Issue 9: Bloomsbury partners with Spotify, HarperFiction releases first podcast

It’s getting hot in here. You’re reading Issue 9 of Book The Trend — an industry newsletter on the future of publishing — released on May 8th, 2018.

Each week, Book The Trend gives you a run-down of the most important innovations and advancements in the world of publishing. Let’s jive!

Quote of the week

Secrets don’t help science.

TNW journalist Tristan Greene on the controversy over Nature science journal’s closed access machine-learning publication

Innovative content partnership alert! Enter Bloomsbury x Spotify
Bloomsbury have signed an “innovative content partnership” with Spotify to bring it’s 33 ⅓ series of short books about popular music onto Spotify. (Fun Facts: the name 33 ⅓ comes from the speed of a vinyl LP and it is, for me as an Irish person, very difficult to pronounce).

With 130 titles, each book in the series focuses on a single album and features artists from Kanye West to Dusty Springfield to Serge Gainsbourg. The series now has a cult following among musicians and music fans alike. Every 33 ⅓ story will be available exclusively as an audiobook on Spotify.

Bloomsbury chief executive Nigel Newton said: “For 15 years the series has produced an amazing range of personal, experimental, and innovative music writing. I’m delighted that our partnership with Spotify will break new ground for the 33 1/3 series.” This is a bold step for Bloomsbury as they continue to diversify their digital footprint. In a tantalising this-is-just-the-tip-of-the-iceberg comment, Newton said, “It is one of a number of partnerships which Bloomsbury is successfully seeking out with the world’s most ground-breaking companies to expand our digital offering.” Now they’ve got me wondering what else they have up their sleeve (a series of short books on film called 8mm?). Read more about this novel streaming partnership here.

HarperCollins turns to podcasts to promote debut fiction release
And we’re not talking about mid-roll ads. To promote the launch of YA author Sarah J. Harris’s debut novel The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder, HarperFiction has released a 4-episode podcast in tandem with Folded Wing. The book tells the story of a 13-year-old boy with synaesthesia (he sees sounds as colours) and face blindness (he can’t recognise faces, including his loved ones). Over 3 episodes, the author delves into the science behind the medical conditions that inform the fiction by speaking to experts and people with both conditions. The final episode is teaser of the first chapter of the audiobook. Give it a listen here.

Unbound launches membership scheme
Crowdfunding publisher Unbound has kicked off a reading club (read: membership scheme) which they describe as “a new service for people who want to make books happen.” The service offers an exclusive monthly ebook, free shipping, and special offers for members. Unbound CEO Dan Kieran told The Bookseller: “All proceeds from the Reading Club will go towards helping fund great books.” This comes in the wake of structural changes over the past few months at Unbound. Read here for boundless details.

Thousands of AI experts will boycott a science journal
Science journal Nature recently announced the creation of a new closed-access section of its publication dedicated to machine learning — nature machine intelligence (oxymoron anyone?) — to be launched in January 2019. The AI community are NOT pleased as they believe that closed access journals are the last thing that will advance machine learning. Read more about the Twitter furore and angry petition here.

How do you open a bookshop? With a five-day festival of course!
Trendy collaborative workspace Second Home is set to open a trendy new poetry bookshop — an outpost of Libreria — at its Holland Park branch in London and launch a five-day poetry festival. Co-founder Rohan Silva said, “People thought we were crazy when we opened our first bookshop Libreria in Spitalfields. In reality, it’s been so successful that it was a no-brainer for us to create a poetry-focused outpost at Second Home Holland Park.” The festival will run from June 5-9, with the full programme being announced in May. Get the full dish here.

Apple hiring trends point in a strong editorial direction
After hiring Texture — Netflix for magazines — a couple of months ago, the question remains, what direction is Apple moving in? This article by Joshua Fruhlinger analyses Apple hiring trends over the past 3 years and shows that they are clearly moving towards more a more editorialised approach. It’s worth a look for the fun graphs alone.

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