Anatomy of a design car-crash, or, why authors still need publishers

Much has been made of the ongoing ding-dong between publishers and agents over certain agents' decisions to publish their clients work directly in electronic form. In March, Sonia Land, agent for the Catherine Cookson literary estate, pulled a flanker on publishers Transworld and Simon & Schuster and announced she would publish the books directly.

Let's remind ourselves what she said to the Daily Mail at the time: Read more »


Top of the Pops? Amber Books' Top 100 Albums app

Amber Books' latest app, following swiftly on the heels of its well-received D-Day: 1944, is an interesting example of the growing genre of "coffee-table apps". Like their print equivalents, coffee-table apps tend to be light and entertaining, designed to be dipped into as and when the user fancies; unlike print, however, they can bring in multimedia to add to the experience. Read more »


What's that coming over the hill?

Quite rightly, JK Rowling has decided to cut her publishers in on Pottermore. Publicly her publisher, Bloomsbury, are ‘delighted to be partnering’ Rowling. Privately I can imagine there’s been a certain amount of gritting of teeth – tempered with relief that she did not cut them out of the deal entirely. That would have been wrong, Bloomsbury have done a brilliant job of publishing her. Read more »

Pottermore: the world's biggest enhanced e-book

Though I was most excited by the e-book announcement this morning, now I reflect on it, the real deal here is that J K Rowling is building a giant reading portal around her Harry Potter characters but with only minimal involvement from the publishers, who helped create this brand in the first place. Read more »

Pottermore Lessons (which I refuse to call "Learnings")

So, Pottermore exists, and it is a thing.

(But don't click on that link until after the 24th of June when the rush has died down a bit.) Read more »

If big authors do not need big publishers, then what are big publishers for?

If the rumours are true (and they would seem to be) and JK Rowling has sidelined the publishing industry to put the Harry Potter series into electronic formats under her own imprint then today marks the start of a new era in publishing. Read more »

It’s tough to make predictions–especially about the future

John Mitchinson, co-founder of Unbound writes for FutureBook: I spent yesterday talking to authors about new book projects, learning some tricks about the dark art of search engine optimisation, and writing copy for an exciting new project we’re putting up on the Unbound site ( on Friday. Read more »

If you won’t have blog, don’t bother sending us your manuscript – now add Twitter and eCommerce

After analysing the ebook performance of our authors so far this year, we’re revising our position. 

We got a bit of flack earlier this year for our article about blogs, and I’m sorry but some of you you are going to like this even less. As of this summer, unless an author will have a blog, twitter account and fully fledged eCommerce site, we won’t be considering their manuscript. Why? Read more »

The role of the book editor needs to change

Editors need still need to champion books in the digital world, but they also need to have a "vision" of how the content can be used beyond the traditional book, otherwise they risk losing control of the book to the "digital department". Read more »

Are UK ebook bestseller prices trending down?

I've started to do some historical analysis of the ebook price data I've been collecting.

In honour of the fact that I'm now going to be blogging for the Bookseller magazine, I decided to look at the UK market first.

(I'm not sure whether I'm going to be able to add the images to the Futurebook blog; check the original at if necessary) Read more »

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