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Old 09-05-2014, 04:23 PM   #1
fjtorres
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UK Publishing industry status report

Nice pics:

http://authorselectric.blogspot.co.u...een-jones.html

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The Big 6 are not so big any more. According to the latest figures for 2013, Penguin Random House came top of the table with a 24% share of the market, but its sales were down £342m (15%). All the others - Hachette, HarperCollins, Pan MacMillan, Bloomsbury, and Simon & Schuster were also down. Their total share of the market was only 59% - down from 70% in 2001. Is this a sign that their dominance of the book trade is fading? I think it is. But they won't go down without a fight, so - more turbulent times ahead.

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The trend for conglomeration in the face of severe competition continues and this inevitably means mergers and job losses. The Penguin Random House merger has seen major bloodshed among the staff (out of the public eye) with the loss of many talented individuals, some of whom have now gone freelance because there's simply nowhere else to go. Several small independent publishers have been hoovered up - sadly the innovative Quercus press was acquired by Hodder (part of Hachette) after making big losses.

Constable, which was taken over by Nick Robinson is 2000, has now been taken over by Little, Brown (also part of Hachette) following Nick's recent death. This means less choice for traditionally published authors and will precipitate more movement towards the self-publishing sector.
More at the source.

Looks like its not just in the US where Tradpub decline is feeding consolidation.
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:30 PM   #2
pwalker8
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As I've said in the past, I think it's as likely that we will see a resurgence of smaller publishing houses, or at least small companies that fill the same niche as the small publishing houses did back in the late 70's/early 80's. Basically small shops run by a publisher who can spot talent and provide the editing/art work/marketing talent that many writers need. Think Baen Books.
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:24 PM   #3
fjtorres
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Originally Posted by pwalker8 View Post
As I've said in the past, I think it's as likely that we will see a resurgence of smaller publishing houses, or at least small companies that fill the same niche as the small publishing houses did back in the late 70's/early 80's. Basically small shops run by a publisher who can spot talent and provide the editing/art work/marketing talent that many writers need. Think Baen Books.
Very likely.
But I expect it will be *new* small publishers, evolving out of the current indie publishing industry.

Like this one:
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/b...ime-house.html

And this one:
http://www.wmgpublishinginc.com/

And this:

http://www.wordfire.com/

As the more successful indie publishers grow their brand and resources they will be taking on support staff and assistants they can "time share" with other authors. The emerging result is a new breed of non-predatory publishing house built on time-limited contractual partnerships.

Many if not most of the existing ones will likely be gobbled up by megaPenguin inc or one or another of the multinationals.

Last edited by fjtorres; 09-05-2014 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 09-08-2014, 12:06 AM   #4
bgalbrecht
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwalker8 View Post
As I've said in the past, I think it's as likely that we will see a resurgence of smaller publishing houses, or at least small companies that fill the same niche as the small publishing houses did back in the late 70's/early 80's. Basically small shops run by a publisher who can spot talent and provide the editing/art work/marketing talent that many writers need. Think Baen Books.
Angry Robot's done a very good job of finding and publishing SF/fantasy authors that either win the Campbell award or are on the shortlist. They apparently overreached, though, as they recently shut down two of their imprints (I think YA and crime).
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Old 09-08-2014, 04:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwalker8 View Post
As I've said in the past, I think it's as likely that we will see a resurgence of smaller publishing houses, or at least small companies that fill the same niche as the small publishing houses did back in the late 70's/early 80's. Basically small shops run by a publisher who can spot talent and provide the editing/art work/marketing talent that many writers need. Think Baen Books.
I really hope so. I like small businesses much more than large multinational corporations. They have more heart and soul. And individuality and imagination.
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Old 09-08-2014, 09:38 AM   #6
fjtorres
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Originally Posted by bgalbrecht View Post
Angry Robot's done a very good job of finding and publishing SF/fantasy authors that either win the Campbell award or are on the shortlist. They apparently overreached, though, as they recently shut down two of their imprints (I think YA and crime).
According to some (alarmist?) reports I've seen out of the UK, small tradpub houses have been dropping like flies over the last couple of years. Apparently they're getting swamped by the flood of BPH backlist releases and, more recently, global english indies.

Another problem facing many small tradpub houses everywhere are facing is that their contract terms mimic the BPHs but they don't have the leverage of the big boys and, as a result, submissions are declining.

Some are adapting with more author-friendly terms and lower ebook prices but others aren't: I saw a report of one US regional/niche publisher that has been asking for 22 years worth of (unconstrained) first refusal rights, presumably to kerp authors from selfpubbing on the side. They effectively want to tie the authors to them for life.

With the no-longer-as-big BPHs trolling for publishing houses to buy, the smaller tradpub houses everywhere are seriously at risk. Coal mine canaries.
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