Global Trade Talk: Author Advances Suffer in the UK; Frankfurt’s Biz Survey

In Feature Articles, Global Trade Talk by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka

Publishers are cutting author advances by as much as 80% in the UK, reports Benedicte Page in The Bookseller. Clare Alexander of Aitken Alexander said: “For an established author who is not a bestseller, the advance may be down by as much as 50%, or books may not be being bought at all. The decline has been very steep since the end of last year.” Mark Le Fanu, general secretary of the Society of Authors, also estimated the drop in general author advances at 30% to 50%.

The Frankfurt Book Fair is conducting a survey to determine which business models are most likely to succeed in the future and where the money will come from in a world dominated by digital publishing. It’s quick and easy. You can take it here.

Penguin has added Brazil as the latest market for its editions of classics, following a 2007 move into China and a 2008 venture in Korea. Penguin’s partner in Brazil is Companhia das Letras, and the new line will be called Penguin Companhia Classicos, with additional titles published under the Penguin Companhia imprint. Look for an interview and full story about the venture in an upcoming edition of Publishing Perspectives.

The U.S. Register of Copyrights, Marybeth Peters, weighed in on the continuing debate surrounding the Google Settlement, telling the US House Judiciary subcommittee that the Settlement is “fundamentally at odds with the law,” according to Andrew Albanese in Publishers Weekly. What’s more, she asserted that it was Congress and not the courts that had the authority to enact changes in copyright law, further muddling who has jurisdiction over the issue.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.