September 10, 2018

Traditional Publishers Are Selling Way More Non-Fiction Than Fiction

In the publishing industry, adult non-fiction revenues are soaring above fiction revenues and have been widening the gap for the past five years. Adult non-fiction revenue totalled $6.18 billion across the publishing industry in 2017, while adult fiction revenues reached $4.3 billion, according to Penguin Random House, using data from Association of American Publishers (AAP), the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, and Bookscan.

Is Social Media Influencing Book Cover Design?
The Guardian

For a time, it seemed that eBooks and kindles would displace their physical counterparts, but this didn’t quite come to pass. Like the recent revival of zines, the encroach of digital has resulted in a renewed appreciation for the physical – and beautiful. Part of this has been in direct response to eBooks; a tactic to boost the sales of physical books is to remake them as desirable objects, and a way to make objects desirable is, of course, to make them aesthetically appealing. But social media – specifically Instagram, which promotes the coveting of beautiful covers on hashtags such as #bookstagram – is putting a new emphasis on cover aesthetics. We no longer need to go home with someone in order to see their bookcase.

“With social media, people display their books in more places than their personal libraries at home. They’ve almost become an accessory in some cases,” says Rachel Willey, a designer behind covers including Patricia Lockwood’s Priestdaddy (the title takes the form of a nameplate necklace against a freckled chest) and Melissa Broder’s merman-romance The Pisces (a woman passionately embracing a fish).

New Tax Deduction for Authors

Authors, Take Advantage of the New Tax Deduction

The Authors Guild

As we continue to monitor the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, we wanted to bring you up to speed on an important, new tax break for authors. As you may recall, the new tax code, effective this calendar year, provides that owners of certain pass-through entities may take a 20% deduction on their qualified business income—whether earned through a pass-through entity such as an S corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, or as an unincorporated self-employed individual. The question has been: can authors take advantage of this deduction, and if so, to what extent?

August 6, 2018

Amazon’s New ‘Buy For Others’ Kindle Feature Lets Authors Buy Giftable Ebooks

Amazon just gave authors the ability to buy bulk quantities of their ebooks as a way to provide free copies to readers. Amazon hopes this will help authors better market their books through giveaways and advance reviews. However, many are not convinced. There are plenty of other, much cheaper ways for an author to get someone a copy of their ebook, and some believe this feature will only give people the ability to manipulate bestseller lists.

How to Write a Book Without Losing Your Mind

The Atlantic
“How to write that book” advice is everywhere, but how to do so without completely losing it is another step entirely. Here, The Atlantic offers honest advice on dealing with procrastination and commentary on the mental burden it can bring. One of their tips might help with your next undertaking.

High Court Could Give Copyright Lawyers’ Advice Extra Strength

A case headed for the Supreme Court could change the future of copyright lawsuits. The case will decide whether someone can sue for copyright infringement the moment they submit the application for a copyright or if they have to wait until that application is accepted. Not requiring the lengthy wait would allow creators greater ability to protect their work.

July 20, 2018

Only 1% of Children’s Books Have BAME Main Characters—UK Study

The Guardian
A recent UK study conducted by Arts Council England found that only 1% of children’s books have a main character who is black or minority ethnic. Additionally, those that do are disproportionately focused on political issues. The director of the study called the findings “stark and shocking.”

Writing a Book or Article? Now’s the Time to Create Your ‘Author Platform’

The Chronicle of Higher Education
Even if you’re more interested in reach than sales, success requires effective marketing—and that requires the intense involvement of the author. Not having a well-developed author platform means missing out on one of the best ways to ensure the success of your work. Just relying on your publisher to get your name out is never enough.

Book Sales Boom but Authors Report Shrinking Incomes

The Guardian
Despite UK publishers’ record-breaking £5.7 billion in sales for 2017, authors’ earnings are down, and publishers are not necessarily seeing higher profits. Overpaying celebrity authors and underpaying those who write for a living is one part of the problem. Others accuse Amazon “of using its power to keep book prices artificially low, which had undermined authors’ incomes.”

July 9, 2018

Book Clubs Are Really Having a Moment Right Now


It’s not just Oprah Winfrey or even your friends trying to coordinate a suitable date on a never-ending reply-all Gmail thread anymore. Book clubs are more popular than ever, with bookworms meeting up through more and more social media-based communities moderated by publishers, celebrities, popular newsletters, and even “influencers.”

While book clubs themselves are nothing new and a rather old school version of socializing, there has been a proliferation as of late for book clubs as a method for connecting with readers (a.k.a. consumers) while boost branding, whether it be for a company or personality. With some book clubs being advertised on city subways and even national TV shows, lucrative opportunities are ripe for marketers, publishers, and authors.

What’s CEO Thinks of the Industry’s Double-Digit Growth


Ian Small, CEO of, speaks on the current success and future promise of audiobooks: “With the more recent adoption of smartwatches, smart home speakers and other connected devices, audiobooks are able to integrate with people’s lifestyles more than ever before, and I don’t see that slowing down anytime soon.”

July 2, 2018

Science Fiction And Fantasy Book Sales Have Doubled Since 2010


Combined print and digital book sales in the genres of science fiction and fantasy have doubled since 2010, according to data from the publishing industry analysis blog Author Earnings. This reality is going unreported, Author Earnings notes, largely because of a lack of transparency surrounding the amount of sales from nontraditional publishers.

The news, from a presentation given in May 2018 at the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s 52nd Annual Nebula Conference, relies on new data covering 2017 book sales from a raft of different sources: NPD Pubtrack, NPD Bookscan, and Amazon ebook sales.

Newsprint tariffs threaten ‘hundreds of thousands of jobs’ in journalism and publishing

Northwest Indiana Times

An industry group is asking for signatures to a petition against newsprint tariffs it says could threaten hundreds of thousands of jobs in journalism and publishing nationwide.

Stop Tariffs on Printers & Publishers, or STOPP, is gearing up for a hearing before the International Trade Commission on tariffs of up to 32 percent on newsprint imported from Canada.

“Our members want to make sure decision makers understand the impact this case will have on over 600,000 jobs in the publishing and printing industries,” said Paul Boyle, senior vice president of public policy at the Arlington, Virginia-based News Media Alliance. “These tariffs have already had a disruptive impact on the news industry with increased costs, job loss and supply issues. We are doing everything we can to make sure that local newspapers do not become extinct.”

This Week’s Bestsellers: July 2, 2018

Publishers Weekly

June 18, 2018

Amazon comes under fire for removal of book reviews.

The Bookseller

Author Isabella May told The Bookseller that she had had a “hellish week” of losing reviews for her two novels, published by a small independent Crooked Cat Books. “I have lost a whopping 11 reviews for my two novels in the space of just a week,” the novelist said. “Everything I am doing now as an author is about raising my profile and following my long-term vision, so as you can imagine, it’s quite upsetting to see one book plummet from a very respectable 55 reviews down to 49, and the other (more recently published title) fall from 36 reviews to 31. For a high profile author who may no longer feel the need to check their reviews, this is but a drop in the ocean. But for a new voice, it’s everything, and very distressing – particularly as my publisher retail solely online and solely via Amazon.”

Fiction writers turn their attention to Donald Trump.

Tampa Bay Times

He might not have intended it, but Donald Trump has been good for book publishing.

It has been well documented that reaction to his presidency boosted the sales of such classic novels as The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and 1984 by George Orwell.

Nonfiction books about Trump — many of them critical — have dominated bestseller lists for most of this year. Michael Wolff’s scorching Fire and Fury has sold 2 million copies and been optioned for television, and Wolff recently announced he’s working on a sequel (though his White House access is pretty well shot).

Book Deals: Week of June 18, 2018.

Publishers Weekly

E-Book Self-Publishing—It’s a Minefield Out There

Self-publishing an e-book is relatively quick and easy nowadays, which is why so many authors are taking that route. If you’re one of them, you might want to read this article:

Indie Authors are being Preyed Upon

This excerpt from the article will give you a good idea of what it’s about:

When it comes to publishing a digital book yourself, there are a myriad of daunting barriers. How exactly do you formulate a proper table of contents? How do you convert your book from Word to EPUB or to a Kindle friendly format? What is the industry standard for line spacing, font types or margins? What is the average cover art size for Apple iBooks, or Barnes and Noble? Aside from just writing your book, you could spend months formatting it correctly to self-publish, if you never had to do it before. Not willing to learn, or to cut corners is prompting predatory behavior from publishing companies, vanity presses and unscrupulous review companies.