Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Book Trends Coming Out Of The London Book Fair



As I strolled the people-packed aisles of The London Book Fair, I learned where the book industry is heading. Here’s what I found out:


·         Book prices are likely to rise. According to Harper Collins CEO Bian Murray, who spoke at the fair, he sees a cover price increase coming. He says prices have been repressed over the past 10 years but the ravages of inflation, salary increases, and a saturated marketplace leave publishers no choice but to increase book prices.


·         There was a study/report released by a UK-based publishing association that claimed self-published writers were now bringing in more money than traditionally published writers. I find this hard to believe given how so many books are under-promoted and lack distribution for self-published writers. Further, self-published writers incur costs that traditional writers do not. It was a survey - not a scientific report with empirical data - so take it for what it’s worth. 


·         There is strong support for the Ukrainian book industry, decimated by Russia’s deadly invasion. Showing resolve and toughness, the Ukrainian cultural delegation was well-received here. 


·         The industry seems very focused on sustainability, equity in publishing, and the infiltration of AI into the book world. There were many sessions on these topics. 


·         Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing and Ingram Spark rule the self-publishing marketspace. They each had a big presence here. 


·         It appears the UK has issues with book bans as well. A study conducted by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, the UK’s library and information association, discovered that a third of librarians had been asked by members of the public to remove or censor books. Further, the organization’s chief executive indicated that the number of incidents has increased in recent years.


·         The UK, like the US, is starting to realize its books, rewriting classics to fit the vocal yells of a handful of people seeking to revise the world. Agatha Christie's books have had the term oriental and the n-word removed. Though no one wants to be assaulted with racist language, it’s part of our language and the words, as repulsive as they are, have meaning. They also are a part of our cultural history. Revising books for content, language, or any purpose is extremely slippery.


·         Independent bookstores are growing in the UK. Just seven years ago, in 2016, there were 867 such shops. After seven straight years of growth, the number of indie bookstores ballooned to 1072. The US has seen similar growth in the indie bookstore sector. 


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About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2023. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This award-winning blog has generated over 3.3 million pageviews. With 4,400+ posts over the past dozen years, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs  and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by www.WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Todd Duncan, Susan RoAne, John C. Maxwell, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, Independent Book Publishers Association Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, APEX, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult: www.linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum.  

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