Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Silence Falls on Publishing News

The two trade publications that represent the book business in the United Kingdom are The Bookseller and Publishing News. I know many of their writers, so it was with alarm that I read this:
PUBLISHING NEWS, THE book trade weekly, is to cease publication. The issue of Friday July 25th will be the last. The news was announced in a statement today (Wednesday, July 15 2008).

The publication, founded in 1979, has been hit by the same problems that have affected all magazines and newspapers, as advertisers have shifted increasing proportions of their spend to online and direct sales. PNL’s founder and Chairman, Fred Newman, commented: “This has been a sad and difficult decision to make, but the nature of the book trade which today offers a multiplicity of ways for publishers to sell books both to booksellers and to consumers has changed dramatically. For the biggest book publishers, the trade press is now only one of many options for the promotion and sale of their titles.”

This is yet another symptom of the global economic downturn and the transfer from print publication to online, with many advertisers joining the migration. It is not all bad news however -- even though this is only keeping a brave face on such terrible news.
Newman stressed that all other activities of PN Ltd are unaffected by the closure of Publishing News. The company will continue to organise the British Book Awards and has recently signed a new two-year contract with its headline sponsor, Galaxy.
Read the full report here, while rival The Bookseller reports here.

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