Professional development for independent publishers

13 07 2010

Our new programme of CPD seminars continued on Friday with a session on author-publisher contracts, hosted by copyright lawyers Hugh Jones and Chris Benson, authors of the seminal textbook Publishing Law (Routledge). Chris and Hugh took us through the basics of what actually constitutes a contract, which key items every contract should include, and how to incorporate current and future digital rights exploitation into new author-publisher contracts.

Chris and Hugh

There was also a chance for participants to raise their own questions, which took in a wide variety of topics including creative commons licensing, permissions, negotiating licenses with other publishers, and dispute resolution.

If anyone would like Chris and Hugh’s powerpoint notes, drop me an email at literaturenorthwest [@] and I’ll be happy to send them along to you.

Please keep an eye on the Literature Northwest website (and this blog) for news about our future CPD seminars, which are free to attend for all independent publishers based in the region. Over the coming months we’ll be hosting sessions on eBook development and distribution, blogging as a promotional tool, typography, web 2.0 marketing strategies, and much more.

In the meantime, if you’d like me to post any links about the work of independent publishers in the North West of England, or indeed anything that will be of interest to our members, please feel free to message me!

Publishing Law Seminar

7 07 2010

Just a quick reminder about this Friday’s LNW publishing seminar:

Publishing Law – with Chris Benson and Hugh Jones
When : 9th July 2010 – 1pm-3pm.
Where : Madlab, Northern Qr, Manchester

Price : FreeWe’ll be joined by Chris Benson and Hugh Jones, experienced copyright lawyers and authors of the indispensable Publishing Law (Routledge).

The session will look at author-publisher contracts – what constitutes a contract, which items they need to cover, and how they’re changing in the face of eBook and other digital rights.

There’ll also be the opportunity to put your questions to Chris and Hugh.

About the speakers: Hugh Jones is Copyright Counsel to The Publishers Association, and to the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers (STM). He also advises the Publishers Licensing Society on copyright issues.

Christopher Benson is a solicitor at City law firm Taylor Wessing. He has been practising for over ten years as an intellectual property lawyer.

The session is free to attend for all independent publishers in the region. Please email [at] to book your place, if you haven’t already.
This is Seminar 3 in the series of 12.

Manchester Independent Book Market Returns!

7 06 2010

We’re really chuffed that the Manchester Independent Book Market returns later this month, on our favourite pitch in St Ann’s Square. I had a lot of fun on the Comma stall last year, with good footfall, decent sales, and many enquiries about our work – so fingers crossed it’ll be another good one (and the mariachi band playing ABBA’s ‘Fernado’ on a mobeus loop won’t be there).

Crowds at last year's Independent Book Market

Situated in the bustling St Ann’s Square, just off Deansgate, the market’s a great place to browse, grab a coffee, and listen to live readings from a selection of talented performance poets and authors.

You can also meet representatives from the North’s finest independent publishers – including Carcanet, Tindal Street, Comma Press, Route Books, Crocus, Flax Books, and Inpress. So if you’re an aspiring writer, this is a great place to make contact with publishers and put your name about.

There’ll be live readings on Friday 25th and Saturday 26th June, from 12pm – 5pm, with the likes of:

Friday –

Dominic Berry, Rosie Garland (aka Rosie Lugosi), Dave Gaffney, Jackie Hagan, Helen Thomas, Dinesh Allirajah, Paul Sutherland, Alice Lenkiewicz

Saturday –

Nick Royle, Kim Wiltshire, Zahid Hussein, Annie Clarkson, Eleanor Rees, Gift Nyoni, Chris Jam, Conrad Williams, Alicia Stubbersfield, Tim Lees, Nabila Suriya, Nick Murgatroyd, Akiel Chinelo, Edmund Prestwich, Marvin Cheeseman, Steph Pike, Lula Bruise, Polly Atkin, Conor Aylwood, Fergus Evans

Both days are compèred by the incomparable Gerry Potter.

As a reward for reading to the bottom of this post, here’s a clip of spoken word/hip-hop artists ‘Penultimate’ at last year’s book market.

Literature Northwest’s new seminar series

30 04 2010

Literature Northwest’s new independent publishing CPD seminar series kicked off on Friday 30th April with a seminar on selling rights by Diane Spivey, Rights Director at Little, Brown.

The session provided some really useful insights into how publishers can exploit various volume and subsidiary rights, how to approach different markets, and tips on closing rights deals and organising contracts.

Notes from Diane’s session are available to all regional independent publishers who are part of the Literature Northwest network. To get your hands on a copy, please drop me an email at literaturenorthwest [at]

Literature Northwest CPD seminars are free to attend for all independent publishers in the region (and sometimes, for local writers, too!). Over the coming months, we’ll be hosting a range of seminars on topics including eBooks and Digital Asset Distribution; Imprint, Identity and Unity of Style; Web 2.0 – AV content for Literature Promotion; Trade Distribution, and Social Networking and Marketing. Keep your eyes on the events section of our website for more info:

The next 2 seminars are well worth putting in your diary:

1) John Goudie, Producer of BBC R4’s Front Row, on how independent publishers without the PR resources of London majors can make their publications newsworthy to arts programmes: Friday, 28th May, 1pm-3pm, @Madlab, 36-40 Edge St, Manchester, M4 1HN.

2) Chris Benson and Hugh Jones, authors of the indispensable textbook Publishing Law, guiding you through everything you need to know about author-publisher contracts. Friday, 9th July, 1pm-3pm, @Madlab, 36-40 Edge St, Manchester, M4 1HN.