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WED 04.2013

AT THE LONDON BOOK FAIR MOOD OF THE FAIR INSIDE Joshua Farrington and Charlotte Williams

Publishers and agents sounded a note of caution about European markets, but insisted optimism in the UK was strong as LBF entered its fi nal day. Many fairgoers noted it as one of the

busiest LBFs in recent years, yet a number pointed out that many European territories seem to be struggling. Jeremy Trevathan, Pan Macmillan

publisher of adult fi ction, said: “I get a real sense from Europeans, especially the Spanish and Italians, that they are virtually suicidal about their markets, and you spend the fi rst 10–20 minutes of your meeting talking to them about that, before books.” A M Heath agent Oli Munson said:

“I think the general vibe internationally is that the mood of ‘constant nosedive’ has changed, and now there are green shoots in some places. However Spain and Portugal are still struggling.” Plexus director Sandra Wake

commented that “when we speak to European publishers, the off ers are smaller than they used to be”. Suzanne Cullum, rights executive at Summersdale, said: “I think there’s a


Publishers and agents are “more in competition” than ever before, as both parties become more focused on exploiting intellectual property (IP) and developing author’s careers across multiple platforms. T e comments came from two

leading industry professionals, speaking after a seminar on “21st Century Publishing: IP centric, multi- platform” on day two of the fair, chaired by lawyer Laurence Kaye, Shoosmith’s publishing and digital media specialist. Penguin director of new business

and IP acquisitions Eric Huang said publishers and agents were engaged in “a land grab”, as both sides tried to capitalise on new opportunities in

IP exploitation through deals or partnerships with other media or merchandising companies. He said: “We are in competition with agents in this [IP] space. It is a friendly land grab.” Fellow speaker Neil Blair (above),

founding partner of The Blair Partnership, said: “I think it’s a

challenge for assisting the author. It is a race for the middle ground, but I think agencies are in a better position to do it.” He argued that agencies were better placed to work with authors on developing multi-platform brands since agents would always focus on individual authors, arguing publishers had too many titles to give each author bespoke treatment. Blair also said it was now a necessity

for authors to create a multi-platform product if they wanted to earn a living. Blair said: “I think most authors, if they want a career, have to be open-minded to lots of diff erent avenues—if they want a career and don’t want to have to be writing on weekends and so on.”

Talking Turkey An inside look at the Market Focus

industry from some of the country’s book trade major players Page 8

Books Are My Bag launch At yesterday’s offi cial launch of the UK industry-wide Books Are My Bag promotion, M & C Saatchi founding partner James Lowther said the scheme was intended to be “a movement rather than a campaign”, saying it would utilise people on the street to “express their love of bookshops.” He added that the bags with their slogans would be “hundreds of thousands of small posters on the street”. Patrick Neale, president of the Booksellers

BA president Patrick Neale at the launch of BAMB

transactions and . . . forgotten about relationships”.

feeling that some of the bigger European players are backing off a bit. T e other side of that is it gives more space to others, like companies from eastern Europe. It’s a lot more diverse.” Faber publisher and c.e.o. Stephen

Page echoed her thoughts, saying: “T is fair is all about working out how we do business, and there are huge opportunities out there. T is weird model

Association, said the campaign was a perfect example of a conversation between publishers and booksellers. He said he hoped bookshops would be part of a high street renaissance, adding that the industry had in recent years “concentrated too much on cold Benedicte Page

village we set up has everything on off er, and it’s completely a global discussion.” Many enthused about digital

discussions taking place. Michael Bhaskar, digital publishing director at Profi le, said: “T ere’s been lots of good talk about where e-books are moving, especially in terms of library and business-to-business models. T e whole mood is upbeat.” Rosenbloom’s Scribe

UK blooms Flurry of deals for the new UK arm of the Australian independent Page 2

SA, NZ and Aussie charts Robert Jordan has a posthumous hit,

but there is no homegrown talent at the top of the fi ction charts Page 6



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