What Makes a Bestseller? | Jonny Geller | TEDxOxford – YouTube

Friday, January 26th, 2018

Found this great video by Jonny Geller on what makes a bestseller. Take the time to watch, it is brilliant.


Wednesday, January 24th, 2018

The Society Of Authors is a great source of information and their page on copyright is where authors should start:





They say, “The SoA works at UK, EU and international levels to protect and promote a strong copyright regime.


Copyright is founded on the principle that authors own the right to their intellectual creations and should have the right to authorise others to use their work or not, as they choose.

Authors make a living from exploiting their intellectual creations through the medium of copyright licensing.

Authors also have the moral right to be identified as the author whenever their work is used and to object to derogatory treatment of their work.

Copyright law and licensing is essential to individual authors and the publishing and creative industries as a whole to incentivise innovation, encourage investment and allow authors to protect and exploit their work. The last few years have seen detailed and rigorous review and debate of copyright legislation both domestically and in Europe. The result for the UK is a legislative framework that is balanced in respecting the rights of users and creators and well able to deal with the complexities of the 21st Century.”


Read more on : http://www.societyofauthors.org/Where-We-Stand/Copyright


Review of 2017: the big four publishers | The Bookseller

Monday, January 22nd, 2018

The Bookseller has conducted analysis of the sales of Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Hachette and Pan Macmillan through Nielsen BookScan.

The Bookseller reports:

Penguin Random House

Last year was not rich in runaway bestsellers, but Penguin Random House certainly mined the most productive vein. Of 2017’s top 20 books by value, PRH published 14 of them; exactly half of the 44 titles to earn over £1m through the TCM were from the supergroup.

Random House was its only BookScan division with a value jump (+3.2%, to £120.3m), but many imprints did their bit to help. Ebury ruled the top of the table with national treasures Mary Berry and David Attenborough, who fronted “Blue Planet II”, the tie-in of which was penned by James Honeyborne and Mark Brownlow. Yuval Noah Harari was the star for Vintage, shifting £3.6m, while six editions of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale earned £1.8m. Cornerstone oversaw excellent second outings by David Jason and Tim Peake.

Penguin was flat (technically down -0.04% to £159.3m), with a resurgent Jamie Oliver making up for the loss of revenue in the Ladybird for Grown-Ups range (although Jason Hazeley and Joel Morris still sold 900,000 units, for £4.4m). Transworld dropped narrowly on 2016’s Paula Hawkins-led year (-1.1% to £43.7m), though it had five titles top £1m, and seven of the top 50 by volume.

PRH Children’s doesn’t Penguin Random House have a single BookScan division; there is only the legacy Random House Children’s. But we have run the overall kids’ sales for the entirety of PRH to demonstrate its size (down 0.5% to £57.2m). Yes, there are the huge bestsellers—Philip Pullman, Jeff Kinney—but the strength of by far the UK’s biggest children’s player is the depth of its backlist and enviable series publishing. Last year, 333 of its titles exceeded £10,000 through the TCM: no other kids’ publisher had more than 200 do so.


It may seem like we have mentio- nitis, but we need to speak again of David Walliams and Tony Ross, and their impact on HarperCollins’ TCM performance. The Bad Dad duo were responsible for the overall group’s top three earners, and six of its top 10. In volume terms, they account for HarperCollins Children’s Books’ top 13 titles. Their £16.5m in BookScan revenue means Walliams and Ross trousered 44% of HCCB’s £37.4m total, and 14% of the overall group’s £119.9m. By comparison, in 2016 J K Rowling/Robert Galbraith was responsible for 9.6% of Hachette’s BookScan sales.

Cookery was the driver of literary list Fourth Estate, led by the reliable Nigel Slater (£1.6m) and budding star Anna Jones (£613,000). Meanwhile, for the third consecutive year, Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See earned more than £500,000 through the TCM. Boutique imprint The Borough Press had strong paperback sales from Joanna Cannon (£897,000) and Susie Steiner (£278,000), though the duo were signed by the departed Katie Espiner, now Orion boss.

HarperVoyager had 17 titles shift more than £50,000 last year, 13 of them written by George R R Martin. HarperFiction had the début of the year in Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (£595,000) while Andrew Taylor’s sales boomed 450% year on year (to £716,000), driven by the paperback of Ashes to Ashes, the first in his Restoration-era crime series.


In 2016 , Hachette had the runaway bestseller of the year—and four of the top 20—in value terms. Things were very different last year, with its best earner, I See You by Clare Mackintosh right, in 31st place overall. A large part of the differential, of course, is down to Little, Brown’s drop of £18.1m (or, -32.2% to £37.99m) following the Cursed Child bonanza in 2016. L,B went from notching its best TCM result in five years to recording its worst ever return.

Hodder’s modest gains (+0.9% to £43.5m), therefore, return it to the top of the internal Hachette league table, led by John Grisham, Jodi Picoult and a standout year for Stephen King, thanks to tie-ins (It sold £998,000 in all print editions) and Sleeping Beauties, written with his son Owen. Headline’s double-digit climb (+14.9% to £16.9m) was supported by old hands (Martina Cole, Victoria Hislop, Maggie O’Farrell) but the star was Sinclair McKay’s Bletchley Park Brainteasers, 2017’s answer to The GCHQ Puzzle Book (Michael Joseph).

Quercus sank 13.7%, almost exclusively down to the decline in the nostalgia trend, but it’s worth noting that its £13.6m is its second-best TCM haul since 2011. Orion, alas, slid again (-6.8% to £32.6m). Since 2008’s record £64.3m, it has lost 49% of its BookScan value: 2017 was its seventh consecutive year of record-low TCM takings. Hachette Children’s (+11.8% to £20.2m) profited from Pokémon tie-ins, a 7% surge in Enid Blyton sales (to £2.2m) and the Kes and Claire Gray and Jim Field’s Oi! series.

Pan Macmillan

Like Little, Brown, Pan Macmillan suffers from an author not matching a standout 2016 performance. But Pan Mac’s Joe Wicks-influenced 10.5% drop needs context. The £69.4m it posted in TCM sales in 2017 is its second-best BookScan return, a whopping 44% up on where the publisher was five years ago.

Wicks’ sales tumbled 56%, but he still had four books shift more than £1m through the tills for Bluebird; the imprint also scored with Russell Brand’s Recovery and Kayla Itsines’ The Bikini Body (£429,000).

David Baldacci sold £2.1m in 2017 to hit a year-end author top 50 for the first time, which must be gratifying for Macmillan. Six of the American’s books sold more than £100,000 through the tills. Another big success for the fiction side was Kate Eberlen’s début Miss You, chosen for the Richard & Judy Summer Book Club. Jessie Burton flew the flag for Picador, taking in £940,000 with The Muse and getting an end-of-the-year flurry for The Miniaturist on the back of its BBC adaptation. Adam Kay’s medical memoir This is Going to Hurt popped up on numerous books of the year lists, helping it on its way to pocketing a tidy £812,000 in all editions.

Julia Donaldson and her array of illustrators are of similar worth to Macmillan Children’s Books as David Walliams/Tony Ross are to HarperCollins. The £9.4m she sold for MCB represents 47% of the kids’ division’s TCM sales, and 13.5% of all of Pan Mac’s.

dom House was its only BookScan division with a value jump (+3.2%, to £120.3m),

Source: Review of 2017: the big four publishers | The Bookseller

Zadie Smith: ‘I have a very messy and chaotic mind’ | Books | The Guardian

Sunday, January 21st, 2018

Source: Zadie Smith: ‘I have a very messy and chaotic mind’ | Books | The Guardian

Oxford Literary Festival 2018 | Oxford Literary Festival

Monday, January 15th, 2018

Looks like

The FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival is going to be better than ever this year. I now tend to spend most of my time in the Blackwell’s Marquee, where you get some great, free events.

The FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival

Source: Oxford Literary Festival 2018 | Oxford Literary Festival