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

The pandemic has given us reasons to think differently, do the unthinkable and bring in variety to our lives. We never know what awaits us in the coming months. So why not increase our reading horizons and stay on top of what has been happening in the publishing industry? Do enjoy our ensemble of articles this month as each of them discusses a different topic altogether. A well-thought-out reading list curated specially for our readers.

1. Revisiting: How to be a good peer reviewer

A good time to read this article, as the theme of Peer Review Week of 2021 has just been announced and peer review has been a prime focus for readers. Jasmine Wallace explains the best practices of the peer review process in the article. Read here

2. Wynne becomes first translator to chair International Booker Prize judges

The International Booker Prize has revealed its judging panel for next year’s award, to be chaired by Frank Wynne—the first time a translator has chaired the panel. Sian Bayley gives us an insight into what to expect from the Booker next year. Read the article here

3. Penguin to publish guide to its Modern Classics series

Penguin will publish a guide to 20th-century literature to celebrate the 60th anniversary of its Modern Classics series. Particular Books will release The Penguin Modern Classics Book in November, celebrating more than 1,800 titles in the series. It will be the companion volume to the Penguin Classics Book published in 2018, and will be written by author and Classics editor Henry Eliot. Read the article here

4. How the American Rescue Plan Act works for libraries

Elizabeth Kobert discusses the ins and outs of how new federal funds will reach public libraries and how they can be spent. The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) is a $1.9 trillion stimulus package passed by Congress on March 10. It includes targeted funding for various sectors of the economy and government impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, ranging from agriculture to small businesses to education—and libraries. Read here

5. ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing 2021: Shortlist announced

The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP), has announced the shortlist for the ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing 2021, sponsored by HighWire. Applications for the annual awards were open to any new development, product, service or project which is both innovative and of significant value to scholarly communication. The winners are asked to demonstrate excellence in terms of originality, innovation, value to the community, utility and long-term viability. Read to know more

6. Richard Charkin: An age of Aquarius

‘Changing the world is hard and the highest ideals may have unintended consequences,’ writes Richard Charkin in his column of queries on issues in the publishing industry’s self-examination. Many publishers around the world are doing their best to respond to the challenges that have been thrown to them by the COVID-19 pandemic. Audits of gender, race, and sexuality of employees and authorship are undertaken, published, and followed up. Read here

7. Whose business model is broken anyway?

As Dr. Syntax has said in his own book, What Editors Do, publishing has been declared broken repeatedly since Gutenberg. The industry has plenty of problems, but in fact it has weathered the digital era–and even a worldwide pandemic– far more successfully than many other media businesses. To compare Substack’s “disruptive” model with conventional books, the article looks at the “value propositions” side by side by doing a little arithmetic. Read here

8. Employers experiment with hybrid work and location models, partnering with local bike and coffee shops

The spectrum for hybrid-working models is vast. For some employers, allowing employees flexibility on which days they go to the office and which they work from home, is a big enough shift. For others, it’s not nearly enough — they want to go a step further and rip up previous office models entirely. Jessica Davies explores the creative ways of designing workspaces in the post-pandemic era. Read here