Talk of the Town: 8 Things that Happened in the Publishing Industry in July 2020

In July 2020, the world has seemed to have adjusted to the new normal, allowing us to start having conversations around the question, “Where do we go from here?”

That’s why Anthem Press has curated 8 note-worthy articles that contribute to a glimpse of the current state and future trajectory of the publishing industry. Whether data, news or commentary, we aim to keep you informed.

800px-Oxford_-_Oxford_University_Press 1. University Presses in the Age of COVID-19 How Press Directors are Navigating the Challenges of the Pandemic

Ithaka S+R conducted conversations with university press directors regarding their transition to a remote workforce. They found that most presses were coping well by putting health and safety of employees first, staying connected, maintaining productivity, and embracing change. However, the financial outlook of FY 2020-2021 seems to be pessimistic.

2. 2019 was the biggest year ever for UK publishing

The statistics are in: the value of UK publisher sales of books, journals and rights/coeditions combined rose to £6.3bn in 2019, 4% higher than in 2018 and 20% higher than in 2015. Both print and digital sales income has grown and exports remain crucial to the industry’s success. Are the numbers still optimistic during and post-pandemic?


3. How technology literally changes our brains 

Speaking, reading, and now the internet have each changed our brains in different ways. The internet allows us to access lots of information very quickly — the more, the better and the fast, the better. What we lost sight of was how we actually take that information in. Instead of having a rich base of information, our brains only process and remember just bits of information.

4. 10 Principles of Simplifying Access to Keep Libraries at the Center of the Research Process

Digital content and the technology to support information retrieval opened up an unparalleled opportunity for research. However, getting from the point of discovery to the digital full text has never been straightforward. Publishers, libraries and technology companies are developing new initiatives to simplify and expedite access to authoritative content, including Third Iron and LibKey.

5. Ask The Interns: What Is The Value Of Internships?

Internships can either help people from diverse backgrounds to enter the publishing industry, or exclude them from doing so, depending on how they are set up. Former interns answer, “How do internships add value for the individual, the organization, and our industry?”

6. Freedom of expression is complex, challenging – and crucial

Amidst discussion of free expression in the UK and the US, #cancelculture on social media, a letter signed by literary figures warning of ‘rising censoriousness,’ Daniel Gorman, director of English PEN, discusses how to navigate freedom of expression in a way that recognises the human rights of others and encourages mutual respect and social intercourse.

800px-Toby_Morris_at_book_launch7. Book Launches Get More Creative

Authors, shut out of holding in-person events at bookstores, are getting more creative and collaborative when it comes to promoting their books, from drive-in book launches to virtual events. Barbara Peters discovers, “It’s crucial to step outside our comfort and experience zone.”

8. Wimbledon BookFest to hold physical event in September

Wimbledon BookFest is running a live, physical event, called Last Days of Summer, in September, featuring a keynote speech from Matthew Syed. It will run from 12th to 13th September in an open marquee on Wimbledon Common (at reduced capacity) featuring inspiring speakers and bestselling adult and children’s authors.