PUBLISHING 101: Trends in the Book Biz

PUBLISHING 101: Trends in the Book Biz

Monday, January 28, 2008

“When did the rules change?” Many writers and journalists have pondered this question over and over about book publishing, which has completely undergone a metamorphosis in the past decade. The Internet, media consolidation, big-box vs. independent bookstores, the boom in self-publishing, online “e-books” and blogs, and Hollywood-style demographics, age discrimination, and target-audience issues have transformed what was once the most stable and reliable of media industries into a completely new — and relatively uncharted — landscape.

IWOSC kicks off 2008 with a panel created to untangle some of these knotty career issues. It includes experts from every checkpoint of modern publishing — an agent for one of Hollywood’s A-list literary and talent agencies and a top book publicist. Plus, two of LA’s most prominent booksellers — one anchored in the independent bookseller world, while the other is from one of the nation’s premiere chain bookstores.

A sampling of issues to be addressed:
The boom in non-fiction publishing over the last 25 years.

Why it is more difficult to acquire an agent and a major publishing house.
What carries more weight?– a fiction author’s career, platform, and education or how well an author writes?

The trend toward specific markets such as gay/lesbian, black or Latino, chick or lad lit, etc.
What booksellers are looking for in new books and new authors.

What types of books are considered hot for the foreseeable future and which ones are so last year.

TELLY DAVIDSON (moderator): Davidson is an entertainment columnist and writer, and the author of “TV’s Grooviest Variety Shows” (Cumberland House, 2006), which was chosen as a Book of the Year for Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.. He writes regularly for and YahooMovies.  He’s also a contributor to LA Daily News, Guitar Player, Create Magazine,, and the American Film Institute. He has recently completed a novel, which has generated interest from several top agents.

ANDREA “Andy” BARZVI is a literary and acquisitions agent for ICM talent agency in Century City.  Prior to joining ICM in Los Angeles, she worked at their New York headquarters, where she started in 2001 after graduating from the prestigious Cardozo Law School in New York City.  She has sold fiction and nonfiction books to most of New York’s biggest houses including talk-show host Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo’s No. 1 N.Y. Times bestseller “He’s Just Not That Into You” and the new “How to Be Single.”

TYSON CORNELL is the Publicity and Special Events Manager of the famed Book Soup in West Hollywood, and maintains one of the most sought-after booking lists in Southern California’s literary world.  He’s coordinated signings for everyone from Hunter S. Thompson’s last book tour, to the likes of Gore Vidal, Dominick Dunne, Tom Wolfe, Diane Keaton, P.J. O’Roarke, Gary Owens, Janet Fitch, David Ulin, Joan Didion, and Carolyn See, as well as a scheduled January signing for Davidson’s own “TV’s Grooviest.”

KIM DOWER runs Kim-from-LA Literary and Media Services, founded in 1985. She offers media training and PR for authors and broadcast and print journalists. Her client list is like a Who’s Who of authors and screenwriters in Southern California, including best-selling authors Carolyn See, Robert Crais, T. Jefferson Parker, and the “queen” of KNBC News from 1971 to 2000, Kelly Lange.  Her writer clients have been profiled on “Entertainment Tonight” and in the Los Angeles and New York Times. She is the author of the top media-training guide, “Life is a Series of Presentations.” Visit Â

Plus a top representative from the Borders or B&N store chain in Southern California, and another top agent or book critic.