Archive for February, 2008
The Bookseller reports that ‘the UK’s independent publishing sector is flourishing’. Independent Publishers Guild (IPG) membership has an all-time high 515 members (the fledgling NEPub already has 10), and Nielsen are estimating that there are 20,000 active publishers in the UK. Hooray.
There’s an interesting feature on Wired this week, Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business. It’s written by Chris Anderson, author of The Long Tail, which basically explained how businesses, including publishers and booksellers, can shift away from focussing on a relatively small number of big ‘hits’ and toward a larger number of small niches. (Anderson discusses the ‘long tail’ of publishing in his original Long Tail feature.) The Long Tail was a business and publishing ‘sensation’, so we’d we wise to take notice of his new work.
In ‘Free!’, Anderson explores how companies offer free razors to make revenue from blades, free mobile phone handsets to make revenue from service plans, and so on. It’s not a new concept – Gillette pioneered it in the early 1900s. But how can this be applied to publishing? Earlier this month, Suze Orman’s book “Women & Money” was offered as a free download for two days on Oprah Winfrey’s website, and was downloaded more than 1.1 million times. Despite the fact that the public could read it for free, the book shot to the top of the Amazon’s sales rankings – because people tend to prefer physical books to online e-books. They were drawn in by the freebie, but ended up buying the book.
Offering stuff for free is something we’ve been actively discussing in the Tonto office recently. We tried it back in 2006 with our free Christmas short stories anthology, which 1,200 people downloaded. Everyone likes free stuff, right? Watch this space for more.
Another new book and cover, this one will be out in the autumn…
‘Probably the best beer book in the world. An alternative to beardy and boring real-ale guides, The Non-Beardy Beer Book is a humorous and no-nonsense guide to Booze Britain’s favourite drinks, featuring irreverent reviews of 100 of the UK’s bestselling brands of beer, lager and cider, plus bluffer’s guides to the most popular wines, alcopops, spirits and cocktails, lovingly put together by a panel of completely independent (possibly inebriated) reviewers. An essential companion for any trip to the pub, club, supermarket or off-licence, this king of beer guides refreshes the parts other books cannot reach.’
Another new book, today it’s Roz Wyllie’s debut novel, released in August:
Tiggy’s stuck in a rut – trapped in a half-life as a stripper at a Mayfair club, surviving on dope and vodka, and desperate for her married lover to leave his wife.
Scarlett is different â€“ she’s more confident, stunningly beautiful, and willing to do absolutely anything to get exactly what she wants.
Tiggy is intoxicated by the enigmatic Scarlett, following her into an arousing world of sex and excitement. But Scarlett has her own agenda, and she doesn’t do anything for free. Sooner or later Tiggy’s going to have to pay.
Evocatively set in the summer of 1991, Everything You Ever Wanted is a smart and gritty tale of two young women’s colourful adventures in a London sex industry where money talks, and boundaries are there to be broken.’
‘A sharp and stunning debut. Taut prose, original voice, visuals that crackle and shock. Wyllie trips the reader into a foreboding world where sex sells and friendships are dubious.‘ – Caroline Smailes
Another forthcoming title in what I’ve just decided we’re officially calling ‘new book week’, today it’s a collection of stories by Stephen Shieber, to be released in August:
‘A confident, poignant collection filtered with debauchery, melancholy and black humour, Being Normal is an examination of loneliness, rejection and the idiosyncrasies of living in and against contemporary society.
Stephen Shieber brings together the glory of everyday nothingness and elevates it to great drama; where loveless marriage, teen angst, childhood misadventure, lonely Christmases and family dysfunction are the norm.
Each character in this stunning debut provides a very different slant on the notion of mundane â€“ a book for anyone who has ever found themselves on the outside, dancing to the beat of their own drum.’
This week we’ll be posting first looks at the covers for some of our our forthcoming titles, starting today with Stephen Miller’s autobiography, released in July:
‘Stephen Miller is one of Britain’s most successful athletes. Record-breaking Stephen, who has Cerebral Palsy, has won three Paralympic gold medals, plus dozens of other international accolades in the club and discus events, and will endeavour to win more at Beijing 2008 and London 2012. A writer and poet, Stephen’s inspirational autobiography tells of his struggles and triumphs, and is told with refreshing honesty and infectious humour.’
We’re pleased to be one of the founder members of NEPub, a new coalition of independent trade book publishers in the North East of England.
NEPub aims to be a support network in which members can share experience and knowledge, build contacts, arrange industry talks and training sessions, co-attend book fairs, and have a bigger voice in the industry. It already has ten member publishers, and looks like being a very valuable and worthwhile enterprise. You can find out more about NEPub and its members here.
The latest edition of our email newsletter is out today. The newsletter is sent out monthly, and contains news about new titles, projects, events, and submission opportunities.
You can read previous newsletters here.
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Everyone’s favourite chronicle of strange phenomena Fortean Times features a review of the publishing phenomenon that is The Rocketbelt Caper in the new March issue. Click on the image below to see a readable version.
Yep, the title is a bit of a clue. Maybe some of you have tried this before – I was sent a link to it recently and am keen to get logged in and have a look. As you’ll see on the categories on the left, there are plenty to browse through – new as well as old books… even one of mine on there!
Here is the website link, Read It Swap It. Happy swapping!