Talk of the Town: 8 Things that Happened in the Publishing Industry in May 2021

Tough times call for tougher measures. While the world is slowly healing, things shall not return to normal any time soon. Going by the latest data given out by WHO, it is time to adapt to a new normal, where safety and hygiene should be our prime focus and we should stick to all the good practices learnt during the last few months. The publishing industry has also a lot to offer in terms of good practices– from open access research, creating platforms for ebooks and audiobooks, conducting webinars, virtual book fairs, the entire publisher and author fraternity has come together to keep the knowledge sharing chain active. Let’s take a look at what has been happening in the world of publishing.

1. Richard Charkin: Ten lessons from the pandemic we’ll probably forget

In Charkin’s own words, “The tunnel is longer than any of us hardly envisaged.” The pandemic has proved to be an eye opener for everyone. The lessons learnt are many and varied. However, it is important to stick to the lessons learnt in the past year or so to tide us through the hardships time is yet to show. The publishing industry, like most others, was also affected by the pandemic. What made us overcome the hurdles? Who were our saviors? What are our takeaways from the pandemic? It is the answer to these and some other questions which is going to help us in the coming months. Lest we forget, read the article here.

2. Global trends in open access: Themes from Africa, Asia and Latin America

In the research ecosystem, it is vital for researchers to share their findings, studies and learning with other scholars, researchers, peer groups and the wider society to establish a global information sharing platform. This open access platform is unfortunately enjoyed by some and inaccessible to a larger part of the society, raising concerns that important voices can remain unheard and the policy decisions might reflect the absence of many significant researches. A democratization of knowledge sharing is of utmost importance and can be achieved by following the African, Latin American and Asian models. Read the detailed article

3. Perusing the papers of a Spanish-language publishing legend

The experiences of publishing genius and founder of Anagrama, Jorge Herralde and his tryst with the world of publishing starting from the 1960s to 2000 and has been documented by the master himself in a series of papers written on the basis of conversations, letters and correspondence with the great authors, fellow publishers, etc. These were published as a collection of letters better known as The Herralde Papers 1968-2000 by Anagrama. Important anecdotes like how Herralde overcame Franco’s censorship policies, the explosion in the Spanish publishing landscape in 1970s have all been documented in these papers and these shall prove to be extremely helpful for the industry. Read the article here

4. DPLA agreement makes Amazon Publishing ebooks and audiobooks available to libraries

A raging pandemic, uncertain times and a lot of insecurity has led publishers to rethink their strategies of disseminating their titles in ways other than the conventional hard covers or paperbacks. Taking off from this, the Digital Public Library of America has entered into an agreement with Amazon publishing which will enable readers to have access to the latter’s 10,000 ebooks and audiobooks through a digital app developed by the New York Public Library. The new facility will be available through four licensing models. Read the entire article

5. French law on out of print works ‘world first’

The stringent Copyright Law of France was based more on the “right of the author” rather than on “copyright” and was different from the regular copyright laws in common jurisdictions. However, the country claims to have adopted a new law of copyright which have laid down rules of scanning and printing out-of-print and orphan books of the 20th century. The French Government is in talks with the European Commission officials to seek clearance for this new French law to take precedence in France. This will lead to a large inflow of revenues estimated to reach 9 million Euros by the end of 2021. Read the article

6. The London Book Fair International Excellence Awards 2021: Winners announced

The coveted London Book Fair International Excellence Awards 2021 have been announced and they consist of seven winners across four continents. The London Book fair is a much-awaited annual event attended by the who’s who of the global publishing industry typically welcoming more than 25,000 publishing professionals from all over the world. They also announce the International Excellence Awards during this event. This year, keeping up with the pandemic-struck situation, the event was conducted virtually. Know more about the winners and the event

7. New book publishing concept combines Taylor & Francis Books Heritage with F1000’s Open Research model

Imagine being able to publish as soon as you submit a research paper or a book? One Plus Books will enable you to publish one chapter at a time as soon as they are accepted with scope of adding additional chapters subsequently. One of the torchbearers of open access research, Taylor and Francis Books, has launched the pilot of a brand new publishing idea Open Plus Books in collaboration with F1000’s open research publishing model. United by their shared goals of amplifying and democratizing research, this first joint initiative following the acquisition of F1000 by Taylor & Francis Group in 2020 is an important step in strengthening and broadening Taylor & Francis’ capabilities in open research and open access book publishing, as well as enabling F1000 to extend its trailblazing open research publishing offering into books. Read the full article here.

8. AAP’s StatShot: US publishing up 40.2 percent in March, year-over-year

The pandemic has been successful in bringing the world to a standstill. However, it has failed to stop the spread of light in the form of knowledge and wisdom. According to a report released by the Association of American Publishers, year-to-date, the American market’s publishing revenues as tracked by StatShot were up in the first quarter by 22.3 percent, at $3.1 billion. The statistics include trade (consumer books), K-12 and higher education teaching material, professional publishing and university press. For a more detailed report, read the article