News Review The headlines: in brief

PA report makes economic case for zero-rating digital publications The report acknowledges that it is


A report conducted by consultancy Frontier Economics has found a “strong” economic case for taking VAT off UK digital publications, as permited under new European Union rules. The report, “Assessing the Case for Zero-Rating VAT on Digital Publications”, was commissioned by the Publishers Association and the Professional Publishers Association. Frontier Economics estimated the direct cost to the Exchequer of remov- ing VAT from digital books, journals and magazines would be £210m in 2019/20. That cost would be just 0.03% of total tax receipts, or 0.14% of total VAT receipts. The expense would be offset by savings to the Exchequer of an estimated £50m–£55m per year from publicly funded institutions, such as libraries, buying VAT-free digital publications more cheaply.

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The new “stretch target” set by Bath- based independent bookseller Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights, after it smashed its original crowdfunding target of £45,000. The indie retailer is raising funds to enable it to expand the bookshop’s premises. The additional money it is seeking will help to reduce the shop’s reliance on the “conventional and expensive” bank funding that is still needed for the project to be realised.

Rights deal 08 26th October 2018

Transworld buys two novels from outgoing BBC presenter Mayo Broadcaster Simon Mayo has left BBC Radio 2 to concentrate on his writing after inking a two-book deal with Transworld. Publisher Bill Scott-Kerr acquired English language UK, Commonwealth (excluding Canada) and European rights in two novels from Sam Copeland at Rogers, Coleridge & White. The first, as-yet-untitled book, which Scott-Kerr described as a “brilliant contemporary thriller” ripped from a reality described in the newspaper headlines, is scheduled for publication in 2020.

Rights deal Stat

hard to predict reliably the extent to which the removal of VAT would be passed on to consumers by publishers. Where it is, it would help expand the social and economic benefits of reading, especially among the “budget constrained”, said the report. The reduction in VAT could also stimulate investment by publishers. PA c.e.o. Stephen Lotinga said: “The government now has the power to axe the reading tax and with the Budget fast approaching [on Monday 29th October], it’s time for the Chancellor to act. This new research shows the consumer and economic case for making this change is compelling, and the government must act now to uphold the long-standing principle that taxation will not be a barrier to reading and learning.”

Haig joins with Gravett for Canongate kids’ title Matt Haig is teaming up with illustrator Emily Gravett for a children’s book about a girl who can talk to animals. Evie and the Animals tells the story of what happens when Evie lets the school rabbit free, which lands her in big trouble. The book will be published by Canongate in June 2019, with cover and interior illustrations by Gravett. Publishing direc- tor Francis Bickmore, who acquired world rights from Clare Conville at C+W, said the non-seasonal book would take Haig’s children’s publish- ing to “a different level”.

Indie Children’s Book of the Month launched by BA Te Booksellers Association (BA) is launching an indie Children’s Book of the Month promotion, following on from last year’s Children’s Book of the Season campaign. Each month from January 2019,

Sarah McIntyre @jabberworks

Te lovely @_KnightsOf pop-up bookshop... has awesome writers and illustrators coming in to do events this week! #ReadtheOnePercent #WeNeedDiverseBooks

one children’s title (for readers aged up to 11) will be championed by inde- pendent bookshops across the coun- try. Te book will be chosen by a panel of independent booksellers from titles submitted by publishers, and can be a picture book, middle grade fiction, non-fiction or poetry title. “We launched the Children’s Book

of the Season in Autumn 2017, and it’s proved so popular that we’re delighted to now be relaunching it as a monthly campaign,” said Emma Bradshaw, head of campaigns at the BA. “Te Children’s Book of the Month creates a unique platform to celebrate children’s writers and illustrators.” Submissions are now open.

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