31st May 2023Byte the Book and The Economics of Publishing – our top 5 takeaways

We were delighted to join some of our clients and friends at a recent Byte the Book panel event, organised by the wonderful Justine Solomons, to discuss: The Economics of Publishing – how do you make the business of your book work? 

It was great to hear from such an inspiring group of panellists – thanks to Phoebe Morgan (Hodder and Stoughton), Chris Wold (White Fox), Ivan Mulcahy (MMB Creative) and David Hargreaves (Author) – and we enjoyed meeting so many enthusiastic and ambitious Byte the Book members for drinks afterwards. 

For those who were unable to join the event, here are 5 of our favourite takeaways from the panellists: 

    1. Think of books as a business – It can be tricky to marry the commercial aspects of writing a book with creativity, which is why it’s often helpful to seek advice. Some authors are happy to adapt their writing styles based on what is high in market demand, others seek to maximise the opportunity by creating merchandise that can go alongside their books – something we are seeing a lot of by children’s fictional authors. 
    2. Knowledge is power – There are different ways to make money as an author. Often it is a combination of royalties and upfront advance payments. Take time to find out what will work best for you and your situation. For example, digital first publishers might offer less appealing advanced payments than traditional publishers, but very often offer more attractive royalties that could be more beneficial in the long term.
    3. Be clear on your goals – Writing may be a passion or you may want to make money. Be clear on your goals because this will impact which option may be best. For example, there are advantages to self publishing, as well as a more traditional route. In fact, traditional publishers often seek out self-published authors – nobody knows their audience better than they do! 
    4. Think about the elevator pitch – Great advice from Phoebe Morgan! Can you summarise your book in one or two clear sentences – this will help publishing teams sell the idea as a commercial opportunity. 
    5. Diversity is improving, but it’s slow – The good news is that the right conversations around diversity are happening, but the pace of the publishing industry must get quicker.

At HW Fisher, we’re proud to work with and support a wide variety of talented originators from the creative industries, including authors, journalists, social media influencers, playwrights, actors, vloggers, film directors, comedians, poets, record companies, concert organisers, composers, agents, publishers, advertising agents and PR consultants.

Whatever stage you are at in your career, we can offer specialist advice to help reduce your tax burden and meet your financial goals. Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss specific circumstances. 

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