »

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