Kevin power reviewed A Little Circle Of Kindred Minds: Joyce In Paris by Conor Fennell in The Sunday Business Post this weekend. It was a smashing review (which, as the publisher, I heartily agree with), here’s a flavour and a link:
Conor Fennell’s excellent new book is bursting with similarly memorable anecdotes.
A Little Circle of Kindred Minds (the title is from Joyce’s story A Little Cloud) is thoroughly researched, cleanly written and full of sharp-eyed critical insights.
But you could just as easily enjoy it as a compendium of literary gossip, a guidebook to artistic Paris or even as a potted history of how various Irish artists responded to the policies of the nascent Irish Free State.
via Rejoycing in the literary luminaries of Paris | The Post.
Another incredibly sensible acquisition by Bloomsbury and yet another that pulls them further away from the territory of a strict trade publisher. Good for them:
Bloomsbury’s strategy has been to increase its proportion of academic and professional revenues compared to trade revenues through retail channels. The current strength of the Groups academic sales compared to consumer sales vindicates this strategy. Academic revenues are more predictable and have lower related costs of sale with resulting higher margins, and are much less reliant on retail bookshop sales. Around 60% of Continuums sales are outside the UK, thereby increasing Bloomsburys exposure to the global book market. Through this acquisition, for the first time, Bloomsbury will have an academic editorial and marketing team in the US. Bloomsbury has an excellent track record in exploiting digital opportunities; this acquisition will enable us to develop Continuums 7,000 strong backlist through conversion to e-book formats and the creation of new subscription based academic services.
via booktrade.info – Book Trade Announcements – Bloomsbury Acquires Continuum.
Really excellent piece on Today about books, publishing, prices and piracy. Some great voices and opinions there:
Despite £3bn being spent on books in the UK last year, a dark digital cloud of uncertainty still hangs over the world of publishing.
In the second of his reports into the impact of technology on the world of books, arts editor Will Gompertz looks at what the digital revolution means for the publishing business.
via BBC News – Today – The ‘worrying’ battle for books.
A great piece by Philip Downer on the troubles facing even successful High Street retailers at the moment in strategic AND tactical terms.
via Front of Store
I don’t know if this is prompted by the sense that what MPS provides can be bought from other providers as easily as using an in-house outfit, or if the idea is to release an internally impressive unit from the constraints of a traditional parent. Whatever the logic, I’m intrigued by this:
Global publishing giant Macmillan Group is set to sell its Indian technology solutions and BPO firm MPS, said banking sources said. Macmillan holds 61% stake in MPS, which is listed on the domestic bourses.
The Bangalore-based MPS employs around 1,000 people and undertakes publishing services work for the UK-based parent as well as third party clients. Ernst & Young has been mandated to find a suitor for MPS.
via Macmillan to sell Indian BPO – The Times of India.
The first thing to say about this is that it’s incredibly cheap. £69 for lots of books is good, by any measures. The second is that it’s incredibly smart. The third that I’d expect this to be the first of many such plans offered by small, medium AND large publishers.
The thing about subscription plans though, and this is more a note to watch for future activity, is that they are of greatest benefit the readers when they cover a very wide number of titles. I’d expect the subscription selection to increase, even if at the same time the number of downloads permitted is reduced. That growth could come either by acquisition, publication or partnership with other science-fiction and fantasy genre publishers. What’s more, as the list grows, it would be very sensible to sub-divide the list along more niche lines (and maybe even charge more):
A 12 Month Subscription to Angry Robot Titles – download your first titles, now!
Every new Angry Robot title between now and 12 months from now.
That’s a minimum of 24 eBooks for one, small, up-front price!
We publish a minimum of 24 new eBooks a year, and you can get every one of these over the next 12 months for the price, indicated. We publish 2 books most months, none in December, but usually 3 in April and September.
If we publish more than 24 books between the start and end of your subscription, you will get those free of charge. Omnibus editions and re-releases are not included as part of your subscription.
via Angry Robot 12 Month Subscription – angryrobotstore.com.
UPDATE: According to a tweet sent this afternoon, the copany will retain operational independence from Amazon.
Congrats to the Book Depository team. I guess this is a case of, ‘How do you know you are doing something right? Amazon acquires you!’
It’s hard to know what the play is here. It could be any of:
1) Increasing UK and European exposure
2) Building a better position in Australia
3) Defensive market-share building
Or any number of other things. There must be some worries about competition approval, at least in the UK, with this.
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN – News) today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire The Book Depository International. The Book Depository is an online bookseller offering over six million books for delivery worldwide.
“Customers in more than 100 countries enjoy The Book Depository’s vast selection, convenient delivery and free shipping,” said Greg Greeley, Amazon’s Vice President of European Retail. “The Book Depository is very focused on serving its customers around the world, and we look forward to welcoming them to the Amazon family.”
Amazon to Acquire The Book Depository – Yahoo! Finance.