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PA's PR 20th March 2017

PA's PR 20th March 2017

Since the last edition of PA's PR, the PA has hosted, attended and spoken at a number of seminars, panels and debates at the London Book Fair, including the Charles Clark Memorial Lecture, theQuantum Conference, a seminar on whether Brexit is good or bad for publishing and a seminar onaccessibility in publishing. Meanwhile the winners of the inaugural CAMEO awards and of the International Excellence Awards have also been announced. Outside the book fair, the PA was saddened to hear about the sudden death of Iain Stevenson, Professor Emeritus in Publishing at UCL. Meanwhile World Book Day has celebrated its 20th anniversary.


Charles Clark Memorial Lecture        
The PA co-hosted this year’s Charles Clark Memorial Lecture last week on the development of fair use. Speaking at the lecture, Judge Pierre Leval, one of the authors of the Google Books decision, admitted it was a scary time for content owners, but added that digital technologies can vastly improve utility without a significant impairment of rights protected by copyright, and that fair use enables this. Leading IP lawyer Jon Baumgarten countered that publishers don’t regard Fair Use as the enemy, but that the law of Fair Use was undergoing unwise systemic change. He also criticised the Google decision for expanding the right to copy freely.

LBF Brexit seminar        
Ian Hudson, Chief Executive of DK, warned of the impact barriers to trade with the EU, restrictions on hiring overseas and the loss of influence on developing EU laws might have on the UK publishing industry after Brexit. In aseminar organised by the PA, Hudson said the Brexit vote had already impacted DK with the devaluation of the pound increasing the cost of printing and running international offices. Nick Hillman, Director of HEPI, meanwhile said a crackdown on international students would be a “disaster” for the higher education sector. Rosa Wilkinson from the Department of International Trade sought to reassure the UK would remain a strong voice in developing EU regulations moving forward.

Quantum Conference: Nielsen figures        
Spending on books across all formats increased from 2015 to 2016, according to figures releasedby Nielsen Book at the Quantum Conference last week. Steve Bohme, Research Director at Nielsen Book, said that in 2016 360 million units were sold, up from 353 million in 2015, with value  rising to £2.4 billion, up from £2.24 billion last year, partly driven by high sales of the latest Harry Potter and Joe Wicks' health cookbooks. The statistics also showed that while print sales rose, ebook sales had fallen last year by 4%, which Bohme said was driven by a decline in the popularity of e-readers. The PA's statistics on publisher sales will be published next month.

Accessibility seminar      
The PA’s Director of Publisher Relations Emma House spoke at this year's accessibility seminar about how publishers can best respond to the requirements of the Marrakesh Treaty (there is a briefing paper about the treaty on the PA site). She was joined by Richard Orme, Chief Executive of the DAISY Consortium, who showed what accessible ebooks can do, including linking by smartphone to a portable braille display, and outlined work with Google to define a baseline for accessibility (more here). Meanwhile Bill McCoy reassured the audience that publishing would not get lost in the IDPF/W3C merger, and encouraged participants to join publishing groups forming within W3C.

What Works? conference   
This year's What Works? education conference explored the transition to digital learning technologies, publisher resources for educators, and developments in copyright. Speaking at the conference, Cambridge University Press' Will Bowes stressed the need for education publishers to show their value add at a time when the pendulum is swinging away from rights after a period of increase. Meanwhile an international panel on how publishers can embrace tech to survive predicted the end of the royalty era as rights are bought and risks taken beforehand, but predicted greater revenues from the feedback that tech can give to teachers and learners.

Research Scholarly Publishers Forum        
Cambridge University professor Kenneth Armstrong highlighted the anxiety Brexit has generated in the academic world over funding, recruitment and retention. Speaking at the Research and Scholarly Publishing Forum, programmed by the PA and ALPSP, he added that it also presents opportunities, including the possibility that destabilisation can help enhance understanding. Meanwhile a panel on the future of open access highlighted the collective work publishers, libraries and funders need to do to understand which version of the article authors are comfortable sharing; the move from OA to open science; and the need to remove transactional noise in the library.

CAMEO Award winners      
The film 45 Years, based on the book In Another Country by David Constantine, has been awarded the best Book to Film adaption in the inaugural CAMEO Awards, beating other shortlisted titles Me Before You and The Martian. Meanwhile We're Going on a Bear Hunt, based on a book by Michael Rosen, was awarded the best Book to TV, against Mog's Christmas Calamity and the Night Manager. Beast Quest, based on a book by Adam Blade, won the Book to Game award and Hetty Feather, based on a book by Jacqueline Wilson, won the Book to Stage category. These London Book and Screen Week, supported by the PA, celebrate the integral role books play in the creative industries.

International Excellence Awards     
HaperCollins and Sage Publishing were among the winners of the LBF International Excellence Awards, held in association with the PA. HarperCollins received the inaugural Inclusivity in Publishing Award, while Sage received the Accessible Book Consortium publisher award. The French bookshop Shakespeare and Company, meanwhile, was awarded Best Bookshop of the Year in part due to the Parisian perfume it sprays in its books. Sharjah ruler Sultan bin Mohammed Al-Qasimi was given the LBF Simon Master's Chairman Award for his contribution to the publishing industry in the UAE. The full list of winners can be found here.


Professor Iain Stevenson    
The PA was very saddened to hear of the sudden death of Iain Stevenson, Professor Emeritus in Publishing at UCL. Iain led the development of UCL’s Centre for Publishing and MA in Publishing for nearly ten years until his retirement in 2015. Before that he was at City University, setting up their MA in Publishing Studies. While he was at City he helped the PA set up their first academic and professional division conference, and was active for the PA on copyright committees and the Publisher and Librarian Solutions Group. He has also had extensive publishing experience. Tributes to him are on the UCL site.  

World Book Day
World Book Day celebrated its 20th anniversary this month, with the National Literacy Trust marking the milestone by releasing the results of a survey which highlighted the positive impact the initiative has had on reading for children. According to the survey of over 9,000 pupils, a quarter of eight to 11-year olds in the UK would not own a book without World Book Day. One in four pupils said the first book they ever bought was purchased using the £1 World Book Day token they were given last year. Baroness Gail Rebuck, who founded the initiative, said the message is still the same as in 1997 "the reading is fun, relevant, accessible, exciting and has the power to transform lives." 

PA Consumer Publishers Council

Jamie Byng (CEO at Canongate) has stepped down as Chair of the PA CPC with David Shelley (CEO of Orion and Little, Brown UK) taking on the role with immediate effect.



Getting the most from Access to Research, 4 April 2017, Webinar

Bologna Children's Book Fair, 3 - 6 April 2017, Bologna

UKSG 40th Annual Conference, 10-12 April 2017, Bournemouth

Managing Publishing Strategy, 9 May 2017, London

British Book Awards 2017, 8 May 2017, London

Introduction to Collective Licensing, 11 May, 2017, Aberystwyth

Academic Book Trade Conference, 18 - 19 May 2017, Stratford-upon-Avon

Introduction to Editorial Skills, 9 June 2017, London

Introduction to Collective Licensing for STM & Academic publishers, 15 June 2017, London

PLS Annual Open Meeting , 6 July 2017, London