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FutureBook 2014 (part 2)

Caroline A Murphy19 November 2014

Here’s some key information taken from the FutureBook conference 2014 by Rachel Mazza (@mazzie191)

Sidebar #1 A few figures from the presentations…

  1. The biggest growth in ebooks, predicted by Nielsen global survey trends, is in nonfiction and children’s
  2. According to the same survey, fiction ebook sales are plateauing
  3. Between the US and UK, 30% of publishing is English language based
  4. A growing number of younger people (16-24 age group) are now purchasing ebooks
  5. However age 45+ is still reading the most ebooks
  6. More males are also starting to purchase ebooks
  7. 27% of UK consumers buy both ebook and print

Sidebar #2 Unbound

The company Unbound is doing something interesting. Co-founder and CEO Dan Kieran explained that Unbound puts the power into the hands of readers via crowdfunding an author. Once the goal is met, the author will write the book and once completed it will be published by Unbound in ebook or for print-on-demand. This idea is fascinating because it allows authors to know if there will be interest in a book before time is spent on it and they can see exactly how large their audience is. However, can Unbound provide the visibility for the author and longevity for their work that traditional publishing can? I regret not having the opportunity to ask if any publishing houses have contracted any of the authors whose works were funding through to publication. It’s definitely something to check out: http://unbound.co.uk

Sidebar #3 Publishing subscription model

There seemed to be some disagreement between the speakers as to whether or not subscription was something consumers were interested in.

Senior Publicity and Digital Campaigns Manager of Headline Ben Willis believes subscriptions are a great business decision. Tom Weldon, CEO of Penguin isn’t convinced subscription is what consumers are after since many do not re-read.

For further info on the matter: http://www.thebookseller.com/news/tom-weldon-book-readers-don’t-want-subscription

Sidebar #4 Hack Pitches and Big Ideas sessions

Companies and creative individuals had the opportunity to share their plans for innovating the publishing world.

-The winner of the Hack Pitch was “Voice” – an organization that developed an X Factor style contest with the winner receiving a contract to read for an audiobook. Contestants submit clips of themselves reading selected passages and people can vote on whose voice they enjoy listening to the most.

Some people to follow on the good ‘ol Twitter:

@marissa_hussey (Marissa Hussey—Digital Marketing Director at Orion)

@booksandquills (Sanne Vliengenthart—Digial Coordinator Hot Key Books)

@dan_kieran (Dan Kieran—CEO of Unbound)

@BenWillisUK (Ben Willis—Senior Publicity and Digital Campaigns Manager of Headline)


For more highlights check out #FutureBook14, if you haven’t already.


The Week Ahead…

Lucy Broughton16 November 2014

Monday 17th November
Ray’s Jazz: EFG London Jazz Festival presents Tomorrow’s Warriors Youth Orchestra featuring Nathaniel Facey

Ray’s Jazz kickstart their EFG London Jazz Festival events with a full-blown set from the Tomorrow’s Warriors Youth Orchestra. The concert will also feature soloist Nathaniel Facey of Empirical fame.

Venue: The Auditorium, Level Six
Tickets: Free. To reserve, simply visit the website.

Tuesday 18th November
Sales, Marketing and Promotion – GROUP PRESENTATIONS

Author Management
Focus: Rights Management
Led by Sam, a masterclass with Diane Spivey (Little, Brown) and Lynette Owen (Pearson) on rights management.

Thinking Drinkers: Drinking Thinkers – an Evening with
Ben McFarland, Tom Sandham
Thinking Drinkers: The Enlightened Imbiber’s Guide to Alcohol

This event is free but reserve your place by email piccadilly@waterstones.com
Join enlightened imbibers Ben McFarland and Tom Sandham for an evening of illumination and entertainment as they take us on a cultural tour of nips, shots and pints from the Wild West saloons of America to the whisky wildernes of the Outer Hebrides via Gin’s degenerate London lanes and the anarchic absinthe-addled avenues of France. With samples and tastings, this will be an evening to remember!

Wednesday 19th November
Horace Warner’s “Spitalfields Nippers” A Magic Lantern Show by The Gentle Author

This event is free but reserve your place by email: piccadilly@waterstones.com
This Magic Lantern Show reveals an astonishing archive of photographs taken by Horace Warner. These take us to the byways, alleyways and yards of Spitalfields 1900 and the hidden worlds of a lost tribe: the Spitalfields Nippers. They will be giving away large poster prints of the Spitalfields Nippers to all at this event!

Thursday 20th November
Publishing Skills – InDesign Workshop part 2!

London Haunting with Chris McCabe and Scott Wood
In the Catacombs: A Summer Among the Dead Poets of West Norwood Cemetery

This event is free but reserve your place by email piccadilly@waterstones.com
In this darkly intriguing London Salon, Chris McCabe steals us away as he uncovers the stories of the dead poets buried in West Norwood Cemetery to reveal their still-unsilenced voices amidst the London psyche. Alongside, host of the London Fortean Society and author of London’s Urban Legends: The Corpse on the Tube reveals a geography of plague pits and morbid memorials. Hosted by Tom Chivers from penned in the margins, this will be an evening of Gothic intrigue.

Friday 21st November
Perhaps you could get ahead with the Author Management coursework?

Saturday 22nd November
Meet James Franco
Actors Anonymous

Meet the actor, director, screenwriter, producer, teacher and author, at this exclusive signing. Please note James Franco will be signing copies of his books only. Copies of ‘Actors Anonymous’, ‘Palo Alto’ and ‘Directing Herbert White’ will be available to purchase on the day at Waterstones Piccadilly, proof of a Waterstones receipt may be required. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment.

ASSIGNMENT COUNTDOWN – less than a month until the Author Management deadline!

Sunday Schedule

Alice Hughes9 November 2014

So it’s Sunday and reading week is drawing to a close. Hope you’ve all had a lovely break and the chance to get stuck into some course reading. The Oxford Street Christmas lights have been turned on and it looks like the rest of this term is going to fly by! Here’s our weekly calendar of publishing classes and bibliophile-worthy events…

Monday 10th

An evening with David Mitchell: The Bone Clocks (Waterstone’s Piccadilly – 6.30pm)

Exclusive Midnight Launch: Stephen King’s Revival (Waterstone’s Piccadilly – 11.30pm)

Tuesday 11th

Sales, Marketing and Promotion class: The Practitioners Perspective: Marketing and Publicity with Martin Neild, Georgina Moore, Communications Director at Headline and Auriol Bishop, Creative Director at Hodder. In this session we’ll be learning how to master the interlocking tools of marketing plans, writing copy, metadata and budgets (Chandler B01 – 10-1pm)

Author Management class: New ways of working with Authors with Gareth Howard, CEO and Founder of Authoright (If anyone witnessed the very heated, Amazon-focused concluding panel at the SYP conference on Saturday, you’ll recognise him!) (Bentham Room 4 – 2-5pm)

An Evening of Terror & Wonder: The Gothic Imagination with The British Library Curator Talk (Waterstone’s Piccadilly – 7pm)

The V.S. Pritchett Memorial Prize winner announcement with A.L. Kennedy in conversation with Paula Johnson (The Tabernacle – 7pm)

Wednesday 12th

The First World War Conference: Literature, Culture, Modernity (The British Academy – 9.30am-5.00pm)

Thursday 13th

Publishing Skills class: Writing Skills with Jon Reed, author and publishing marketing consultant, and James Owen, author. (Cruciform B115A – Public Cluster- 10am-1pm)

Publishing Project meetings 2pm onwards

Michael Frayn in discussion with Marcel Theroux on Matchbox Theatre (Daunt Books – 7pm)

Ray’s Jazz: Paul Riley Quintet (free! Foyles Charing Cross Road – 6.30-7.30pm)

Friday 14th

The Bookseller Futurebook Conference (The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre – 9am-6pm)

(For all you arty publishers…)

Opening of A Victorian Obsession: The Pérez Simón collection (Leighton House Museum – open 10am-5.30pm)

Portrait artist Jonathan Yeo in Conversation with Tim Marlow (Royal Academy Burlington House – 6.30-7.30pm)

….And finally because none of us ever really grow up, Matilda the Musical might take your fancy. This award-winning, grotesquely magical show is on at Cambridge Theatre until 20th December.

Publishing Treasure Hunt: The Winning Blog Post

Samantha J Rayner13 October 2014



In Induction Week, Professor Iain Stevenson set up a fiendish treasure hunt for the incoming cohort:  this took them on a walk via some key publishing-related sights in London, and ended up, as all good publishing events should, at the pub.  All students then submitted a blog about the experience, and these were shortlisted by tutors, who then submitted these to Naomi Barton, one of last year’s group who is an accomplished blogger herself.  Naomi offered a limited edition of The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell for the winner, who today has been announced as Lucy Broughton!

Lucy’s blog is reproduced below – well done, Lucy!

Operation: Publishing Treasure Hunt

Location: London.

Task force: #teamgreatexpectations – Agent Bro, Agent Mac, Agent Hug and Agent Bad.

Objective: Crack Professor Iain Stevenson’s cryptic clues to discover hidden gems from the history of publishing, following a route from St Paul’s Cathedral back to base at the main UCL campus, meeting at top secret location The Marlborough Arms by 1700 hours. Progress to be logged by Agent Bro via twitter using the hashtags #uclpublishing and #teamgreatexpectations.

Purpose: Team bonding and discovery of London’s publishing history.

Status: Completed (mostly).

(Note: Due to agents being engrossed in the task and time sensitive nature of the mission all times are approximate and based on the timestamps of photographs and tweets.)

Pre-mission complication. Agent Mac kidnapped by tube. Fortunately Agents Bro, Hug and Bad successfully complete rescue mission and rally at starting point of St Paul’s Cathedral.

14.19-14.43 hours. Clues 1 and 2. Buildings discovered but agents unsure of the exact subjects of the clue. Appropriate photographic evidence logged with proof of agents’ involvement via the medium of a “selfie”.

14.45 hours. Extra intel gathered between clues. This included the discovery of the site of Bradbury and Evans, who were the printer and publisher of Dickens and Thackeray, and also the site of the Stationers’ Company’s School.

14.50 hours. Clue 3. Team easily located statue of Hodge the Cat. Notable increase in morale. Alert. Discovered by foreign scout. Evasive action taken via different route and tailing group of agents lost before Team Great Expectations could be compromised.

14.56 hours. More intel discovered – the site of Wildy & Sons Ltd, Law Booksellers and Publishers since 1830, in prime law location on the Strand.

15.02 hours. Clue 4. Essex Street location found but no sign of the subject of the clue. Opposing team followed in an attempt to gather intel, but none to be had. Decision made to continue to next clue.

15.26 hours. Clue 5. Observation of counterintuitive traffic at the Savoy.

15.38 hours. Clue 6. Location of historical Aldine building discovered. Troops decide to recuperate in the Cafe Nero it now holds.

16.00 hours. Agent Mac finds appropriate transportation system (bus) to transport troops to next location and conserve energy.

16.29 hours. Clue 7. Agent Hug’s insider knowledge makes Bloomsbury site easy to find. Competing task force scouted and evaded.

16.35 hours. Clue 8. Attempts to discover location prove futile. Despite gathering intel through expert spying on twitter, decision is made to continue to next clue.

16.39 hours. Clue 9. T. S. Eliot plaque found and territory begins to become familiar.

16.45 hours. Troops severely fatigued. Fail to discover the inspiration for Clue 10. Decision is made to continue on to top secret location.

16.50 hours. Target in sight, tired troops powered on through pain to The Marlborough Arms, with a well-deserved drink as reward. Rallied with agents from the wider organisation. Zero casualties.