|Editorial Director||Jim Milliot|
Publishers Weekly (PW) is an American weekly trade news magazine targeted at publishers, librarians, booksellers, and literary agents. Published continuously since 1872, it has carried the tagline, "The International News Magazine of Book Publishing and Bookselling". With 51 issues a year, the emphasis today is on book reviews.
The magazine was founded by bibliographer Frederick Leypoldt in the late 1860s, and had various titles until Leypoldt settled on the name The Publishers' Weekly (with an apostrophe) in 1872. The publication was a compilation of information about newly published books, collected from publishers and from other sources by Leypoldt, for an audience of booksellers. By 1876, The Publishers' Weekly was being read by nine tenths of the booksellers in the country. In 1878, Leypoldt sold The Publishers' Weekly to his friend Richard Rogers Bowker, in order to free up time for his other bibliographic endeavors.Eventually the publication expanded to include features and articles.
Harry Thurston Peck was the first editor-in-chief of The Bookman , which began in 1895. Peck worked on its staff from 1895 to 1906, and in 1895, he created the world's first bestseller list for its pages. In 1912, Publishers Weekly began to publish its own bestseller lists, patterned after the lists in The Bookman. These were not separated into fiction and non-fiction until 1917, when World War I brought an increased interest in non-fiction by the reading public.
Through much of the 20th century, Publishers Weekly was guided and developed by Frederic Gershom Melcher (1879–1963), who was editor and co-editor of Publishers' Weekly and chairman of the magazine's publisher, R. R. Bowker, over four decades. Born April 12, 1879, in Malden, Massachusetts, Melcher began at age 16 in Boston's Estes & Lauriat Bookstore, where he developed an interest in children's books.He moved to Indianapolis in 1913 for another bookstore job. In 1918, he read in Publishers' Weekly that the magazine's editorship was vacant. He applied to Richard Rogers Bowker for the job, was hired, and moved with his family to Montclair, New Jersey. He remained with R. R. Bowker for 45 years. While at Publishers Weekly, Melcher began creating space in the publication and a number of issues dedicated solely to books for children. In 1919, he teamed with Franklin K. Mathiews, librarian for the Boy Scouts of America, and Anne Carroll Moore, a librarian at the New York Public Library, to create Children’s Book Week. When Bowker died in 1933, Melcher succeeded him as president of the company; he resigned in 1959 to become chairman of the board of directors.
In 1943, Publishers Weekly created the Carey–Thomas Award for creative publishing, naming it in honor of Mathew Carey and Isaiah Thomas.
In 2008, the magazine's circulation was 25,000. In 2004, the breakdown of those 25,000 readers was given as 6000 publishers; 5500 public libraries and public library systems; 3800 booksellers; 1600 authors and writers; 1500 college and university libraries; 950 print, film and broad media; and 750 literary and rights agents, among others.
Subject areas covered by Publishers Weekly include publishing, bookselling, marketing, merchandising and trade news, along with author interviews and regular columns on rights, people in publishing, and bestsellers. It attempts to serve all involved in the creation, production, marketing and sale of the written word in book, audio, video and electronic formats. The magazine increases the page count considerably for four annual special issues: Spring Adult Announcements, Fall Adult Announcements, Spring Children's Announcements, and Fall Children's Announcements.
The book review section of Publishers Weekly was added in the early 1940s and grew in importance during the 20th century and through the present day. It currently offers prepublication reviews of 9,000 new trade books each year, in a comprehensive range of genres and including audiobooks and e-books, with a digitized archive of 200,000 reviews. Reviews appear two to four months prior to the publication date of a book, and until 2014, when PW launched BookLife.com, a website for self-published books, books already in print were seldom reviewed.
These anonymous reviews are short, averaging 200–250 words, and it is not unusual for the review section to run as long as 40 pages, filling the second half of the magazine. In the past, a book review editorial staff of eight editors assigned books to more than 100 freelance reviewers. Some are published authors, and others are experts in specific genres or subjects. Although it might take a week or more to read and analyze some books, reviewers were paid $45 per review until June 2008 when the magazine introduced a reduction in payment to $25 a review. In a further policy change that month, reviewers received credit as contributors in issues carrying their reviews. Currently, there are nine reviews editors listed in the masthead.
Now titled "Reviews", the review section began life as "Forecasts." For several years, that title was taken literally; reviews were followed with italicized comments that attempted to predict a book's sales success. Genevieve Stuttaford, who greatly expanded the number of reviews during her tenure as the nonfiction "Forecasts" editor, joined the PW staff in 1975. Previously, she was a Saturday Review associate editor, reviewer for Kirkus Reviews and for 12 years on the staff of the San Francisco Chronicle. During the 23 years Stuttaford was with Publishers Weekly, book reviewing was increased from an average of 3,800 titles a year in the 1970s to well over 6,500 titles in 1997. She retired in 1998.
Several notable PW editors stand out for making their mark on the magazine. Barbara Bannon was the head fiction reviewer during the 1970s and early 1980s, becoming the magazine’s executive editor during that time and retiring in 1983. She was, notably, the first reviewer to insist that her name be appended to any blurb of her reviews, thus drawing attention to herself, to the review and to the influence of the magazine in predicting a book’s popularity and salability.
Sybil Steinberg came to Publishers Weekly in the mid 1970s and served as a reviews editor for 30 years, taking over after Barbara Bannon retired. Under Steinberg, PW instituted the starred review, a first in the industry, to indicate books of exceptional merit. She also called out particular books of merit by starting the practice of boxed reviews, a precursor to the PW "signature reviews," boxed reviews that are attributed to the reviewer. The "Best Books" lists were also Steinberg’s brainchild, and these lists are still published annually, usually in November ahead of "Best Books" lists from the New York Times and other prominent review venues. Steinberg edited the magazine's author interviews, and beginning in 1992 put together four anthologies of them in book form, published by the Pushcart Press.
Formerly of InStyle magazine, novelist Louisa Ermelino took the reins of the PW review section in 2005. Under her watch, the number of reviews grew once again, to nearly 9,000 per year from 6,500.[ citation needed ]
In a sea change for the magazine, Ermelino oversaw the integration of self-published book reviews into the main review section of the magazine. Review editors vet and assign self-published books for review, which reviews are then published alongside the reviews of traditionally published books each week in the magazine.
Publishers Weekly does not charge for self-published book reviews, bucking a trend within the industry led by Kirkus Reviews and Foreword’s Clarion fee-for-review service, both of which offer independent book reviews in exchange for fees in the hundreds of dollars.
Publishers Weekly does syndicate its reviews to a variety of online retail venues such as Amazon, Apple Books, Powell’s Books, Books-a-Million, and others. The reviews are also carried by library database services such as Baker and Taylor, ProQuest, Bowker, Cengage, EBSCO and others.
For most of its history, Publishers Weekly, along with the Library Journal -related titles, were owned by founding publisher R. R. Bowker. When Reed Publishing purchased Bowker from Xerox in 1985, it placed Publishers Weekly under the management of its Boston-based Cahners Publishing Company, the trade publishing empire founded by Norman Cahners, which Reed Publishing had purchased in 1977. The merger of Reed with the Netherlands-based Elsevier in 1993 led to many Cahners cutbacks amid takeover turmoil. Nora Rawlinson, who once headed a $4 million book selection budget at the Baltimore County Library System, edited Library Journal for four years before stepping in as editor-in-chief of Publishers Weekly from 1992 to 2005.
Beginning January 24, 2005, the magazine came under the direction of a new editor-in-chief, veteran book reviewer Sara Nelson, known for her publishing columns in the New York Post and The New York Observer .A senior contributing editor for Glamour , in addition to editorial positions at Self, Inside.com, and Book Publishing Report, she had gained attention and favorable reviews as the author of So Many Books, So Little Time: A Year of Passionate Reading (Putnam, 2003), in which she stirred a year's worth of reading into a memoir mix of her personal experiences after a New Year's resolution to read a book each week.
Nelson began to modernize Publishers Weekly with new features and a makeover by illustrator and graphic designer Jean-Claude Suares. The many alterations included added color (with drop shadows behind color book covers), Nelson's own weekly editorial, illustrated bestseller lists, and "Signature",longer boxed reviews written by well-known novelists. The switch to a simple abbreviated logo of initials effectively changed the name of the magazine to PW, the name long used for the magazine within the book industry.
She also introduced the magazine's Quill Awards, with nominees in 19 categories selected by a nominating board of 6,000 booksellers and librarians. Winners were determined by the reading public, who could vote at kiosks in Borders stores or online at the Quills site. Reed Business dropped the Quill Awards in 2008.
In the past, the front covers of Publishers Weekly were used to display advertisements by book publishers, and this policy was changed to some degree in 2005. Although new PW covers now feature illustrations and photographs tied to interior articles, these covers are often hidden behind a front cover foldout advertisement. The visual motif of each cover is sometimes repeated on the contents page.
The Nelson years were marked by turbulence within the industry as well as a continuing trend away from serious writing and towards pop culture. Publishers Weekly had enjoyed a near monopoly over the past decades, but it was getting vigorous competition from Internet sites, e-mail newsletters, and daily newspapers. –and–butter clients of Publishers Weekly, were going out of business. Paid circulation dropped by 3,000 to 25,000 in the mid-2000s, Nelson pushed for significant changes towards modernization, greater use of the Web, and more focus on analytical reporting, but she was contending with economic forces working against the book buying market, problems she addressed in a 2005 interview:The industry was consolidating. Many independent booksellers, who had been bread
The distinction between a trade publication and a general-interest or consumer magazine is becoming ever more blurred... The magazine might not be for everybody who buys books... But I do think there is a good size civilian population that is fascinated by books and the book business. Find a group of three people, and two of them want to be writers or have a book idea. Everyone I know belongs to a book group. There is a crossover population that we should be able to add to the mix without sacrificing our appeal to people in the book business.
In 2008, faced with a decline in advertising support, Reed's management sought a new direction. In January 2009, Sara Nelson was dismissed along with executive editor Daisy Maryles, who had been with PW for more than four decades. Stepping in as editorial director was Brian Kenney, editorial director of School Library Journal and Library Journal.The dismissals, which sent shockwaves through the industry, were widely covered in newspapers.
In April 2010, George W. Slowik Jr., a former publisher of the magazine, purchased Publishers Weekly from Reed Business Information, under the company PWxyz, LLC. Cevin Bryerman remained as publisher along with co-editors Jim Milliot and Michael Coffey.
On September 22, 2011, PW began a series of weekly podcasts: "Beyond the Book: PW's Week Ahead".
PW maintains an online archive of past book reviews from January 1991 to the present.The earliest articles posted in PW's online archive date back to November 1995. A redesigned website was unveiled on May 10, 2010.
A bestseller is a book or other media noted for its top selling status, with bestseller lists published by newspapers, magazines, and book store chains. Some lists are broken down into classifications and specialties. An author may also be referred to as a bestseller if their work often appears in a list. Well-known bestseller lists in the U.S. are published by Publishers Weekly, USA Today, The New York Times and The Washington Post. Most of these lists track book sales from national and independent bookstores, as well as sales from major internet retailers such as Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.
Kirkus Reviews is an American book review magazine founded in 1933 by Virginia Kirkus (1893–1980). The magazine is headquartered in New York City. Kirkus Reviews confers the annual Kirkus Prize to authors of fiction, nonfiction, young readers' literature.
The Grantville Gazettes are anthologies of short stories set in the 1632 universe introduced in Eric Flint's novel 1632.
Midwest Book Review, established in 1976, produces nine book-review publications per month.
Books+Publishing is a news outlet reporting on the Australian book industry. Published as a website with daily newsletters and a print magazine, the outlet produces industry news about publishing, bookselling, libraries, rights sales, literary awards and literary festivals, as well as author interviews and pre-publication reviews of Australian and New Zealand books.
R. R. Bowker LLC is an American limited liability company based in New Providence, New Jersey, and incorporated in Delaware. Among other things, Bowker provides bibliographic information on published works to the book trade, including publishers, booksellers, libraries, and individuals; its roots in the industry trace back to 1868. Bowker is the exclusive U.S. agent for issuing International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs), a universal method of identifying books in print. Bowker is the publisher of Books in Print and other compilations of information about books and periodical titles. It provides supply chain services and analytical tools to the book publishing industry. Bowker is headquartered in New Providence, New Jersey, with additional operational offices in England and Australia. It is now owned by Cambridge Information Group.
Grove Atlantic, Inc. is an American independent publisher, based in New York City. Formerly styled "Grove/Atlantic, Inc.", it was created in 1993 by the merger of Grove Press and Atlantic Monthly Press. As of 2018 Grove Atlantic calls itself "An Independent Literary Publisher Since 1917". That refers to the official date Atlantic Monthly Press was established by the Boston magazine The Atlantic Monthly.
Judith Appelbaum was an American editor, consultant and author. She was active in the publishing industry for 50 years and was awarded both the Publishers Marketing Association Lifetime Achievement Award and the Book Industry Study Group Lifetime Service Award.
Richard Rogers "R. R." Bowker was a journalist, editor of Publishers Weekly and Harper's Magazine, and founder of the R. R. Bowker Company.
Jonathan Evison is an American writer known for his novels All About Lulu, West of Here, The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance! and Lawn Boy. Forthcoming novels are Legends of the North Cascades and Small World. His work, often distinguished by its emotional resonance and offbeat humor, has been compared by critics to a variety of authors, most notably J.D. Salinger, Charles Dickens, T.C. Boyle, and John Irving. Sherman Alexie has called Evison "the most honest white man alive."
The Bookseller is a British magazine reporting news on the publishing industry. Philip Jones is editor-in-chief of the weekly print edition of the magazine and the website. The magazine is home to the Bookseller/Diagram Prize for Oddest Title of the Year, a humorous award given annually to the book with the oddest title. The award is organised by The Bookseller's diarist, Horace Bent, and had been administered in recent years by the former deputy editor, Joel Rickett, and former charts editor, Philip Stone. We Love This Book is its quarterly sister consumer website and email newsletter.
Frederic Gershom Melcher was an American publisher, bookseller, editor, and a major contributor to the library science field and book industry. He is particularly known for his contributions to the children's book genre, including the Newbery Medal and Caldecott Medal. Melcher was named as one of the most important 100 leaders in the library science field of the 20th century in an American Libraries article and has been described as "the greatest all-round bookman in the English-speaking world".
AB Bookman's Weekly was a weekly trade publication begun in 1948 by Sol. M. Malkin as a publication of the R. R. Bowker Company, publisher of Books in Print and other book trade and library periodicals. In its glory days between the early 1950s and the early 1990s, AB was "the best marketplace for out-of-print books in North America." Nicholas Basbanes called it "the leading trade publication in the antiquarian world." In addition to publishing long lists of books wanted and for sale, it included trade news, reference lists, conference announcements, and various special features concerning the book trade, librarianship, and book collecting. The magazine was headquartered in Newark, New Jersey.
Tosca Lee is a bestselling American author known for her historical novels and thrillers.
Sara Nelson is an American publishing industry figure who is an editor and book reviewer and consultant and columnist, and is currently the editorial director at Amazon.com. Nelson is notable for having been editor in chief at the book industry's chief trade publication Publishers Weekly from 2005–2009 during a time of wrenching restructuring and industry downsizing. After that, she was book editor at Oprah's O Magazine. Her book So Many Books, So Little Time was published in 2003. Her views have been widely reported in numerous publications such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and she has appeared on television broadcasts including CBS's The Early Show. She has written for the Wall Street Journal and the Huffington Post about publishing industry trends and has been described as a "lively presence within the book publishing industry." She is an extensive reader and has been described as a "lover of books."
Frederick Leypoldt was a German-American bibliographer, the founder of Library Journal, Publisher's Weekly, Index Medicus and other publications.
Hezekiah Usher of Boston was the first known bookseller in British America. The first books printed in the thirteen colonies were published and sold by Usher.
Irene Hannon is an American author of romance and romantic suspense novels.
Robert Weil is the Editor-in-Chief and Publishing Director of the publishing imprint W.W. Norton / Liveright. Over the course of his career, “Weil has published seven National Book Award winners and three National Book Award finalists. He's published sixteen Pulitzer Prize winners ; seven Bancroft history prize winners; [and] seven MacArthur fellowship winners.” In 2017, he was awarded the fourth annual Bio Editorial Excellence Award.
As of 2018, several firms in the United States rank among the world's biggest publishers of books in terms of revenue: Cengage Learning, HarperCollins, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill Education, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, and Wiley.
Sara Nelson, ... who was previously a publishing columnist for The New York Post and worked at The New York Observer
a longer, signed piece called a 'signature' review
At Publisher's Weekly, the layoffs include Sara Nelson, editor-in-chief...