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

In September 2020, the world is still getting to grips with ever-changing COVID-19 restrictions, whilst schools and universities attempt to adjust to the ‘new normal’ as they begin an uncertain academic year.

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.

1. What are academic book publishers for?

Richard Fisher asks the ever-resonant question as to what, exactly, academic book publishers are for? In these troubled times, his think-piece aims to go beyond questioning the functionality of academic publishers, and instead focus on their purpose – the mission and not the role.

2. FT/ McKinsey business book of the year shortlist announced

There are six books competing for the £30,000 prize offered by FT/ McKinsey – each of them offering “insights into corporate culture and a post-pandemic world”. Vivian Hunt announced the shortlist earlier this month: find out which six made the pick here.

3. London library offer e-book loans for the first time pexels-ivo-rainha-1290141

In an increasingly online world, how can libraries adapt to offer the fast, remote access necessary – especially since the COVID-19 crisis? The London Library has begun to offer e-book loans for the first time – could this be the answer? Find out more here.

4. The high cost of academic publishing leaves Africa behind

Researchers are urging for reform in the accessibility of high-cost academic and scientific journals in order for scientists in under-funded countries, such as Africa, to be able to access information. Is there a “human right to science which is currently behind a paywall”?

5. NPD book cites a ‘switching of gears’ in the US market

In an analysis of the US book market, Kristen McClean has promising news for publishers: the market is seeing impressive growth since COVID-19 restrictions hindered the trading of physical retailers. Find out the statistics here.

6. The Frankfurt Bookfair heads into this year’s event with a virtual focus books-5053740_1920

Despite promising a hybrid fair earlier in the year, The Frankfurt Bookfair has had no choice but to switch to a fully digital event for October 2020. What does this mean for publishers, agents and authors? Tom Tivan questions what this means for the industry and the future of physical book fairs.

7. Academic Publishing in September 2020 – What’s the latest?

Featured in The London Book Fair’s Blog, academic publishing has taken the Independent Publishing Awards by storm! Read about new innovations in publishing, the launch of Association of University Press’s new website, and more here.

8. Gaps in academic communication network-3537401_1920

In an ever more global world, it can be surprising that we are still facing issues in communication between the global East and the global West – especially surrounding academic publishers and libraries. Tao Tao asks why, sometimes, do these different groups seem like two parallel worlds?