2020 World Book Capital’s censorship double standards: It’s one rule for Malay titles and another if the book is in English

There were many raised eyebrows this past week when UNESCO declared Kuala Lumpur would be the World Book Capital in 2020. Because while there’s no question Malaysia is making great strides to advance literacy and literary endeavours, that is happening in the dark shadow of official censorship. The Malaysian government has promised to repeal the Read More …

In Morocco, selling pirated books “is the only way to make a living,” with the help of the Mafia

Like in many Arab countries, literacy rates in Morocco are not among the highest in the world, but for Moroccans who do read the challenge is finding books they want at prices they can afford. When bookstores are few and far between and offer a limited choice of books at expensive prices it’s not surprising Read More …

Israeli publisher illegally releases book of Arab women’s texts, complete with pirated cover. Calls it an act of salvation

You couldn’t make it up. A publisher in Israel finds a collection of texts written in Arabic by women, steals a cover image from a Lebanese artist, and publishes them as a book, justifying the piracy by saying the book is giving exposure to writers “whose voices have been silenced for years,” and is an Read More …

A mermaid wearing a bra among the books banned in Kuwait, but protests are gathering momentum

Censorship is a difficult topic that arouses strong emotions, but of course all freedom of speech is relative. From national security to Holocaust denial to incitement to hatred to advocating underage sex, almost every country censors at some level. But some countries take such censorship to extremes. Kuwait is an example. Kuwait has enjoyed a Read More …

Storytel’s Jonas Tellander responds to the Swedish audiobook royalties storm

Svensk Bokhandel, the Swedish publishing industry journal that broke the story about Storytel’s two tier royalties – one level for Bonnier, another for everyone else – carries a response from Storytel CEO Jonas Tellander today. I want to be transparent and answer any questions I can answer. The last thing I want to be is Read More …

Storytel’s royalty model “rigged and manipulated.” Storm brews over Storytel’s privileged agreement with Bonnier

With Storytel under increasing pressure from rival operators in the Swedish audiobook arena two things were inevitable. First, Storytel’s market share would fall. And consequent on that Storytel would need to review its royalty arrangements for its content suppliers – in this case established publishers, as Storytel does not deal direct with authors as per Read More …

Britain uses “Kafkaesque” rules to refuse visas to authors invited to the Edinburgh International Book Festival

There’s a clue in the word “international. The Edinburgh International Book Festival may not be the biggest book event in the world, but it is one of the most respected. Or rather, it used to be. But in the insular world of Brexit chaos and intolerance that is today’s Britain it seems the Edinburgh Festival Read More …

Data Guy rewrites the historical Author Earnings US ebook statistics. 2016 US unit ebook sales of 487 million now 525 million. What are we to believe?

I had occasion to revisit Data Guy’s January 2018 Author Earnings Report this week. And I found Data Guy has quietly slipped in new numbers for 2015 and 2016 US ebook market. Said Data Guy on May 31 this year, slipped into the comments thread, four months after the main report went live, US ebook sales totaled Read More …

New York eclipsed as the centre of global publishing gravity shifts inexorably east. The Hot Sheet reviewed

The Hot Sheet is a publishing industry news-sheet for authors, produced every two weeks by Porter Anderson and Jane Friedman, and reviewed here every other Sunday as one of the best bi-weekly industry overviews available to authors. We’re not interested in delivering breaking news, but perspective on stories that are likely to retain meaning for your long-term decision Read More …

GDPR. The Facebook scandal. Amid mounting privacy concerns, Data Guy continues to sell author’s private sales data to Big Pub. But is it even accurate?

It’s now several months since the January 2018 Author Earnings Report arrived. You can still find some of it on the Author Earnings site. But only some of it. Because within hours of the report going live Data Guy was redacting information, and soon after removing entire sections of the report as anger rose in Read More …

Cockygate, a KU exodus, and indie author advocacy… The Hot Sheet reviewed

The Hot Sheet is a publishing industry news-sheet for authors, produced every two weeks by Porter Anderson and Jane Friedman, and reviewed here every other Sunday as one of the best bi-weekly industry overviews available to authors. We’re not interested in delivering breaking news, but perspective on stories that are likely to retain meaning for your long-term decision Read More …

Amazon expands UK imprint ambitions as A-Pub holds half the US top ten today. A-Pub has more titles than Bloomsbury, Kensington or HMH if BookStat numbers are correct

At noon today (GMT) five of the top ten slots in the Kindle charts were taken by Lake Union (2), Montlake Romance (2) and Thomas & Mercer (1) – all publishing imprints of Amazon. With the launch of Topple in February, the number of Amazon imprints reached eighteen. Amazon is already fielding more titles than Kensington, Read More …

Publishing News Round-Up 3 May 2018

It would be impossible to try cover even a fraction of the publishing news that lands on my e-desk each day, but there’s so much happening in our industry that passes unnoticed. So here’s a selection of some of the past two days’ best publishing stories, taken from the TNPS twitter feed (@thenewpubstd). Apologies if Read More …

The Hot Sheet Reviewed – first February 2018 edition

The Hot Sheet is a publishing industry news-sheet for authors, produced every two weeks by Porter Anderson and Jane Friedman, and reviewed here every other Sunday as one of the best bi-weekly industry overviews available to authors. We’re not interested in delivering breaking news, but perspective on stories that are likely to retain meaning for your long-term decision Read More …

The Hot Sheet Reviewed – first January 2018 edition

The Hot Sheet is a publishing industry news-sheet for authors, produced every two weeks by Porter Anderson and Jane Friedman, and reviewed here every other Sunday as one of the best bi-weekly industry overviews available to authors. We’re not interested in delivering breaking news, but perspective on stories that are likely to retain meaning for your long-term decision Read More …

Amazon KDP’s new 50% royalty option. Or was it an error?

Speculation abounds that Amazon KDP is to introduce a third royalty tier of 50%, alongside its current 35% and 70% choices, after the 50% option appeared in the KDP dashboard of some authors. An author on the KDP Support forum first raised the subject a few days ago when the 50% option appeared, and other Read More …

The 2018 Prix Voltaire “freedom to publish” shortlist coincides with Trump’s assault on publishing freedom in the USA

Freedom to write and publish is an issue close to my heart, living as I do in The Gambia, West Africa, which one year ago this month emerged from a 22-year dictatorship. During that time freedom of expression was at the whim of the president and many a journalist and author paid the ultimate sacrifice Read More …

Beware the future. It’s closer than you think. AI and Publishing

Anyone who thinks AI won’t be able to write literature that’s as good as anything a human can produce within a couple of decades is deluding themselves. That was ALLi’s Dan Holloway over Christmas on the ALLi site, but I’ve deliberately kept the quote until today because it is one best suited to open the Read More …

British publishing needs more working class stories, more diversity and more colouring books. Apparently.

Philip Jones, editor of The Bookseller, blogs this week on the British Christmas trade. I stress British, because despite the many similarities between the US and UK book trades there are also significant differences. While romance dominates the US bestseller lists, mystery and thriller is the top genre in the UK. While Barnes & Noble Read More …

Never mind the US elections. Anobii hacked by the Russians

This might be a job for Robert Mueller. Or maybe not. Anobii (aka aNobii) has had an eventful history, from innovative start-up in 2006, just pre-dating Goodreads, to victim of Russian hackers in 2017. But who knew it even still existed? While Goodreads became popular enough to be bought by Amazon, aNobii (which I’ll hereon Read More …