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This blog was featured on 08/28/2019
This Month's Publishing News: August 2019
Written by
She Writes
August 2019
Written by
She Writes
August 2019

Publishing is an ever-changing industry with new updates coming every week. We've rounded up some of the biggest stories this August so you can be in the know about what's going on in the world of publishing.

A New Print Run for Toni Morrison

Since the passing of literary icon Toni Morrison, her publisher, Knopf, has seen a steady increase in demand for her books. Trying to meet this demand, Knopf has begun a new print run for Morrison's work, producing the books in both paperback and hardcover. They're reported to print 225,000 new copies for consumers. In addition to print sales, her final book, The Source of Self-Regard, hit the Publishers Weekly bestseller list for the first time since being published in 2018. Read more on the full story here.  

CBS and Viacom Merger

Media giants CBS and Viacom have just announced plans to completely merge their companies, creating the new ViacomCBS, Inc. by the end of 2019. What does this have to do with publishing? CBS is the parent company to traditional publisher Simon & Schuster and many are speculating that as this new venture grows, they'll look to sell the publishing imprint. Read more about the merger on Publishers Weekly.

Wattpad is Increasing Their Presence in the Publishing Industry 

Wattpad was in the news numerous times this month as they continue their efforts to make their mark in the publishing industry. First, it was announced that Penguin Random House UK's will begin publishing a children's line of books from Wattpad Books–the company's publishing division. This new partnership adds another major win to Wattpad's ever-expanding portfolio of partnerships and achievements. Read more about this new collaboration. 

In more recent news, Wattpad announced that in 2019, the platform has seen a rise of 23% in their active users, bringing the number up to an astounding 80 million monthly active users since last year. Get to know more about the Toronto-based platform that's making major waves in the publishing industry.

Most recently, Wattpad announced another international partnership with Viu, an Asian content provider who will help Wattpad bring their best stories to life through new video projects. The co-founding CEO of Wattpad made a statement about this new partnership and why it's so important: “Viu is a leader in bringing diverse, high-quality entertainment to audiences, while also creating new models for people to experience great storytelling. Viu knows what people love to watch, and its forward-looking approach is what makes it an ideal partner for Wattpad.” Read more about this new initiative.

Barnes & Noble Has Been Bought Out

News of Barnes & Noble being bought out by Elliott Advisors were brought up in June of 2019 and as of August 6, the bookseller is officially under new ownership. Now a private company, Barnes & Noble is now under the supervision of Elliott Advisors who also owns UK bookstore chain, Waterstones. The outlook on this buyout is positive as the CEO, James Daunt, is committed to physical book sales and is relocating to New York from London to get a better understanding of the book market in the United States–something all published authors who sell their books through Barnes & Noble can appreciate. Read the full article here.  

Amazon Strikes Back on Counterfeit Book Claims

The New York Times posted a story on August 19, accusing Amazon of selling counterfeit books in their bookstores. The news outlet said Amazon is "a place where copyright laws hold remarkably little sway" to which Amazon responded claiming that the books in question "are authentic titles provided to us by publishing houses." Amazon blames this misunderstanding on "differing copyright timing between countries." Read more of Amazon's statement and the details surrounding this pressing matter.

JD Salinger's Work to Be Published Electronically

Since author JD Salinger's death in 2010, his son, Matt, has been careful to not allow his work to be published digitally as Salinger hated the internet and always prized physical books over digital formats. In charge of his father's estate and a part of the JD Salinger Literary Trust, everything changed for Matt when he received a letter from a reader who has troubles reading physical books due to a right-hand disability. This letter inspired Matt to find a way for all readers to enjoys his father's books. Matt believes his father would still encourage readers to buy and enjoy physical copies of his work but would never want to exclude readers who aren't physically able to read printed copies. Read more on this sweet story.

Penguin Random House Denies Claims of Censorship

Penguin Random House is in hot water this August with people claiming that they're trying to censor one of their authors. Commissioned to write a book about "the evolution of the British Army after 9/11," journalist Simon Akam spent three years writing and researching The Changing of the Guard. Now, six months out from the book's scheduled publication date, Penguin is pulling the title due to a "quite unprecedented level of withdrawal of support and co-operation for the book from multiple sources." Because of this, multiple sources are now claiming that Penguin is trying to censor information that is of "vital interest to the public." While Penguin denies these claims, they explained that they are pushing the book's publication date due to the fact that it did not meet their standards of responsible publishing. Read up on this controversial issue over on The Guardian.

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  • Hyba Revising

    I had no idea about any of this! It's great that you share this news with us, because I don't think I would have come across these articles otherwise.