Thursday, February 11, 2016

Latest from The Bookseller

Speak Up for Libraries lobby
High-profile writers including Cathy Cassidy, Jake Arnott and Philip Ardagh gathered at parliament alongside library campaigners to protest the “national scandal” of the widespread closures of public library services across the UK.
Cassandra Clare
American sci-fi and fantasy author Sherrilyn Kenyon is suing Cassandra Clare for allegedly copying elements of her Dark Hunter series.
Bonnier Publishing
Bonnier Publishing has acquired Weldon Owen US, an illustrated non-fiction publisher, pushing its annual turnover past the £115m mark.
Lean in 15
Joe “The Body Coach” Wicks has racked up six weeks as the UK Official Top 50 number one, as Lean in 15 (Bluebird) sold 35,694 copies for £286,235, according to Nielsen BookScan’s Total Consumer Market.
Games developer Rovio Entertainment has spun off its book publishing business by creating a new company, Kaiken Publishing.
Romantic Novelists' Association
Authors including Liz Fenwick, Adele Parks and Milly Johnson will battle it out to win the Romantic Novel of the Year Award after the shortlists have been revealed.
Sandy Mahal
Sandy Mahal has been appointed as associate curator of the London Book & Screen Week with immediate effect.
The Bookseller has launched an independent author e-book sales tracker, inviting authors and small digital publishers whose e-book sales data currently goes unreported to complete a simple online form designed to capture their 2015 e-book sales information.
My Brilliant Friend
Elena Ferrante's hit Neapolitan quartet is to be adapted into an eight-part Italian language TV series.
The judging panel for the £15,000 BBC National Short Story Award with Book Trust has been revealed, naming broadcaster Dame Jenni Murray as its chair.
Harry Illingworth
David Headley, managing director of D H H Literary Agency, has promoted Harry Illingworth from associate agent to literary agent with immediate effect.
The International Publishers Association will hold its 2018 International Publishers Congress in New Delhi, hosted by the Federation of Indian Publishers.

The Roundup with PW

'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' Play to Be Published as a Book
The Blair Partnership, J.K. Rowling’s literary and brand management agency, has announced the launch of a publishing program of new print and digital titles from J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, beginning with the publication of a script book of the stage play 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I & II.' more »

A Visionary Comics Artist
"It's a strange job to sit in your room and think, 'What do I want to spend the next five years of my life obsessing over?'" That's how Daniel Clowes, cartoonist and the author of Ghost World, describes the life of a comics artist. more » »

Audie Award Finalists Announced
The Audio Publishers Association nominated 125 finalists including narrators and publishers in 25 categories for the Audie Awards. »

10 Books for Broken Hearts: Ahead of Valentine's Day, here is a list of 10 books that will soothe heartache, including 'Solitude' by Anthony Storr.

Introducing the Dollar Book Outlet: Selling $1 books, Book Enterprises in Fall River, Mass., changed its name to Dollar Book Outlet this month.

Elena Ferrante Novels Green-Lit for TV: An Italian TV production company and Fandango are developing Elena Ferrante's 'Neapolitan Novels' into a television series.

Jackie Collins' $30M Estate: With a private gallery and screening room, the late author's Beverly Hills estate is now on the market for $30 million.

Cassandra Clare's Copyright Battle: The author of the Shadowhunter series is being sued for allegedly copying Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series.

10 bad reading habits to give up for Lent

Sick of failing to give up chocolate AGAIN? From folding over page corners to judging a book by its cover, here are 10 bad reading habits you can successfully give up for Lent

Reading in the bath
We think reading in the bath is just fine… so this is NOT one of the habits we advise giving up. Photograph: Alamy
Once the pancakes have been eaten tonight, Lent begins. Lent is a Christian tradition to give up a bad habit for six weeks before the Easter feast – but you can join in whatever your religious leaning, if you can find something you’re willing to give up…
Here’s an idea: keep doing the things you enjoy (like eating chocolate, reading too much and watching tv) and try giving up some of your bad reading habits instead.
1 Judging a book by its cover... don’t do it! This Lent, go and pick out a book which has a cover that would usually put you off. You might be pleasantly surprised!

2 Unnecessary rereading – stop yourself from going back and reading what you’ve already read and understood! You’ll get to the exciting stuff more quickly – you can even try using a ruler to block out what you’ve read already.

3 Not looking up words you don’t understand– you can learn so much from books if you give them the chance. So while reading over Lent, make sure you look up those dictionary definitions!

How Valley of the Dolls went from a reject to a 30-million best-seller

Valley of the Dolls
Valley of the Dolls, by Jacqueline Susann, is 50 years old in February 2016 Credit: Rex Features

Even by the standards of a cold rejection letter, the one Jacqueline Susann received from publishers Geis Associates in 1965 was brutal.

Her novel Valley of the Dolls was dismissed as "painfully dull, inept, clumsy, undisciplined, rambling and thoroughly amateurish". So how did such a poor book go on to be registered in The Guinness Book of World Records in the late Sixties as the world's most popular novel? The success of Valley of the Dolls – to date more than 30 million copies have been sold worldwide – is a tale of one of the most tenacious and sharp-eyed publishing campaigns of all time.


Little, Brown Book Group announces today that they will publish the script book Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I & II, an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne written to be enjoyed on stage. The Special Rehearsal Edition of the script book (hardback, $49.99) will be published at 11.01am NZST on 31st July 2016, following the play’s opening on 30th July, bringing the eighth Harry Potter story to a wider, global audience. The script eBook will be published simultaneously with the print editions by Pottermore, in collaboration with Little, Brown Book Group in the UK, and Scholastic in the US and Canada.

David Shelley, CEO of Little, Brown Book Group said: ‘We are so thrilled to be publishing the script of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. J.K. Rowling and her team have received a huge number of appeals from fans who can't be in London to see the play and who would like to read the play in book format – and so we are absolutely delighted to be able to make it available for them.’

About the book/play:
The eighth story. Nineteen years later.

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a new play by Jack Thorne, is the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. It will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on 30th July 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes darkness comes from unexpected places.

Search for the funniest children's books of the year – the Lollies shortlist

We bring you the shortlist of a new award for funny books: the Lollies – headed up by Michael Rosen. Plus how you can join in to pick the winner!

Michael Rosen
Chief judge Michael Rosen: I’m over the moon that it was possible to revive a funny books award! Photograph: Graham Turner for the Guardian
The Lollies book award is a celebration of the funniest new children’s books (the LOL stands for Laugh Out Loud!).

Michael Rosen, head judge for the Lollies shortlist, told us: “funny books never win the awards… even though they have as important a role to play as the wonderful serious books. I’m over the moon that it was possible to revive a funny books award!” The Lollies fill the gap left from the closure of the Roald Dahl prize which closed in 2013.

Joining Michael Rosen on the Lollies panel are comedian Jenny Eclair, film–producer Will Clark and Youtube sensation Amy Lee (or Amy Lee33). Together they selected the four shortlisted books in each category.

The winners will be decided by children’s votes– so get ready to vote for your favourite!
Scholastic launched the award following their Kids and Family Reading Report, which revealed that the majority of children choose funny books over any other genre. Comedian and judge Jenny Eclair said: “I think children like to see justice prevail and if that can be done with some decent jokes then so much the better”. While Michael Rosen adds “if you put funny books centre–stage, you remind adults that reading for pleasure needs to be there”.
Shortlist here

Call out for photos for Reimagining Journalism

In August this year Freerange Press is launching its next big book. This time we are gathering the best writers and thinkers in the country to look at the changing media landscape in New Zealand. Information about the writers and the structure of the book can be found here. To illuminate and give voice to the writing we want to include around 25 excellent photos. We want these photos to document the different aspects of how journalism is made, how it used to be, and how it is changing.

We want a collection of photos from a diverse range of photographers. This is a call to submit photos. We will pay a small fee for each photo (you need to own the rights or have permission to use the photo). We are thinking about shots of the big newsrooms where the stories are made, the giant printing presses that make the papers, the strange TV rooms and studios where broadcasting takes place, the media huddles around politicians, and the ways these are evolving. We are also open to any new ideas and proposals.

We are on a reasonably tight deadline, so please contact by the end of February if you have any photos, ideas or proposals.

Publishing Should Be More About Culture Than Book Sales

Book2Book Tuesday 09 Feb 2016

It seems too obvious to point out that publishing is a cultural activity, not just a process for corporations to make money. That being said, we rarely talk or write about publishing without talking about money, about book sales.

Stella Prize 2016 Announces Longlist Of 12 Books By Australian Women

Book2Book Tuesday 09 Feb 2016

The Stella prize has announced its 2016 longlist, with books by Elizabeth Harrower, Debra Adelaide, Gail Jones, Amanda Lohrey and Charlotte Wood.
The 12 works by Australian women were whittled down from more than 170 entries, and include debut authors Alice Robinson (Anchor Point) and Fiona Wright (Small Acts of Disappearance: Essays on Hunger).

The shortlist will be announced on 10 March, with the final $50,000 prize awarded in Sydney on 19 April.


This What A Syrian City’s First Free Library Looks Like

In a war-ravaged suburb of Damascus, rebel fighters nurture a library of 15,000 books to keep the hopes of revolution alive.

posted on Feb. 5, 2016, 

ISTANBUL — Outside, winter’s chill grips the grey, war-ravaged city, a nightmarish landscape of bombed-out buildings, piles of rubble, and smoldering trash frequently strafed by screeching warplanes or regime helicopters loaded with crude bombs made of dynamite and metal shards.
But inside the basement of a residential building in the Damascus suburb of Daraya, the world beyond Syria’s borders opens up. It is a place of learning and ideas, with books salvaged from the wreckage outside and cobbled together into a makeshift library of 15,000 volumes. A photocopy of an old history book, a shelf full of children’s stories, and self-help books by Tony Robbins, sit alongside a J.M. Coetzee novel, a volume of Islamic scholarship, and slim editions of Arabic poetry by Mahmoud Darweesh or Nizar Qabbani. They are read by candlelight during lengthy power outages or at the war front by rebel fighters.

An Intimate Novel of Honest Female Friendship

Off the Shelf
By Amy Hatvany    |   Wednesday, February 10, 2016
People have always told me their secrets; they open up their closets and let their skeletons tumble out, trusting me as keeper of their most excruciating moments. In a world dominated by social-media feeds attempting to convince us that everyone else is the lucky recipient of an unblemished existence, it’s an honor to bear witness to a person’s dark underbelly. 
My closest friends are those willing to have true, intimate conversations that connect us in ways nothing else can—and as a result, we are stitched into the messy fabric of each other’s lives. READ MORE

Yes, You Will be Able to Read ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ in 2016, Even if You Can’t See it

harry potter and the cursed child book


The script of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the two-part play that’s the next chapter of the Harry Potter saga, will be released in print and as an eBook.
…Read More

News from Publishers Lunch

Lisa Lucas, 36, the publisher of arts magazine Guernica, will become executive director of the National Book Foundation, starting March 14. She tells the NYT, "Readers are everything, readers are everyone. It should be about building one big massive audience that’s reflective of where we live." She adds, "The practice of building readers, is the practice of building a better world." Taking over from Harold Augenbraum, Lucas will be the third person to lead the NBF.

Chairman of the NBF David Steinberger says in the announcement, "Lisa Lucas is a dynamic leader who has served as a passionate advocate for literature and has built an impressive track record of accomplishment in the not-for-profit world across theater, film and literature."

Hillel Black, 86, former publisher of Macmillan's adult general books division, died in Manhattan on Monday morning. Black also held positions at William Morrow, where he was editor-in-chief, and Sourcebooks, where he was executive editor.

The Audio Publishers Association announced nominations for their Audie awards, across 25 categories. Winners will be named on May 11.

Simon & Schuster has launched Riveted, a new website for fans of young adult literature, television, film, and online culture. The site features contributions from authors including Jenny Han, Morgan Matson, Siobhan Vivian, Suzanne Young and Scott Westerfeld, and will offer lists, articles, quizzes, videos, giveaways, exclusive content reveals (including material related to the newest Shadowhunters title by Cassandra Clare) and behind-the-scenes visits with an array of writers.

In Germany, publicly-traded publisher Bastei Lubbe is putting all of their digital media businesses into a separate holding company, Bastei Ventures. They say "the measure is intended to make the many different digital and analogue output channels more manageable and thus more transparent for investors." 

NZ title at Greenbean Novel Fair

Alex Reece Abbott’s new novel, The Helpmeet - historical literary fiction set in nineteenth century New Zealand - has been selected with eleven other finalist/winners for the Greenbean Novel Fair later this month. 

The annual event in Dublin is an Irish Writers Centre initiative, offering writers a unique opportunity to meet some of the most influential people in Irish publishing, introducing one-to-one meetings with top publishers and literary agents.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Latest from The Bookseller

Blackwell’s slipped back into a loss last year, however, like-for-like sales at its bookshops and online were up 2.9% and the company is able to fund its own investments, which was a “positive step”, the chain’s c.e.o David Prescott said.
Heron Books
Heron Books, an imprint of Quercus, is to be discontinued at the end of 2016, the publisher has said.
Frugal Innovation
Frugal Innovation by Navi Radjou and Jaideep Prabhu (Profile/Economist Books) has been named the Chartered Management Institute’s Management Book of the Year 2016.
Margaret Forster
Margaret Forster has died, aged 77, following a battle with cancer in her back. 
International Prize for Arabic Fiction
Two books published by Difaf Publications have been shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction 2016, the "leading prize for literary fiction in the Arab world".
4th Shorts
HarperCollins imprint 4th Estate has launched a new short story series, 4th Shorts, which is intended to “introduce curious readers to 4th Estate’s rich back catalogue on an easily digestible scale.”
The Book of Mindful Origami
Yellow Kite is ushering in "a new trend to rival crafty calmness nationwide" for those "tired of colouring in" with The Book of Mindful Origami.
Sales of the Lulu series, created by publisher Anna McQuinn 10 years ago in an attempt to remedy the lack of diverse children’s books, have hit the $1m (£700,000) turnover mark in the US.
Caroline Grace-Cassidy
Black & White Publishing has acquired a new novel by Irish writer and actress Caroline Grace-Cassidy.
Transworld has bought a debut thriller series by A. A. Dhand, promising "to do for Bradford what ‘The Wire’ has done for Baltimore".
The Great British Sewing Bee
Quadrille is to publish the companion book to the fourth series of BBC2’s "The Great British Sewing Bee".
Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Weidenfeld & Nicolson has acquired Connectography by a leading global strategist, Parag Khanna.

The Roundup with PW

Agate Unveils African American Children's Imprint
The Illinois-based publisher is launching a line of books for children, curated by author Denene Millner, that will publish fiction and nonfiction by African-American writers. more »

 Seven Book-Based Oscar Nominations: Here are seven Oscar-nominated titles you may not know are based on books, including Avery Corman's 'Kramer vs. Kramer.'

A&M to Honor George R.R. Martin: The 'Game of Thrones' author will speak at Texas A&M before receiving an honorary degree from the university on Wednesday.

Top 10 True Crime Books: If you enjoy true crime series such as 'Serial,' check out a list of 10 books in the genre, including 'Closing Time' by Lacey Fosburgh.

How to Digitize a 400-Year-Old 3D Book: Columbia's Health Sciences Library is repairing and digitizing a pop-up anatomy book from the 17th century.

Author Margaret Forster Dies: The prolific author who wrote the 1960's bestseller 'Georgy Girl' died at age 77 on Tuesday.