Go Read This | Thomas & Mercer signs five books from Koontz

I am excited that my US colleagues have signed a new deal with Dean Koontz for five more books. We’ve really enjoyed bringing his work to even more readers globally, and it seems that he’s pleased too:

Koontz said: “Working with the wonderful team at Thomas & Mercer has energised me and freed my imagination from all constraints. I am delighted to be extending our relationship for another five novels. Their enthusiasm and creativity are inspiring, and they produce beautiful editions that book lovers and collectors (like me) find irresistible.” 

The Bookseller: Thomas & Mercer signs five books from Koontz

Go Read This | The Economist on Romance Publishing

Good to see this massive and important genre with millions of readers (and one in which Amazon Publishing publishes very successfully through our Montlake imprint) getting some media attention, even if the piece is quite short:

“Romance is still too white,” says Nadine Gonzalez, a Haitian-American author now published by Mills & Boon. The publisher has launched a competition to find writers from “underrepresented ethnic backgrounds” in order to “bring more diverse characters” to the genre.

Tall, handsome—and darker [£]

The Long Decline Of Irish Book Sales Continues. Some Light Ahead?

From The Nielsen BookScan Newsletter May 2014:

Decline in Irish Consumer Market slows, as Children’s volume sales slightly increase.
The Irish Consumer Market (ICM) has seen sales to 19 April of €22.8m (down 10.8% on 2013) and 2.3m units (down 6.4%). Fiction is down 14.6% with sales of €6.2m (by volume, down 10.3% to 675k), and Non-Fiction declined by 12.0% with sales of €11.3m (down 8.9% in volume to 828k). Children’s did decline by 3.0% in value sales to €5.3m, but volume is slightly up (+0.6%), to 746k units sold.

As I wrote in The Irish Times last month, the story of Irish book sales is not a pleasant one and yet an under reported and under examined one. These figures confirm that continued downward trend and the corresponding fact that average selling price is being driven down in an attempt to stem the reduction in sales but it is not working.

I’m not normally pessimistic but unless the summer sees some stabilisation and the autumn a pick up, 2014 looks like another bad year for good books and good publishers in Ireland.