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.