What is it that makes some books stand out as potential bestsellers? What makes publishers fall over themselves and offer apparently vast sums to new writers? And just how competitive is the industry today?
The news that Penguin Random House paid more than $60 million to secure the rights to the memoirs of Barack and Michelle Obama confirmed that we are living in an era of unprecedented publishing fees. Bidding wars are not consigned to books by the rich and famous; rumours abound of six-figure advances handed over to debut novelists by publishers that are desperate to snap up works that could be the next big literary hit.
Our expert panel, chaired by Danuta Kean, includes Lisa Milton of HarperCollins, Ailah Ahmed of Little, Brown and Virago, and Kate Nash of Kate Nash Literary Agency. This is an exclusive chance to hear the truth behind the headlines and find out what the cut and thrust of the industry really entails for writers and publishers working today.