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Ingram
German deal

Frankfurt CEO panel goes global

C

EOs noted the challenges
facing the global book
business but remained
confident about its endurance at
their annual panel discussion. “It
all depends on how you define
a book,” Penguin CEO John
Makinson observed on being asked
if the book market was in decline.
“If we’re talking about physical
books, the answer is yes.” But if
you looked at “our consumption
of our media”, he added, “it isn’t
decreasing at all.” Arnaud Nourry
of Hachette Livre said that the
travails of the industry were
cyclical, and pinned lacklustre
performance in recent years on the
global economy. However, “People
still want to read.”
Titled “New Horizons in
Global Publishing”, the panel was
based on French trade publishing
trade journal Livre Hebdo’s 2011
Global Ranking of the Publishing
Industry, and was moderated by
the study’s author, consultant
Rüdiger Wischenbart. It featured,
in addition to Makinson and
Nourry, Yu Chunchi (Chinese
educational publisher FLTRP),
and Oleg Novikov (CEO of
Russian Publisher Eksmo),
and was led by representatives
from each of the study’s
publishing partners.
On the Asian side, Yu Chunchi
cited a growing if still nascent
business in China, and said the
challenge for the industry was
to capture the attention of the
new generations awash in digital
options, “like Angry Birds”.
In Russia, the book market
is challenged, but potentially
vast. Novikov reported that
the country’s largest chain was
bankrupt, and that there was

on average just one bookstore
for every 80,000 citizens. He
was upbeat, however, about the
potential for ebooks to help the
industry – provided, he noted,
there was some way to combat
digital piracy, which he estimated
was 10 times larger than the legal
market for books.
Nourry remained bullish on
print, saying he expected ebook
sales eventually to top out at

30% to 40% of the market in
France, and adding that ebooks
challenged publishers to make
better physical books. In sharp
contrast to the US, where trade
ebook revenues are around 20%
of the market, and the UK, where
the figure is around 10%, Nourry
said France’s ebook business was
“about 0%”. Novikov, meanwhile,
said ebooks accounted for just
$2 million total sales in Russia. ■

ngram Content Group has
added to its Global Connect
program, reaching an alliance
with Germany’s Books On
Demand to print and fulfil orders
in Germany and its neighbours.
Created in late August, Global
Connect allows publishers in any
country to print and distribute
titles in countries where Ingram
has its own operations as well
as in countries of one of its
partners. In addition to its digital
book manufacturing capabilities,
BoD will handle retail distribution
throughout German-speaking
countries - Germany, Austria,
Switzerland - and in more than
1,000 internet bookstores as well
as the most important Englishlanguage book markets.
BoD joins Singular Digital in
Brazil as Global Connect affiliates.
The company said it expected to
announce a partner in the Far East
by the end of 2011. “The demand
for the printed book is strong
in the German market, and the
addition of hundreds of thousands
of new titles through Ingram’s
Global Connect program is a
benefit for the entire publishing
supply chain,” said Dr Moritz
Hagenmüller, CEO of Books On
Demand GmbH. “We are pleased
to be an integral part of this
innovative distribution service for
publishers all over the world.”
Publishers that print and
distribute books with either
Lightning Source or BoD will
define markets for each title in
the Global Connect program.
Lightning Source and BoD will
maintain file integrity and security
as well as reporting and payment
remittance to publishers. ■

I

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Crown nabs Sharjah signs up to PubMatch
Skloot’s new,
untitled book

Sharjah International Book Fair
is the latest signing as affiliate
partner to PubMatch, the book
publishing and rights database
founded earlier this year by PW
and Combined BookExhibit.
Fair Director Ahmed Al Amri –
pictured, centre, with Jon Malinowski
of CBE (left) and PW President
George Slowik Jr – told FFD: “This
is an excellent development for all
exhibitors and visitors. SIBF is a key
event for international publishers,
providing a gateway to the Arab
publishing industry and a platform
for Arab publishers to showcase
their work to the rest of the world.
This partnership with PubMatch
will substantially increase the
opportunity to buy and sell rights
across the globe.”

I

n another big deal coming
out of the US, Molly
Stern at Crown has taken
North American rights to
the anticipated new book by
Rebecca Skloot. The currently
untitled work, which Simon
Lipskar at Writers House sold,
will explore, as the publisher
put it, “the animal-human
bond”.
Skloot’s runaway hit, and
debut, The Immortal Life of
Henrietta Lacks, was published
by Crown in February 2010
and now has over 1 million
copies in print; it also,
among other honours, won
the National Book Award.
The new work, which Crown
said would “explore some
of the biggest, and as yet
unanswered, questions at the
heart of animals’ roles in our
lives”, touches on Skloot’s
own background in veterinary
medicine; the author worked
in the field for over 10 years
in, among other capacities, an
ER for animals, as well as a
veterinary morgue. ■

codeMantra launches collectionPoint 3.0

W

ith a cocktail
party just off the
show floor in Hall
8, codeMantra celebrated
on Wednesday the release
of collectionPoint 3.0, the
company’s popular digital asset
management and commercial
file distribution platform. First
released in 2005, collectionPoint
is now used by more than 40

To contact Frankfurt Fair Dealer at
the Fair with your news, visit us on the
Publishers Weekly stand Hall 8.0 R925
Frankfurt reporting by Nicholas Clee and Liz Thomson for BookBrunch and
Andrew Albanese and Rachel Deahl for Publishers Weekly
Project Management: Cevin Bryerman
Advertising: Joseph Murray and Fiona Valpy
Layout and Production: Heather McIntyre
Editorial Co-ordinator (UK): Marian Sheil

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publishers, including Oxford
University Press, Chronicle
Books, Workman Publishing,
and McGraw-Hill.
The latest update, codeMantra
officials say, features a “complete
overhaul” of the browser-based
interface, and a new metadata
management application. It
also introduces cPMetalogic, an
optional add-on application that

“promises to drastically reduce a
publisher’s metadata headaches”.
The platform is fully compatible
with XP, Vista and Mac OSX,
and is built upon a flexible, open
architecture that allows for easy
integration with other systems,
tools and applications.
Missed cocktails? No worries,
you can visit codeMantra at
booth D975 in Hall 8.0. ■

Illustrated books? YUDU’s got
an app for that
At last year’s Frankfurt Book Fair, the
Apple iPad was still a relatively new
development that promised to find a
place for digital editions of illustrated
books left behind by the first waves
of e-ink e-readers. It was also the
first year at the Fair for YUDU Media,
a growing company that specializes
in creating rich media content for
the web for its clients. A year later,
YUDU CEO Richard Stephenson
says the company is back and busier
than ever, as more publishers look
for solutions to put their illustrated
content – from cookbooks, to graphic
novels, and children’s books – into
digital editions.
Frankfurt Fair

Launched in 2007, YUDU is one of
a wave of new exhibitors at Frankfurt
helping publishers transition to the
new digital marketplace. The company
has over 150 Apps now live for clients
including some of the largest brands
and publishing houses in the world,
including Random House, and Williams
Sonoma. YUDU offers a range of
“fixed format” ePub solutions for the
iBookstore, as well as multi-book
“container” apps for the App Store.
“Quality,” says Stephenson, when
asked what the top demand was for his
clients. “And we’ve figured it out.”
YUDU is in Hall 8.0, booth L973. ■

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t a well-attended, hour-long
session entitled “Is the US eBook
phenomenon a harbinger of
every country’s book future?”, Google
Books’ Tom Turvey questioned a
panel of executives, from both the US
and Europe, about where the digital
market is, and where it’s headed.
Most panellists agreed that, as in the
US, the European market will likely be
device-driven and that book retailers
abroad, as the case has proven in the
States, will need their own e-readers to
be competitive. Bloomsbury Executive
Director Richard Charkin noted
Amazon’s overwhelming dominance
of the UK market with its Kindle.
Charkin also noted that Waterstone’s
was set to announce its own reader in
the coming weeks. (The panel came
before WHSmith’s announcement
that it was to sell the Kobo e-reader.)
Although some panellists were
more squeamish than others when
Turvey asked them what percentages
of their revenues now came from
digital, and how much of their

backlists was available in digital, a
few statistics were offered. Charkin,
while noting that he was offering a
very rough personal estimate, thought
Bloomsbury had, on the adult trade
front, roughly 75% of its list available
in e. (He noted that the remaining
25% was probably held up by
discussions with authors, agents and
literary estates.) He estimated that
digital accounted for between 5% and
10% of Bloomsbury’s revenue.
Joerg Pfuhl, CEO of Random
House Germany, said about 5,000
of his house’s titles were available
in ebook, and digital accounted
for about 2% of the house’s overall
revenue. He also noted that in
Germany ebooks accounted for about
1% of the overall book market.
Tim McCall, V-P of Digital
Commerce at Penguin, offered even
fewer stats, but acknowledged that
one area Penguin was lagging was in
children’s ebooks, where the market
was just developing. (Although
McCall initially used the term

“lagging”, he quickly rectified it by
describing the digital picture book
as “nascent”.
When the issue of pricing was
raised, namely the question of whether
low prices (and discounts) were the
only way to drive consumers to digital
content in particular, Charkin said
that the notion that the “ebook price
should slavishly follow the print price
is bizarre”. He cautioned against
acquiescing in drastic price-cutting: “If
we follow to zero, [as an industry] we
are completely doomed.”
There was a range of views about
the agency model. McCall said that, at
Penguin, it was the right choice for the
house. Peter Balis, Executive Director
of E-Commerce at Wiley, said: “For
Wiley, being under the agency model
has worked”, while pointing out that
a number of changes needed to be
made, on the backend and elsewhere,
for a publisher to switch from selling
wholesale to selling agency, and
significant work needed to be done
ahead of time. ■

Onward to New Zealand for 2012

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celand this year, New Zealand
next – from the tip of the
Northern Hemisphere to the
tip of the Southern, as Frankfurt’s
Guest of Honour programme for
2012 was formally announced at a
press conference that included Maori
words and music.
The year-long programme, which
will climax at the Fair next year, will fly
under the banner “While You Were
Sleeping” – a phrase used by Sir Peter
Gluckman, one of New Zealand’s
many distinguished scientists, and
screen writer and director Sir Peter
Jackson, to emphasise just how much
cultural and scientific endeavour the
Kiwis are engaged in, much of it while
we Europeans are asleep. But the
message is clearly that, asleep or awake,
we need to be more alert to the riches
New Zealand has to offer.
Lewis Holden from the country’s
Ministry for Culture and Heritage
emphasised his belief that all the
arts, including literature, were “more
important than ever” in difficult
times “because they bring people
Frankfurt Fair

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Europeans, Americans talk digital future

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Witi Ihimaera joins with Maori singing and dancing

together”. The case for governmentled engagement with culture was
“compelling”, sociologically and
economically, he said – though
it’s sadly not a belief shared by all
governments, certainly not Britain’s
– and he looked forwarded to
engaging fully with the opportunities
presented by the country’s Guest of
Honour Status.
Kevin Chapman, President of
the NZ PA (and, of course) MD

Friday 14 October 2011

and Publisher of Hachette New
Zealand, spoke of “a young country,
geologically, politically, literally”, of its
commendable “lack of constraint”,
and its geographical location
accounting for its cultural position
“at the creative edge of the world”.
He spoke proudly of “our vibrant
culture and egalitarian society”.
Other speakers at the ceremony
included Witi Ihimaera, author of The
Whale Rider, the first Maori writer to

Qbend goes back
to Frankfurt roots
At last year’s Frankfurt Book
Fair, Qbend, a full service digital
partner for small and medium sized
publishers, was launched, writes
Gabe Habash. This year at the Fair,
with $1m in advertising allocated
to back its plans, Qbend hopes to
strengthen the brand.
“Over the last year, our strategies
have evolved a lot,” said Sriram
Ramakrishnan, v-p of marketing
and sales for Qbend. “We have
added several features to make
our platform very user friendly and
helpful to publishers. We have
also started offering a free custom
branded webstore for publishers.
This enables the publishers to sign
up and try our platform without any
financial investment.”
Qbend specifically targets small
and medium publishers looking to
enter the ebook world, providing
services that range from creating
to delivering their ebooks. Qbend’s
two core modules are Webstore,
used for marketing and distributing
ebook titles, and Custom Publishing
(SNAP) software that allows custom
publishing and re-purposes content
for distribution to multiple channels.
Qbend’s presentation at the
Information Management Hotspot
is on Friday at 10:15am. Qbend’s
stand is N443 in Hall 4.2.

publish both a book of short stories
and a novel; Project Director Tanea
Heke; and Frankfurt Director Jurgen
Boos. Publisher Muriwai Ihakara sang
his “speech”, which expressed thanks
for the invitation and paid tribute to
those who have gone before us.
The text for the ceremonial
scroll reads in part: “I want for one
moment to make our undiscovered
country leap into the eyes of the Old
World. It is your job, this. To show
others who we are.”
The New Zealand publishing
industry is worth some 350m euros
(retail), 30% of which derives from
titles created in the country. Some
2,000 new books are published
annually, and 20 companies account
for 90% of turnover. ■

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Jaw-jaw, not war-war

Ciao, Bello!

Helen Kogan (second from left) is joined for Kogan Page drinks by
(from left) Orion Group’s Malcolm Edwards, Jo Henry of BML and
KP’s own Stephen Lustig

Macmillan CEO Annette Thomas (second from left) and Curtis Brown’s
Jonathan Lloyd (second from right) with (left to right) Macmillan’s
Anthony Forbes Watson, Sara Lloyd and Jeremy Trevathan.

We can work it out

Celebrating 20

Canongate’s Jamie Byng (right) and Francis Bickmore, doubtless
discussing a deal

Comparing notes

John Nicoll of Frances Lincoln with Jill Hollis of Cameron & Hollis –
this could be Nicoll’s last Frankfurt, for he has sold FL to Quarto

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David Palmer, UK Publisher of Dummies with Mr Dummy

HALL

STAND

4.2 N 443

eBook Sales
Multi-channel Publishing
Custom Publishing

Presentation

Today / 14-Oct
Professional & Scientific
Information Hotspot

10:15 AM
BUILD AND DISTRIBUTE eBOOKS
DELIVER TO MANY PLATFORMS AND DEVICES
SELL IN YOUR OWN LANGUAGE
REACH A GLOBAL AUDIENCE

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Daily Demos
At Our Stand

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The book market in Australia
The book market in Australia is facing challenging times, but it is not all doom
and gloom, says Tim Coronel

A

ustralians are a pretty
bookish bunch. Our
population of 22.7 million
buys about 66 million books per year
at local bookstores. The domestic
mainstream book retail market, as
measured by Nielsen BookScan, has
contracted somewhat of late, but still
turns over about A$1.3 billion a year.
But not everything is rosy.
Earlier this year, Australasia’s biggest
bookselling chain, REDGroup, first
went into voluntary administration
(which is broadly similar to Chapter
11 in the US) and eventually folded
leaving creditors out millions of
dollars. REDGroup owned Angus
& Robertson (A&R) in Australia,
Whitcoulls in New Zealand, and
Borders in Australia, New Zealand
and Singapore. Whitcoulls found
a new owner, saving most of its
stores, and franchisee-owned A&R
branches continue to trade under
different names. But more than 130
bookstores from the group have
closed in recent months, costing
2,000 retail jobs and resulting in
up to 20% of book retail space
disappearing from the market.
The general consensus is that
REDGroup failed mainly due to
misguided management and a huge
debt burden at a time of a more
general retail downturn, with costs
rising and margins under pressure.
But whatever the cause, the loss of
that many stores has certainly been
felt.
However, the collapse of
REDGroup has actually resulted in
a strengthening in a sector already
well-represented in Australian
bookselling: independent stores.
Indies already held a 20% market
share, but in the last six months that
has increased to 23%. The other part
of the equation is franchisee-owned

Tim Coronel

stores trading under the banner
of a chain: of the two remaining
large national chains, the 70-plus
store Collins Booksellers is entirely
franchisee-owned and the majority
of Dymocks’ 90 or so branches
are owner-operated. Almost all of
the former A&R franchisees have
stayed in business, half rebranding
as independents and half joining
Collins. The Australian Booksellers
Association has licensed the
IndieBound marketing initiative
from the American Booksellers
Association and has recently
introduced it along with a successful
National Bookshop Day.
Australian-based (and in a few
cases trans-Tasman Australian/New
Zealand-based) online booksellers
are also doing well. The stand-out
example is Booktopia. Started a few
years ago by two brothers and their
brother-in-law as a hobby business,
it now employs more than 40 people
and regularly features in lists of
Australia’s fastest-growing companies.
Boomerang Books (and its
ebook arm Booku), The Nile,
Fishpond and numerous other sites
are successful locally-based online

To find out more about Australian publishing, look out for
the annual Think Australian magazine at the Frankfurt
Book Fair. With a market overview, rights survey, bestsellers
and award-winners, title previews and exhibitor listings, it
puts you in touch with much of what Australia has to offer
to the world. Visit the Australian Publishers Association
stand in Hall 8, B958 to pick up a copy or see www.
booksellerandpublisher.com.au/thinkaustralian.

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booksellers. Dymocks has run an
online business for many years and
was the first mainstream Australian
bookseller to offer ebooks, and
while they’ve disappeared from
the streets, both the Borders and
Angus & Robertson brands live on
online, with international publisher
Pearson buying the brands and retail
infrastructure from REDgroup’s
administrators.
The ebook market was somewhat
slow to take off in Australia, but
the last year or so has seen a burst
of activity and is now estimated at
three or four percent of total book
retail turnover. Kobo’s relationships
with A&R and Borders survived
the REDGroup collapse and live on
under the now Pearson-owned sites,
and Kobo is also now partnering with
Collins Booksellers, which will sell
Kobo’s ereaders in its stores as well as
selling ebooks from its website.
Local start-up Booki.sh has
pioneered a browser-based HTML5
ebook platform that is being used
by a number of well-known indie
booksellers, and another start-up,

months and many booksellers and
publishers are looking anxiously to
this Christmas season for any sign of
a recovery.
An extraordinarily high exchange
rate for our dollar isn’t helping:
against a long-term average of
about 80 cents to the US dollar, the
Australian dollar has soared beyond
parity this year, at one stage hitting
$1.10 before settling to about $1.05.
This is exacerbating the perception
among consumers that books are
priced too high in Australia, and it
makes buying online, from offshore
sites such as Amazon and The Book
Depository, very attractive. Book
buyers can make potential savings of
30% or 40% over local prices, even
after paying for shipping. As with
so many things to do with the book
industry there aren’t firm figures, but
estimates are that Australian shoppers
may be spending A$150 million or
more buying books offshore.
Add to this reports from
Australian-based publishers – both
locally owned independents and
the Australian branches of the

The worry isn’t so much that there
won’t be as many bookshops to sell
books in future, as that there won’t
be as much local publishing, and its
attendant marketing and publicity, to
support the bookshops
ReadCloud, is waiting to launch with
a number of retail partners. Locally
published titles are increasingly
available on Kindle and Apple’s
iBookstore, and we’re still awaiting
an Australian launch for Google
eBooks. A long-anticipated revamp of
industry data portal TitlePage is now
underway and will help consolidate
the back-end and supply chain for
both print and ebook orders.
This isn’t to say that there aren’t
substantial challenges for the
Australian market. In common
with much of the retail sector, book
sales have slumped in the past 18

big multinationals – that they are
experiencing some of the worst
sales figures they can recall, with a
number having already restructured
and made senior staff and sales
teams redundant. And the worry
isn’t so much that there won’t be as
many bookshops to sell books in
future, as that there won’t be as much
local publishing, and its attendant
marketing and publicity, to support
the bookshops.
Tim Coronel is Publisher at
Bookseller+Publisher magazine.
www.booksellerandpublisher.com.au ■

GLOBAL

CONNECT
MORE THAN A
PRINTER NETWORK
INGRAM ALLIANCE WITH SINGULAR DIGITAL
Ingram’s GlobalCONNECT program captures the strategic commitment and
expansion of our global distribution solutions for publishers.
GlobalCONNECT offers greater market reach and connectivity to consumers
by growing INGRAM’s own print and distribution footprint in key territories,
and pursuing alliances with partners around the world, with state -of-theart print on demand technology and connectivity to local networks of retailers
and consumers.
Launching with an alliance between INGRAM AND BRAZIL’S SINGULAR DIGITAL.
This is more than a printer network. Publishers are able to print locally,
have access to Singular’s network of retailers, and a direct link to Brazil’s
consumer demand.

HALL 8.0
STAND M902

ingramcontent.com

@ingramcontent

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Talkin’ ’bout a revolution
Sarah Faulder asks if publishing can learn lessons from the music industry or is it
the other way around?

T

hrough an accident of
timing the music industry
appears to have been the
first to face the challenges of the
digital revolution. This has led to
a commonly held view that the
publishing industry should therefore
be able to benefit from the experience
of music and learn lessons from any
mistakes made.
With the benefit of many years
of experience of the music industry
before recently joining the publishing
industry, I believe that a closer analysis
shows that things are not quite as they
might appear. For example, journal
publishers had made their publications
available online in the mid 1990s, well
before the first significant landmark in
the music industry’s fortunes in 1999,
when Napster enabled compressed
(MP3) files of music to be made
available to all through its peer-to-peer
file sharing software.
Journal publishers had been
experimenting with, and refining,
their model within the confines of
their relatively specialist market.
The music industry had also been
working to understand what the
internet could offer, but had not
started delivering music online in any
significant way by the time Napster
emerged. Given that the market for
music in the broadest sense of that
term is virtually unlimited, and that
music can be so easily downloaded
and instantaneously “consumed”,
there was, not surprisingly, an
enormous appetite for what Napster
could offer. But it was not within the
control of the music industry. The
industry’s decision to close Napster
down rather than to embrace it and
monetise it was reactive and, with
the benefit of hindsight, not fully
thought through. The industry has
since paid heavily for the damage to
its reputation caused by its negative
reaction in the full glare of publicity.
Before one can begin to compare
and contrast the different approaches
of these two industries to the digital
environment it is important to
understand the different ways in which
each is structured and seeks to reach its
audience and get to market. While the
music industry is made up of at least

10

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Sarah Faulder

two significant and yet interdependent
parts – music publishing and records
– the publishing industry is comprised
of several distinct and wholly
autonomous businesses including
trade books, academic books, journals,
magazines and newspapers.
Music publishers usually take an
assignment of copyright from the
songwriter or composer and then
license the music for every possible
form of exploitation – in print,
on recordings, for live or recorded
performances, for broadcast on
radio, for online usage, for use in
commercials, for ringtones and so on.
The record industry is more
analogous to the publishing industry,
having traditionally been involved

at play: the record companies on the
one hand concerned with sales and
with protecting their heavy investment
from piracy; and music publishers on
the other hand ready to license their
music as widely as possible in order to
generate revenues. Crucially, neither
side had total control over the value
chain. In addition, the very fact that
one side licenses the other pits them
against each other at times, causing not
inconsiderable strains.
All these factors mean that there
is not necessarily a unified music
industry ready to face outside
challenges in a joined-up way. In
the case of illegal use of music,
from Napster through to record
fans downloading music in their
bedrooms, the reaction of the record
industry has been to treat them as
pirates and to close down the threat
as quickly as possible. The natural
inclination of the music publishers
by contrast has always been to find a
way to monetise this new means of
disseminating music – regarding legal
sanctions as a last resort – but it has
not always had the chance to do so.
Eventually an outside third
party came up with a solution that
the industry could not afford to
ignore. The Apple iTunes model
was widely adopted and others
have since followed. The industry is
now considering a whole variety of

An obvious challenge is the pricing
model … where, often, the competition
is with freely available material
in producing, manufacturing and
distributing physical recordings and
signing up the recording artists (not
always one and the same as the writer).
But record companies always need a
licence from the music publishers to
make their recordings in the first place.
That said, the live music sector is fast
gaining ground on the record industry,
especially with the explosion of music
festivals, and it is no longer seen merely
as a means of promoting records.
So the music industry grew up
with two rather different approaches

Friday 14 October 2011

new models and some interesting
examples have been emerging, with
the Radiohead download experiment
being amongst the most notable.
The publishing industry would
appear to be more in control of its
own destiny although third party
“etailers” are looming large in the
world of ebooks. We are still in the
middle of this digital revolution and
the winning formula – and there
may well be more than one – has
yet to be identified. So it is vital that
publishers continue to experiment

in an effort to find a sustainable
online delivery model, which is
both acceptable to consumers and
yet sufficiently profitable to enable
publishers to invest in new talent
and new product. An obvious
challenge is the pricing model in
an environment where, more often
than not, the competition is with
freely available material.
An important issue to consider
is how online rights, the new heart
of the business as the significance
of physical product falls away, can
be managed most effectively. It is
notable that most music publishing
licensing is channelled through
a very well developed system of
collective licensing (PRS and
MCPS1), one that has evolved
over some 150 years. The record
industry has traditionally limited
its collective licensing mandates (to
PPL2) to secondary use of recordings
(the performance and broadcast
of its recordings) while retaining
control of its primary sales market,
a situation that is not dissimilar to
that to be found in the publishing
industry’s PLS / CLA3 model.
However, as record companies
have to move into the business of
licensing the rights in their recordings,
forced on them by the digital world,
they are increasingly interested in
passing over their online rights to
their collective to administer. They
are coming to recognise the benefits
that collective licensing has to offer
in the online world of high volume /
low value transactions. This is surely
one of the options that publishers
should seriously consider as they seek
to maximise the opportunities of the
online environment.
Sarah Faulder is Chief Executive of the
Publishers Licensing Society.
1. Performing Right Society for public
performance or play; and MechanicalCopyright Protection Society for music
reproduced as a physical product, both
now under the umbrella brand PRS
for Music
2. Previously Phonographic Performance
Limited
3. Publishers Licensing Society / Copyright
Licensing Agency ■

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A new chapter for Faber Factory
Simon Blacklock describes the new venture between Faber and Faber and Perseus
Book Group that offers independent publishers a way into the digital market

F

aber Factory is not even a
year old, but it has already
had an eventful career.
Launched last year at Frankfurt with
18 independent publishers, by the
end of August this year our awardwinning digital service could count
more than 70 client publishers
in the UK. At the beginning of
September we took a big step
forward in our digital services
offering with the announcement of
a joint venture between Faber and
Faber and the Perseus Book Group
to form the snappily titled Faber
Factory Powered by Constellation.
Faber was uniquely well placed
to build this service. It had actively
skilled up and invested in digital
technology, and has strong
connections with independent
publishers through its leading

role in the Independent Alliance
and its close ties with the IPG
(Independent Publishers Guild).
The idea behind Factory has
always been very simple: to
offer independent publishers a
comprehensive digital service to
enable them to fully participate
in the emerging digital market
without all the costs and time it
would take to do it themselves.
The joint venture is simply a
logical extension of this. It provides
a more robust platform on which
to distribute ebooks to a wider
network of retailers, and a way to
use technological innovation to
broaden our client publishers’ digital
toolkit so that they can participate
more fully in the digital market.
It became clear from the initial
conversations between Stephen Page

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Friday 14 October 2011

Simon Blacklock

(CEO and Publisher at Faber and
Faber) and David Steinberger (CEO
at Perseus Group) that there was a
lot we had in common. Firstly, and
perhaps most importantly, we are
both independent publishers and
this position and mindset helps
to frame the service we offer. The
issues that our colleagues in other
publishers are facing are the same
as our own. And the experience we
have developed in finding solutions,
to questions posed by creating a
digital offer, is what publishers were
wanting a part of.
Perseus is further down this
path of digital development,
as it has been operating the
Constellation platform since 2008,
and operating primarily in the
North American market, the most
advanced in the world. We see this
as a real benefit to Faber and the
Factory publishers. Gaining access
to US market intelligence will help
inform our digital strategies, with
data and know-how from a market
that is at least one year ahead.
The second area of commonality
is the fact that we are both keen to
offer this digital service to a global
market. Constellation serves mainly
US publishers and Faber Factory
has mainly served UK-based
publishers. It is really exciting to
be able to extend the markets for
our existing client publishers – by
offering greater access to retailers
around the world – and to work
with publishers in other Englishlanguage speaking countries. In this

respect it is a very well balanced
partnership: Faber Factory will
draw upon the strong ties that
Faber has developed with publishers
and retailers around the world,
thereby leveraging the marketleading Constellation platform.
In this ever changing market,
it is important for us to stay one
step ahead. When comparing
notes with colleagues at Perseus
over our summer courtship, it was
encouraging to learn that we had
both fixed upon the same areas to
develop the service, to improve our
ability to compete and grow sales.
As a result, we will soon be able
to offer our client publishers new
ways to create, price and market
their ebooks.
Creating ebooks through an
XML-first workflow will help
publishers to remove the costs and
time associated with retrospective
digitisation as it focuses on creating
content digitally from the outset,
which allows greater flexibility and
quality control. Pricing ebooks is
increasingly difficult as the onus
moves away from the retailer to the
publisher, so we think it important
to offer pricing analytics to optimise
prices to maintain demand.
Aiding the discoverability of
ebooks is the other key building
block that we will look to offer
our client publishers. The greatest
prompt to sales of ebooks is still the
bookshop, and with the bookshop
under increasing threat, it is going
to be increasingly important for
readers to find the right book for
them in new ways. Making the
most of our metadata to market
ebooks has for a while been talked
about, now we are looking to offer
a metadata coding software, which
will help optimise digital discovery.
So greater global reach and
on-going technological innovation,
combined with the bedrock of a
robust digital platform and strong
relationships with publishers and
retail partners, is the new chapter
of Faber Factory.
Simon Blacklock is Head of Factory
Sales, Faber & Faber ■

7(90:*662)662-(09

March 7 - 11, 2012

Organized by

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D E A L E R

FLIP – Festa Literaria Internacional de P

W

hat makes an
international literary
festival international?
It seems to me that in order to
qualify, the festival’s programme
should include a substantial
number of authors from elsewhere,
speaking other languages, describing
other cultures, writes Liz Calder.
Writers’ Week in Adelaide and
Toronto’s International Festival
of Authors at Harbourfront led
the way, internationally speaking,
in the 1970s and early 1980s. Of
course, UK literary festivals have
proliferated in astonishing numbers
since then. But how many of them
are truly international?
Meanwhile we watch the extraordinary spread of Hay-gone-global festivals in many other parts of the world,
where writers both home-grown and
imported fill the programmes. The
indomitable Peter Florence also put his
helpful oar in when the only literary
festival in South America began in

Liz Calder

2003. And he gave us our gave us our
name, FLIP, Festa Literaria Internacional de Paraty.
And many other highly successful
international festivals have popped
up, such as the one in Jaipur,
where William Dalrymple weaves
his magic spell, and in Sri Lanka
with the impressive Galle festival.
Others are found in Europe, the
US (Pen World Voices: A Festival
of International Literature in New

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Friday 14 October 2011

York) Dubai,
and the
courageous
Palfest,
founded by
Ahdaf Souief.
Maybe there
is some
part of the
world where
no literary
festivals
flourish? But
where?
Brazil, it has often been said, is
the land of the future, and always
will be. For the next few years,
however, it looks as if its time has
come. Frankfurt 2013 will honour
Brazil as its featured country.
With an economy that has been
comparatively unscathed by credit
crunches, and with the prospect
of hosting the World Cup in 2014
and the Olympics in 2016, with
oil gushing helpfully out of the sea
off Rio, and under the leadership
of its first woman president, Dilma
Roussoff, protegée of the hugely
popular and successful President
Lula, Brazil is basking in a longoverdue moment in the sun.
It has, admittedly, been rather
slow in making an effort to show
its cultural riches to the rest of the
world. But it is beginning to catch up.
Dilma Roussoff, unlike her mentor,
is a great reader, and under her aegis a
new government-funded translation
grant has been set up to encourage
publishers abroad to consider
Brazilian works more seriously.
Inward fact-finding missions have
begun, the first during FLIP this
year, where a special conference
was held (Off-FLIP), with a panel
of international experts including:
Brazil’s leading literary agent Lucia
Riff; Nicole Witt of the German
Mertins literary agency; Jonah Straus
of the Straus Literary Agency in
New York; Errol McDonald,
executive editor of Pantheon Books;
and Ravi Merchandani of Atlantic
Books UK. This is an immensely
important and long overdue
development for Brazilian-Portuguese
literature, and more such inward
missions are planned.
The year 2012 will mark the 10th
anniversary of FLIP, an event which
began in August 2003 after a few

of us – Luiz Schwarcz, publisher
of Companhia das Letras, Mauro
Munhoz, visionary São Paulo
architect, Louis Baum and I – saw a
gap in the market and the potential
of Paraty, an idyllic fishing village on
the South Atlantic coast, conveniently
equidistant between the two big cities
of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
With some backing from friends
and the British Council, we launched
our first festa with trepidation. We
invited Eric Hobsbawm, Hanif
Kureishi, Julian Barnes and Don
DeLillo and a number of Brazilian
writers including Milton Hatoum,
Patricia Melo and Chico Buarque.
We had lined up a venue with a
capacity of 220 people. But from
the first announcement of our plans
the media went wild, and 6,000
people descended on the town, which
fortunately is well provided with
hotels, bars and restaurants. At the
last minute a local energy company
came through with support, enabling
us to erect a large marquee in the
central square for the overflow.
The cobbled streets were alive with
chatter and excitement. Long lines
of people waited patiently for nonexistent seats. The ebullient Minister
of Culture, Gilberto Gil (also a hugely
popular musician), opened the show,
arriving in the most elegant horse
and carriage the town could provide.
FLIP was on its way.
In 2005 a children’s event,
Flipinha, was inaugurated
and is now a major part of the
programme. Thousands of children
(around 10,000 last year) are bussed
in from surrounding schools, and a
library and year-round programme
of literary and literacy events have
been established. For teenagers there
is a mysterious FlipZona area into
which no one over 20 dares enter.
Since 2003 every July (or August
during World Cup years), eager
crowds flock to the town: 12,000
in 2004, 20,000 in 2005 and up to
30,000 ever since. (Paraty itself has
an official population of little more
than 24,000.) Writers from all over
the world attend, including Nobel
laureates – and Neil Gaiman, whose
author signing session lasted sevenand-a-half hours.
The media has remained intensely
interested, pouncing on every
author’s name as it is announced

F R A N K F U R T

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D E A L E R

e Paraty
in the run-up to the festival, and
5. Paraty is a party town.
broadcasting and publishing reams
Hospitable, welcoming, it bans all
of material scrutinising every detail
traffic other than horse-drawn carts
before, during and after the four-day
from its historical centre. Dozens of
event. Television programmes
bars and restaurants serve delicious
and press conferences are
food. The local distillers make some
constant throughout. Trying
of the country’s finest cachaça,
to explain FLIP’s extraordinary
swiftly turned by expert hands into
popularity, I have come up with
irresistible caipirinhas. These add
five possible reasons:
greatly to the allure.
1. Paraty itself is a huge draw.
One other way FLIP is
Once a rich port, with a historic
distinguished is by the design of its
centre of cobbled streets and unspoilt
venues. Architect Mauro Munhoz,
17th and 18th-century Portuguese
who now runs the charity Casa
colonial houses, it is, like Hay-onAzul, which in turn runs FLIP, has
Wye, physically breathtaking, nestling
conjured up two giant marquees
between a vast rainforested mountain
which have no equivalent at any
range and a bay of scores of subother literary festival I am aware
tropical beaches and islands, offering
of – vast, jaw-dropping, state-ofauthors and punters a four-day respite
the-art structures, glowing internally
from their everyday lives.
with vibrant illustrations by FLIP’s
2. There are no simultaneous
own artist/designer, Jeff Fisher. Each
festival events, so in theory one could
marquee holds around 900 to 1,000
go to all 20 of them. And the shared
people; the second has enormous
experiences are
discussed long
into the night.
3. The
people of
Paraty own,
and to a large
extent run,
the festa. A
small town
once rich
when gold
and coffee
Kamilla Shamsie in action at FLIP
were exported
back to Portugal, it has a tradition of
screens and open sides so that those
holding festivals, religious, cultural
not lucky enough to gets seats in the
and gastronomic. Its economy has
Author’s Tent can see and hear from
in the past relied on fishing and
outside for free.
tourism. FLIP has boosted its coffers
This year, in early July, writers
enormously, the traders earning
from around the world joined
more during FLIP than their
Brazillian authors in celebrating the
combined earnings at Christmas
work of Oswald de Andrade, Brazil’s
and Carnival. And the growth of the
modernist poet and early hippy.
town’s economy has come without
And the festa ended on the beach
damage to its environment.
with what resembled a scene from
4. FLIP offered the first
an early rehearsal of “Hair”. David
opportunity for Brazilian readers
Byrne and James Ellroy represented
to listen to and meet writers whose
the US, while Carol Ann Duffy,
books they have loved. This year the
Caryl Phillips and Kamila Shamsie
Portuguese writer Walter Hugo Mae
made up the UK contingent. After
was a huge success, as was Brazil’s
giving an exquisite reading, Carol
most popular novelist Joao Ubaldo
Ann took off in a fishing boat with
Ribeiro. There was previously no
her 16-year-old daughter for a swim
tradition in South America of
in the bay.
authors reading in public. Now
FLIP’s tenth anniversary, in early
other literary festivals are springing
July 2012, awaits you.
up all over Brazil and elsewhere in
www.flip.org.br ■
Latin America.

ISBN 9780757315718
SEPTEMBER 2011    

  
$   

!      

%(
—Publishers Weekly       

'  & 
# 
!    

# ! 
"!  

  
—New Consciousness Review
$#       
!  
%
—Marianne Williamson, author of Enchanted Love
$ 
'  
%
—Parker J. Palmer, author of The Courage to Change

ISBN 9780757315503
AUGUST 2011

ISBN 9780757305313

ISBN 9781558749542         

P U B L I S H E R S

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At summer’s end, new titles topped
international bestseller lists

N

ew titles topped many international bestseller lists last month, including Germany, the UK, the US and France, writes Gabe Habash. James
Patterson debuted on two lists, hitting number one in the US with Kill Me If You Can, and number two in the UK with Kill Alex Cross.
Two titles expected to sell well in many countries this fall, Aleph by Paulo Coelho and 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami, made strong debuts,
appearing at number two in the Netherlands (on the combined list) and number three in France. In Germany, Piper took the top two fiction spots
with Spread, Pray, Screw by Charlotte Roche and The Case of Collini by Ferdinand von Schirach. The top three spots on the French non-fiction list
were all filled by debuts, led by The Republic of Briefcases by Pierre Péan. In both the US non-fiction and German fiction lists, the top four spots all
went to new books. Irish author Melissa Hill climbed to number one on Italy’s combined list in September with Something from Tiffany’s, while the
highest ranking non-fiction title in Italy was The Dukan Diet. ■

FRANCE

GERMANY

Non-fiction

Fiction
Le passage
The Passenger
Jean-Christophe Grangé
Albin Michel

La République des mallettes:
enquête sur la principauté
française de non-droit
The Republic of Briefcases: Survey
of French Principality of Lawlessness
Pierre Péan
Fayard
For week ending 21 September 2011 used by arrangement with Livres Hebdo

I TA LY

Fiction

Non-fiction

Schoßgebete
Spread, Pray, Screw
Charlotte Roche
Piper

Ein Schnupfen Hätte auch
gereicht
A Simple Cold Had Been Good
Enough, Too
Gaby Köster
Scherz

For week ending 26 September 2011 used by arrangement with Buchreport

NETHERLANDS

Fiction

Non-fiction

Fiction

Un regalo da Tiffany
Something from Tiffany’s
Melissa Hill
Newton Compton

La dieta Dukan
The Dukan Diet (original French
title: “Je ne sais pas maigrir”)
Pierre Dukan
Sperling & Kupfer

Aleph
Aleph
Paulo Coelho
De Arbeiderspers

For week ending 5 September 2011 used by arrangement with Informazioni Editoriali

S PA I N

Non-fiction

Wij zijn ons brein. Van baarmoeder tot alzheimer.
We Are Our Brains. From Womb
to Alzheimer
Dick Swaab
Contact
For week ending 23 September 2011 used by arrangement with CPNB De Bestseller

SWEDEN

Fiction

Non-fiction

Fiction

Non-fiction

El jardín olvidado
The Forgotten Garden
Kate Morton
Suma de letras

¡Indignaos!
Rise in Protest!
Stéphane Hessel
Destino

Livet deluxe
Life Deluxe
Jens Lapidus
Wahlström & Widstrand

Fågelsång: 150 svenska fåglar
och deras läten Kompaktutgåvan
Birdsongs – 150 Swedish Birds
and their Sounds Compact Edition
Lars Svensson & Jan Pedersen
Max Ström Bokförlag

For week ending 23 September 2011 used by arrangement with El Cultural

UK

For week ending 18 August 2011 used by arrangement with Svensk Bokhandel

US

Fiction

Non-fiction

Fiction

The Lady of the Rivers
Philippa Gregory
Simon & Schuster

Guiness World Records 2012
Guiness

Kill Me If You Can
In My Time
James Patterson & Marshall Karp Dick Cheney with Liz Cheney
Little, Brown
Threshold Editions

For week ending 17 September 2011 used by arrangement with The Bookseller

18

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Friday 14 October 2011

Non-fiction

For week ending 19 September 2011 used by arrangement with Publishers Weekly

F R A N K F U R T

F A I R

D E A L E R

Spicing up
Frankfurt

K

ulit Manis: A Taste of
Terengganu Heritage,
which won Gourmand’s
2010 Best Local Cuisine Book
in the World, and Ulam: Salad
Herbs of Malaysia are just two of
Malaysia’s “50 best titles” that will
be promoted for international rights
sales at the fair, writes Teri Tan.
Linda Tan-Lingard of Kuala
Lumpur-based Yusof Gajah Lingard
Agency, the official agent for the
full catalogue of 50 books, explains:
“Some of the 88 recipes in Kulit
Manis have been adopted by our
national carrier, Malaysian Airlines.
Ulam, on the other hand, features
100 indigenous edible herbs and
got its start as a real estate developer’s
corporate social responsibility project.”
In addition to introducing the best
50 Malaysian books, the Malaysia
Pavilion (Hall 5 D934) and its
organisers have a much bigger goal in
mind: “We want to promote buying
and selling of rights in Malaysia as
well as in Southeast Asia,” says Arief

meeting will be held from 25 to 28
April in conjunction with the 2012
Kuala Lumpur International Book
Fair; the Fair attracts around two
million visitors annually.
Another project – the Kuala
Lumpur Book City – is aimed at
pushing
Malaysia’s
publishing
industry a
step further.
“A grant of
$9 million
and a sevenacre plot have been approved, and
our Director A’azmi Shahri has been
tasked with the responsibility of
making the Book City operational
as soon as possible,” says Adibah
Omar, Assistant Director at the
National Book Council of Malaysia.
“Meanwhile, we are working on
increasing the number of annual
publications from 16,000 to 26,000,
further opening our industry to
more active rights trading.”

We want to promote buying
and selling of rights in Malaysia
as well as in Southeast Asia
Hakim, Secretary of the Malaysian
Book Publishers Association and
Director of the Trade and Copyright
Centre (TCC). “In the context of
Malaysia, it is a logical proposition.
English is
widely used
here, and our
multicultural
society is
such that
Chinese
and Malay,
as well as Indonesian are widely
spoken. Coupled with affordable
accommodation and efficient
transportation, overseas publishers
would feel right at home.” Rights
activities with neighbouring countries,
he adds, “have been on the upward
curve especially since TCC was first
established in 2008”. The next TCC

Back to the books at Frankfurt,
there are coffee-table books such as
Perak: The Natural Heritage, a title
commissioned by the state’s crown
prince, and Heritage Trees of Penang.
(Terengganu, Perak and Penang are
among the 13 states that make up
Malaysia.) In the children’s segment,
there are Fatimah’s Kampung (which
charts the environmental impact
caused by growing cities on a
fictional village), My Mother’s Garden,
and several titles by artist Yusof
Gajah, winner of the 1996 Noma
Concours for The Real Elephant.
(Gajah, by the way, is Malay for
“elephant”.) As for cookbooks,
there is Gourmand-winner Mohana
Gill, whose books Fruitastic and
Vegemania won the 2006 Special Jury
Award and 2008 Best Vegetarian
Book Award respectively. ■
Frankfurt Fair

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Confessions of an addict
After running Oneworld for 25 years, Juliet Mabey is still hooked

T

here is a form of chronic
addiction that so far seems
to have slipped under the
radar of the medical profession.
There is no effective treatment for
it. It has received no coverage from
the mainstream media. And it’s
called publishing.
An addiction? The obsessive
search for the next “hit” (nowhere
more obvious than in the frenzied
atmosphere of Frankfurt). The
alcohol-fuelled late-night gatherings
(again, think Frankfurt). The
secretive deals (those whispered
conversations in the corridors of the
Hessischer Hof). The sometimes
stratospheric advances that are
splashed over the pages of the Fair
Dealer (whose very name suggests a
possible preoccupation with drugs
or cards). And a business model that
comes closer to legalised gambling
than to anything you might read
about in the pages of the Wall Street
Journal or Financial Times. My name
is Juliet Mabey, and I’m a publisher.
It’s been 25 years now, and it is
clear that the addiction with books
(be they paper or “e”) is, if anything,
getting worse. I set up Oneworld
with my husband, Novin Doostdar,
after a stint at Edinburgh University
spent largely, it seems now, in
beautiful old second-hand bookshops
tucked away on winding cobbled
streets. Looking back, I think that is
where our mutual addiction began.
Our objective was to fill what we
saw as a gap in the marketplace for
intelligent non-fiction written by
experts in an accessible and thoughtprovoking way for a broad audience.
Our focus on stimulating non-fiction
– from history and politics to science,
philosophy and religion – hit a chord,
and here we are, still passionate, still
hopelessly addicted, and still in denial!
We started out with the oldfashioned model of commissioning
our books from scratch – coming
up with ideas for books we wanted
to publish and researching suitable
authors – and carefully reinvested
the money in the business as we
went. The joy of running your own
publishing company is that you have
the extraordinary luxury of being
able to follow your own interests in

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Juliet Mabey

building your lists. From the outset
we bought world language rights
and published simultaneously in the
US, UK and rest of the Englishspeaking world, and religiously
attended Frankfurt, where we built
up a brilliant range of overseas agents
and publishers who bought foreign
language rights from us. Over the last
decade, we have begun to work much
more closely with agents, in both the
UK and North America, and this part
of our business is expanding rapidly.
Today, Oneworld publishes around
60-70 books a year. We control our
addiction to books by focusing on
quality over quantity, carefully curating
a “boutique-style” list of stand-out
books we can be proud of. In addition
to fantastic stand-alone books, we
have several series that are best in
class. Our Beginners Guides bring
original, expertly written and engaging
introductions to a broad range of
contemporary ideas and complex
issues, perfect for busy people as well
as students needing a quick study.
And our highly regarded “Makers of
the Muslim World” series introduces
the key movers and shakers in religion,
politics and literature in the Islamic
world, from Rumi to President Nasser.
In 2007, we launched Oneworld
Classics, a jointly owned venture
with fellow husband-and-wife team
Allesandro Gallenzi and Elisabetta
Minervini. A few months later,
we had the once-in-a-lifetime
opportunity to acquire the venerable
Calder Publications, with an
enviable 1,500-strong backlist that
included 19 Nobel laureates (and came
with a quirky bookshop in Waterloo).

Friday 14 October 2011

With Allesandro in charge of the list,
this gave us the wonderful opportunity
to publish classics we love, and to
lavish on them the high editorial and
production values that customers
so appreciate. In quick succession
we launched two new imprints at
Oneworld Classics, the first the Calder
Collection, focusing on some of the
best classics published by John Calder
in the second half of the 20th century.
A few months later saw the launch of
Overture Publishing, a unique series of
opera guides published in association
with the English National Opera.
Meanwhile, in 2009, still chasing
the next “hit”, and after more than
20 years dedicated solely to nonfiction, we set up our first fiction
list at Oneworld. We were warned
in advance that fiction represented
probably the riskiest venture in
publishing. We were hooked! In
keeping with our “boutique” approach
to list-building, we are planning to
bring out a relatively small number of
novels every year, each sitting at that
rare intersection of the literary and
the commercial, to showcase strong
voices, great stories and books that
deeply explore the human condition.
Translated fiction from around
the world will also have a place,
with 2011 seeing the translation of
Iranian author Zoya Pirzad’s awardwinning bestseller I’ll Turn Off the
Lights, as well as a beautifully soulful
interpretation of the Tibetan Book
of the Dead in This Flawless Place
Between by French anthropologist
and Buddhist, Bruno Portier.
It is an approach that is already
reaping rewards and pulling in
the plaudits. Our first novel, the
extraordinary The Book of the Night
Women by Jamaican author Marlon
James, won the international
Dayton Literary Peace Prize last
year. Our first home-grown novelist,
Yvvette Edwards, was called “one to
watch” by the Daily Mail, and her
debut, A Cupboard Full of Coats, was
on the longlist for the prestigious
Man Booker Prize. Last year, our first
full year in fiction, two of our novels
(The Book of Night Women and Right
of Thirst) were picked for a “best books
of the year” promotion at WH Smith
Travel, and sales across the list have

been extraordinarily healthy in this
troubled age. Flush with manuscripts
after the Booker longlisting, some
very exciting novels are in the process
of being signed up going forward.
It is an approach to publishing
that also works commercially.
Despite the recent downturn in
the global economy and ongoing
challenges facing bricks-and-mortar
booksellers, we have seen a strong
increase in revenue over the last few
years. Fiction is a major contribution
to this happy state of affairs. Ebooks
are also playing a key role, and we
have recently embarked on the
digitisation of our complete backlist.
At the beginning of 2011, we
moved our office from Oxford to
London, settling into the literary
environs of Bloomsbury, we expanded
our publicity department, and are
currently in the midst of hiring
another editor. Oneworld Publications
is distributed in the UK by GBS, part
of the Random House group, and
currently sold by David Segrue in
the UK, by National Book Network
in North America, by Macmillan in
Australia, and by Penguin in several
key territories including India – a
team that is serving us well.
And 2011 has been a year of
prizes. March saw Houshang Asadi’s
hard-hitting memoir of life in an
Iranian prison, Letters to my Torturer,
win the second International Human
Rights Award, out of a very strong
field, following Wild Swans, the
inaugural winner. Packing for Mars by
Mary Roach was long-listed for the
Royal Society Winton Prize for Science
Books in June; July saw the Man
Booker long-listing of A Cupboard
Full of Coats; and in August Bernie
Madoff: The Wizard of Lies by Diana
Henriques, a forensic examination of
his $65 billion swindle, was picked
for the Goldman Sachs/FT longlist.
As addictions go, who could ask
for a better life? I have learnt to live
with my addiction over the last quarter
century, but perhaps it’s time to join
the PA (Publishers Anonymous).
Juliet Mabey is co-publisher of Oneworld
Publications, which is celebrating its
25th year in 2011.
www.oneworld-publications.com ■

SHARJAH
INTERNATIONAL
BOOK FAIR
Visit us in Hall 5.0
Stand E933

Where the global book
industry meets the
contemporary Arab
bookshelf.
Major new translation
grant available.
International Publishing
Professional Programme
for publishers and agents.
SIBF 2011 is proud to welcome

Aisha Al Tamimi
Al Alawi
Alex Scarrow
Ali al Muqri
Alison Baverstock
Amit Chaudhuri
Amy Riolo
Andrew Rawnsley
Anissa Helou
Bensalem Himmich

Clea Koff
David Whitley
Dominic Prince
Fawaz Haddad
George Goodwin
Greg Mosse
Ibtisam Ibrahim
Kate Mosse
Khaled Al -Berry
Kimiko Barber

Kristiane Backer
Liana Badr
Maqbul Moussa
Miram Al Tahawy
Peter James
Robert Arbor
Robert Kelsey
Robert Lacey
Rose Prince
Rowland White

Sally Gardner
Sophie Grey
Stephen Smith
Sunetra Gupta
Suzanne Husseini
Taj el Sir
Teresa Amir
Waciny Laredj
Xinran Hue
Zaiba Malik

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F R A N K F U R T

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When distribution is best

T

he annual pilgrimage to
Frankfurt focuses on rights
sales across the world, writes
Julie Schaper. A sometimes overlooked,
but often equally effective option,
is to sell books from the UK, and
further afield, into the US through
direct distribution. Selling rights can
guarantee income on a book-by-book
basis, but for publishers with the right
lists and the desire to enter the US
market, a distribution arrangement
could make more sense.
A partnership between distributor
and publisher allows access to onthe-ground expertise in the given
country that aims to increase sales
and brand awareness, and exposure
of the publishing company. A good
distribution company can help guide
and shape a publishers programme,
through clearly presented publication
schedules and cataloging, both print
and electronic. At Consortium,
catalogue and marketing materials
are publisher-centric – organised by

Julie Schaper

publisher to highlight the identity of
each house
One of the benefits of a
distribution agreement is that the
distributor has a dedicated sales
force selling the publisher’s books.
Distributors use in-house sales,
commission sales or a combination
of both to increase books sales
across a wide number of channels –

including retail and chain bookstores,
national and regional wholesalers,
internet retailers, gift and specialty
retail and wholesale accounts, and
mass merchandisers.
A sales person’s ability to make a
book stand out from its competition
is based, to a large extent, on
the information provided by the
publisher. Each account has its own
challenges related to the publisher’s
sales history; the performance
of a comparable title; the sales
history of the author; and even the
idiosyncrasies of individual buyers.
Distribution companies can advise
publishers on overcoming obstacles.
It is the rare book that can be
successful without some level of
planned marketing and publicity.
While most distribution companies
do not provide these comprehensive
services, they do offer some level
of support. It could be as basic
as cataloging or as advanced as
access to consumer or academic

media databases; access to social
media; arranging author events
or advertising coordination; and
attendance at trade, library and
academic shows.
Reporting is another essential
service provided by a distributor and
can range from basic monthly reports
to highly sophisticated systems with
24/7 availability of sales information,
and consolidated monthly reporting of
sales, returns and other pertinent data.
In this increasingly digital world,
expertise and understanding of
new and developing technology is
mandatory. Distribution companies
can advise publishers on ebook
distribution platforms, POD and
short print runs. Consortium offers
publishers a digital partnership
through the Perseus Constellation
programme, which sells to accounts
all over the world. Digital business
models and processes are in a
continual state of development
and change at the moment, but

Your U.S.-based production and distribution firm.

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Leverage our relationships with all major outlets:
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New sales to larger markets.
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Visit us: Frankfurt Book Fair 2011
Hall 8.0/Stand R905

®

®

Call 1-419-281-5100 or visit www.bookmasters.com today!
© Copyright 2011. Bookmasters® *OD"MMSJHIUTSFTFSWFE"NCFSXPPE1BSLXBZt10#PYt"TIMBOE 0)

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Friday 14 October 2011

®

P U B L I S H E R S

W E E K L Y

will help carry distribution and
independent publishers forward
into the future.
Consortium has been working
with publishers from outside the
United States for more than 20
years and now represents more
than 25 overseas publishers. Our
clients publish fiction, non-fiction,
theatre, poetry and visual arts. Our
US publishers include Akashic, City
Lights, Theatre Communications
Group and Haymarket.
Our diverse overseas clients
come from all over the world
and include Haus, BIS and Saqi/
Telegram. Our first overseas
publisher, Serpent’s Tail, joined
our group in 1989, an agreement
that continues today and now
includes its parent company,
Profile Books. Serpent’s Tail uses
a combination of rights sales and
distribution for their books, but
distribution came in handy when a
deep backlist book, The Passport,

&

B O O K B R U N C H

won the Nobel Prize and had to be
distributed quickly in the US.
Consortium is one of the few
US distribution companies to have
a London office. It opened 10
years ago and has helped publishers
from the UK, European and
Commonwealth into the US market.
When Bitter Lemon, a UK startup publisher of literary crime books
in translation, joined Consortium in
2004 the office was able to familiarise
it with US systems, and to provide
a valuable local resource for queries
and support. Books in translation
can sometimes have difficulty
gaining traction, so working closely
on marketing and publicity plans in
presales, sales conference and oneon-one meetings helped successfully
launch the company in the US. Over
the last seven years Bitter Lemon
has grown steadily and, according to
co-founder François von Hurter, its
annual sales in the US are often equal
to its UK revenues.

F R A N K F U R T

Another UK company, Icon/
Totem, joined Consortium in
2010 with a goal of revitalising its
US programme. We have worked
closely with them, recommending
publicists for key titles, refocusing
their flagship Introducing series for
the US market, and presenting their
trade non-fiction to a variety of US
trade, academic and special accounts
with growing success.
Ballistic is a digital art publishing
company based in Australia. Prior to
being distributed by Consortium,
Ballistic handled its own fulfillment
and sales in North America. Though
they were successful, they wanted to
expand their presence. Consortium
helped streamline title information
to accounts through ONIX data
feeds and offered a co-ordinated sales
force to focus on their sales in both
traditional and specialty accounts. This
has led to a substantial increase in sales
and awareness of Ballistic as an imprint
in the North American market.

F A I R

D E A L E R

What do we look for in a
publisher? We usually seek existing
companies with solid publishing
plans. We look for publishers
that may be a fit with our current
client list or can help us establish
a new category. We appreciate
well-thought-out marketing and
publicity plans. Financial stability is
critical. We see our relationship with
a publisher as a collaborative one,
and we look for people who are keen
for a dialogue with us and are good
communicators.
It takes a strong level of
commitment to be successful in
another country, but it can be done
successfully when both publisher and
distributor work to create a partnership
that focuses on the books and mutual
respect for the roles that each play in
bringing a book into the market.
Julie Schaper is President of Consortium
Book Sales and Distribution.
www.cbsd.com ■

Copyright © 2011 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. HARRY POTTER, characters, names and related indicia are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © JKR. (s11)
THE DARK KNIGHT RISES and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © DC Comics. (s11)

C O - E D I T I O N S & R I G H T S AVA I L A B L E
rights@insighteditions.com U www.insighteditions.com

8
› HALL
Stand N935
Frankfurt Fair

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Friday 14 October 2011

23

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Storybook apps
Deb Gaffin of Nosy Crow explains how storybook apps can engage young readers
by giving them new points of entry to the world of reading

D

igital storytelling is
revolutionising reading
time for children. Today,
the best apps for smartphones
and tablet devices are entertaining
children and motivating them
to read. Like the finest children’s
books, storybook apps weave
together words and pictures to
surprise, delight and challenge
young readers. These apps won’t
replace the experience children
have with books, but they provide
new and different points of entry
to the world of reading.
At Nosy Crow we are creating
storybook apps that enhance the
reading experience. Our apps
balance text, illustration, animation
and music along with interactive
features. We craft each story to
enable the reader to participate
in the narrative. Our goal is that
the overall experience deepens the
child’s understanding of the story.
After all, books are the
foundation of our business. By the
end of our first year publishing as
Nosy Crow, we will have released
26 print titles including picture
books, novelty and non-fiction for
children ages 0-14. Axel Scheffler,
Philip Ardargh, Marion Billet,
Caryl Hart and Joe Berger are just
a few of the illustrators and authors
we are working with. Our team has
many years of experience creating
high quality books for children, and
brings the same sensibility and care
to our storybook apps.
Increasingly, smartphones and
tablets are competing with books
for children’s attention. As children
spend more time in front of screens,
we want them to find great stories
there too. At Nosy Crow, we use
technology as a tool to engage
children with reading and to spark
their imagination, just as the best
books have always done. If, as
children’s publishers, we don’t take
this opportunity, others will fill the
gap with either inferior book apps
or simply with games.
In the past nine months we have
published two storybook apps, The
Three Little Pigs and Cinderella,
designed specifically for use

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Cinderella’s coach
and horses. They
can even choose
the colour and
style of Cinderella’s
ballgown. And,
through the camera
on the iPad2 and
iPhone4, the
app displays the
reader’s face in the
“magic mirrors” of
Cinderella’s house.
All of this enriches
Storybook apps enhance the reader’s experience
the reading
experience and
engages children in the story through
on the iPad, iPhone and iPod
exploration and discovery.
touch. These apps are beautifully
Readers’ responses to our apps
illustrated and carefully thoughthave been enthusiastic. We know
through stories. But they are
from blogs, emails and customer
neither ebooks nor games. Instead,
reviews that parents and teachers
they use the interactive features of
are excited about what we’re
the device – the touchscreen, the
creating and see our apps as positive
microphone, accelerometer and
screen experiences. Primary school
camera – to give children an active
teachers say they use our apps to
role in advancing the story.
support reading comprehension,
In The Three Little Pigs, for
and to teach sequencing events in a
example, children tap the screen
story and parts of speech. Teachers
to help the pigs build their houses
of children with special needs tell
and they blow on the screen to
us of new possibilities for learning
help the wolf huff and puff to blow
and communication through our
the houses down. Touching each
apps. One London mother filmed
character triggers dialogue that
her four-year-old son reciting the
reveals the character’s perspective on
story in The Three Little Pigs and
the story. And, when readers tilt the

Primary school teachers say they
use our apps to support reading
comprehension, and to teach
sequencing events in a story
and parts of speech
screen, they access hidden details in
the illustrations.
In our newest app, Cinderella,
which launched in mid-September,
we have used the technology to pique
children’s curiosity and involve them
in the dramatic moments of the
fairytale. Readers can help Cinderella
tidy the kitchen; dress the stepsisters
for the ball; and gather items for the
fairy godmother to transform into

Friday 14 October 2011

inventing his own dialogue for the
wolf. A parent in New York sent us
a video of her six-year-old showing
off a picture book he drew and
wrote himself after using the app.
When children respond to a
storybook app in these creative ways,
we sense we’re doing something
right. Children are not using these
apps to tune out and turn off as
they might with a repetitive game.

Rather, our apps are helping them
to switch on to the imaginative
possibilities of timeless stories.
By collaborating with publishers
in different countries we are
extending this experience to
children in their native languages.
So far, we’ve partnered with
Carlsen in Germany and Gallimard
Jeunesse in France to make Nosy
Crow apps available in both places.
This digital version of “coedition” publishing means that each
publisher gets outstanding apps
while managing its own financial
risk. Just as important, our partners
bring their publishing skills to
create the best possible version that
will appeal to parents and children
in their own language. And they
provide the kind of publicity and
connection with consumers that
make the apps a commercial success.
A few months after we launched
the English language version of The
Three Little Pigs, Carlsen released
Die drei kleinen Schweinchen
and Gallimard published Les trois
petits cochons. All three editions
have garnered critical success and
rave reviews from parents and
children. In May, Die drei kleinen
Schweinchen was selected by Apple
as “App of the Week” on the App
Stores in Germany and Austria.
Les trois petits cochons is No.1 in
the “Apps for Kids” section of the
French App Store.
This is only the beginning. We
are developing more apps and
seeking additional partners. We
know that children will be exposed
to ever more digital reading
experiences. In September, iTunes
listed more than 20,000 book apps
for iPad and almost all of the top
20 titles were children’s stories. At
Nosy Crow, we will continue to
create top quality storybook apps
because we believe that reading –
on screen as well as in print – is
vital to children’s development as
creative and productive individuals.
Deb Gaffin is Nosy Crow’s Digital Product
and Marketing Director. Visit Nosy Crow
at stand 8.0 E 971. Search “Nosy Crow”
on iTunes to download its apps. ■ 

@A<?62@3?<:A524<912;.42' 

D52?2.1C2;AB?20<:2@A<9632
L. Ron Hubbard is the author of 19 New York Times bestsellers, his works are distributed in
over 150 nations and have appeared on over 100 international bestseller lists.
The Stories from the Golden Age collection features 80 volumes, literary gems spanning the genres
of western, adventure, science fiction, fantasy and mystery.

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Representing the literary, theatrical and musical works of L. RON HUBBARD

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PUBLICATIONS INTERNATIONAL APS

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© 2011 NEW ERA APS. All Rights Reserved. NEW ERA is a trademark owned by NEW ERA Publications International ApS and is a registered trademark in Denmark among other countries.

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Frankfurt fellows
Fernanda Cardoso explains how she hopes to use her experience as a Frankfurt
Fellow in the growing book market of her home, Brazil

M

y experience in the
editorial market started
even before choosing
my career. I was 18 years old and
got an opportunity to work in a
publishing house just after my
arrival back in Brazil from an
exchange course in the United
States. My first job was as a
Rights Department Assistant at
Nova Cultural, and by working
in this department I learned the
basis of rights negotiation. After
two years, I was promoted to
work in the Editorial Department
as an Assistant Editor in charge of
the mass market romance novels
translated from Harlequin Books.
During the next four years, I
learned how to choose the most
attractive novels for Brazilian
readers, how to adapt the text
for the local market, and how
to write jacket and marketing
blurbs. Basically, all steps of
the production of a book –
acquisition, translation, revision,
layout and publicity. I learned a
lot about the publishing market,
and fell in love with it.
However, I felt it was time for
new challenges, and was inspired
to learn lots more. I left Nova
Cultural and started to work
at Ediouro, where I was more
focused on acquisitions. The
commissioning of titles, meetings
with literary agents, rights
directors and authors, negotiating
advances and royalties, and
developing marketing plans
were an exciting new challenge.
In 2009, I was invited to work
at Larousse do Brasil (which
became Editora Lafonte Ltda.
at the beginning of 2010) as an
Editor, developing projects, and
commissioning fiction and nonfiction titles.
It was not until 2010 that I
attended my first international
book fair – Book Expo America
in New York. I was supposed to
visit the London Book Fair the
same year, but the eruption of
Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland
forced a change of plans. Finally,
it was time to visit Frankfurt Book

26

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Fernanda Cardosa

Fair. Participation in the Fair gave
me the chance to meet people,
and to get to know a lot about the
overseas editorial market.
Everything happens very
quickly during book fairs: there
is not much time to think, and
you must make decisions quickly.
It is essential to know what you
are looking for and what your
boundaries are in negotiations.
You get to meet the most
influential people in the market
and to acquire the most up-todate information.
My first application for the
Frankfurt Fellowship Programme
was in 2009, but I had to wait
until this year to be selected.

foreign colleagues. So, it is the
perfect chance to learn more and
improve my knowledge of the
publishing world. Moreover, the
diversity of the Fellows makes
it even more exciting. Spending
10 days with Fellows from 11
countries, some of which I
know very little about, will be a
stimulating experience; getting to
hear about their routines at work
and the state of their markets will
be an outstanding privilege. I
hope to take the fullest advantage
of the Fellowship, so that I can
apply what I learn to the Brazilian
market, which is growing fast and
with impressive numbers.
A study made by the Brazilian
Book Chamber (CBL1), with
SNEL2 and Fipe3, showed that the
Brazilian market had a nominal
growth of 8.1% in 2009/10,
an increase of US$685 million.
It also noted that the number
of titles published (new books
and reprints) in 2010 was 25%
higher than in 2009. These
numbers confirm Brazil’s solid
growth, which, combined with
the improved professionalism
and market capacity, has caught
the attention of the international
market. More and more foreign
publishing companies have
been visiting Brazil in the

The Fellowship offers a unique
opportunity for immersion in the
German editorial market, in addition to
improving networks and exchanging
information with foreign colleagues
Some of my colleagues strongly
recommended the programme,
and that was one of the many
reasons why I did not give up
after the first attempt. The
Fellowship offers a unique
opportunity for immersion in
the German editorial market, in
addition to improving networks
and exchanging information with

Friday 14 October 2011

past four years, interested in
selling translation rights, and
the number keeps increasing.
Moreover, Brazil will be the Guest
of Honour in Frankfurt 2013 and
in Bologna 2014.
Nowadays, it is not unusual to
see auctions of potential bestsellers
resulting in six-figure deals. The
average cover price of the book

has decreased considerably since
2004; last year, there was a fall of
4.4%, creating opportunities to
attract readers on lower incomes.
Titles that sell more than 10,000
copies are common; however, the
market still has a lot of growth
potential. One example is the
commercialisation of ebooks. The
Brazilian publishing houses have
just started to explore this market,
with an expectation of prosperous
business ahead.
Although in Brazil just over
10% of all titles published are
translations, this market represents
a significant share of income (for
example, 19 out of the top 20
titles from the fiction bestseller
list of Veja – a reference magazine
in Brazil – are translated).
Publishers want to know that
titles have been successful and
acclaimed in their original
countries, but they also have to
be mindful of Brazilian culture.
This is one of the reasons why
it is not helpful to negotiate world
Portuguese rights of a book.
Brazilian Portuguese is different
from that of other countries
where the language is spoken.
Words and expressions differ,
and sometimes, the adaptation of
the Portuguese language can be
harder than translating from the
original language. Moreover, the
Portuguese-speaking countries do
not have an efficient distribution
chain, so agents and publishers
recommend selling rights to Brazil
and Portugal separately.
It is an exciting time to be
a publisher in Brazil, which is
booming on the international
scene and going through its best
period for 20 years.
1

CBL – Câmara Brasileira do Livro
(Brazilian Book Chamber)
2
SNEL – Sindicato Nacional dos
Editores de Livros (National Syndicate
of Book Editors)
3
Fipe – Fundação Instituto de Pesquisas
Econômicas (Institute Foundation of
Economy Research)
http://anl.org.br/web/pdf/pesquisa_setor_
livreiro/relatorio_FIPE_2011.pdf ■

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60 years of independence
Peter Owen looks back with ‘pride and nostalgia’ at his publishing career, and recalls s

I

t was partially having a
British Forces paper quota
from my RAF days that
swung it. After the war
paper was in short supply and
was rationed, and I was torn
between going into journalism or
book publishing, but my writer
uncle Rudolph Friedmann, who
worked for years as the famously
eccentric manager of Zwemmer’s
Bookshop in Charing Cross
Road, recommended publishing
– it was easier to get a job and I
might, in due course, make use of
my paper allocation.
After a stint as a junior at the
Bodley Head, at the age of 21 I
went into partnership with Neville Armstrong, who later formed
Neville Spearman and had a long
career as a publisher. We traded as
Peter Nevill and published Sartre’s
Intimacy together, but four years
later, in 1951, I established my
own company, Peter Owen, with
just £800 as start-up capital. Now,
with 10 Nobel Prize winners on
the list, I look back over the past
60 years with a mixture of pride
and nostalgia for the industry of
the old days, when it was possible
to achieve success with little
money and a lot of luck.
It was an exciting time in the
1950s and 1960s. There were
far fewer companies then, and
many of them are now extinct or
subsumed within conglomerates
or multinationals. I decided to
specialise in literary fiction and
serious non-fiction. One of the

Peter Owen holding a first edition
of Salvador Dalí’s only novel,
Hidden Faces.

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Launch party for Fashions in Hair by Richard Corson, with the Japanese
Ambassador, Yukio Mishima and Wendy Owen (novelist and Peter Owen’s first wife).

first books I took on was Henry
Miller’s The Books in My Life. This
proved inspirational when looking
for further titles to bring out, and
in due course we published works
by Anaïs Nin, Jean Giono, Marcel
Proust and Hermann Hesse,
authors rated highly by Miller.
In the early 1960s, after Hesse’s
death, we were the first to publish
in English some of his best novels
including Siddhartha (our biggest
seller of all time) and Narcissus
and Goldmund.
Most of the larger publishers
were uninterested in literature in
translation, so we could pretty
much help ourselves to the pick of

name for ourselves by bringing
out acclaimed works by authors
who happened to be gay or
lesbian, such as Paul and Jane
Bowles, Monique Wittig,
Gertrude Stein, Violette Leduc
and David Herbert, as well as
books with feminist themes
and ones on radical psychiatry,
counterculture, drugs and politics.
A launch to promote a book
on the “new revolutionaries”,
edited by the writer and left-wing
activist Tariq Ali, featured dummy
Molotov cocktails as props,
and the jacket of Yoko Ono’s
Grapefruit exhorted the reader
to “steal this book”. At the same

It may be that as a small publisher
we are flexible enough to adjust
to adverse trends, even if we have
often favoured quality over more
commercial propositions
the crop. We gradually built the
list up to around 20 or so titles a
year in cloth editions – back then
we sub-licensed paperback rights.
In those days our reps had no
difficulty seeing bookshop buyers
and would frequently be asked to
recommend titles and quantities
to stock.
There were few specialist
publishers, so we also made a

Friday 14 October 2011

time we published books that
flew close to the wind in terms
of getting us in trouble with the
censors, such as Apollinaire’s Les
Onze Mille Verges and works by
the Marquis de Sade.
Many of the books of our
most significant authors are
now available as reissues in our
paperback series Peter Owen
Modern Classics. Writers include

Jean Cocteau, Shusaku Endo,
Yukio Mishima, Tarjei Vesaas
and Anna Kavan, all of whom I
knew personally, as well as Blaise
Cendrars, Cesare Pavese, Colette,
Alfred Hayes and dozens more. A
number of the Modern Classics
feature forewords or introductions
by well-known literary figures.
My late wife Wendy Owen
had a bestseller with her first
novel for Hutchinson, and we
subsequently published her
internationally successful second
one. Before this she used to
illustrate some of our dust-jackets
and help stuff catalogues into
envelopes; she also rediscovered
the long-neglected work of
Jane Bowles, which she greatly
admired and recommended to me
for publication.
Several times she accompanied
me to Frankfurt to assist on the
stand. In 1973 our company had
the book of the fair, Salvador
Dalí’s only novel, Hidden Faces.
After visiting the artist at his
home in Cadaqués, where the two
of us hammered out a deal next
to his phallic-shaped pool – “Dalí
loves money,” he told Wendy
and me – I acquired world rights
and he agreed to illustrate the
book. So at the fair I was selling
it in every country and taking
large advances. After a hard day’s
negotiating I was finally heading
to bed at the Frankfurter Hof
when, in a corridor, I encountered
Eva Neurath, director of Thames
and Hudson and widow of the
founder. “Why do you bother
coming?” she enquired. “It
can’t be profitable.” That year,
however, we probably made more
money at Frankfurt than Thames
and Hudson. The novel is still
available in most countries,
and we regularly reprint the
paperback edition.
Other authors we launched at
Frankfurt include Anita Desai,
whose first two novels, Cry, the
Peacock and Voices in the City, we
published in the early 1960s, and
Sue Grafton, whose second work
of fiction, The Lolly-Madonna
War, we brought out in 1969.

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s some of the great authors he has published and his experiences at Frankfurt
Frankfurt remains the place to
content of the books, and some
sell international rights, and of
of the jackets designed by Keith
course it’s good to meet potential
Cunningham are regarded as
business partners face to face.
classics of their time. Over the
I have picked up a number of
years we have employed a number
interesting titles over the years
of first-rate editors including Dan
both on and off the stand. Things
Franklin, who is now publisher
were a little less frantic in the halls
at Random House, Michael
before half-hour appointments
Levien, Simon Smith and our
replaced hourly ones, although for
first one, Muriel Spark. My elder
several years my stand was next
daughter Antonia, who has a
to that of the famous London
long track record in publishing, is
remainder merchant Henry
our current editorial director. In
Pordes, who used to offer pickled
general I have been lucky to have
gherkins to visitors and to clinch
had a succession of dedicated,
a favourable deal would stomp
loyal and hard-working staff,
around shouting at the top of
many of whom have stayed with
his voice. Then, as now, many
the firm for years.
deals were struck at night at the
We continue to bring out both
Frankfurter Hof bar or at parties,
fiction and non-fiction – some
where gate-crashing was rife.
of wide appeal and some of more
Over the years we have
specialist or niche interest. Our
successfully published history,
latest non-fiction list includes
biography and works on the
a major work on the French
arts and entertainment. Our
musicians Les Six, protégés of
memoirs and biographies have
Cocteau and Satie, and a candid
featured famous writers, artists
and entertaining memoir by Erin
and musicians, and our titles by
Pizzey, who founded the first
and about the writer and artist
women’s refuge in the world 40
Mervyn Peake consistently do
years ago, in which she discusses
well. Three of our biggest nonher life and the women’s liberation
fiction sellers have been Fashions
movement of the 1970s. It’s a
in Hair, Fashions in Makeup and
fascinating snapshot of the era.
Fashions in Eyeglasses by Richard
On the fiction side we have
Corson. We have also had success
recently brought out excellent
with the authoritative and
books from Britain, Turkey, Korea
comprehensive history of theatre
and the Czech Republic, as well
in four parts, Stage by Stage, by
as two newly retranslated novels
Philip Freund.
Two of our fiction
bestsellers are the ecological
fables Arto Paasilinna’s
The Year of the Hare and
Jean Giono’s The Man
Who Planted Trees. One
that got away was a novel
by Samuel Beckett. In
the late 1950s, after some
deliberation, I turned it
down in favour of The
Setting Sun by the Japanese
author Osamu Dazai, as
we could not afford to
take on both. Although
Dazai is still regarded as an
important writer, I regret
the decision to this day.
We devote considerable
Wendy Owen, Antonia and Georgie Owen taken
to promote one of Wendy’s novels in 1967.
effort to the design and

by Joseph Roth not available in
English since the 1930s.
Over the years we have
weathered the competition
arising from more books being
published than ever before,
the demise of the Net Book
Agreement, the increasingly
high discounts demanded by
booksellers, the collapse in library
sales, and the closure of many
independent bookshops and some
of the chains. So far we are also
surviving the recession. It may
be that as a small publisher we
are flexible enough to adjust to
adverse trends, even if we have
often favoured quality over more
commercial propositions.
We are still selling books
profitably, despite difficulties
in getting books reviewed in
the press. These days we find

internet reviews and blogs helpful
in bringing our titles to public
attention. We have never had the
budgets to spend much money on
traditional forms of advertising,
but we are currently devoting
more attention to our web
presence and internet marketing.
And we are in the process of
converting many of our titles to
the latest digital technology, such
as print-on-demand and ebooks in
order to future-proof the business.
Many of the most distinguished
independent publishers of the
20th century have fallen by the
wayside, but in our London
premises we look forward to
many more years of successful
bookselling.
Peter Owen Publishers can be found at
Stand L980 in Hall 8.0 at the fair. ■

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Friday 14 October 2011

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Small fish in a big pond
Peter Newsom looks at how Frankfurt, and book fairs generally, remain as
relevant as ever for small publishers

O

ne swallow does not make
a summer. One successful
book does not necessarily
make a fortune for its publisher,
though there are many instances where
it has. One market doing well does
not necessarily transform the overall
performance of a small, medium or
large publisher, and it would be foolish
in any case to rely on just one market,
which is why publishers continue
to look to international markets for
growth. But can one meeting at a
book fair make a difference?
Big publishers may ponder that
question from here to eternity, given
the huge costs of their stands and the
personnel required to run meetings on
them. But how does a small publisher
with few or no international sales
make sense of the immensity of a book
fair such as Frankfurt, and the large
variety of international markets that
could be exploited there?
Having focus is a good start and
cannot be emphasised enough. There
are going to be limits to what can be
done given scarce resources. Success
in every market is not going to
happen straight away so it’s as well to
concentrate. What kind of publishing
do you do, and where are the quickest
gains going to come from?
It may seem obvious to concentrate
on the biggest English language
markets, such as the US/Canada
and Australia/New Zealand, but
given the size of the publishing in
those markets, and the already well
developed publishing and retailing
infrastructure, the competition for
your product is going to be the
greatest. And that product may not
be best suited in any case. Would
there be more opportunity in South
Africa, Singapore or India, or even in
non-English language markets such
as Europe? It depends on the product
mix; fiction will be stronger in the
latter, business and self-help titles
stronger in the former.
Finding the right agent or
distributor to handle a market can
be a lengthy and difficult process.
Book fairs such as Frankfurt offer the
opportunity to meet a lot of potential
partners all in one place and in a very
short space of time. But it is also a

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Peter Newsom

minefield. Knowing whom to meet
can avoid wasted time in unproductive
meetings. A successful meeting leading
to long-term profitable sales will
probably come as the result of lots of
planning and research, though this is
not to say that a spontaneous meeting
as a result of some serendipity will not
produce the same result. Those types
of meeting still do happen from time
to time, which is another reason to be
at book fairs.
Even in a successful meeting, the
chemistry between publisher and
agent will have an impact on any
potential business they may do. Don’t
ignore that aspect; even though we are
reliant more and more on technology
to communicate, a successful
relationship will last for many years.
And getting enjoyment from that is
one of the things that motivates us in

consultant. With 50 appointments in
my diary, Frankfurt is still the main
event of the year for me in terms of
meeting retailers, distributors and
agents around the world.
It should be the key time for
making a difference to publishers
small and large, and be a major
element in a successful international
strategy. At last year’s Frankfurt Book
Fair I helped Crimson Publishing set
up meetings with new distributors in
Europe for their business book list.
At LBF this year I helped Accent
Press establish new agents in key
markets and begin to develop
distribution channels for their Erotica
list. And during this Frankfurt I will
be assisting one medium sized and
three small publishers in developing
sales in markets as diverse as Australia
and Iceland.
Even if it’s not your first time and
sales look good in some markets,
there may be potential elsewhere
that you don’t know exists. Take
some of these examples:
• Do you just ignore India
because you think you can’t
make money there? Look for
solutions with local agents
particularly through EPZ
printings (Export Processing
Zones where incentives are given
to enhance a country’s exports),
where technology is increasingly
enabling short print-runs at

Book fairs offer the opportunity to
meet a lot of potential partners all in
one place… But it is also a minefield.
Knowing who to meet can avoid wasted
time in unproductive meetings
the industry, given that most of us will
not be getting rich quickly.
So, how would a small publisher
find itself with a diary full of satisfying
and profitable meetings? Well, first of
all, do some research into what other
similar publishers are doing in various
markets. Better still, get advice, either
from others in the industry who are
willing to talk freely, or by paying a

Friday 14 October 2011

reasonable prices. Having
someone on the ground to
advise on this is important.
• Should you be worrying about
getting sales in China or Brazil?
Probably not, despite all the
potential that it looks like there
should be, but do investigate
rights sales, which are plentiful if
not making a lot of profit.

• How do you really focus on the
appropriate opportunities across
the diverse markets of Europe?
For many small publishers
the only route has been via
freelance representatives or, if
you have been lucky, through
the international sales teams of
the bigger publishers. There are
big questions over whether there
is still a place for the freelancer
in markets where there is ever
greater concentration on fewer
and bigger retail groups, or
where the market is supplied via
dominant wholesalers either in
the market itself or in the UK.
In both cases the freelance
representative is getting squeezed into
having less time with the buyers who
in turn have less space and/or budget
to devote to small publishers’ product.
It is perhaps not surprising that there
is little young blood in this area of
publishing. Many of the well-known
and respected freelancers have been
doing it for a long time, and it’s not
getting any easier for them with rising
costs and diminishing direct sales. It
may be that the new Faber Factory
initiative will provide a real alternative
in accessing European markets on a
collective scale.
Small publishers need not be
invisible on the international stage,
and indeed most aren’t. The numbers
exhibiting at or attending Frankfurt
through the IPG, Publishing Scotland
and the Welsh Book Council show
no signs of diminishing – testament to
its enduring relevance. The attraction
for most that attend is the global
potential that such an event promises
and mostly delivers, and of course
has nothing to do with the late night
carousing, though it has to be said that
in my 32 years of visiting Frankfurt,
some interesting conversations have
been conducted in the small hours,
not all of them to do with books.
Peter Newsom is an international sales
consultant. He was previously Export
Sales Director at Headline, UK. He is
co-author of the Publishers Association’s
Guide to International Book Fairs and
will be assisting four publishers with their
Frankfurt presence this year. ■