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Modern Book Publishing: Websites for the Trade (August 2014): News Sources

By John Rodzvilla

News Sources

The professional associations listed above distribute important research and provide a historical repository for their niche.  There are also a limited number of professional journals on the industry, including Logos, Publishing Research Quarterly, Journal of Scholarly Publishing, and Learned Publishing, which provide scholarly analysis on the history and economics of the publishing industry.  For the latest news on start-ups, mergers, services, and new titles, the only way to stay current is to subscribe to the trade journals and online news aggregators dedicated to book publishing.

One of the oldest and most trusted sources for news on the book publishing industry is The BooksellerThe Bookseller’s weekly print magazine has been covering the British publishing industry since 1858; the website for the organization provides real-time news on the industry, exclusive features and interviews, and a comprehensive list of openings in the United Kingdom market.  The website also has sections for digital-only news, updates from a varied group of publishing bloggers, and for subscribers, a digital edition of the magazine and the top fifty books in the United Kingdom.  The magazine also offers daily and weekly newsletters, and maintains an active Twitter account.

The Bookseller is also the parent for Futurebook, a blog and conference organizer focused on digital publishing.  Futurebook and its conferences, workshops, and awards ceremony are recognized as one of the top sources for networking and news for digital publishers and entrepreneurs looking at new models for digital publishing.  While The Bookseller also covers digital publishing, Futurebook concentrates on emerging markets and new technology.

The corresponding magazine for the American publishing industry is Publishers Weekly (PW).  In print since 1873, it is the main source of news on the American publishing industry.  The magazine is available in both print and digital formats with a website and Twitter account that provide up-to-the minute news, the current best-seller lists (previous weeks are accessible to subscribers), and selected full reviews from the weekly issue.  PW also works with the Copyright Clearance Center  (CCC) to produce episodes of the Beyond the Book podcast series.  The Friday episode of the podcast provides an early look at the news and reviews from the magazine.  Christopher Kenneally, the host of the podcast, also records panels he moderates at some of the biggest conferences in the world, including the Frankfurt Book Fair, Book Expo America, the Miami Book Fair, and the Publishing Business and Conference Expo.  The podcast is available at beyondthebookcast.com or through YouTube and iTunes.

For daily updates, both The Bookseller and Publishers Weekly offer a variety of e-newsletters that cover all aspects of the book trade.  The Bookseller offers newsletters on daily news, jobs, new books, digital publishing, and the consumer-focused We Love This BookPublishers Weekly offers eight newsletters, from the daily general newsletter to weekly e-mails on children’s publishing and new books.  There are also subject-specific newsletters on religion, cooking, graphic novels, and self-publishing.  Both companies offer access to their newsletters through their main website.

There are two independent newsletters that publishing professionals also consider required reading.  Shelf Awareness, which was originally created as a daily newsletter for booksellers, offers book reviews across genres, news about bookselling, and updates on movie and television series based on books.  Michael Cader’s Publishers Lunch and its sister site Publishers Marketplace provide a more nuanced look at the daily dealings within the trade book world.  Publishers Lunch is a free daily newsletter that collects the most important news about the companies and people who work within the business.  Subscribers to the Marketplace get a deluxe version of the newsletter as well as access to past newsletters and information on the book deals happening across the industry.  These newsletters offer information unavailable through other news outlets on bookselling and the financial dealings within the trade book world.

News specific to digital publishing is often covered in the publications listed above, but for those working in this emerging field, there are two sites that provide in-depth coverage of the important technology and legal decisions.  TeleRead started in 1997 as a blog by David Rothman.  It rapidly became an online source for information about e-book adoption and technology in libraries and the trade.  Rothman sold the site to the North American Publishing Company (NAPCO) in 2010, and the site is now managed by a small editorial team that covers general publishing news, copyright, libraries, and news on the changes in digital publishing, including e-books, apps, and transmedia.  NAPCO produces Book Business, a magazine dedicated to covering the manufacture and technology used by today’s book publishers; Publishing Executive, a magazine that covers book, magazine, and web publishing; and Printing Impressions, a resource for commercial printers.  The company hosts the Publishing Business Conference and Expo.

Digital Book World is an online platform that has expanded from an annual conference on digital publishing; it now also provides a constant stream of news, research, white papers, and webcasts on the changes in the digital marketplace.  The conference and platform are operated through F +W, recently rebranded as “a Content + eCommerce Company,” which through its Writer’s Digest Books imprint also publishes the venerable Writer’s Market directory and Writer’s Digest magazine targeted to the writing community.  Other online news sources that are not traditional outlets on book publishing include Mediabistro’s GalleyCat, Vox Media’s The Verge, Ars Technica, and the Gigaom media channel.  These sites cover news on the media and technology but often report on publishing start-ups and publishing innovations that are not covered elsewhere.

Works Cited