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

In October 2020, the U.S. heads into a heated election, and large parts of the world still battle with coronavirus – leading to heavier restrictions, affecting book shops once again.

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. Have you been using the pandemic to catch up on long classic novels?

With extra leisure time on our hands, many of us have been turning to long literary classics which we’ve always wanted to read, but never quite found the time. Sales of War and Peace, Don Quixote and Middlemarch have been booming: find out more about our latest reading habits here.

2. The Changing Academic Publishing Landscape in China

In this session from the 2020 Professional Development Series, The Society of Scholarly Publishing discuss the nature of China’s scholarly publishing field. An array of interesting speakers touch upon the history and current landscape of academic publishing in China, including journals and open access, and is a must watch for anyone interested in the field. Check it out here.

3. AI to benefit academic publishers the most, says PA report

A report by the Publishing Association titled “People Plus Machine: The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Publishing” has found, through surveys and interviews with industry professionals, that many think AI will bring about significant change for the industry – benefiting academic publishers the most.

4. Global recession and no-deal Brexit will bite, IPG conference hears

The Independent Publishers Guild has warned that “the combination of a potential no-deal Brexit and worldwide ‘major economic upheaval’ could present further difficulties for the trade in the coming years”. Find out more about why publishers need to prepare here.

5. The Pandemic’s Impact on African Publishers

Akoss Ofori-Mensah, the Ghanaian founder of Sub-Saharan Publishers outlines how important the Africa Publishing Innovation Fund’s program is in order to assist the continent’s publishing industry.

6. In Search of Equity and Justice: Reimagining Scholarly Communication

Alison Mudditt considers how 2020 has been a year of reflection, where many home truths have been brought to the surface. In order to have true equality in the publishing industry, “we need to deliver a fundamental shift in the way we work internally and with all of our stakeholders in response to a watershed moment”.

7. Publishers Worry as ebooks fly off libraries’ virtual shelves

Checkouts of digital books from a popular service are up 52% since March, leading to an increase in tension between publishers and public librarians due to fears about profit margins. Find out more here.

8. Amazon accused of anti-competitive practices by US subcommittee

After a 16-month probe into whether tech giants such as Facebook, Amazon, Google and Apple abuse their power, the Democrats on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust have released their report. The results accuse Amazon of questionable anti-competitive practices, including coercing publishers for better deals.