#FutureBook recap: The Bookseller 100

Image - iStockphoto: goku4501
Image – iStockphoto: goku4501

Even as we started #FutureChat, some of the keenest observations on The Bookseller’s new listing of the 100 most influential people in the UK book business  were being drawn by my colleague Philip Jones in his commentary,Centuries apart. He wrote:

Looking back at the first Bookseller Century (as it was then known, in 2009), is like viewing another country. Borders/Books Etc was on the cusp of administration, Stieg Larsson was peaking, while Waterstones’ new distribution facility, the hub, was creaking. The Kindle was just beginning its worldwide roll-out, with UK publishers reportedly keen to prevent Amazon dominating digital sales in the UK, as had already happened in the US.

One of the most interesting subsets of the listing is the “evergreen” contingent, as they’re designated — people who have been named in all six years of the list’s life. They include, as Jones notes, mostly publishers:

  • Philip Jones
    Philip Jones

    Jamie Byng of Canongate

  • Ian Chapman of Simon & Schuster UK
  • Richard Charkin of Bloomsbury
  • Erik Engstrom of Reed Elsevier
  • John Fallon of Pearson
  • Larry Finlay of Transworld
  • Peter Florence of the Hay Festival
  • James Daunt of Waterstones
  • Tim Hely Hutchinson of Hachette UK
  • Anthony Forbes Watson of Pan Macmillan
  • Jonny Geller of Curtis Brown
  • Roger Horton of Taylor & Francis
  • Ian Hudson of Penguin Random House
  • Sam Husain of Foyles
  • Bob Jackson of Gardners
  • Dotti Irving of Four Colman Getty
  • Ursula Mackenzie of Little Brown UK
  • Nigel Newton of Bloomsbury
  • Stephen Page of Faber & Faber
  • Nigel Portwood of Oxford University Press
  • Ion Trewin of the Man Booker Prize Foundation
  • David Taylor of Ingram
  • Annette Thomas of Macmillan Science & Education
  • Tom Weldon of Penguin Random House
  • Tim Godfray of the Booksellers Association

But his observation on this special class is a good one: “One wonders how this current crop will fare in the eyes of future chroniclers.”   And he had already pointed to one of the problems that dogs this list:

Last year, we used the opportunity to discuss the lack of diversity within this business—and gender bias at the top. As you might suspect, there has been little change in the past year. Women dominate the trade but they don’t dominate this list (34 out of the 100); executives with a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic background have yet to break through at this level (four out of the 100).

When we opened #FutureChat, in fact, asking “We’re interested today in what strengths and issues you see with The Bookseller’s Top 100,” WME’s Simon Trewin wasted no time in getting back to us.

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By Porter Ander­son | @Porter_Anderson

The FutureBook: #FutureChat recap: The Bookseller 100

Read the full post at: TheBookseller.com/futurebook


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