End of the story for book-trade magazine

Weekly magazine for the book trade, Publishing News, has closed, blaming the drastic drop in print advertising from book publishers.

Eight jobs will be lost, which the mag’s owner Fred Newman said would be mostly journalists.

Newman, who founded the title in 1979, said it relied heavily on print advertising from book publishers targeting booksellers, who now have many alternative ways to reach their target audience, including online and supermarkets.

PN Ltd continues as a business and will carry on running the Galaxy British Book Awards and the Christmas Books Catalogue, which while profit-making, are no enough to sustain a magazine, Newman said.

‘This is not a sudden, overnight thing. We lived in hope that Publishing News would recover but it’s clear that this is a trend that isn’t going to be reversed.

‘Newspapers and magazines in general have been suffering from a drop in advertising; that’s been common to all the printed media.”

Neill Denny, editor-in-chief of Publishing News’ rival title the Bookseller, agreed with Newman, and said that there had been an ‘acute’problem in book publishing, meaning less print advertising is available. He said that in addition to advertising moving online there were a number of factors that set the book-publishing trade press aside from other B2B titles.

‘There has been a structural change in publishing that may not have been replicated in other industries,’he said. ‘Publishers have merged together, meaning [there are] fewer medium-sized publishers than there used to be.

‘Retailers are demanding money from the publishers to stock books in the shops, And in the mid-Nineties the net book agreement [price maintenance for books] ended – so the way that books are sold has changed.”

Denny also argued that the closure of Publishing News is not bad news for other B2B titles. ‘If you look at the overall size of the business press compared with 10 years ago it’s a lot bigger and there’s certainly more titles.

‘I think you could make a strong case that across the whole printed media B2B is the only successful sector at the moment, or has been over the past decade.’

Publishing News declined to reveal its circulation, which was paid-for, and was believed to be in the low thousands.

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