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bards on every corner - storytelling

start-ups and writing classes free on the National Health!

’ publishing in both ebook and physical formats this year.’

Kate Wilson’s Nosy Crow will publish 50 print and ebook titles in 2013 - twice as many as in their first year. ‘We’ll continue to release highly interactive, multimedia apps. We’ve just launched Stories Aloud, our innovative programme of free digital audio readings that you can access using a QR code, read with a smartphone, tablet or iPod Touch, for all of our paperback picture books. The first three titles in the programme have already reprinted.

‘As for the industry at large, the completion of the proposed Penguin/Random House merger may well be the first of several mergers, widening the gap between large and small publishers, and, perhaps, the experience for authors and illustrators of being published by one or the other of them. Like other publishers, Nosy Crow is always - through blogging and social media - working to build our brand and our community. We are pleased and proud to have the loyalty of a number of advocates with whom we communicate digitally in a way that would have been unimaginable a few years back. As for bookselling, we expect that the UK will mirror recent US growth in ebook sales of novels for children and young adults and it seems inevitable that more bookselling, whether of ebooks or print books will happen online. If physical bookshop space shrinks, that will have an impact on children’s bookshop sales which have so far been more resilient than bookshop sales of other kinds of books: bookshops remain an important place of discovery, and it will be interesting to see how bookshop chains and independents rise to the challenge of making a book shopping experience more of an event.’

authors, with strong and compelling stories and we use the new landscape creatively, we will enjoy the business of publishing in 2013.’

The rise of the ebook won’t see the end of beautifully produced printed books, in fact, on the contrary Ben Norland Art Director at Walker Books predicts, ‘the steady rise of very high-end paper books grow as a counter balance to electronic editions. Plus, every year sees an increase in the awareness of the importance of comic and graphic novels and I look forward to that trend continuing. One day perhaps, a graphic novel will win the Carnegie medal, though probably not in 2013! I am looking forward to yet more exciting and innovative apps for children being produced for mobile devices. Last year, I saw one or two really interesting examples – I am sure this year will turn up more than that. Over the last few years, long form fiction and illustration have been brought together with some fantastic results. I look forward to that trend continuing.’

Over at the ever innovative Templar, Amanda Wood, Templar’s Creative Director and Mike Jolley, Art Director, are excited about the launch of a new imprint, Big Picture Press, which they say, ‘is all about our belief in the need for beautiful, physical books - maybe not the most commercial but books for those people who want to hold a really beautiful object in their hands, books that you can sniff (!), that you want to hug to your chest and keep forever.’

Sarah Odedina MD at Hot Key Books agrees that the market has changed completely. ‘While I am sure it will continue to change over time, it is our relationships with booksellers and readers that has been most excitingly transformed. 2013 will see more effective communication between publishers and the end readers of our books. We will be much more positive and creative in terms of communicating on the books we will be publishing and authors too will find that their roles in the wider marketing of their books will be more crucial than ever before. Fleur Hitchcock’s online interactive writing is an example of how well it can work when an author engages with her audience.

‘We have all been talking about digital publishing for sometime but it seems to me that we are finally becoming clear on what it means to us as publishers both in terms of a usable and saleable format as well as a predictable revenue stream. 2013 will see us consolidate on all we have learnt from the last three or four years of rapid growth in digital sales and also allow us to be more focused in marketing our digital books to readers. Having said this, I do think that this will be particularly relevant for books for older readers and that books for younger readers will still pose a challenge in the digital format.’

Like Ingrid Selberg, she predicts a big growth in the ‘new adult’ genre both in terms of print and digital sales. ‘The Vincent Boys and The Vincent Brothers by American author Abbi Glines is a perfect example of the blending of publishing print and digital editions and marketing. We published a new edition with extra content first as an ebook and then in paperback to capitalise on Abbi’s exisiting fans online. The campaign started at the end of 2012 and will build over the coming months.

‘But without a doubt my firm conviction is that story will “rule”. As ever in the world of publishing, if we have good books, by talented

4 Books for Keeps No.198 January 2013

watching the stready rise of high-end

paper books grow as a counter balance to electronic editions

They add,‘It’s our abiding hope that, whatever else happens on the high street, there will always be a place for really good independent bookshops selling high quality books to real book lovers. It may become more of a niche market perhaps but it’s one that we want to support fully since it allows us to publish the less obvious titles, such as the story of Jemmy Button - a gorgeous picture book illustrated in a mixture of collage and gouache by illustrators Jennifer Uman and Valerio Vidali.

‘At the other end of things, the rise of all things digital means more illustrators having the ability to reach out through the web direct to consumers, selling their prints online and creating their own digital picture books - great news for diversity of art styles being given an airing. And lastly we think we might be nearing the end of the fifties/sixties retro trend and about to see the emergence of all things seventies as the next design influence!’

Last word goes to Barry Cunningham OBE, founder and MD of The Chicken House. ‘2013? Well, the death of the high street, huge online retailers and vast publishing companies – the future? Easy, just read Melvin Burgess’ The Hit for what happens next! My other predictions are bards on every corner – storytelling start-ups and writing classes free on the National Health.

‘Seriously, the lesson from history is that now is the time for small, clever, targeted and personal publishing. Because readers, not retailers, have the power now. Exciting, isn’t it?’ n

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