Book Publishing: 5 Key Topics of the Month

October, 2014: Every month, we highlight 5 key topics or new developments in the book publishing industry, with a special emphasis on academic publishing. Whether data, news or commentary, we aim to keep you informed.


We Need the Humanities As Much As Science to Solve the World’s Problems, said Paul Smith, Director of the British Council (USA) writing for the Huffington Post. The British Council is partnering with a range of organizations in the US and the UK, and eventually more internationally, in a new project called Mobilizing the Humanities. The humanities, the sciences and the social sciences need to work together to achieve “a total take on any issue”, Smith said, citing the environmental issue in Kano, Nigeria, as an example where “the engineer needs to work with the historian and the local theologian”.

Is Translation Stronger in France, Germany or the UK?
At the Frankfurt Book Fair, a panel of publishers got together to discuss international literature and translations, reported Publishing Perspectives. Pierre Astier, a Paris-based former publisher and now literary agent, said he was motivated to publish international literature after discovering authors from Africa and the Carribbean. Florian Höllerer, Director of the Literaturhaus Stuttgart, said a long-standing tradition of translation in Germany means the industry takes translators for granted. Christopher MacLehose founder of the British MacLehose Press described Hall 8 at the trade fair (the now-former traditional home of the English-language publishers) as “a sort of abattoir of culture.”

International Schools: Opportunities for UK Publishers 
UK publishers are right to invest heavily in the international school market, reported Book Brunch, which has grown exponentially from 2,500 schools in 2000 to 7,000 this year, according to the latest figures published by The International School Consultancy Group (ISC). UK publishers can build on their reputation for high-quality materials and a high standard education system to meet demand for the 42% of international schools that follow UK-based curricula.

Publishing Battle Should Be Covered, Not Joined, said Margaret Sullivan, Public Editor for the New York Times. After highlighting the dispute between Amazon and Hachette over the price of e-books, Sullivan addressed readers’ complaints that The Times is “demonizing” Amazon by admitting that the newspaper had “given a lot of ink to one side” and portrayed Amazon as “a literature-killing bully instead of a hard-nosed business.”

UK Publishes More Books Per Capita than Any Other Country
UK publishers released more than 20 new titles every hour over the course of 2014, meaning that the country published more books per inhabitant than anywhere else in the world, said The Guardian, citing a report from the  International Publishers Association (IPA). According to the report, UK publishers released 184,000 new and revised titles in 2013. This equates to 2,875 titles per million inhabitants.

BOOK LAUNCH: 28/10/14 Arab Development Denied | LSE, London


Dr Ali Kadri and Professor John Weeks

Dr Ali Kadri and Professor John Weeks

Anthem Attendee — Anna Ward, Marketing and Book Publicity Associate

I followed a crowd of students into Tower 2, Clement’s Inn, part of the London School of Economics campus located off the crescent shaped Aldwych Street in Westminster. Dr Ali Kadri’s book launch was about to begin.

We published his book, Arab Development Denied: Dynamics of Accumulation by Wars of Encroachment, in July this year and so far it has received interest across a range of journals including Arab Studies Quarterly and Heterodox Economics

Born in Lebanon but currently living in Singapore, Dr Kadri has extensive knowledge of the Middle East and economics. He is currently working as a Senior Research Fellow in the Middle East Institute at the National University of Singapore. Previously, he served as Head of the Economic Analysis Section at the United Nations regional office for western Asia.

The event was organised by the Laboratory for Advanced Research on the Global Economy (LAB), part of LSE’s Centre for the Study of Human Rights. Dr Kadri is member of the LAB’s panel of experts, known as a Sounding Board and he recently contributed an interview for their website.


Dr Jason Hickel, a Leverhulme Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at LSE, chaired the event.

Also present as a speaker was Professor John Weeks, professor emeritus of economics, SOAS, University of London. We published Professor Weeks’ book, Economics of the 1%: How Mainstream Economics Serves the Rich, Obscures Reality and Distorts Policy, in January this year. 

The panel collectively raised a few key ideas but the focus was on the impact of neoliberal economics in the Middle East.



Neoliberalism, where control of economic policies is shifted from the public sector to the private sector, was a key topic during the panel discussion. Dr Kadri commented on the almost universal adoption of neoliberal policies by Arab governments from the 1990s onwards:

“Neoliberalism opens up valves of resource flows which drain out [of the Middle East] without much re-investment. Policies are serving as conveyor belts for sending resources abroad.”

Is this development? Adverts for more property building between Cairo and Alexandria, by David Evers

Is this development? Adverts for more property building between Cairo and Alexandria, by David Evers


Dr Kadri cited Egypt, lauded as a success story by some for neoliberal policies, as a key example where rising economic growth has masked social issues such as food shortages:

“Despite 5-6 years of growth in Egypt, a third of children are malnourished. There’s a story not being told behind a story.”

Between 2004-2008, Cairo aggressively pursued economic reforms to attract foreign investment and facilitate growth. However, since 2011, it has relied primarily on foreign exchange reserves and depended on foreign assistance, particularly from Gulf countries, according to the Central Intelligence Agency’s website.

Professor John Weeks

Professor John Weeks

Professor Weeks also highlighted neoliberalism, referring to the famous quote by the American economist Milton Freedman, ”free markets for free men.”

He went on to say that that neoliberalism is an instrument of authoritarian societies, adding that this approach was disenfranchising masses of the population across the Middle East, eliminating any role in decision making:

“This leads us to one of the most important points of Ali’s book: development, or a lack of it, conflict, struggle and class conflict.”




Tunisian flag by Tarek

Tunisian flag by Tarek

It was interesting to listen to the questions by the audience at the end. One I thought was particularly relevant was about Tunisia. Is Tunisia the poster child for democracy in the Middle East? Will the recent elections give it a chance to escape “de-development“, the phrase Dr Kadri coins in his book?

Dr Kadri responded by saying that if Tunisia wants to ration its flow of resources it will require more than a Tunisian effort, adding that he remained sceptical of one single country in the region socialising its assets.




October Book of the Month: “IB Music Revision Guide”



We are happy to announce Roger Paul‘s first publication as our Book of the Month for October! The “IB Music Revision Guide – Everything you need to prepare for the Music Listening Examination” has been specifically designed for pupils of the IB Music Course and features a variety of learning techniques and helpful practice questions for both Standard and Higher Level. We talked to Roger Paul about writing his first book, from the challenges of the IB music revision course to his interest in progressive metal rock bands…


Q: Could you tell us a little bit about the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme music course? Is it one of the most challenging courses of its type?

Roger Paul: The IB music course is a very demanding but rewarding course to teach and study. It contains coursework elements such as performing, creating and a musical links investigation (a comparison of two pieces from different cultures chosen by the student), and an examination which tests the students’ knowledge of the Prescribed Works and Musical Styles.

Q: What type of music do you cover for the music course?

RP: It is very diverse; on the one hand there is the breadth of studying music from many times, places and cultures. This can mean looking at Baroque music, hip-hop, African drumming, the list goes on! On the other hand there is the depth provided by studying the prescribed works (currently Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony and Xian’s Yellow River Piano Concerto, for 2015-16 they are Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle and Gershwin’s An American in Paris).

Q: How did you use your time teaching music at St Paul’s Girl’s School to help you write the book?

RP: The Key Stage 3 teaching programme at St Paul’s Girls’ School has proved to be very useful in that it contains practical modules on a variety of styles ranging from Indonesian Gamelan to reggae to opera, so we get to experience the music first hand. For the A level students, it has also been good to try out some of the listening and analysis techniques that cross over between A level and the IB diploma.

Q: What do you think makes your IB Music Revision Guide stand out?

RP: I think the analyses of the Prescribed Works are a stand out feature; there isn’t a lot out there that caters specifically for the IB music programme. Each movement of the music is broken down into elements such as structure, melody, harmony and so on, along with detailed examples and bar numbers so that the reader can locate them in their copy of the score.

Q: What was your most recent musical purchase?

RP: I don’t think many will have heard of them, but I recently bought two albums by the London-based progressive-metal band Haken, Aquarius and The Mountain. I have a very broad taste in music!

Q: What has been the most challenging musical composition you have ever played?

RP: Back in my university days I played drums and percussion on an electronic piece called Urgent Messages. Most of the music was a graphic score timed in minutes and seconds!

Q: Who are your favourite composers?

RP: Too many to choose from! It really depends on what I’m teaching or performing at the time. It can be anyone from Bach to Stravinsky to Hans Zimmer.

Q: Musical icons?Elvis

RP: Not really, but I think John Lennon once said ‘before Elvis there was nothing’…

Q: Which young musicians are exciting you right now?

RP: The musicians I get to work with at St Paul’s; some of the girls join us already at Grade 6-8 level, and they keep on developing. That’s pretty exciting to see.

Roger Paul IB Music Photo

Q: How do you calm your nerves before a performance?

RP: Usually by making sure I’m as prepared as I can be; then I go out and enjoy it!

Q: What are you most proud of achieving in your academic music teaching career?

RP: Enabling my students to achieve their potential. Getting published for the first time has to be up there as well!

You can find out more about the book here

Bringing Together Ethics and Capitalism: An Interview with Mike King, author of “Quakernomics”



 ‘Fascinating, highly relevant and opportune, this book is a powerful exploration of history showing how ethical behaviour has been – and can be – an effective route to wealth creation and growth.’ 

—Carlota Perez, author of ‘Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital’ and Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics


mike kingProfessor and writer Dr. Mike King talks to us about his recently published book, Quakernomics: An Ethical Capitalism, which explores Quaker enterprises from 1700 to the twentieth century theory as a model for social responsibility in modern corporations. Dr. King also reveals an early interest in economics and discloses that a Quaker bank may be set up in the future, drawing on Quaker roots in finace. Did you know that a descendent of the mostly Quaker Pease family and her husband are known today as the “Posh and Becks” of the banking world? Read on to find out more… 


Q: Quakernomics is not your first publication: What was your motive for writing about Quakers and focusing on their contribution to economics?

Mike King: My interest in economics grew slowly. It was triggered by arriving at an arts department with a science background. My Marxist colleagues were baffled by this, just as I was baffled by their idea of ‘the commodification of art’, which led me to read Marx’s Capital. My grandmother had sold sculptures in Vienna during the Depression which meant her children did not starve; similarly, my father supported our family through art. Hence I could not see a problem with selling paintings, sculpture and so on.

I also span a bewildering range of disciplines partly acquired through graduating with four different degrees from four UK higher education institutions: a BSc in physics and chemistry, an MSc in software engineering, a PhD in computer graphics and an MA in studies in mysticism and religious experience. I have also taught myself international relations, US constitutional history, film theory and economics, and have appeared on Australian radio as a 9/11 conspiracy theory debunker.

Q: Can you briefly explain the idea of ethical capitalism and how it relates to the ideas of other economists such as Karl Marx?

MK: It became clear as I read right wing economists that for them capitalism was in itself an ethic whereas for the extreme left capitalism was by definition unethical. Quakers occupy the middle position of practical entrepreneurs who were instinctive capitalists for social good.

Q: How would you describe the state of the Quaker community today? Is it as tight knit as it was in the seventeenth century when Quakers first started ‘Meeting for Sufferings’ to record the persecution of their members?

MK: There are no threats now as there were then but Quakers offer continued support everywhere there is conflict. However, the numbers are in decline and in all populations Quakers make up a tiny group. They are still found everywhere. For example, there are Quakers in Russia since their ancestors were prominent in influencing the pacifism of Tolstoy, and in Japan one of the founders of Sony was Quaker. Also, the daughter of Richard Cadbury (who jointly founded the chocolate company with his brother George), Beatrice, married a communist and lived in Holland. She refused her inheritance and wanted to give it to the company workers but they refused to take it! 

On an individual level, Quakers are the strongest and largest community I am engaged with. I was also invited to join Quakers & Business which keeps me up to date with contemporary Quaker enterprises and thinking on corporate governance. They are instrumental in funding a PhD to investigate the twentieth-century period and are investigating the possibility of setting up a Quaker bank. Quakers have a lot of experience and history in banking; both Lloyds and Barclays were originally Quaker. The Pease family were bankers and instrumental in the Stockton and Darlington railway, the first passenger line in the world to be drawn by steam. I believe that Nichola Pease, daughter of Sir Richard Pease and descendent of the man known as ‘the father of the railways’, and her husband Crispin Odey, are known as the ‘Posh and Becks’ of the banking world.

Portrait of Elizabeth Fry

Portrait of Elizabeth Fry

Q: In your book, you refer to prominent female Quakers such as Elizabeth Fry and Margaret Fell. What do you think businesses today could learn from Quaker attitudes towards women at work?

MK: I’m not sure about that as it was a man’s world then. There were also practical reasons as women tended to have a lot of children. However, Margaret Fell, and then her daughter Sarah, managed an estate that included forges and shipping abroad and were very capable women. It is still a long haul for equality for women in business but Quakers have a tradition for equality and speak out for women’s rights. The most famous woman Quaker is possibly Elizabeth Fry, known for her campaigns for prison reform, and currently still acknowledged on the rear of the five pound note.

Q: Which Quaker origin business do you most admire and why?

The Coalbrookdale company of Abraham Darby which kick-started the industrial revolution. At the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony, film director Danny Boyle chose to celebrate his name above all others as the instigator of the Industrial Revolution. The company also had complete vertical integration; it not only made components for steam engines but it also built model villages and made donations. One of its directors, Richard Reynolds, had to employ four almoners to give his money away before he died, in a pattern of wealth creation and philanthropy still practiced by such billionaires as Bill and Belinda Gates and Warren Buffet.

Q: You mention that the model of Quaker practices in economics worked particularly well in small business. How could it be applied on a larger, even global scale?

MK: Quakers practised economies of scale from the beginning, introducing steam engines into every business that could use them. It was then still amazing that one machine could do so many things. Mass production was one underlying ingredient for their success. 

Now, all Quaker businesses are tiny, but, while not directly transposable, we can learn three key things from them: 

1) Cheap capital. Quakers had a network to rely on so new risks were small. I see no reason why the state can’t take on that function. Both Japan and Korea receive state investment on a grand scale, while the current UK government is supporting small businesses in this way.

2) Quakers are non-hierarchical, with no priests or bishops, but participate in collective decision making through ‘Meeting’ at various levels. These Meetings were effectively a form of ethics committee, rigorously investigating the behaviour of companies run by their members, for example reproving shoemaker Clarks for selling sheepskin coats to the army and ‘disowning’ the Galtons of Birmingham for manufacturing arms. Clarks was the longest-lasting Quaker business; it lingered on more than any other brand – and seems particularly popular in Jamaica! 

3) Sheer networking. Quakers had an unusual headstart as a networked group of entrepreneurs.

Q: Are you currently working on another project/publication?

MK: I am working on a book about monetary theory and banking drawing on statistics from the Bank of England and the US Federal Reserve system. I’m researching the question of moral hazard, such as the temptation for bankers to speculate more unwisely with other people’s money than they would with their own. Ultimately the book is about the ethics of lending in a world increasingly drawing people into debt.

You can also visit Mike King’s blog or Facebook page for further information.

Book publishing: 5 Key Topics of the Month


September, 2014: Every month, we highlight 5 key topics or new developments in the book publishing industry, with a special emphasis on academic publishing. Whether data, news or commentary, we aim to keep you informed.


Nature goes Open Access 
Journal Nature Communications, billed by Nature Publishing Group as the number three multidisciplinary journal in the world behind Nature and Science, is to take the “decisive step” of becoming open access only, reported The Bookseller. It will accept open access submissions from October 20 only, the company said in a press release.The move follows much debate on “open access” in academic publication.

Academic publishing can free itself from its outdated path dependence by looking to alternative review mechanisms, said Benedikt Fecher in this post for LSE’s “Impact of Social Sciences” blog.

How can marketers of academic books take advantage of changes in digital publishing? Beth McAllister finds out in this post for the Oxford University Press blog.

Amazon Launches New Crowd-Sourcing Publishing Program 
After rumblings surfaced that Amazon is creating a new American Idol-style crowd-sourced publishing platform, the e-tailer has confirmed that the program is “in the works”, reported Publishers Weekly. In the same week, the major retailer has also launched Amazon Unlimited, a “Netflix” for books.

PIPCU shuts down On Read 
E-book download site On Read has been shut down by the City of London’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), reported The Bookseller. The issue of E-book content protection remains prevalent after the EU intervened in a clampdown on piracy in the Netherlands earlier this year and Harper Collins recently adopted digital watermarking.


September Book of the Month: “Ricardo’s Gauntlet”

By Vishaal Kishore
PHOTO 2 Ricardo's Gauntlet (4)

“Ricardo’s Gauntlet” is a brilliant tour de force. Mainstream economists unanimously argue that the logic of comparative advantage and national specialization makes a rigid adherence to free trade the best policy for everyone, all the time, everywhere. Kishore devastates the argument. This is a powerful and timely contribution to the growing body of technically excellent alternatives to a stultifying orthodoxy.”

— Duncan Kennedy, Carter Professor of General Jurisprudence at Harvard Law School

This month, we are excited to present one of our trade titles, Ricardo’s Gauntlet: Economic Fiction and the Flawed Case for Free Trade  as “Book of the Month”. The book’s publication comes at a time when the free trade debate continues to rage in the media. It advances a critique of the mainstream economic case for international free trade and argues that this case relies on a cluster of interconnected and mutually enforcing ‘economic fictions’ – economic theories or doctrines that pretend to be fact but which upon examination turn out to be mirages.

We also caught up with the book’s author, Viashaal Kishore, and asked him a few questions about his experience writing the book and his theories on free trade. You can read the interview here.