Faber, Canongate and Profile among indies to furlough staff
thebookseller.com – Tuesday April 14, 2020
Faber, Canongate, Profile, Oneworld and Pushkin Press are among indie publishers who have confirmed to The Bookseller they are temporarily furloughing staff, making use of the government-funded scheme intended to alleviate the business impact of coronavirus. But the scheme also has its critics, with Will Atkinson of Atlantic Books (which is furloughing about 25% of its staff) calling it "clunky" and "completely unsuitable" for the industry.
Andrew Franklin, founder of Profile Books, confirmed: "We've furloughed about 20% of our staff. We asked for volunteers first across all departments, but nobody has been compelled. The criteria we used [took into account] individual wellbeing, the long-term health of the company, and the strain put on the people left behind."
Publishers: Think Like a Kid
blogs.publishersweekly.com – Tuesday April 14, 2020
When we heard the news that one of spring’s most highly anticipated books for kids wouldn’t be coming out until late summer, I’ll be honest: it felt like a gut punch—to kids.
All these children who had just learned they would be sheltering in place at home for weeks to come, whose worlds had shrunk practically to the size of their living rooms, were so in need of the kind of joy a new book by their favorite author brings.
E-readership on the rise as publishers feel Covid-19 heat
dailypioneer.com – Tuesday April 14, 2020
With limited opportunities for physical book sales, publishers across the world looking to meet targets with e-books.
"The COVID-19 impact is (affecting) and will affect book industry as well. Books are never treated as essential items, which they should be, during the lockdown to engage people while they are at home. E-books are likely to see a spike in sales, but that is still a tiny fraction of the total market. But at this time, we are trying to use different platforms to sell our e-books," Usha Jha, VP (Sales), Speaking Tiger, told IANS.
As per Speaking Tiger's VP Publishing, Renuka Chatterjee , it's not so much the absence of physical book launches, promotions and author tours - which in any case have limited benefits in relation to the costs involved - but the fact that bookshops are closed, distributors are not taking orders, and people simply can't go to a bookstore to buy books."
Adding, "From that perspective, e-readership should certainly see a rise. We may also have to focus more on digital and e-books in the immediate future, to minimise printing costs and recover some of the losses we've made in this period," Chatterjee added.
TV Lit Agent Laura Gordon Leaving ICM for CAA Amid Coronavirus Shutdown
variety.com – Sunday April 12, 2020
Hollywood’s talent agencies may be significantly impacted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but agents are still making moves in an unprecedented crisis.
Television literary rep Laura Gordon, who has risen from the assistant level at ICM Partners nearly a decade ago to senior agent, left the shop amicably this week after the expiration of her contract, sources said. CAA is in the process of finalizing her deal, added another insider.
Gordon will join a company that has just instituted across-the-board salary reductions, not to mention one of the majors currently in a contentious battle with the Writers Guild of America over packaging fees. It was not immediately clear if Gordon will be subjected to the cuts made across CAA, which will see “our highest compensated colleagues shouldering a greater responsibility,” a CAA spokesperson said this week.
Agents Weigh Whether to Submit Projects During the Pandemic
publishersweekly.com – Saturday April 11, 2020
The tightening of publishers’ purse strings in response to the economic fallout of Covid-19 has added a new wrinkle to an age-old dilemma for agents: when is the best time to submit their clients’ new manuscripts?
In normal times, deciding when to submit books, and whom to submit them to, is something agents constantly weigh. Now, with huge swaths of the country under quarantine, pub dates of forthcoming titles in limbo, and questions about how long the pandemic will last, literary agents are divided on the best approach. All agents interviewed acknowledged that publishers will need to keep buying books, but many are uncertain about whether they want to send new projects out at such a difficult moment.
“I am definitely thinking about which projects make sense to submit now—in terms of author profile and subject matter—and which ones it’s better to hold,” said Markus Hoffmann, a partner at Regal Hoffmann Associates. “Arguably the right project will get more attention, since there will be fewer submissions overall. And even if lists contract across the board, publishers will need new books for when this crisis is over.”
How Covid-19 could enable small publishers to compete with Amazon and Penguin Random House
born2invest.com – Tuesday April 7, 2020
The Covid-19 outbreak has confined many of us to our homes and thousands of people are reconnecting with reading. This could represent a unique opportunity for online publishers and distributors to connect with new markets and help to re-ignite the reading renaissance that has been quietly humming along for years now, and allowing authors and publishers to find their stride.
Have you read more books in the last fortnight than you have in years? The answer is almost certainly yes and it’s down to the spread of Covid-19 and the quarantine we’ve been forced to endure. Whether we’re reading bedtime stories to our children, making time to enjoy the latest Lee Child blockbuster, or finishing a half-read book we all suddenly have time to read. While most of us make the most of this, it’s created a huge opportunity for independent booksellers such as GB Publishing to compete with the likes of Penguin Random House.
Post-pandemic poetry: As world comes to a screeching halt, 'digital poets' are writing odes to nature
economictimes.indiatimes.com – Tuesday April 7, 2020
With lockdowns of varying degrees imposed in major economies around the world, and entreaties or orders by national leaders to work from (or stay at) home implemented, there is finally time now for everyone to ‘stand and stare’, as W H Davies put it, just over a century ago. Amid more bucolic imagery, Davies had also written about ‘streams full of stars, like skies at night’, a simile that would be utterly lost on most city dwellers, barring senior citizens perhaps.
BBC Wildlife partners with new youth nature writing competition
discoverwildlife.com – Tuesday April 7, 2020
Nature on your Doorstep is a new youth nature writing competition created by Lucy McRobert, the author of 365 Days Wild.
The aim is to encourage kids to connect with the nature right outside their homes – up in the sky, on their streets, in their gardens, from their windows – during the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s undeniable – life has changed. As we all re-evaluate the things that really matter to us, many people are treasuring the natural world and wild experiences more than ever,” explains McRobert.
“What’s more, those experiences are now taking place much closer to home; we are all realising the true importance of nature on our doorsteps. This is true for children as much as adults. Personally, I wanted to do something positive and a nature writing competition seemed perfect. We’re helping their parents, too, by giving their kids a focus, a challenge and stretching their imaginations – and hopefully benefiting their English lessons.”
The 'Poets & Writers' Editors Have Some Writing Tips for You
publishersweekly.com – Tuesday April 7, 2020
Mary Gannon and Kevin Larimer, the two most recent editors of Poets & Writers magazine, want you to know how to be a writer. That means knowing every step of the process, not just when to pick up the pen (or put it down) or open up the laptop (or close it shut). Their new book, The Poets & Writers Complete Guide to Being a Writer (Avid Reader), includes tips on how to find and enter writing contests, applying for and taking writing retreats, navigating the seas of self-publishing, how to find an agent and work with an editor, and a number of other aspects of building a sustainable career.
Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency brings in 'mentorship' programme for authors
thebookseller.com – Monday April 6, 2020
The Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency is launching a six-month mentorship programme for aspiring authors.
Seeking to "find new and exciting voices in fiction and to guide writers during the early steps of their career", the mentorship programme will cover editorial guidance and insight into getting books published including current trends, what editors look for, international rights and film & TV.