Once the laughing stock of the literary world, self-published books are increasingly establishing themselves among the publishing heavyweights, spurred by the ease of online distribution and companies offering works tailored towards specific niches.
According to data gathering website Author Earnings, self-published novels now make up 42 per cent of the fiction book market, offered via distributors like Kindle, Kobo, and niche websites like Smashwords. Read More
In a surprising twist, a recent Nielsen survey has found that UK ebook sales declined by 4% in 2016, the second consecutive year digital has shrunk against print. Growth in print has come mostly from younger readers who prefer to immerse themselves in physical books to relax and escape their digital lives. Could this be a sign of the times? Read More
“Bookselling was and is for me a cultural and political expression, an expression of progressive change, of challenge to oppressive authority, of a search for a community of values which can act as an underpinning of a better world. The true profit in bookselling is the social profit; the bottom line, the measure of the impact of the bookshop on the community.” These impassioned words, from late bookseller David Schwartz, adorn a broadside hanging beside my front door—the last thing I see each day as I venture onward from my home…Read More
According to Publishing Perspectives coverage of a recent BEA talk given by Kempton Mooney, Nielsen Book Senior Director of Research and Analytics, the market share of Big Five publishers has declined yearly since 2012, when it controlled 46% of the market. In 2015, Big Publishing’s share had fallen by 12% to 34%. Meanwhile, the share of self-published books has risen by 7%, from 5% to 12%. And, for the first time, the combined share of self-published books and books by “very small publishers” (42%) is now larger than the total market share of Big Publishing (34%). Read more
Literary history is sprinkled with stories of tempestuous relations between famous writers and their editors. There’s a flipside. Editors are also a writer’s coach, psychiatrist and chief advocate, and the masterpieces that thrill us would never reach our outstretched hands without them. Read more
‘Go Set a Watchman,’ ‘The Martian’ and ‘The Girl on the Train’ were fiction hits. Celebrity nonfiction fizzled. Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Apple have released their lists of the best-selling books of the year.
The year 2015 lacked a runaway celebrity best-seller like Tina Fey’s Bossypants, but there are still several important Hollywood-related stories in publishing. Here are four key takeaways from the year in publishing. (Note: Barnes & Noble’s best-selling list ranks just books published in 2015, and Amazon does all books, which explains some of the difference in numbers. Kindle and iBooks rankings reflect just e-book sales.) Read More
All good business stories begin with an economist admitting he has no idea what’s going on.
“I just don’t get it,” Richard Thaler told me a few months ago, when I asked how his book tour was going. “More people are listening to my book than reading it.”
Thaler is an entertaining writer as academics go, deftly distilling complex ideas. And the subject of his book, “Misbehaving,” is compelling: the psychological quirks and failings that distinguish actual humans from the rational action figures many economists suppose walk the Earth. I had to agree with Thaler, because I didn’t get it either.
Last week, during a dwindling work day, I scrolled through Twitter for something to engage me, something newsworthy or pithy or both. I felt drawn to the sort of tweet that was neither hackneyed nor too intimate, neither click-baity nor dry. After all, I’d curated a list of Twitter accounts that more or less pandered to my precise interests. News sites that specialize in deep dives into the uncanny, authors who manage to employ their style in 140-character observations. Read More
I’ve been hearing about the demise of book publishing since the first day I stepped through the doors of a publisher back in 1978. But here we are still, publishers like Little, Brown, with histories going back 100 and 200 years. What other American industry has companies still in existence after two centuries, evolving and modernizing but still doing much the same work? The most recent variant of the death watch: A digital revolution would cause e-books to replace printed ones, authors would overwhelmingly choose self-publishing, and publishers would follow carriage makers into oblivion. Read More