2017 Highlights: Books, Publishing, and Writing
As the year closes, we take a look back at some 2017 highlights, both from TJ INK and the wider book world.
Besides the economic and political disruptance that occurred this year, the print and publishing industry has remained solid. Books are still high up on consumers’ lists and publishers, booksellers, and authors seem optimistic for the future. That’s surely one of the best 2017 highlights!
A good year for print
Sales reports have been positive from most publishers, with independent presses in particular seeing increased sales by 75% from last year. Waterstones has reported being back in the black for the first time in 5 years and 11 years of net decline is over for independent booksellers.
A year of Fantasy
2017 celebrated the 20th anniversary of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter franchise. The fantasy story surrounding the boy wizard has thrilled readers of all ages and celebrations were held all over the country. Special edition books were printed, along with The British Library hosting an exhibition on the books. The display is complete with magical artefacts documented throughout history and some of JK Rowling’s early drafts. Tickets are still available until the 28th of February next year on their website here.
Fantasy books have continued to be centre stage with the release of Philip Pullman’s Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage. This really was on of the biggest 2017 highlights.
The first of a new trilogy to bookend the His Dark Materials series, The Book of Dust, was one of the biggest, if not the biggest, book of the year.
Pullman revisits the world of Daemons and Dust, writing a book which eager readers had been waiting seventeen years for. Although some controversy surrounded the book from the large discount offered to chain bookshops and not independents, the book remained at the top of everyone’s agenda. Furthermore, Waterstones recently announced it as their Book of the Year.
Here we take a look at some of the biggest winners of the year. British author Kazuo Ishiguro who wrote The Remains of the Day, Never Let Me Go, The Buried Giant, among other titles, won the Nobel Prize For Literature. He was praised by the organization for his novels that “uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world” and were driven by a “great emotional force”.
Two of the most prestigious book awards were decided this year. George Saunders won the Man Booker Prize for his book Lincoln in the Bardo and Naomi Alderman won the Women’s Prize for Fiction for The Power.
The winner of the Not The Booker Prize was Winnie M Li for Dark Chapter. The general public vote for their favourite in this prize.
Our September Surgery
One of our 2017 highlights was our September Surgery that we launched in September. These were dedicated one to one slots with anyone needing writing and publishing advice. Places filled up fast as people either booked to come visit or phoned us to discuss their book.
With most things, it’s so much better when you talk to a real person about your project than an automated system. We strive to make our approach to customer service human and friendly, which is why we trialled these sessions. Keep a look out next year for more of these slots becoming available!
Books We’ve Worked On
We’ve thoroughly enjoyed working on a wide range of different books…
From cover designs, typesetting, copy-editing, and production, we’ve helped authors achieve the book they wanted. Another of our 2017 highlights was setting up some books for distibution too.
We’ve also taken on some items of stationary this year, which was an exciting new challenge. It’s a joy to see so many different and individual projects.
We’ve already got some exciting books lined up for 2018 and we can’t wait to see them in print. We hope to be holding some more one to one surgery sessions and also talking at various events throughout the year.
TJ INK shall yet again be supporting local writing talent in Cornwall. We may be doing something slightly different to the Cornwall Young Author Competition of the last three years, however. Keep a look out!
And those were our 2017 highlights! What’s your goal for 2018? Is it to write your first draft? Publish your book? Or maybe grow your reader base? Whatever it is, set out your aims and stick to them.
In the meantime, if you have any questions or need some specialist advice, just get in touch.