Week 52/21 – week ending 24 December

New edition of Clark’s Publishing Agreements coming next year

Clark’s Publishing Agreements: A Book of Precedents (Eleventh Edition) is set for publication in February by Bloomsbury Professional, with Lynette Owen as General Editor, and all royalties donated to the Book Trade Charity.

Reviewing a previous edition, Martin Woodhead said: “It is a true tour de force from key people in the publishing industry… Clark’s really is a truly indispensable work of reference for any publisher or literary agent who wishes to undertake their work in a professional and commercial manner for the benefit of all parties involved.”

According to Bloomsbury: ‘Clark’s Publishing Agreements has long been the ‘must have’ legal resource for the publishing industry.

‘This comprehensive book provides 25 model agreements, from author agreements to merchandising rights to online licensing to e-book distribution to text and data mining.

‘Whether you are an experienced drafter of publishing agreements, or new to the industry, Clark’s Publishing Agreements: A Book of Precedents will prove invaluable in ensuring that your publishing agreements are expertly and effectively drafted.

‘For the Eleventh Edition, all the precedents, explanatory notes and appendices have been thoroughly revised to take account of the latest developments including: Precedent for a social media influencer; New precedent on Open Access book author agreements; Coverage of audio deals, including arrangements with narrators; Electronic download of the precedents for you to adapt and use in your contracts.’

Contributors to the 11th edition, which runs to over 900 pages, include Huw Alexander, Suzanne Barlow, Chris Bennett, Duncan Calow, Anji Clarke, Sarah Faulder, Nick Fitzpatrick, Claire Hodder, Hugh Jones, Aleksandar Kaludjerovic, Carlo Scollo Lavizzari, Rachel Richards, Michael Ridley, Andrea Shallcross, Diane Spivey, Catriona Stevenson, Kevin Stewart, The Packagers Association, The Publishers Association,The Translators Association, Anna Vernon (Jisc), Alan Williams and Alicia Wise

General Editor Lynette Owen has spent her career in the field of copyright and selling rights and was latterly Copyright Director at Pearson Education. She is now a freelance consultant and regularly runs training courses in the UK and abroad. She is the author of Selling Rights (8/e, Routledge 2019) and has edited several editions of Clark’s.

Pinch of Nom takes Christmas number one crown

Food bloggers Kate Allinson and Kay Featherstone’s fourth Pinch of Nom cookbook, Comfort Food (Bluebird/Pan Mac), is the UK’s official Christmas Number One bestseller.

According to Nielsen Book sales data, the couple’s collection of slimming recipes sold 56,367 copies in the week ending 18 December 2021, giving the authors their first Christmas Number One.

Only 1,107 sales behind was Richard Osman with The Man Who Died Twice, published by Viking. The book is the sequel to The Thursday Murder Club, last year’s festive top seller.  Guinness World Records 2022 was the third most popular purchase at booksellers last week.
This year’s seasonal triumph marks another milestone for Allinson and Featherstone, who burst in to the book world in March 2019 when the first cookbook in their series, simply titled Pinch of Nom, became the fastest-selling non-fiction book since records began. The £20 hardback sold 210,506 copies in its first week on sale, beating the previous record, set by Sir Alex Ferguson’s My Autobiography, by a whopping 95,000 copies.
Nielsen Book analyst Philip Stone said: “Congratulations to Kay and Kate on joining the record books and taking the 2021 Christmas Number One crown. Our data reveals that £637,000 was spent on copies of their Pinch of Nom books in the UK last week, at an impressive rate of one copy sold every 10 seconds.”
A grand total of £86.1m was spent on 9.3m printed books in the UK last week—down 4% versus the comparative week last year in value terms, and down 3% in volume terms. Since non-essential retailers re-opened in England in April 2021, £1.31bn has been spent on printed books in the UK—up 9% (+£105.3m) versus the comparative period in pre-pandemic 2019. Volume sales over the same period totalled 151.8m—up 11% versus the same period in 2019.

Booker is world’s top book prize

The Booker Prize has emerged as the world’s most important international book prize after detailed research from Nielsen Book involving almost 1,000 publishers, authors and booksellers.

In terms of awareness, the Booker Prize/International Booker Prize had a worldwide score of 95% in 2021, slightly ahead of its nearest rival, the Pulitzer Prize, on 93%. The two Anglophone prizes were by far the most well known, with the Prix Goncourt trailling a distant third at 65%, followed by the Costas on 60% with the Sharjah International Book Fair Awards fifth on 40%.

Research findings were split out into national subsets, which, unsurprisingly, showed that the Booker had the highest awareness in the UK, at 97%, followed by the Pulitzer on 95%, the Costas on 86%, the Women’s Prize for Fiction on 85% and the British Book Awards on 83%. In the US, awareness of the Pulitzer was 100%, followed by the National Book Awards on 98% and the Booker on 95%. The research did not include the Nobel.

Respondents were also asked to rank prizes in terms of importance, on a scale of 1 – 10. The Booker had the highest average score around the world, at 7.7, followed by the Pulitzer on 7.0, with the Prix Concourt on 5.4, and the Costas fourth on 4.9.  In the UK and Ireland, the ranking was Booker first at 8.4, followed by WPF on 7.5, the Costas on 7.3, the Pulitzer on 6.3, and the British Book Awards (aka Nibbies) on 6.1. In the US, the Booker was fourth behind the Pulitzer, the National Book Awards and the John Newbery Medal.

Respondents were also asked to name up to 3 key book prizes for their territory (other than those specifically tested in the survey) and the CWA Daggers, Carnegie/Kate Greenaway and Baillie Gifford awards were most commonly mentioned by UK and Ireland respondents.  
The amount of support given by international book prizes to help publish/promote winners was also evaluated, with the Irish Book Awards topping the British and Irish chart, with 71% of publishers, authors and agents considering support ‘excellent or ‘good’. Second were the British Book Awards on 61%, followed by the Booker and WPF tied on 60% and the Costas on 59%.

Other categories in the research included what factors would influence publishers and authors entering awards, likelihood of publishers producing translated versions of winning books, what influenced retailers to stock winners, what factors encouraged the media to cover award schemes, and priorities for prize organisers in the future.
The background to the research is that during the summer of 2020, Nielsen Book was commissioned by an (unnamed) International Book Prize ‘to undertake an industry-wide survey to explore the perception of a number of book prizes across publishing, bookselling, writing, media and academic sectors in various countries. Nielsen Book was commissioned to repeat the survey in the summer of 2021, to see whether and how opinions had changed. The 2021 research was supported by the International Publishers Association, Frankfurt Book Fair, London Book Fair and Publishing Perspectives.’

There were a total of 954 respondents in total to the International Book Prize Awareness
& Impact Survey 2021, of which a third were in the UK/Ireland, while one in six were in each of the US, German speaking countries, and the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region (most commonly Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE). The remaining one in five were in the rest of the world (ROW), split between other European countries, Asia, Americas, Australasia & Sub-Saharan Africa.

Around a third in each year were publishers, with a similar proportion who were authors or academics. Small proportions were retailers or in the media. One in four in 2021 were in other sectors (e.g. agents, arts organisations, trade associations, book industry services).

The survey, led by Steve Bohme, Research Director at Nielsen Book, will be repeated in 2022. More information at www.nielsenbook.co.uk