Issue 4: Mind the (pay) gap, Cambridge Analytica

Release the hounds! You’re reading Issue 4 of Book The Trend — an industry newsletter on the future of publishing — released on March 27th, 2018

Stark: not just a Game of Thrones dynasty.
Publishing may be dominated by women, but men are raking in the dough. Figures reported to the UK government from Penguin Random House, Hachette UK, and HarperCollins reveal that while women make up almost two thirds of the workforce, men are paid more on average. The biggest disparity was seen at Hachette UK. They revealed last week that they have a median gender pay gap of 24.71%. That’s well above the British average of 18.4%. Hachette UK chief executive David Shelley told The Guardian, “The numbers are stark but there is an extraordinary group of people at Hachette dedicated to changing the story for us.” Read more on the pay gap here.

R.I.P. to Penguin Random House’s dedicated ebook department
PRH’s ebook production team has been disbanded. According to The Bookseller, digital expertise is now integrated throughout PRH which means dedicated centralised digital publisher roles are no longer needed. This is good news for digital, but bad news for the team. Mike Halshaw, editor-in-chief of the Penguin Random House ebook blog, marked the end of operations with a goodbye post entitled “Closing Time.” He writes, “It’s a shame that there are so many cool things Ebooks can do that people didn’t and don’t know about, and that perhaps a false narrative that they’re a basic medium – a digital simulacrum – is taking hold.” I can’t help but think that this is an allusion to when Hachette CEO Albert Nourry called the ebook “a stupid product” a few weeks back.

Keyword keyword keyword Cambridge Analytica keyword
In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Bloomsbury Sigma is bringing forward the publication of book that investigates the way algorithms control our lives. Mathematician David Sumpter’s book, Outnumbered: From Facebook and Google to Fake News and Filter-bubbles – The Algorithms That Control Our Lives (Featuring Cambridge Analytica), will now be published on April 19th, a month earlier than originally planned. Jim Martin, senior commissioning editor for Bloomsbury Sigma, said: “We are starting to see the paths an algorithm-driven future might lead us down. This book could not be more timely.” Side note: It’s pretty funny that a book about how algorithms control our lives has a 20-word title that reads like it was written exclusively to cater to a search algorithm. #JustSayin. Preorder here.

When it comes to audiobooks, “the industry is asleep at the wheel.”
Adam Rowe connects the increasing popularity of audiobooks with the burgeoning rise of smart speakers and notes that, despite this, the industry-standard payout percentages for audiobooks are “abysmal.” He writes, “Audio rights are now seen as increasingly valuable, to the point that even Audible is bidding against traditional publishers to acquire the exclusive audio rights to promising projects.” Read full article on Forbes here.

Love Oscar-winner Call Me By Your Name? Have you read the bookthough?
Don’t worry if you haven’t. Check out Rosa Lyster’s stellar article for The Cutthat explains how insisting that someone read the book before seeing the movie is now a laughably quaint anachronism.

Short on cash but high on feminist sentiments
Girlboss — I know, I know, whenever I read the name Girlboss, I think of Alana Hope Levinson’s tweet, “just imagined a businessman calling himself “Boyboss” and I can’t stop laughing.” So true. Anyway, Girlboss have created a round-up of all the sources online where you can listen to feminist audiobooks for free. Find freebies here.

If you like Book The Trend, please subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get the future of publishing in your inbox every Tuesday. #BTTFam

 

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