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The Contemporary Book Trade

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Padmini Ray Murray

on 11 August 2014

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Transcript of The Contemporary Book Trade

The Contemporary Book Trade
Dr Padmini Ray Murray
Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication
Darnton's communication circuit
What might it look like in the 21st century?
The Author
The Author
"In total, £879,000 was spent on print editions of of James' Fifty Shades novels in the seven days to 1st September—including £12,850 spent on new hardback editions of the books—taking her sales past the annual author sales record of £42.6m set by Rowling in 2007."
- The Bookseller, September '12
The Author
April 2010:
Hocking makes her book available on Amazon & Smashwords, to access Nook, Sony eReader
and iBook markets

January 2011: selling more than 100,000 a month
Pricing strategy:
99¢ for book 1 as a loss leader to attract readers
$2.99 for each sequel
Amazon would give her 30% of all royalties for the 99-cent books, rising to 70% for the $2.99 editions
Signed with St Martin's Press in the US and Pan Macmillan in the UK for $2.1m
The Author
The Publisher
The Publisher
Various imprints owned by Hachette
Penguin Random House (owned by Bertelsmann) [Penguin previously owned by Pearson]
Harper Collins (owned by Newscorp)
Macmillan (owned by Holtzbrinck Group)
Simon & Schuster (owned by Viacom)
The Big Five
The Publisher
Combined revenue (2009) £57.4m, just behind the Big Six, headed by Faber & Faber
The Publisher



“For us, the key is that the combination of so many elements means we get a really wide demographic. Every festival—be it a strictly literary one or a strictly music one—is restrictive to its audience. Because of our wide arts breadth, we open up our stages to many different audiences, which I think is quite exciting for the authors that come.”“That, of course, means it is quite interesting to book for. We have a bit more room to play with, but we also have to think about all of our different audiences coming together. We might have a 40-something man coming to see Elbow, so I need think about programming complimentary authors for him; but then there might also be an 18-year-old girl coming to see Lana Del Rey, and I also need to cater for her.”
Tania Harrison, curator, Latitude Festival
Granular content
Subscription models
Backlist revivals
Enhanced e-books
Niche marketing
Collaborations & partnerships
Atomised labour force
Commissioning in the round
Full transcript