16 April 2012


F o r t h e l a t e s t f a i r c o v e r a g e , g o t o w w w. p u b l i s h e r s w e e k l y. c o m a n d w w w. b o o k b r u n c h . c o . u k

The past is prologue


he Digital Minds
Conference 2012
kicked off the
London Book Fair
with a slate of
engaging morning keynotes that
put the future of publishing in
context with its past, writes
Andrew Albanese. From its new
home in the QEII Conference
Centre, a full house gathered for
what Fair Director Alistair
Burtenshaw called the LBF’s
“accelerator” conference.
In the opening keynote, Jim
Griffin, MD of OneHouse LLC,
spoke of what he called “Tarzan
economics” in the digital age,
where companies “cling to the
vine that keeps them off
the jungle floor,” while always
reaching for the next. But the
greatest battle publishers face
is not with “pirates,” Griffin
said, but with the limited
time and budgets of consumers.
New technology leads to
new culture, he continued,
branding Gutenberg a pirate
as well as the Library of
Alexandria, and the makers of
piano rolls. “The lesson is that
when actual control begins
to fail us, we do not answer
with more control.”
Griffin predicted a shift to
more “actuarial economics,” for
publishing, citing the collective
models by which money is
paid into pool and distributed,
such as with radio, pressing the
need for better, comprehensive,
international rights registries.
“Culture is too important to be
left to the tip jar,” he pressed.
He also spoke of the challenges
and opportunities of dealing in
emerging global economies,
especially the BRIC countries,
suggesting that extending
an “open hand” is better than
a “closed fist.”

Griffin was followed by
Andrew Steele, Creative
Director of the comedy website
Funny or Die, who told
attendees that content remains
king. Steele, an entertainment
industry veteran, reminded
publishers of why they succeed
in the first place. For all the fear
of “user-generated” content, he
said, users simply cannot fulfill
the demand for quality.
Steele was followed by
Pottermore CEO Charlie
Redmayne, who offered a

perfect example of content
as king: JK Rowlings’ Harry
Potter series has over 450
million books in print globally.
How dedicated are Potter
fans? During the beta phase
of Pottermore, Redmayne
said, 97% of users accessed
every page on the site.
Redmayne said ebook
sales were in the millions of
pounds after just two and half
weeks, estimating that sales
are at levels he expected to hit
in October. Piracy, meanwhile,

Visit us at
Stand G470
has gone down, despite (or
because of) DRM-free ebooks.
Redmayne said the Pottermore
experience is an example of
how publishers can increase
their relevance in the digital
age—but comes with a key
challenge on the marketing
side: shifting from marketing
to the trade, to marketing
to consumers.
For more on Charlie Redmayne’s
Pottermore experience, check out
Tuesday’s Show Daily, page 10.

Robson unveils Ted Hughes
family memoir


he Robson Press is to publish a memoir by Gerald
Hughes, elder brother of
Ted Hughes. Ted and I, due this
autumn, reveals the closeness
between the two boys and the
extent to which the aspiring poet

was influenced in his love of nature
and outdoor pursuits by Gerald.
Publisher Jeremy Robson, a
published poet who gave readings with Ted Hughes, bought
world rights from Ros Edwards
of Edwards Fuglewicz, agent to

Frieda Hughes, daughter of Ted
and Sylvia Plath. “Frieda and I
were having a long lunch, and
she mentioned that her Uncle
had written a memoir and asked
if I’d like to see it. What a question! It’s an evocative account of
their childhood together, roaming the fields, fishing, shooting all the material for Ted’s later
poems, and a good deal more.”
Now 92, Hughes began writing in his eighties and the result,
some 70,000 words, is “really
charming”. It also pinpoints
locations which inspired particular poems – a favourite spot
was the pike pond, surely the key
to Hughes’ 1959 poem “Pike”.
As Robson puts it, such recollections “amplify” Hughes’ work.
The brothers exchanged frequent letters when Gerald emigrated to Australia; Plath also
wrote. Such letters, as well as
notes from their sister Olwyn,
inform the memoir, adding a
poignancy, immediacy and
insight that will delight fans
and scholars alike. The book
includes family photos and a
foreword by Frieda Hughes.

23956 FABER FACTORY PW Show.final.indd 1

3/4/12 09:52:39

16 APRIL 2012



LBF opens to a feast New Grove to China
of international fiction


n a major deal, Atria in the
US and Weidenfeld in the
UK acquired Children of
the Jacaranda Tree, a
debut novel by Sahar Delijani, an American-educated Iranian whose multigenerational
novel follows a group of Iranians through the country’s
tumultuous recent history. A
simultaneous auction conducted
by Victoria Sanders with coagent Chandler Crawford also
saw Italian rights sold to Rizzoli.
Tie Ning, a member of the
China delegation, is Laura Deacon’s first acquisition for Blue
Door. The Bathing Woman –
which spans four decades from
Mao to the 1990s – has sold
more than 1m in China and is “a
beautifully intricate tale exploring universal themes that we can
all relate to”. UK/Commonwealth rights were acquired
from Arabella Stein at Abner
Stein on behalf of Sobel Weber.
Blue Door also announced
that The Hypnotist, the bestselling debut of Lars Kepler, is to
be filmed by Lasse Hallström for
SF/Sonet. Rights have been sold
in 37 countries. Kepler’s second,
The Nightmare, will be published in September (US, FSG;

Canada, McLelland & Stewart).
Vaclav Havel is the subject of
a biography by Michael Zantovsky, who knew the playwright-president for more than
30 years, serving as spokesman
and press secretary. Currently
Czech Ambassador to London,
he will draw on Havel’s literary
and political connections, as
well as official papers. Atlantic
and Grove/Atlantic have WEL
rights from Andrew Nurnberg.
Publication will mark 25 years
since the 1989 Revolution.
On the digital front, the Random House Group has become
the first UK publishing partner
of Small Demons, which
extracts and displays people,
places and other references in
books. The first titles to go live
are Jo Nesbo’s novels.
Faber and Touch Press are to
follow their Waste Land app
with Shakesepeare’s Sonnets,
produced with Illuminations
and The Arden Shakespeare.
The app, in its “final stages”
of preparation, will feature
specially filmed performances
by actors including Fiona Shaw,
Sir Patrick Stewart and David
Tennant. It will include the
complete Arden notes.

To contact the London Show Daily at the
Fair with your news, visit us at the Publishers
Weekly stand G470
Reporting for BookBrunch by
Nicholas Clee and Liz Thomson

Reporting for Publishers Weekly by
Andrew Albanese, Rachel Deahl and Jim Milliot
Project Management: Joseph Murray
Layout and Production: Heather McIntyre
Editorial Co-ordinator (UK): Marian Sheil

To subscribe to Publishers Weekly, call 800-278-2991
or go to www.publishersweekly.com
Subscribe to BookBrunch via www.bookbrunch.co.uk
or email editor@bookbrunch.co.uk
London Show Daily produced by Jellyfish Print Solutions 01489 897373



UP has reached an
agreement to produce
a Chinese edition of
its 29-volume New Grove
Dictionary of Music and
Hunan Literature and Art
Publishing House will publish
the bible of music reference in
mainland China, complete
with bilingual jackets and tables
of contents. Grove dates back
to 1878; New Grove was
published in 1980 and revised
in 2000, before passing from
Macmillan to OUP. It contains
more than 29,000 entries from
6,000 contributors covering a
wide range of musical styles.

Catherine Johnson-Gilbert,
OUP’s Academic Rights
Manager, said: “This agreement
has the potential to greatly
enhance music scholarship
in China. OUP’s academic
publishing is increasingly
popular in the country, and for
such a large reference work to
be produced for the market is a
fantastic achievement.”
Mr Sun Jia, Editor-in-Chief at
Hunan, said: “My company
hopes that this agreement will
start the exchange and cooperation between music publishers of
different countries and promote
the flourish and development of
music publishing in the world.”

PEN launches translation fund
Backed by ACE, English PEN has launched a fund for literary
translation. PenTranslates! will distribute £120,000 per year to
translators and publishers and will support up to 20 works of
outstanding literary merit translated from any world language.
Meanwhile, the winners of its bi-annual Writers inTranslation
awards include Bones Will Crow: 15 Contemporary Burmese Poets.
The first contemporary collection to be published in the West, it’s
translated from Burmese by Ko KoThett and James Byrne (Arc).
Other winners are The Iraqi Christ by Hassan Blasim, translated
from Arabic by Jonathan Wright (Comma); Woman in the Crossfire
by Samar Yazbek translated from Arabic by Max Weiss (Haus); and
The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vasquez, translated
from Spanish by Anne McLean (Bloomsbury).
At LBF, PEN is urging open dialogue while expressing “deep
disappointment” that “the official programme of visiting authors
will not include the voices of those in prison, or the many others
who live in exile”. Director Jonathan Heawood said: “We want to
engage with Chinese authors, but we do not want to endorse the
Chinese regime.”

Exhibit A

MD for C&W


ake Smith-Bosanquet has
been appointed MD at Conville & Walsh. Founders
Clare Conville and Patrick
Walsh described Smith-Bosanquet, 33, as “a brilliant strategist
with a rare ability to adapt to
changing markets and a passionate belief in the books that he has
handled for the agency”. He is
charged with leading an “ambitious” growth plan for the
agency over the next five years.
He joined C&W in 2005, and
became a Director in 2009.


ngry Robot, the SFF
subsidiary of Osprey, is
to launch a crime list,
Exhibit A. The list will begin
publishing in late spring 2013,
with two titles a month at first,
and one title a month thereafter.
It will be run by Emlyn Rees,
author of solo novels as well
as of several bestselling collaborations with his wife, Josie
Lloyd. The first titles from
Angry Robot’s YA list, Strange
Chemistry, will appear in
September 2012.



16 APRIL 2012


Haus extends
into Annex
Haus will launch a series of
hybrid books on 23 April
with Shakespeare in Kabul,
a memoir about the 2005
staging of Love’s Labour’s
Lost. It includes an original
manuscript of the play in Dari,
notes by Assistant Director
Qais Akbar Omar, co-author
of the book with playwright
Stephen Landrigan, interviews with the Afghan cast,
and photographs. For Alex
Miller’s The 13thTablet (July),
the additional information
will focus on the archaeological research underpinning
the thriller.
The material in “the Haus
Annex” can be downloaded
free through a QR code or a
link and is available in PDF,
epub and mobi formats.
Aida Bahrami will be on
the Haus stand (K700) to
explain and demonstrate.

SAGE and Chinese universities
share wisdom


t LBF today, East China
Normal University Press
(ECNUP), one of
China’s leading teacher training
universities, will sign an agreement to translate all eight tiles
books in the Best of Corwin
series, published by the K-12
Professional Division of SAGE.
It will mark the first time
ECNUP will translate an entire
series from a foreign publisher.
“This is the start of what
we hope to be a very long and
significant relationship with
ECNUP, bringing Corwin and
SAGE Education content to a
wider audience in China,” said
Stephen Barr, President of SAGE
ECNUP aims to publish further translations and to revive
interest in western education

UK debut for
NBN Fusion

concepts among Chinese educators. ECNUP will work with
partner organizations to put the
Best of Corwin concepts into
practice, generating local cases
as examples.
SAGE and Chongqing
University Press (CQUP) have
signed a strategic co-operation
agreement which will result in
the translation of 60 co-branded
research methods between now
and 2015. Forty titles have
already been published under a
previous agreement.
Chen Xiaoyang, Editor-inChief of CQUP, observed that
“together with SAGE, we have
brought a very good influence in
China’s academic field, and
we have organized a group of
prestigious translators who are
also outstanding scholars.”

US-based distributor
National Book Network is
rolling out its Fusion services
to UK clients via NBNi, based
in Plymouth.They range from
ebook creation to global
distribution, and 50+ clients
use some of the options in
the US. NBNi is also offering
PoD and digital short runprint options to UK clients.
NBN affiliate Rowman &
Littlefield will use LBF to talk
up the relaunch of its Jason
Aronson Judaica list,
dormant for some years,
under Publisher Julie Kirsch.
Aronson will be publishing
three titles this year, rising to
10 in coming years.The list
will be all-embracing,
including academic and
trade titles and launches in
August with SurvivingYour
Bar/Bat Mitzvah: An Ultimate
Insider’s Guide.

Director’s welcome


very year we aim to
bring something new
to the Fair, and I am
delighted to say
2012 is no different,
writes Alistair Burtenshaw. As the
digital landscape continues to
change, we are delighted to be
able to offer publishers an
expanded Digital Zone for 2012,
which I hope will once again
prove a popular destination
for companies looking for
solution partners to keep their
businesses at the forefront of
digital publishing.
This year the Digital Zone will
have two Digital Zone Theatres, as
well as an area dedicated to app
development, which will provide
an ideal opportunity for publishers
to meet some of the leading app
developers, who offer new and
innovative ways to bring content to
life. We have also extended our
digital conference programme; the
Digital Minds Conference on Sunday welcomed a line-up of worldleading content creators and distributors from across the creative

Alistair Burtenshaw

industries, including from music,
gaming, television and film.
On the subject of learning,
our rebranded “Love Learning”
seminar programme offers more
than 400 seminars and events,
designed to help you deepen your
understanding of the issues
currently affecting publishing.
Topics include “The Great
Debate”, the now annual lively
session between publishers old
and new, who will debate “The
Fight for Survival”; a session
on “Creating E-books”; as well
as “Core Skills for Digital

Publishing”. A guide to the seminars and events is available from
the Information Desks.
This year’s Market Focus will
put China’s publishing and literary
industries in the spotlight.
Designed to encourage trade
relations and showcase writers
from China, the programme
will include professional and
cultural events to promote mutual
understanding, as well as foster
business success.
As befits the largest publishing
market by volume, and the size of
the country, the China Market
Focus programme will be the
most extensive we have run,
with their pavilion covering more
than 2,100m² – with 180 Chinese
publishing companies exhibiting.
I am thrilled to welcome first
time exhibitors to LBF. There
are more than 70 new individual
international companies exhibiting, with representatives from
six new countries: Armenia, Brazil, Flanders, Hungary, Hong
Kong and Lithuania. I also look
forward to welcoming our three

Authors of the Day: Peter James
(Monday), Bi Feiyu (Tuesday)
and Patrick Ness (Wednesday).
Each author will have an “In
Conversation” event on the day
they are at the Fair, at 11.30am at
the English PEN Literary Cafe.
Last, but not least, I would
like to congratulate the winner
of our Lifetime Achievement
Award. The Award, which
recognises an individual who
has made a significant mark in
the sphere of global publishing,
has this year been awarded to
Jorge Herralde, Director of
Editorial Anagram, for his
ceaseless work to promote
the international reputation of
Hispanic literature.
On behalf of the London
Book Fair team at Reed Exhibitions, I would like to welcome
you to the Fair, and wish you a
successful, productive and
enjoyable show.
Alistair Burtenshaw is Director
of Books & Publishing at Reed


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16 APRIL 2012


Briefcase – hot tips from British and American agents
Among the goodies from Aitken
Alexander Associates –
ironic, in this, the year of China
Market Focus – is a new Jung
Chang Empress Dowager Cixi:
The Concubine Who Launched
Modern, transforming China from
a medieval state into a modern
society. They also have new novels
from Sarah Dunant and Sebastian
With global
interest in
high, the
Banks has
high hopes
Saira Shah
for a genuine below-stairs memoir by Mollie
Moran, 95, a former domestic servant who worked in Norfolk and
London in the 1930s. MJ/Penguin
has snapped up UK rights.
Blake Friedmann, whose
goodie bag includes the new Lawrence Norfolk, is excited about
prospects for Arletta’s Letters by
Muriel Macleod, a debut novel
set in Louisiana in the early 20th
century - “another shade of The
Color Purple”.
Saira Shah was making the
pre-Fair running at Conville
& Walsh with her debut The
Mouse-Proof Kitchen, “part
Babette’s Feast, part We Need to
Talk About Kevin” (UK, Harvill
Curtis Brown is showing
Heartbreak Hotel (UK, Chatto),
the latest from Deborah Moggach,
whose 2004 outing, These Foolish
Things, is enjoying screen success
as The Best Exotic Marigold
At Faith Evans, historian, academic and novelist Rebecca Stott
is stepping out with Darwin’s
Ghosts: In Search of the First
Evolutionists, endorsed by the
Scientific American Book Club
and telling the story of the
collective discovery of evolution
from Aristotle to the Arab world
through Europe up to Darwin’s
Origin of Species (UK, Bloomsbury; US; Spiegel & Grau).
Upmarket non-fiction from

Felicity Bryan Associates
includes Erica Benner’s Be Like
The Fox: Conversations With
Machiavelli,“a myth-shattering
portrait”. (WEL, Allen Lane/
Penguin Press).
At Janklow & Nesbit, there’s
food for thought with Aftermath:
How to Rebuild Civilsation by
Lewis Darnell, which is “both a
thought experiment and a primer
on the beautiful basics of science”
(UK, Bodley Head; US, Penguin
Press; also sold in Germany, Italy,
Mondadori and the Netherlands).
Laura Morris has Michael
Dean’s I, Hogarth, “a vivid
retelling in the manner of Peter
Ackroyd” (UK/US, Duckworth/
In How Much Is Enough?The
Economics of the Good Life,
showing with PFD, economist
Robert Skidelsky and his philosopher son Edward answer the
question “how much is enough?”
(UK, Allen Lane/Pengiun Press;
US, The Other Press, plus sales in
Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal,
Brazil and Korea).
At Ed Victor, Pete Townshend
steps out with “a full and frank
autobiography”, Who I Am (UK
and US, HarperCollins; also sold
in France, Germany, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Brazil and Japan).
In Money: The Unauthorised
Biography, economist Felix
Martin shows how money really
works, with radical implications
for economics, finance, and the
future of capitalism – AP Watt
(UK, Bodley Head; US, Knopf;
Canada, Random House; Holland,
include She
A Life in
by Susanna
Erica Benner
“a ruthless
and illuminating exploration” US, Scribner).

One of the big books from Baror
International is the new one
from Edgar winner Joe R Lansdale,

Edge of Dark Water (Mulholland
Books); rights sold in various
DeFiore & Company has the
first book in a new YA sci-fi
trilogy from Printz Honor–winner
Rick Yancey, The Fifth Wave.
Putnam is rumoured to have acquired the series for seven figures.
Sandra Dijkstra Literary
Agency has Amy Tan’s new
novel, Valley of Amazement
(Ecco, 2013), about a ChineseAmerican courtesan in Shanghai.
Dystel & Goderich Literary
Management will be pushing
Jacqueline Carey’s Dark Currents
(Roc), the first in the author’s
series featuring Daisy Johanssen.
Foundry Literary + Media
is particularly excited about The
Drowning House (Doubleday/
Talese) by Elizabeth Black, about
two families
in Galveston, Texas.
will be
touting Tim
The Queen
of Katwe
Deborah Moggach
a nonfiction account of a Ugandan chess
prodigy who, at 15, emerged as an
unlikely national champion.
A big book from Frances
Goldin Literary is Barbara
Kingsolver’s new novel, Flight
Behaviour (Harper), which is set
in a small Tennessee town; rights
sold in the UK.
Sanford J Greenburger
Associates will be pushing
Brandon Mendelson’s Social Media Is Bullshit (St. Martin’s Press),
a sly business book that offers a
trend-bucking take on the value of
connecting online.
ICM (represented by
Curtis Brown) has James
Salter’s All That Is, a “seductive
love story” set in post-World
War Two America; rights sold in
the UK.
One of the big books from Inkwell Management is Yes, Chef
(Random House), the new memoir
from Top Chef: Masters winner
Marcus Samuelsson.

& Nesbit
will be
up Frank
which is
Jung Chang
part memoir and part
account of the actor’s “clandestine
meetings” with a collection of
bold-faced names.
William Morris Endeavor
is excited about The Witch of
Perugia (on submission in the US)
by Douglas Preston and Mario
Spezi (the duo behind the true
crime bestseller The Monster of
Florence), an account of the
murder of English exchange
student Meredith Kercher and the
ensuing Italian trial of American
Amanda Knox.
From Jean V Naggar Agency
there’s Jillian Cantor’s Margot
(Riverhead), which is “in the
vein of Loving Frank and Sarah’s
Key” and imagines the life
Anne Frank’s older sister,
Margot, had she also not died
in a concentration camp.
A notable title the Jane
Rotrosen Agency is selling is
Mark Sullivan’s debut, Rogue, an
international thriller featuring a
“Robin Hood–like hero.”
A hot property Trident Media
Group is touting is the new
untitled work by the author of
Debt (Melville House) and one of
the organizers of the Occupy Wall
Street movement, David Graeber
(Spiegel & Grau).
One of the big books Writers
House is bringing to London
is the new novel from Jonathan
Tropper, One Last Thing Before
I Go (Dutton), which the agency
says is “a laugh-out-loud/breakyour-heart family story about a
man named Silver, whose ex-wife
is marrying a really nice guy and
whose Princeton-bound daughter just confided in him she’s
Among the big titles from the
Wylie Agency is Don Winslow’s
The Kings of Cool (Simon &
Schuster), a new literary thriller
from the author of Savages.



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16 APRIL 2012



Net gain – lessons from self-publishing


ome 17 months ago, I launched my
DIY, multi-format short-story
collection, With a Little Help, and I
can report that as of the end of
March, I’ve taken in $45,182.64,
spent $26,882.02 and netted $18,300.62,
writes Cory Doctorow. The book continues
to sell in ebook form; as mail-order PoD
paperbacks; as on-demand, in-store printed
paperbacks; as Ingram-distributed ondemand paperbacks; as ebooks across all
non-DRM platforms supported by BookBaby, and as special, bespoke hardcover limited editions at $275.00. You can also get the
ebook or audiobook from me, for free, and
offer a “name-your-own-price” donation.
The point of my DIY experiment was simple: after listening to everyone’s intuition on
the subject, I wanted to gather some evidence
about the DIY publishing route enabled by
technology today vs. using a traditional publisher. So, I designed this collection, With a
Little Help, to be like a collection I did with a
publisher in 2008 – Overclocked. The circumstances of each book’s publication
aren’t identical, but they are as close to an
apples-to-apples comparison as I think you
are likely to get. Like Overclocked, all the
stories in With a Little Help were reprints,
except for one, which I commissioned for
$10,000. Overclocked, meanwhile, fetched
an advance of $10,000 (less my agent’s
15%) and was similarly made up of reprints
I’d already been paid to write.
So, what have I learned?

It worked
It was a lot of effort, but the DIY route had
some awfully fun moments. The production
of the craft-object, limited edition unique
hardcovers reacquainted me with my past
experiences in prepress and publishing, and
gave me an opportunity to interact with
some of my greatest fans. And the money
was substantial, if not life-changing. The
“donation” button on my site worked a
treat, especially after I stopped calling it a
“donation” and started calling it a “nameyour-price”.
I also had the chance to work at length
with Lulu, an outfit I found to be responsive,
technology-driven and innovative. They are
presently the only PoD service I know of that
accepts changes to the book’s interior
between each printing, which is a primary
advantage of PoD, surely. My Lulu editions
are expunged of typos as soon as they are
pointed out, with footnotes crediting each
typo’s discoverer on the affected page. Other
PoD publishers, like Ingram’s Lightning
Source and Amazon’s CreateSpace, use
a cumbersome process to replace book
interiors that is too unwieldy.

Cory Doctorow

I made some expensive mistakes. One was
my decision to mail review copies ($13 per
copy) from my office in the UK, instead of
contracting with someone in the USA to
receive the books from Lulu and send them
from there.
Another expensive mistake was
my assumption that Boing Boing, the very
popular blog I co-edit, would raise sufficient
publicity for the book. I promoted the book
several times through Boing Boing, but there
were very few sales directly attributable to
those posts. On the other hand, favourable
reviews on other sites, from the Wall Street
Journal to small blogs, generated lots of sales
and donations. My takeaway – even my fans
like to have external validation from a thirdparty reviewer before ordering a book.
A related mistake was underestimating
the friction associated with setting
up accounts with new retailers. Far more
readers have bought books on Amazon than
on Lulu, for example, and the feedback I
received from many readers was that the
hassle of setting up a new account with Lulu
was enough to cause them to abandon the
transaction partway through.
This problem was even worse for libraries,
a traditional source of income for me,
because it’s transcendentally hard for public
institutions to establish new retailer
accounts. Thus I found myself also signed up
with Ingram’s Lightning Source programme,
even though it charges fairly high fees,
because practically every library has an
Ingram account already.

Price matters
PoD printing turns out to be expensive. I
know that everyone says that paper and
shipping are not a major part of the clearing
price of published books, but I suspect that is
only true if you buy paper by the forest, ink
by the barrel and already have a titanic network of warehouses. For all the PoD
options, it is nearly impossible to print a 360page book at a price that is competitive with
a comparable, traditionally published one.

Price really matters with DIY books,
because they are a gamble for price-conscious readers. They represent an unknown,
lacking the imprimatur of a major publisher.
In my ideal world, I’d put these books on the
shelf at $8 each, while maintaining a $2 per
copy royalty. If a 25% royalty seems steep,
consider that I am both the publisher and the
author of this book. With regular books, the
publisher and author collectively keep about
50% of the book price, leaving the wholesaler and retailer with the other half.
In hindsight, one way to increase my profit
and lower the price would have been to
reduce the word-count of the book. There
are 12 stories in the book, plus an intro and
an afterword, totalling some 120,000
words. Omitting two to three stories would
not have turned off my customers, and
would have allowed me to drop the price by
a third while still maintaining a roughly $2
per copy royalty. It may be that, for now, the
only way to get a DIY book down enough in
price to spur sales is to shave the page-count.

The remaining major challenge for DIY
writers is the administrative overhead. I
presently retail With a Little Help through
six bookstores; three PoD wholesaler/retailers; an ebook wholesaler (BookBaby); on my
own site; and my own limited-edition, personal fulfilment business. While no one of
these presents a major difficulty, collectively
they take up a fair whack of time.
Even with just one book in circulation, my
imprint generates about as much correspondence, filing and time-sucking as it would
with 20 or 30 titles. The economy of scale
would work in my favour if I wanted to do
this for a living, but it works against me as a
one-off experimenter. On the other hand, all
that administration gets easier with time.
With practice, I have whittled the administration down to a few hours a month.

Can you do this?
A frequent quibble is that the sort of opportunity I had with With a Little Help is only
available to writers with an appreciable following, and one shouldn’t generalise from it.
Well, yes, every writer is unique.
But considering the financial opportunities available to a beginning writer who
wishes to put out a short story collection, I
think we can safely say it is negligible
whether the writer goes DIY, or with a mainstream publisher. The fact is, you need a plan
B either way. A writer can make more money
from a DIY collection than through a publisher – provided you work your butt off
(valuing your time at zero), avoid costly mistakes and enlist help from friends.

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16 APRIL 2012



GAMA rays


s we walk the halls of the London Book Fair this year most
of us will pick up the familiar
thread of conversation with
our publishing friends about
recent industry developments, writes Casper
Grathwohl. And these days those conversations inevitably turn to the handful of technology/information giants who seem in control of our fate: “Did you see the Google
announcement?” “How are you handling
the Amazon/Apple tension?”
Outsell recently referred to these large
businesses collectively as GAMA (Google,
Apple, Microsoft and Amazon), and the
image it brings to mind of a radioactive green
juggernaut smashing its way through the
world nicely captures our collective anxiety
about their destructive power. As the chatter
about GAMA reaches the farthest corners of
publishing, I’m struck by how regularly it
devolves into an “us versus them” paradigm
– the ways in which we can fight off these
powerful usurpers who are challenging our
rightful place in the digital world. But it is
clear that publishers in combat with new
media giants is a fundamentally unhelpful
approach to the problem. We need to
develop new constructive ways to view the
landscape, and I suggest looking to the information continuum for guidance here.

The knowledge business
Although all sectors of the media revolve
around it to some degree, publishers are no
longer in the information business. Google is
in it. Amazon and Apple are in it. But publishers, and here I am referring primarily to
scholarly and educational-based publishers,
are not in the information business: we are in
the knowledge business.
This distinction may appear trivial at first
glance, but it is important to remember that
book publishers were a premier trafficker in
both information and knowledge in the predigital age. Publishers don’t serve the same
function in the new information economy,
however, largely because information has
become the most abundant raw material on
the planet.
There are four key distinctions between
the information and knowledge spheres that
might prove helpful to consider. None
of these are new ideas, of course, but
together I think they can help define a roadmap for scholarly-based publishing as it
navigates GAMA.
First, information is flatter than knowledge. The current digitisation of historical
published material has released a deluge of
unqualified information into the general
public’s easy reach, much (but not all) of it
out-of-date scholarship. Google books alone


Caspar Grathwohl

offers access to more than 10 million books.
When performing a search for Margaret
Thatcher on Google Scholar, more than half
of the first 20 items returned were published
in the 1970s and 80s. To determine the
“freshness date” of those search results
a user can sift through the accompanying
citations, but surely we can envision more
effective and engaging tools to qualify
these results. And precedent tells us that
GAMA encourages this type of third-party
enhancement (although I don’t suggest there
are no risks here).
As part of the knowledge business, publishers have the opportunity to add value to
such GAMA endeavours by wrapping
context around this content. In this sense,
content is not king – context is king. So if we
are to be successful, we are not primary content creators as much as we are secondary
context creators. At Oxford University Press
we have developed Oxford Bibliographies
Online, a research tool providing contextual
guidance by scholars to the best academic
source material, in direct response to the new
market conditions GAMA has created.
Other publishers are following suit.
Second, information is verified, while
knowledge is validated. For example, how
many hits at bat did Jackie Robinson have
during his baseball career? (1,518, by the
way). This question leads to a binary fact,
and becomes more valuable the more we can
verify it as true or false. But asking the
slightly different question: “How important
was his career to the development of racial
integration in the United States?” moves the
question out of the factual realm and
opens the answer up to interpretation.
The validity of the resulting viewpoints is
regularly being assessed.
Publishers need to see that GAMA’s
primary activity is in gathering and verifying
information – they make their money through
understanding the yes/no answers about us
as individuals – but they are leaving validation to others. For example, GAMA does not
seem to treat Wikipedia, this era’s newest and
most powerful validator, as a rival.

As publishers we have the most room to
manoeuvre around GAMA in our role as
validators, so we should be asking: How are
new, organic ways of validation rising
beyond the peer review process? Where can
we add value and enhance these new endeavours? For example, Wikipedia functions as
an effective low layer of authority; how can
we as scholarly and educational publishers
build bridges from there to the higher layers
of authority under our supervision?
Third, when information and knowledge
directly compete for digital eyeballs, information wins. It’s just more nimble, more
ubiquitous. Information is the commodity
on the front line of discovery in search
engines, burying knowledge in a barrage of
white noise. The most effective route for us
to receive attention is to think about discoverability not when it is happening on the
front line, where the cost of maintaining that
visibility is so high, but instead once users
have initially qualified their interest in our
content. This behind-the-fray position is
much more stable and yields better results. A
question to ask here, for example, is: “What
filter can we put on Google Books to funnel
pre-qualified eyeballs to our content and services?” Thinking this way keeps us out of the
information game, where we are outmatched and out of place. This is about
embracing our specialisation, which leads
me to my last point.
Byte for byte, knowledge is more valuable
than information. I think this may be the
most important difference for us. We must
not be swayed by valuing the services we
provide based on the emerging value chain
of the information industry. The knowledge
industry is no longer tied to the same commodity pricing and way of thinking that
information culture demanded when we
were bolted together. Information is the
most abundant raw material, and academic
and educational publishing harnesses the
scholarly community to refine that information into knowledge. We can’t be afraid to
price knowledge accordingly. And from my
vantage point, it looks like knowledge is
becoming more valuable as GAMA makes
information increasingly abundant and
therefore less so.
I believe there are practical lessons we can
derive from moving away from informationtype thinking toward knowledge-type thinking now that the digital age has separated these
streams. We simply need to remind ourselves
that many of our giant new competitors/customers are working in a different industry.
Casper Grathwohl is Senior Vice President,
Group Strategy at Oxford University Press.


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16 APRIL 2012



Global ebook markets take off
Jo Henry reports on a new survey, the Global eBook Monitor, that tracks the
purchasing of ebooks internationally


ustralia, India, the UK and the
US are leading the world
in ebook adoption, according
to the first report from the
Global eBook Monitor (GeM)
published this month.
The study¹, which tracks consumer
attitudes to and purchasing of ebooks
internationally, is operated by Bowker
Market Research in partnership with
Pearson, Tata Consultancy Services,
ATKearney and the Book Industry Study
Group (BISG). It enables comparisons
between countries experiencing different
growth rates and patterns, and will
help inform the publishing industry during a
critical period of change when players are
adapting to a very different landscape.
Intended to be repeated annually, GeM will
create a unique view of the development of
ebook markets around the world.
The first wave of research was conducted
among the online population in 10 countries
– Australia, Brazil, France, Germany,
India, Japan, South Korea, Spain, the UK
and the US – in early 2012. More than 20%
of respondents in India, Australia, the
UK and the US report purchasing ebooks in
the six months prior to survey, while only
5% of respondents in France, and 8% of
respondents in Japan, have done so. While
purchase behaviour varies by country,
awareness is relatively consistent: more than
80% of respondents in each country know
it is possible to digitally download a book
(see Figure 1, below).
GeM reveals that the market for
ebooks is set for a rapid increase in Brazil

Figure 1

and India. More
than 50% of
respondents from
these two countries
said that they are
likely to buy an
ebook in the next
six months, a prediction that would
double the number
of ebook buyers in
India, and triple the
number of ebook
buyers in Brazil. In
comparison, about
a third of respondents in the UK and
US say they have
plans to purchase
an ebook soon. The Figure 2
number drops to one in five in France and
one in seven in Japan.
Age, sex and education are consistent predictors of global ebook purchase behaviour.
In most markets surveyed, men are more
likely than women to buy an ebook (see
Figure 2, above). Germany shows the greatest divergence, with 18% of male respondents having bought an ebook in the past six
months, compared to only 8% of women.
In almost all markets, the older the
respondents, the less likely they are to have
recently purchased an ebook. Penetration in
India, Brazil, the UK, US and France peaks in
the 25-34 age group, with Australia, Spain,
Germany, South Korea and Japan peaking
among 18-24 year olds.
Across all countries, the majority of
those who buy
ebooks have been
educated to degree
or technical college
standard – peaking
at 90% of India
buyers having
a degree.
The numbers
of ebooks downloaded in the past
six months within
genres indicates significant differences
between countries.
In the UK and
Australia the
concentration is on
adult fiction, while
in India and South
Korea the concen-

tration is on both professional/business and
However, as yet the majority of current
downloaders say that using ebooks is not
impacting on their expenditure on print
books. An exception to this is seen in India,
where only 30% say that using ebooks has
not affected their print book buying –
although 14% say that it has increased
their expenditure!
The key findings from this research
are available free of charge from any of
the companies involved in the study. There
will also be a webinar on 23 April at 4pm to
5pm EST to discuss and interpret what
this means for the industry, as we move
into a global digital future. Registration
details are available on the BISG website
(www.BISG.org/events). In addition, full
country reports will be available for sale
from the end of April. For further details,
please contact Bowker Market Research:
Jo Henry is Director of Bowker Market Research.
¹ Bowker’s Global eBook Monitor employed
online surveys hosted by Lightspeed Research
and their affiliates in nine countries, and
by MTi in the US. The minimum number
of respondents in each country was 1,000;
samples were designed and weighted to be
representation of the adult (18+) population
in terms of age, sex and region, but were by
definition drawn from the online population
only. The results represent the online population in each market, rather than the general
population as a whole.

16 APRIL 2012



The new internet





en years ago the
internet had evolved
into its key form –
the world wide web,
viewed on a browser
(probably Microsoft’s Internet
Explorer) on a PC, writes
Michael Bhaskar. This, for most
people, was the internet.
Ten years later, the internet
has once again evolved. Not
only the open web, but the PC
and the browser, are all, if not
dead, far from rude health. So
why should publishers care?
From the beginning the
internet was far more than just
the web – which was simply
one data layer resting on the
underlying infrastructure of
the internet. But the userfriendly web made us forget
that, with its share of total data
traffic increasing all the time.
Several factors have reversed
the situation. The web’s role has
started to shrink as new forms
of data transfer (VoIP calls, BitTorrent peer-to-peer filesharing,
internet video) have upped their
importance. And rather than
access the web through a
browser, more people are using
applications – either on PC desktops using software such as
Adobe Air, or, more commonly,
on mobile operating systems
through apps – which remain
fully connected, but do not
allow access in the same way as
a browser.
And, just as the open web is
being superseded, the PC is
being rendered obsolete by the
rise of smartphones and tablets.
Killing the PC has become something of a mission for every
major tech firm; all are playing a
high stakes game of post-PC
poker comprising acquisitions,
patent-based litigation, software
development, platform plays
and hardware launches.
We have moved from a world
of PCs, browsers and the open
web to one of tablets, apps and
closed internet services. For publishers this has some important
upsides. In the new landscape,
methods and models of content
monetisation are built in, allowing more efficient purchasing of
content, encouraging the per-

ception that not everything digital should be free. It promotes a
unit-based model, not so much
endlessly linked, porous, DIY
websites, but discreet, “filleted”
and professional portions of
high quality content in curated
environments. For publishers,
the new internet looks more
like the old world than the old
internet. The recent wave of
apps, ereading systems and
services fit into trend.
However there are some
problems on the horizon. Piracy
through filesharing networks
was one of the canaries in the
coal mine for the web, an early
instance of data moving off the
web and back onto the internet.
Publishers are slowly, but surely,
seeing a rise in piracy; increasingly pirated editions appear
prominently in search results,
muscling out legitimate editions.
And if the web was a competitive space where publishers
struggled to grab attention, the
new internet is no different. Publishers need to get used to convergence environments, where
they are competing not just with
each other, but with every major
media producer in the world.
When I have made this point in
the past it has been strongly
resisted – many publishers want
to believe reading has a special
place. It does, but we can’t
pretend that the closed, mobile
mega-systems of the new
internet mean business as usual.
The last feature of the new
internet is that it provides platforms for distribution. The web
has been the greatest distribution platform of them all, but
without organising nodes, or
degrees of centralisation and
containment, it becomes
unmanageable. This is now
offered by appstores and sealed
environments like the Kindle
store. They couple openness
with control, discoverability and
audience with fixity of ownership. Becoming a publisher is, in
this environment, easier than at
any other time in history.
Michael Bhaskar is Digital Publishing Director at Profile Books. He can
be found on Twitter as @ajaxlogos.


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16 APRIL 2012


Scaring the reader – and the writer
Author of the Day Peter James talks about the in-depth research he undertakes for his
internationally successful Roy Grace novels


n 1982 I was lucky enough
to be burgled. OK, it
didn’t seem that way at
the time, but it was an
event that really did
change my life. A young
Detective Constable came to the
house and saw my first novel
lying there. He said to give him a
call if I ever needed future
research help. He was married to
a Detective and my wife and I
became friends with them. Their
entire circle of friends comprised
other police officers. This is the
norm – it is their comfort zone.
They can talk about confidential
aspects of a crime they are working on without having to worry
about it being leaked to the
press, or about a gory crime
scene or horrific accident they
have attended without people

Peter James

throwing up at the dinner table.
As I gained their trust, their colleagues started inviting me to see
what they were doing – to go out
on patrol, or spend time in their
office, or go on a raid, or join the
forensics team at a crime scene.
The more immersed in their
world I became the more I               





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realised that they have their own
culture. They are aware and
suspicious of everything. We see
two men looking in a shop
window and we think they are
shopping. A cop looks at them
and thinks: “Are they doing a
drugs deal? About to rob the
shop?” If I go to meet a police
officer in a bar or a restaurant,
I know where he’ll be sitting.
(He is bound to be there before
me, police officers always arrive
early). He’ll be in a corner,
back to the walls, view of the
whole room and the door – the
“policeman’s chair”.
Fifteen years ago, I was
introduced to a young Detective
Inspector, David Gaylor, a
rising star in Sussex CID. His
office was full of plastic crates
bulging with folders. I asked if
he was moving and he replied,
sardonically: “No, these are my
dead friends.”
I thought for a moment that I
had met a total weirdo! Then he
explained; in addition to his current homicide investigation
work, he had been tasked with
reopening cold cases and applying new forensic developments.
“Each of theses crates,” he said,
“contains the principal case files
of an unsolved murder. I am the
last chance each victim has for
justice, and their families have
for closure.”
I loved the deeply human
aspects of this man. During
his work he saw the most
terrible sights imaginable (and
unimaginable), yet he retained a
calm gentle humanity – this is
one of the characteristics of
almost every homicide detective
I have met. They are calm, and
caring, people. In many cases
they develop a close relationship
with the victim’s loved ones,
and solving the crime becomes
personal. It is the reason why
so often, long after they
have retired, many detectives
continue to work on a case they
could not solve.
At this first encounter with DI
Gaylor, he asked me about the

novel I was then working on,
and immediately started coming
up with creative suggestions
involving the policing aspects –
and other aspects too. I realised
that to be a homicide investigator you had to have both an
analytical mind and a creative
one, because every major crime
is a massive puzzle, usually with
a key bit missing.
At the time Macmillan
approached me to create a
fictional detective, David Gaylor
had risen to become Detective
Chief Superintendent in Sussex
Police, in charge of Major Crime
Reviews. I asked him how
he would feel about becoming a
fictional character – and he
loved the idea. He now reads
every hundred pages as I am
writing, and gives me his view on
how a real detective in Roy
Grace’s position would think.
Today I spend a day a week
with the police. I consider it
essential to be up to speed with
their constantly changing world.
I’m often asked if I ever get
scared, and I can answer truthfully: “yes, often!”
My most terrifying moment
ever was during my research for
Dead Simple. I wanted to know
what it felt like to be buried
alive, so I had an undertaker put
me in a coffin, screw the lid
down, and leave me for 30 minutes. I had checked with a coroner about how much air supply
there was. “About three to four
hours in an airtight one,” he told
me cheerily, “so long as you
don’t hyperventilate. That could
reduce it to under an hour.” I’ve
always been extremely claustrophobic. I remember lying there
in utter blind panic, thinking:
“What happens if the undertaker drops dead – no one knows
I am here!” I reckon that was
truly suffering for my art.
Peter James will be in conversation
with Peter Guttridge today, Monday
16 April, at 11:30am at the English
PEN Literary Cafe. The event will be
followed by a book signing.


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Stand U105

16 APRIL 2012


Mangled statistics, confused logic
Richard Mollet explains how the Intellectual Property Office’s consultation on
copyright threatens UK creators


s domestic and international
publishers gather at Earls
Court for the London Book
Fair they do so under a threatening cloud. This is not to
speak of the challenge posed to retail by
dominant online players, nor even that of the
growing presence of online copyright
infringement, but an altogether more dangerous factor: the Intellectual Property
Office’s consultation on copyright.
Ever since Professor Hargreaves told the
government last year that they could get
more growth if intellectual property was
weaker, British creative industries have been
on the back foot. Never mind that this assertion was based on evidence so flimsy it
would make a first-year economics undergraduate blush, the die is cast. Hargreaves
also told the government that copyright was
a regulation and therefore could be classed
as “red tape”. And we all know what must
happen to red tape: it gets cut.

Confused logic
Hence in this swoop of mangled statistics,
twisted linguistics and confused logic, publishers, film studios, record labels and the
creative geniuses they invest in are faced with

Richard Mollet

Allowing the private copying of CDs might
work for music fans who have been clogging
up their iPods for years, and where record
labels have the licensing deals in place to permit this, but there is no such established custom and practice for ebooks. And as for the
cloud services, only now coming on stream
as sources of potential revenue, how are
publishers and authors to be remunerated
without the ability to demand a licence?
In education, the consultation talks about
“removing or restricting” the ability to
license for photocopying in schools. British
authors, led by the Authors Licensing and
Collecting Society, have been quick to point


“If the DCR can be got off the ground, it is likely to
obviate the need for many, if not all, of the changes to
copyright that the government is proposing.”

a serious challenge. British creative industries are world leaders in every sphere. The
export performance of British publishers is
the best in the world. In any rebalancing of
the economy away from a reliance on financial services, creativity should be top of the
list as a sector to nurture – which makes it all
the more stunningly weird that policy development should be so focused on weakening
the very thing that makes it all possible: intellectual property. Some reform of copyright
to ensure that it is in keeping with the modern digital landscape is, of course, necessary
(orphan works and library archiving are two
obvious areas). But radical reform is a dangerous tack. It is possible to break lots of
eggs, but fail to make an omelette.
Many of us, in engaging with government
on this, have been on the receiving end
of soothing words. “Don’t worry,” we are
told, “we only want to widen exceptions to
copyright where that won’t harm your ability to license.” But the comfort falls short.


out that this proposal is a dagger at the heart
of a vital revenue stream for many of their
members. Schools pay for electricity, water,
teachers and even sports kit. But the Hargreaves bean counters have seen a way to
relieve them of the burden of paying for copies of books. It may have sounded like a neat
idea in the ivory tower of the consultation
writing room. When exposed to the real
world and the need to earn revenue to incentivise investment and reward creators, it
appears, at best, plain daft.

White Paper
The consultation closed on 21 March and
the government is now in the process of
chewing through the responses and evidence
it received. It is due to publish a White Paper
sometime later in the year. The debate will
rumble on through the year with an increasing number of UK Parliamentarians quizzical at how it can be that one of the most vital
(in both senses of the word) sectors of the

economy can find itself at the wrong end of a
policy that is predicated, in theory at least,
on boosting growth.
But there is hope. In responding to the
initial Hargreaves Review in 2011, the
Publishers Association (PA), along with a
number of others, made the case for some
form of online licensing portal, which would
expedite the process of identifying rightsholders and potential uses for commercial
works. An entirely voluntary, business-led
system, which integrated existing rights
databases, could take away a great deal of
the pain experienced by those seeking to use
works, and spur revenue streams for writers
and publishers. The idea emerged from the
Hargreaves Review as the Digital Copyright
Exchange (DCE). The esteemed Richard
Hooper is now in the middle of a six month
exercise looking at the need for and feasibility of creating such a system.

Digital Copyright Exchange
If the DCE can be got off the ground and
turned from theoretical nice idea into an
actual functioning entity, it is likely to
obviate the need for many, if not all, of the
changes to copyright that the government is
proposing. Where would-be users currently
struggle to license works, the best answer is
to give better information, not remove the
need for licensing altogether. Moreover, to
be really effective the DCE will require rightsholders to advertise their works for use in
the digital arena. The comfort levels with
doing this are directly related to the rigour
with which digital rights can be maintained
and enforced. If the direction of policy is to
weaken digital rights, then it will follow that
participation in the DCE could suffer.
That is why the PA, with others, is urging
government to take a breather on the consultation. It would give them time to see if the
DCE can improve licensing, and would give
us a rest from the tiring requirement of having to prove a negative; of it being demanded
of us to show how our economic contribution would not be stronger if copyright was
Responding to a criticism in the Guardian
recently, Noam Chomsky said of his antagonist: “The stunning irrationality of his inferences renders comment superfluous.”
Would that we had the luxurious option of
silence, this would be a fitting epithet for the
Hargreaves Review.
Richard Mollet is Chief Executive of the
Publishers Association.

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16 APRIL 2012


A beginner’s guide
Paul Richardson identifies 20 things you should know about publishing in China
1. A big economy getting bigger?
For centuries up to 1895 China had the
world’s largest GDP and will reclaim pole
position within a decade or so. Predicted
export-led growth of 8% in 2012 may be
knocked back by recession in Europe, and
China will be overtaken by India in terms of
population, but with 1.3 billion people,
97% literate, and GDP per head running at
$7,600 a year and rising (twice India’s level),
it remains the main engine for growth in the
world economy.

2. So the world’s biggest book
Already in volume, though output is falling
slightly from a production peak of 7 billion
units a year in 2008 and print runs per title
are falling as well. China, with the USA and
UK, is one of the big three in terms of new
title production. And the good news for publishers is that prices are rising and that this is
a market where reading is still cool for young
people. So, soon the largest by value also.

3.Well connected?
Yes, but the best is still to come. It’s easily the
largest internet market in the world with 513
million “netizens” (but that is only 38% of
the population) and 916 million mobile
phones (400 million to go). The young,
urban and educated are totally turned on to
the digital world, and almost everyone else
aspires to be.

4. But there’s social change and
The Gini co-efficient says China has a
gap between the richest and poorest of
almost Brazilian proportions. It’s the biggest
market in the world for luxury goods (think
Rolls Royces and vintage Burgundies), but
more importantly there is a huge aspirant
managerial/professional class with a hunger
for education for children. And in 2011
more than half the population of this
quintessentially peasant civilisation were
living in towns and cities – with bookshops.
More than 75% of books are bought by
urban dwellers.

5. So it’s mainly an educational
School textbooks were half the market, but
not any more. Primary school enrolments
are falling as a result of the One-Child Policy
and textbook prices are still strictly
controlled. But college, university and
professional education are booming, the
consumer market is burgeoning and prices
there are not controlled.

Paul Richardson

6. But the educational market is
still huge?
It is, but it is now more fragmented as
publishers other than the old central and
provincial educational presses are allowed
in. There is more choice; there is a market
shift from primary to secondary; there are
new subjects (environmental science and the
very perplexing matter of sex education);
and books are now designed to be re-used.

7. Can Western publishers get
into the educational market?
Only in partnership with local publishers –
licensing, adapting or developing curriculum material from scratch. ELT is obviously
the prime area and OUP, Pearson, Macmillan and others have built massive business
with Foreign Languages Teaching and
Research Press (FLTRP) and the Commercial Press, but smaller players have found
their way into this market as well.

8. And higher and academic
A huge growth area, from textbooks to
scholarly (online) journals. The giants such
as Science Press and Higher Education Press
have long-established two-way links with
Elsevier, Springer, Wiley and McGraw, but
there are still plenty of opportunities in key
areas: biosciences, business and management, medicine, planning and so on. China
will overtake the USA as the largest source of
internationally published scientific research
in the next three years – so think of buying as
well as selling.

9.The consumer market must be
very different?
It is: for instance, there is a massive market
for young adult fiction, mainly written by
superstar authors of the same age (18–25)
and often online before print. Older people
still read the Chinese classics; the in-betweens
go for self-improvement and popular business. International bestsellers (Rowling,

Meyer etc.) do hugely well, as do media tieins. In 2011 the top cinema box office takes
went to “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”,
“Kung Fu Panda 2” and “Pirates of the
Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” ahead of the
top Chinese productions “The Flowers of
War” and “Flying Swords at Dragon Gate”.
But the book market is not all lowest
common denominator stuff: The Unbearable
Lightness of Being and, for children,
Charlotte’s Web appear regularly in the bestseller lists. And China has its own excellent
BookScan look-alike, Beijing Open Book.
You can subscribe to an English-language
version and see that bestsellers in China have
a much longer life than in the West.

10.What do the bestseller lists
look like?
In the run up to Christmas the fiction list was
headed by the popular genre of “workplace”
novels selling at around £4, but Marquez’s A
Hundred Years of Solitude was at number
four. Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs at
£9 headed the non-fiction list. The children’s
list featured Chinese and Japanese picture
books, but Charlotte’s Web was indeed
there at number five for £1.70. In terms of
numbers they can be huge – Wolf Totem has
sold more than five million copies to date –
but outside the textbook market they may be
quite modest: 100,000 in a year would get
you into the top ten fiction list.

11. But aren’t they all switching
to ebooks?
They are, but not in the same way as in the
US or UK. A huge amount of young adult fiction is mainly downloaded on mobiles or
PCs. Ereaders are available but struggling
and Kindle has not yet come to the market.
Digital delivery is very important in the educational and college markets, but the printed
book market has not yet suffered in the way
it has in, say, Japan.

12. And isn’t everything being
pirated anyway?
The central authorities are waging a powerful war on piracy, but it is a huge task in a
country of this size and complexity. “The
emperor is far away and the mountains are
high”, so locally all sorts of things are tolerated, including illicit copying by educational
establishments. There was no copyright law
from 1949 to 1991, and public attitudes to
intellectual property are still shaped by the
socialist past. However, there is sound copyright law and the means to enforce it.
Continues on page 24

16 APRIL 2012


Beginner's guide – continued
Continued from page 22

13. And censorship?
There is a big apparatus, but censorship is
mostly self-imposed by publishers themselves. They know the limits and are regularly pushing them to meet popular demand.
The authorities are still rather prudish, but
much less so than a decade ago (see Chinese
Cosmopolitan). Religion (Falun Gong, Muslim fundamentalism, but not ordinary devotional stuff) and certain political issues
(Tibet/the Dalai Lama, Tiananmen Square,
the status of Taiwan) are very sensitive. A lot
of banned books get into circulation under
the wire – an upside of piracy and book
smuggling from Hong Kong to Shenzhen.

14. So how do we get in?
As a foreigner you can, with approval, invest
in printing, distribution and book retailing,
but not directly in publishing. However,
there are acceptable forms of joint-venture
projects. At this stage you are best served by
a relationship with good local partners.

15.Who are they?
There are around 200 national publishers
based in Beijing, and nearly 400 provincial
publishers (remember some provinces have
populations of nearly 100 million people).
They are all state entities, but in the last
couple of years they have almost all been
transformed into business enterprises, sometimes floated in part on the Shanghai and
Hong Kong stock exchanges. Many of them
have been drawn together into Groups, conglomerates supposedly capable of facing up
to the international media giants. These may
also be central, such as the China Publishing
Group, which includes the most prestigious
and longest established imprints in China,
or provincial such as the mighty Phoenix
Publishing and Media Group based in
Jiangsu. Do not be intimidated by their size.
Phoenix, for instance, may have a strategic
relationship with Hachette Livre, but anyone can do good deals with its lively imprint
Yilin, which specialises in foreign books.
On the one hand there is still the overarching presence of GAPP (General Administration of Press and Publications), the state
ministry of publishing, which sets the strategic agendas. On the other hand there is a
booming private “second channel” – private
packagers and publishers who provide the
most creative part of publishing, especially
in consumer books, and who are now recognised to the extent that the state publishers
can invest in them as well as buying their
products. The best are worth contacting.

16. But how do you do business?
You can export directly through designated
Chinese importers, led by the China
National Publishing Import and Export
Corporation. Imported books are expensive,
so this works best with specialist books,
STM etc, or “must have” – it used to be the
latest Harry Potter in English. In 2010 the
UK imports led ahead of the USA, worth £33
million, up 50% on 2009 and ranking as our
16th largest export market.
Book distribution is still very much work
in progress. The old state system of Xinhua
bookstores is being modernised and there
are some amazing book cities (book superstores) in Beijing and Shanghai, as well as
excellent smaller private bookstores. On the
other hand there is local protectionism and
national distribution is still hard to achieve.
Eretailing is booming through Dangdang
and Chinese Amazon.
The obvious alternative is licensing and
this is suitable especially for media tie-ins,
children’s books, illustrated popular nonfiction, reference books and so on. In recent
years the UK has licensed 2,000 plus titles a
year to China, 20% of the total, second to
the USA with about 4,000. Deals can be done
through official copyright agencies, commercial agencies such as Andrew Nurnberg,
or directly with publishers. Terms are standard, but advances are small given the low
local prices. Payment may be slow thanks to
the bureaucracy, but comes eventually.
Whatever the route in, it is important to
remember that the Chinese authorities are
deeply concerned about the “cultural deficit”. In 2004 the ratio for copyright licence
imports to exports was about 15:1; now it’s
3.5:1, but the exports still go mostly to
regional partners in Taiwan, South Korea
and Hong Kong, and the sales into the West
remain very limited.
Creating a two-way street by licensing
Chinese material, perhaps in an adapted
form, for Western markets may open the
gates to much bigger sales into China, and all
sorts of favourable cost-sharing deals may be
struck as Chinese publishers seek to meet
their quota for “going abroad”.

17.Where’s the competition?
It’s everywhere. The big multinationals,
whether in consumer or educational/
academic/STM, all now have representative
offices in China; small Western companies
work through agents and meetings at international book fairs including Beijing. The
Publishers Association and the Independent
Publishers Association have presences there
you can buy into.

There is intense competition for the
market from regional publishers, notably
Japanese in STM, children’s books and
manga, South Koreans in fashion and
fiction, and Singaporeans in lifestyle/design.
And the local competition is getting better
and better. Baidu has beaten Google not
only through political pressures; Bertelsmann retired hurt from bookclubs/distribution; Amazon is not all powerful, but headto-head with local Dangdang; Chinese publishers have captured swathes of the self-help
market from the Americans; and so on.

18.What are the other threats
and risks?
The big one is the Chinese economy having a
hard landing in the next year or so. That
could have not only commercial implications, but lead to social unrest and political
backtracking. However, it has to be said that
in the scheme of things China seems a better
bet than the Middle East and at least on a par
with India.

19. But is it hard to do business
Chinese publishers are very friendly
and open. Like publishers everywhere they
are up for a good meal and a few toasts.
Guanxi, networking for mutual benefit, is
at the heart of long-term business relationships. Decision-making is usually quite
slow and collegiate; Chinese do not favour
one-to-one dealing.

20. Anything else?
Three serendipitous facts. This is a country
where the government is putting massive
investment into the development of community libraries, especially in rural areas –
sounds unfamiliar? Within the next decade
China will be the second largest tourist destination and the second largest source of international tourism in the world. Watch out at
LBF 2012. For the first time there will be
Chinese publishers seriously on the lookout
for UK publishing house acquisitions.
Professor Paul Richardson is a director of China
Publishing Ltd, a consultancy company that offers
support to Chinese publishers in the development
of their strategies for “going abroad”. He was
the first foreign researcher at the Chinese Institute
of Publishing Sciences and a member of the
international advisory board of China Book International, and has written many books and articles
on history and publishing; the Encyclopaedia of
the Peoples of China, of which he is joint general
editor, will be launched at the Fair. Email: Bembridge27@aol.com.

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16 APRIL 2012


Thirty years on Grub Street


ookBrunch Editor Nicholas Clee
kindly reminded us that this year
is our 30th anniversary, writes
Anne Dolamore. It’s just as well
since we had forgotten it was a
birthday year for us. It’s not that we’re like
Hollywood starlets, shy about our age, but
Grub Street’s birthday is something of
a moveable feast. As the Irish would say:
“It depends where you start from.” That
is because the company has undergone a
couple of reincarnations, but the original
Grub Street did indeed start in 1982 as a
book packager, pure and simple.
Set up by three exiles from Robert
Maxwell’s takeover of Phoebus Partworks
and founded on their redundancy payout of
£50 each, the fledgling company housed
itself in a few rooms above Shampers Wine
Bar in Kingly Street – and in the true spirit of
publishing in those days, anything much in
the way of profit found its way downstairs
into the coffers of the wine bar.
The founding fathers: John Davies, Roger
Hammond and Mike De Luca (who left the
company early on to help with a family business in Scotland) chose the name Grub Street

Anne Dolamore with John Davies

because, like their 18th-century namesake,
they realised they would be forced to take
money from anyone willing to engage their
services. Those early years produced such
gems as DIY Designer Furniture, Home
Maintenance Manual, What Plant Grows
Where?, Aircraft versus Aircraft, Duel for
the Sky and Sea Combat off the Falklands.
It was the heyday of book packagers;
publishers were hungry for highly illustrated
productions, which many of them had
neither the time nor expertise to execute. In
addition healthy co-edition runs, especially

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with generous orders from the US, made
those the boom years of packaging. Some
titles had a first printing of 40,000 copies.
But as well as packaging, the first original
publications started appearing under
the Grub Street imprint. Among these was a
little stocking filler called 101 Uses of a
Condom, which because it was made up of
cartoons and had no text went on to sell in
numerous foreign editions. Humour books
became something of a mainstay in those
early years, culminating in the Eat Your
Own Pet Cookbook, a hilarious tome,
which was selling a storm until the animal
rights activists took against it, saying it
encouraged people to kill and eat their pets –
we kid you not. We hadn’t realised what
a humourless bunch they were until
their threats to firebomb branches of
WHSmith stocking the book resulted
in Smiths delisting it, just as we had taken
delivery of a 10,000 copy reprint.
But with Roger Hammond’s innovative
design work Grub Street excelled as a packager of many television and celebrity tie-ins,
such as the Rik Mayall’s B’stard’s Book of
the Best, Phil Cool and Adrian Edmondson’s

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How to Be a Complete Bastard, and an early
Roux Brothers cookbook or two.
The first Grub Street cookery titles
emerged in 1986 with Gourmet Barbecue
commissioned, and subsequently edited,
long distance from Australian author
Charmaine Solomon via a handy new device
called a fax machine. Ours was a superexpensive model handling A3 sheets as well
as A4 – very cutting edge. That was followed
by The Basic Basics Combination and
Microwave Handbook, a bestselling title
that still graces the list some 26 years on.

Special sales opportunities
John Davies was convinced that there were
special sales opportunities to be exploited on
the Grub Street titles, especially 101 Uses of
a Condom, and was pointed by Chris Lloyd
(who was then doing sales for the Grub
Street originals) towards me. I had set up my
own business in 1982 offering
special sales and marketing services to the
publishing industry. We met in 1986. I had
never heard of Grub Street before that day,
but when I discovered that they did cookery
books I told him I wanted to write an olive


oil cookbook. I was invited to present my
proposal and synopsis, only to have it
rejected a short while later by John and
Roger on the grounds that they had, in the
meantime, received a proposal for a book on
oils and vinegars, which they felt was a more
commercial proposition. So I requested an
audience and went in person to re-pitch my
idea. Suffice to say it was The Essential Olive
Oil Companion that was presented by Grub
Street as a potential book package at that
year’s Frankfurt Book Fair, acquired to my
amazement by Kyle Cathie at Macmillan in
the UK and Salem House in the US.
By 1988 Roger Hammond had decided
that he wanted to move on, so John and
I (having by then moved our association
from the professional to the personal) took
over Grub Street. But the boom years were
over and, facing a threefold increase in the
rent for the offices (by then in Golden
Square), we pared down the company and
relocated to the basement of our house in
Battersea. We decided to publish to our areas
of interest and expertise, and concentrated
on cookery, military aviation history
and cartoon books, but producing the odd

package to order along the way to make ends
meet. Sadly the cartoon books had to be
axed in the early 1990s as they were making
a loss. The humour market by then was
entirely dominated by television tie-ins.

Organic growth
For the last 20 years we have grown
the business, slowly and organically,
assiduously avoiding the venture capital
route, which was so much the vogue in the
1980s and 90s, and which eventually took so
many small publishers down. We almost
went under ourselves in 2001 when our
UK distributor went into liquidation owing
us £150,000, while a year later our US
distributor pulled down the shutters owing
us a further £30,000. We never saw a penny
from either, but we battened down the
hatches and, with the support of our printer
Biddles, worked our way back from the
brink to the present backlist of 200 titles.
And here we are now, 30 years after
our first fax machine with 37 books
available as ebooks.
Anne Dolamore is Publisher at Grub Street.

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16 APRIL 2012


On the road
Rebecca Carter looks at publishing Chinese writers


Eady, legendary agent of Jung
Chang’s Wild Swans. Wild
Swans was a huge success story:
it was the era’s defining book
about China for the general
reader. “When are you going to
sell me a book Toby?” I joked.
“As it happens …” he said, and
produced from his jacket pocket
a single piece of paper on which
was written a short description
of a work-in-progress. The
author, he told me, was a
Chinese Jack Kerouac. He had
recently left Hong Kong because
of the Handover, and had been
given a residency at a German
university. Toby was so excited
about this author that he was
going to pay for the book to be
translated himself. He wouldn’t
submit it to publishers until he
had a partial translation.
The description of the book
haunted me. Ma Jian was only a

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ast month I left
Random House to
become a literary
agent with Janklow
& Nesbit. During
my 15 years as an editor at Random, I published a number of
translations from Chinese,
bookended, I now realise, by the
work of Ma Jian: his groundbreaking travelogue Red Dust
was one of my first acquisitions;
his devastating forthcoming
novel Dark Road one of my
last. In between, both he and I
travelled a long way.
I didn’t set out to become a
publisher of Chinese literature. I
have no formal training in Chinese, and until last year I hadn’t
even visited China. It all started
with Ma Jian. I was a hungry
young editor sniffing around for
books at the Frankfurt Book
Fair and I bumped into Toby

20 years of the best of mind body spirit



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Kerouac in the sense that
he belonged to a bohemian crowd of Ginsbergloving artists in Beijing
and, in fear of being
arrested, gave up his government job to go “on the
road” around China. Otherwise he was an extraordinary mixture of poet, painter,
photographer, dissident and
anthropologist. Red Dust promised an insider’s view of 1980s
China that would encompass
the whole complicated country,
from Beijing to Tibet. For someone as ignorant about China as
I, it seemed an exciting way to
get to know the place. I persuaded my boss to let me preempt. And so I embarked on a
journey to discover all the things
I didn’t know about China.
For a start I didn’t know anything about the Chinese language, its many dialects and the
problems of translation. I didn’t
know much about its literary
history, ancient or contemporary. And I knew very little
about the impact of China’s new
economic policy on its people’s
lives. Not auspicious qualifications, you might think, for
someone wanting to publish
contemporary Chinese literature. But, in my acquisitions, I’ve
always been guided by the idea
that if I’m curious about something, often other people are
too. And it turned out that, during the noughties, there was a
great thirst in the UK for books
about China. As I sat with Ma
Jian, and then with Xinran and
Xiaolu Guo, discussing the English translations of their books,
asking them to unpick sentences
I didn’t understand, I got
a remarkable education in the
Chinese State and soul, which I
hope has been passed on to readers of books like The Good
Women of China or 20 Fragments of a Ravenous Youth.
But it is one thing publishing
Chinese books where the author
has an agent, lives in London
and speaks at least some English: the inevitable misunderstandings can at least be dis-

It is quite
trying to
writers who live in China, don’t
speak English and don’t have an
agent. Years ago, Xiaolu Guo’s
translator Cindy Carter told
me I should be publishing Yan
Lianke, but I completely failed
to find a way to contact him. It
wasn’t until the pioneering
French publisher of Asian literature Philippe Picquier took
on Yan Lianke’s rights that
Yan’s work came into English.
Picquier has done the same for
Bi Feiyu, who is tomorrow’s
Author of the Day.
Though it would be nice to
think that more direct contact
between British publishers and
Chinese authors will bring torrents of Chinese books into the
English language, in my experience the complexities of copyright and translation necessitate
help from knowledgeable intermediaries – be they translators
or agents – who are not in search
of immediate profit. The good
news is that, as global communication gets ever easier, a whole
community of such people is
springing up, determined to
thwart censorship and communication barriers to show us the
richness of Chinese literature.
The very last book I acquired,
Taiwanese novelist Ming-Yi
Wu’s The Man With Compound
Eyes, was from Gray Tan, an
agent who is starting to be very
pro-active in selling Chinese
translations. New roads are
opening up.
Ma Jian will be in conversation with
Tash Aw, Li Er, Bi Feiyu and Geling
Yan about “The Current State of
Chinese Fiction”at Blackwell’s
Oxford on 18 April at 7 pm.

16 APRIL 2012


Finding your niche


wenty-five years is a
daunting amount of
time – too long to
pretend one is not
serious, not quite
long enough to warrant institutional respect; 25 years hard
work, successful enough to survive and arrive at a milestone
that unavoidably demands some
reflection, writes Jessica Kingsley.
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
turned 25 this year and,
inevitably, one is both looking
backwards and looking
forwards, wondering how we
somehow got from the kitchen
table to offices in London and
Philadelphia, and a turnover
of more than £4 million. And
trying to determine where in
these painfully interesting times,
we go from here.

Independent style
Some things don’t change. One
style of independent publisher
succeeds by finding a niche and
making it their own, and this is
JKP’s style. We have always
specialised in trying to create
social change and our niches,
initially, were very small – disability, forensic psychotherapy,
dementia, the arts therapies, for
example – but truly international. So right from the beginning, we had to think about the
nuances of practice in different
parts of the world, and we
absolutely had to find a way of
reaching the global market. Selling rights was barely an option;
to a large extent we were creating a literature for hitherto undefined groups – tough in the short
term, but lucky in the long run,
because we hold world rights on
most of what we publish.
In the 1990s we expanded
within one of our niches, disability, to publish solidly on just
about all aspects of the then very
poorly understood condition of
autism, and most specifically on
Asperger Syndrome. Our books
were incredibly well received.
Having published the first
authoritative – and incredibly
successful – book on the subject
(Asperger’s Syndrome: A Guide
for Parents and Professionals by
Tony Attwood), we were the

Jessica Kingsley

market leader in a market that
was taking off quickly. To keep
our place, we had to find the
right international partners,
who would really work at finding the readership. Several book
fairs and an insane number of air
miles later, we had what we
needed everywhere but in the
US, where we were signing up an
increasing number of authors. In
early 2004, with so much local
competition for authors, we
realised that we would have to
set up our own US office.
With considerable angst, we
hired staff and opened an
office in Philadelphia in 2005.
We then had our own American
staff answering the phone to
customers and prospective
authors. Within just a few years,
our sales in the US had more
than doubled, but so had the
competition, as publishers raced
to get into what was seen as a
lucrative autism market. Now
badly overpublished, the writing
has been on the wall for
some years, and JKP turned its
attention early to new niches.
One obvious place to look
was China, where the industrialised world has been looking
with increasing interest, but for
different reasons. Whereas most
publishers are interested in
selling to China, we have been
interested in buying. I felt that
the ancient traditions of China
offered new opportunities for a
western publisher.
We launched a new imprint,
Singing Dragon, with a Chinese
chop (“the dragon is singing”) as
the colophon, and started to buy
books on Chinese medicine,
Qigong and Oriental martial
arts. It has been immensely

challenging, but hugely enjoyable and interesting. Cultural
difference has presented some
interesting difficulties, not just in
terms of business practice; bone
scraping and bloodletting, for
example, are not high on the
list of popular alternative treatments here, and many herbs
used in Chinese medicine are not
licensed for use in the West. But
Singing Dragon also publishes
on traditional medicine
and health from a worldwide
perspective and, in true indie
style, has found its individual
voice – and its reputation is
growing as a serious imprint.
Each year JKP’s turnover has
grown, even though sometimes
not by much, and each year
we have made a profit. Each year
I wonder how we will repeat
that, and this year more than
ever. The enormous number
of, largely unedited, books
available online makes it hard

for readers to work out which
books are worth buying; the
quality of our brand is more
important than it has ever
been. Margins, too, are being
squeezed so thin in some places
as to be unsustainable.

Untold opportunity
On the other hand there are
untold opportunities for the taking too, if one is smart enough to
see them and adroit enough to
make them work. Creativity and
imagination are more important
than ever – as is a belief in the
importance of what we publish.
And, perhaps oddly, so are
conversations with colleagues
from around the world. Just
when many people have been
saying that book fairs are a
waste of time, I’m rather inclined
to think they are the opposite.
Jessica Kingsley is Chairman and
Managing Director of JKP.


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16 APRIL 2012


Guest of Honour

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publications@un.org or call +1 212 963 8065

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ever ask a question if you don’t
know what the
answer will be,
writes Kevin
Chapman. I remember reading
somewhere that this is a key bit
of advice trial lawyers learn. If
you don’t know what the answer
will be, you don’t know what
trouble it could lead to. So, when
I opened my mouth and the
question popped out, I immediately thought I had a problem:
“Claudia and Simone, given o
ur late start on this Guest of
Honour programme, where do
you think we are compared to
previous Guest countries, as far
as planning goes?”
Claudia Kaiser and Simone
Buhler from Frankfurt Book
Fair were visiting New Zealand
to discuss planning for the 2012
Guest of Honour Programme.
Given that New Zealand had
only signed the contract for
Guest of Honour in June 2011,
we had much less planning time
than normal, when countries
usually have at least three years
to plan. So when we sat down to
dinner with the Minister for
Culture and Heritage, Chris
Finlayson, and his ministry
Chief Executive, Lewis Holden,
the last thing on my mind was
opening us up to a possible
discussion of our weaknesses in
front of the Minister. But, mouth
ahead of brain, out it came.
The good news was that we
felt that we were in pretty good
shape, generally. Even given our
late start, we had put a structure
in place quickly. This included
an Advisory Group of “mostly”
eminent New Zealanders to
open doors and advise on the
whole project (I say “mostly”
because I was on it!); a Books
and Publishing Reference Group
of authors, publishers, festival
and copyright people, as well as
arts funding agency representation to look after our Books programme; and an equivalent Reference Group for the Arts and
Culture programme. All that
was in addition to a group of
officials from funding agencies
and government departments –
we weren’t short of structure.

This was important though
because we had to develop
guidelines and rules for the
project quickly. The staff hired
had to build budgets, contracts
and festival-style programmes
instantly, all from general aims
and targets developed. The areas
that we knew we had a struggle,
given the lack of lead time were

One, fundraising. The lead time
to approach industry with a
compelling offer to bring private
funds was difficult, to say the
least. At time of writing we are
still chasing, but government
and Crown funding agencies
had been magnificent. At a
time when demands for finance
were severe, especially around
the rebuilding of earthquakeravaged Christchurch, government and arts funders such as
Creative New Zealand rose to
the challenge.

Translation programme
Two, the translation programme. We had in place from
2010 a translation funding
programme, but the lead times
for making publishers aware of
the works on offer, then going
through the acquisition process,
were short. We had a translation
catalogue available within
weeks but even so, when acquisitions take years, having a good
offer was a challenge. Our
aim was 60 to 80 new titles in
Germany in 2012, with 100
by late 2013. What we didn’t
realise was how receptive the
German publishing community
was to the Guest of Honour
concept. They were waiting to
see what we had to offer, and by
early 2012 we had 40 new titles
on the go with more coming in
every week.


16 APRIL 2012


Visit us at Stand L315

Cultural space
Three, the availability of cultural
space for that programme.
Museums book their space years
ahead. So could we find enough
space to mount our cultural
exhibitions? Again, we were
heartened by the response. Not
everything we were interested in
was available, but what was
impressive was the number of
potential hosts that had tried to
hold space for the Frankfurt
Guest of Honour. The regard
with which the cultural institutions in Germany hold the Guest
of Honour programme was
amazing to us.
So we had a number of
platforms. New Zealand was
launching a number of feature
films at the Berlinale Film
Festival and the New Zealand
Film Commission was keen to
be involved. A number of the
best known New Zealand films
are from books (Once Were
Warriors, The Whale Rider etc)
so the links are obvious.
The Leipzig Book Fair in
March was a launching post for
previous Guest of Honour programmes, so we decided that
would be good for us. Taking
ten authors (headlined by Once
Were Warriors author Alan
Duff and Vintners Luck author
Elizabeth Knox) and six publishers, we organised author sessions and panels, a press conference, a New Zealand Embassy
function, and an evening with
the New Zealand String Quartet
and soprano Madeleine Pierard.
There are more New Zealand
authors going to Germany
throughout the year for
romance, comics and science fiction events, and a complete New
Zealand/Germany poetry programme around the transit of
Venus in June. And New Zealand contemporary dance and
art will feature on German
stages and in German galleries.
And then there is our attendance as the special guest at the
“Museumsuferfest” in Frankfurt
at the end of August. A cultural
event that takes over the banks of
the River Main, it draws millions
of visitors. New Zealand will
have traditional Maori performwww.bookbrunch.co.uk

Bowker provides bibliographic information
and management solutions to help publishers,
booksellers, and libraries better serve their

ers, cultural arts, contemporary
performers, and food and wine
to entertain the attendees.
Of course, the finale will be
the book fair in October, and the
lead up to it. There will be
authors touring Germany, special events linked to our film and
special effects expertise (think
Lord of the Rings, Avatar and
Tintin), chefs and wine experts,
all leading in to our national
showing at the Fair. Plans for our
pavilion in the Forum are
advanced. It will be different
and, if you are at Frankfurt
in October, you must stop by.
You will not be disappointed.
Regular literary and cultural
events – not just high-brow – will
inform and entertain.

While you were sleeping
The NZ programme is built
around two key ideas. The
brand is “While You Were
Sleeping” – the concept that
while Europe slumbers there is a
creative world happening in
New Zealand. The programme
also aims to deliver around a
Maori concept called “manaakitanga” (an expression of hospitality, generosity and mutual
respect). Manaakitanga promotes us as a country that comes
bearing gifts: our writers and
literature, our artists and
performers, our innovation and
technology, our food and wine,
and our offer to reciprocate and
host at our place, New Zealand.
So, back to “the question”.
As I asked it, I looked at the
Minister and wondered what I
had done. I needn’t have worried. “You are at least on course
with other countries,” was the
gist of the response. “Lagging in
some areas, which you know,
but impressively well-placed in
others.” New Zealanders pride
themselves on doing a lot with
very little – in this case, not much
money and very little time. It
was good to hear.
Now, how to learn not to ask
whatever pops into my head.

Search, discover and connect to the world of
bibliographic information.

Enhance your catalogue and discovery layers to
bring it to life.

Invite your library users to browse, search and
interact with your library’s holdings in a completely
new way.


an affiliated business of ProQuest

search discover connect
To submit your bibliographic data for inclusion in our
database contact jack.tipping@bowker.co.uk     





Kevin Chapman is Managing
Director of Hachette New Zealand
and President of the Publishers
Association of New Zealand.        




16 APRIL 2012


Lights, Camera, Publish!


arly one cold morning in December, I found myself on a barstool
at Rosie’s Greenpoint Tavern in
Brooklyn, a dive famous for serving 24-ounce Styrofoam cups of
cheap beer, writes Andrew Albanese. I had a
good reason to be there: I was on set with
Open Road Executive V-P of Production,
Luke Parker Bowles, as he and his crew shot
a video with acclaimed Irish crime-noir
author Ken Bruen.
Signed with Open Road in July 2011 (as
part of Open Road’s publishing partnership
with Otto Penzler’s MysteriousPress.com),
Bruen’s first Open Road ebooks, Her Last
Call to MacNeice and Rilke on Black, were
published in October 2011. Fans of gritty,
hardboiled fiction know there is no better
brand than Ken Bruen. Set in Galway,
Ireland, Bruen’s work explores rich, often
disturbing themes in a sharp, singular
vernacular. As the cameras roll (or, whatever
it is that digital cameras do) I find the author
as engaging as his work.
“My writing is fuelled by anger and rage,”
Bruen tells Parker Bowles, who sits just
off-camera. Parker Bowles stops the conversation, and begins to direct Bruen, looking
for a sentence that can act as a sound bite.
Bruen does a few takes: “I was arrested and
imprisoned in South America…” he says. A
few days later, I watch the final product –
and the line works powerfully.

Using video
As the digital age unfolds, traditional
publishers are still struggling with how to
use video. Parker Bowles, meanwhile, who
established the film and video operation
at Open Road following the company’s
launch in 2009, has overseen the production
of more than 784 hours of video, and
300 “mini-documentaries” – short films
featuring some of the world’s bestselling
authors, including Pat Conroy, Eileen
Goudge, Bradford Morrow and Michael
Chabon. Just don’t call them book trailers.
“Forget about book trailers,” Parker
Bowles says. “I would never presume to try
to tell a reader what they will experience
when they read a book.” Rather, he says,
Open Road videos showcase authors. “The
author is the brand,” he explains. “Authors
are the focus. It’s not about getting into the
minutia of the books. If an author is appealing, and you can share that author with
people, they are going to want the book.”
Open Road was not the first, of course,
and is far from the only publisher using video
these days – indeed, although one can find
the occasional gem, the web is littered with
slapdash “book trailers” or generic author
Q&As. Open Road, however, is in a league

Open Road’s Luke Parker Bowles and author
Ken Bruen on set in New York

of its own, the only publisher that has made
video a fundamental component of its
business, and made video production an
essential 21st- century publishing skill.

Continuous marketing
The approach has worked. The company
continues to expand its author list rapidly,
and the videos are proving effective at selling
ebooks – especially as Twitter, Facebook
and Google change the way content is discovered and shared, and smartphones and
tablets change the way it is is experienced.
“For example, instead of having one William Styron video to place on a retailer site,
or our own website,” says Open Road Chief
Marketing Officer Rachel Chou, “we create
a number of pieces on a variety of themes
that we can use over the course of years”.
That means Open Road ebooks are continuously marketed, rather than launched and
left to sink in the backlist; when an event
occurs, a video can be pushed out to spur
sales as quickly as Twitter, or a blog or a
news report might generate demand.
Open Road authors seem delighted with
the results. “We have more and more
authors genuinely saying, ‘Oh my God, I
now actually get how video can be used,’”
Parker Bowles says. The Prince of Tides
author Pat Conroy said that his Open Road
experience has been “one of the greatest
surprises” of his writing career: “I thought
I’d answered every question about my books
and life over a 40-year career. And the crew
made the process a joy. I still don’t know
how to type, or use a computer, but they
changed the way I look at ebooks.”
Bradford Morrow, author of The Uninnocent and an avid birder, found his Open
Road experience truly – literally – inspiring.
“When we were filming up at my house, one
of the questions that came out of left field was
‘what would the world be like without the
birds in it?’ I thought that was just the most
terrifying question. And then I thought, you
know, that’s a phenomenal idea for a story.”
A few months later, Morrow penned Fall of

the Birds, which is now a Kindle single.
“What I’m most impressed by is how much is
accomplished in a matter of two or three minutes,” Morrow said. “How much ground is
covered; how a visual narrative is created
that enhances what’s being said. That to me is
one of the very special things about the Open
Road videos. I find it very fascinating.”
Certainly video has become more accessible to publishers in the age of good, compact,
affordable digital cameras, powerful
production software and platforms like
YouTube. Making good videos, however,
and making them work to sell books, is hard
work. “We do a hell of a lot of research
here,” Parker Bowles says, noting that you
can’t simply rush an author into a makeshift
studio, fire up a flipcam and start popping
out video on your website. “What a travesty
for the authors,” he says, “and not an
effective way of doing things”.
Indeed, at the shoot with Bruen in December, I was especially taken with the efficiency
and professionalism of the Open Road team
– this was no “publishing experiment” in
multimedia. In addition to Parker Bowles,
there was producer Greg Gordon, who has
worked on more than 50 Open Road video
pieces; Matthew Troy, a cinematographer;
and production assistant, James Herron –
all three have degrees from New York
University’s prestigious film school. Annie
Jefferson, the production co-ordinator,
formerly worked in the film and agency
business. And Galen Glaze, Open Road’s
Chief Researcher, creates the “bibles” page
and pages of background from which the
Open Road shoots take shape.
In all, Parker Bowles oversees about 12
different producers, each with a different
approach. “I’ve got an amazing group who
know how to work in all different areas and
who are particularly keen to do this stuff
because they get to work with authors that
they never thought they’d even be in the
same room as,” he says. “And I like to mix
them up. One who’s really into horror I got
to do our craft knitting pieces, because I
think the best pieces come when I’ve taken
one of our producers out of their comfort
zone. They come up with incredible stuff.”
When it comes to video, the question hanging over the industry usually revolves around
enhanced ebooks – the use of video in books.
That question may be up for debate. But
when it comes to marketing, and discovery,
it’s clear that video will be an increasingly
powerful tool. “It’s a game changer,” Parker
Bowles says. “To be honest with you, I do feel
that we are far ahead because we are keeping
an eye out for what’s new. Every week we are
learning something, and I’m actively trying to
make sure that we stay far ahead.”

16 APRIL 2012


The companies digitising London
Gabe Habash talks to some of the many digital publishers attending LBF
Easypress Technologies, at
stand X900, is looking to
London to show off their new
fixed layout ebook format for
its EasyEPUB ebook creation
platform. According to Easypress, the new feature will save
publishers using Easypress’s
services money and will allow
them to convert Adobe InDesign
files instantly. Easypress says the
fixed layout feature is in
response to publishers who have
content that is unsuitable for
reflowable ebooks; this includes
book layouts such as children’s
books, art books and educational books that use highly
illustrated and image-rich
content. James Macfarlane,
Chief Executive Officer at Easypress, says that by eliminated the
need to outsource the process,
the company’s fixed layout

option will allow publishers
to deliver a high quality fixed
layout EPUB format at a fraction
of the cost and time.

publishing engine; and helping
publishers port their content
to various online retailers
through Qbend’s multi-channel
publishing engine.

Also attending London is
Qbend, the company that
creates ebook files and branded
web stores. It has set a goal to
sign 50 publishers at the show
for their platform. To that end,
Qbend will hold presentations in
the Digital Zone at 10:30 am on
16 and 17 April and at 10:00 am
on 18 April. At the show, says
Chief Operating Officer
Kaushik Sampath, Qbend will
take a three-pronged approach
in their pitch: getting publishers
on to the ebook business by
creating customised e-commerce
portals; enabling publishers to
cater for custom book production using SNAP, Qbend’s

Read and Note
Another publisher presenting
at the Digital Zone on 16 April
is Read and Note, a company
that will be showcasing its
cloud-based reading platform at
noon that day. The platform,
which has only been on the
market for a year now, and has
new versions specifically built
for iPad and Android tablets,
allows for reading, annotating
and sharing.

Klopotek will use London to
highlight its 10.2 version patch,
released in February. The
company’s update includes
ONIX 3.0 with component
metadata, digital asset management, quick search and workflow dashboard. These changes
are covered by the maintenance
fee for customers under maintenance class “C” and for a small
fee for all other customers.

SPi Global

is pleased to welcome

For inquiries please contact Simon Byrne:
Tel: 01928 531 760 or


SPi Global, which will be
sending a number of senior executives and technology team
members to London, has three
speaking sessions lined up for
the show: “How to Leverage
IDML for Your eBooks” (17
April, noon); and “Flash to
HTML5: A Roadmap for Successful Migrations” (18 April,
2.00 pm) and “Alleviating
Publishing Pain Points at Their
Source” (16 April, 2:00 pm).
That last session is based on a
white paper released in January
by SPi, which collected data
from more than 150 publishers
on their biggest challenges,
current outsourcing practices
and budgets, as well as future
outsourcing needs. Between
sessions, the company will look
to raise awareness of their
knowledge process outsourcing
and customer relationship
management services.

Fixed layout work for various
devices, including the Kindle
Fire, iPad, Nook and Kobo, will
be showcased by codeMantra at
stand X905, which will also
debut key features for its upcoming collectionPoint module,
cPTitle Management. The latter
is an extension of codeMantra’s
DAM/distribution platform
to accommodate all facets
of title management – from
“manuscript to market”.
Walter WJ Walker, Executive
Director of Publishing Services
for codeMantra, spoke about
the importance of the London
Book Fair: “Prior London Book
Fairs have set the stage for
the remainder of the year. On
the supply side, the trend is
towards tablets and enhanced
mobile delivery capabilities; and
away from E Ink devices. We are
keen to see how the publishing
industry reacts.”

OverDrive, stand X700,
will give away, to librarians and
publishing partners, a copy of
the first of a series of “Big Data”
reports analysing billions
of ebook impressions and
other data collected from across
its network of 18,000 public
and school libraries. OverDrive library data reports will
include metrics for titles,
authors, series and promotional
campaigns targeting use of the
materials in the OverDrivehosted catalogues.

International Digital
Publishing Forum
And though most companies
will have a presence at the
London Fair because of the
show’s immediate benefits,
some are also using it as a springboard for the next big show:
June’s BookExpo America. One
such publisher is International
Digital Publishing Forum,
which, in addition to highlighting the new EPUB 3 standard on
stand T755, will be promoting
IDPF Digital Book 2012 at BEA,
held 4 and 5 June.


Abu Dhabi International Book Fair - the ideal venue for
networking with Arab and international publishers

Digital content
Apps and edutainment
Focus on Rights
Arab Rights Showcase
Illustrators’ Corner

Come visit us at our stand V215 at the London Book Fair
Register now and enjoy an early bird discount!


SPi Global has
empowered publishers
and content providers
for over 30 years...
We have now come to the London Book Fair
to showcase how technology and innovation
can invigorate your company.

Come join our leading experts at
one of these sessions in the digital Zone
Monday, 16 April
2:00 – 2:20pm/Theater 1

Tuesday, 17 April
12:00 – 12:20pm/Theater 1

Wednesday, 18 April
2:00 – 2:20pm/Theater 1

alleviating publishing
pain points at their source

how to leverage
idml for Your eBooks

flash to html5:

Gregg Sullivan
SVP, Content Solutions
SPi Global

Michael O’Brien
SVP, Content Solutions
an SPi Global company
Ravi Gopal
VP, Digital Technology
an SPi Global company

a roadmap to
successful migrations
John Wheeler
VP, Strategy and Emerging
Technologies, SPi Global

You can also stop by booth Y830 to discuss how SPi Global can help you maximise your content in
the digital space. Email us at content@spi-global.com for more information.

Inno ationLab
SPi Global

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3/22/2012 9:08:15 AM

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