Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Saturday, February 28, 2015
Latest from The Bookseller
Publishers, filmmakers and gamers to pair at LBFThe London Book Fair (LBF) will seek to pair publishers with other media companies at a Creative Industries Day. On Thursday 16th April at Olympia, LBF will host the day, which aims to boost partnerships and generate collaboration between publishers and other companies such as games manufacturers and filmmakers.
Macmillan Children’s Books has acquired a YA romance from journalist Harriet Reuter Hapgood for a six-figure sum. The Square Root of Summer is described as a YA contemporary with a twist, in which seventeen-year-old physics prodigy Gottie Oppenheimer navigates a summer of grief, trying to reconcile her first heartbreak with her last. Senior commissioning editor Rachel Petty acquired the UK and Commonwealth rights to the novel in a two-book deal, beating seven other publishers in an auction, from Gemma Cooper at the Bent Agency.
Pan Mac signs debut crime seriesPan Macmillan has acquired two novels in a debut crime series by journalist Michelle Davies in a three-way auction. Editor Catherine Richards bought UK and Commonwealth rights for the novels from Jane Gregory. The first, Gone Astray, follows Lesley Kinnock and her husband Mack, who win £12m on the lottery. They move with their 15-year-old daughter to an exclusive gated community, and one day Lesley returns home to find her Rosie missing.
Bloomsbury signs Russian tale from MichaelsBloomsbury has signed a début novel from Sean Michaels, following the true story of Russian inventor and spy Léon Theremin, creator of the theremin. Publishing director for fiction Helen Garnons Williams signed UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, in Us Conductors, in a deal with Meredith Kaffel at Defiore & Co. The book follows Theremin from glamorous New York to a Siberian gulag, powered by his love for Clara, and the music he created. Born in Scotland, Michaels is the winner of Canada's ScotiaBank Giller Prize.
Body Coach joins Bluebird Pan Macmillan’s Carole Tonkinson has acquired two books from “internet sensation” Joe Wicks in a “heated” eight-publisher auction. Tonkinson bought world rights to Lean in 15: Fifteen Minute Meals and Workouts for your Ultimate Body and one other book from Jonathan Conway at Jonathan Conway Literary Agency. Wicks, also known as The Body Coach, has 150,000 followers on Instagram, where he posts his #Leanin15 meals and pictures from those following his plan.
Melvyn Bragg novel on Peasants' RevoltSceptre has signed a historical novel from broadcaster Melvyn Bragg, set in the Peasants' Revolt of 1381. Now is the Time is Bragg's first historical novel since Credo was published by Sceptre in 1996. The book follows the key players of the revolt, including Wat Tyler, Jack Straw, priest John Ball and the boy-king Richard II, as well as the powerful earls and leaders of the city.
True story of survival to Pan MacPan Macmillan has acquired the account of fisherman Salvador Alvarenga who survived 14 months at sea, written by journalist Jonathan Franklin. UK and Commonwealth rights in the book, titled 438 Days: A Fisherman's True Survival at Sea, were acquired from Annabel Merullo at PFD. The book tells how Alvarenga left the coast of Mexico for a two-day fishing trip on 17th November 2012, when a storm stopped his boat’s engine and the current dragged it out to sea. When he was washed ashore on 30th January 2014 he had drifted over 9,000 miles.
Publishers are increasingly experimenting with retailer exclusives, special editions and digital-first releases in order to make books stand out and give them the best chance of becoming bestsellers.
Pearson appoints new c.f.o. as 2014 profits fallPearson has appointed a new chief financial officer (c.f.o.) after reporting a sales drop of 4% in 2014. The company has appointed Coram Williams to the role of c.f.o. from Penguin Random House, where he is currently holding the same title. He will start in the job on the 1st August, replacing Robin Freestone, the current c.f.o of Pearson.
Transworld to publish first travel book from Bryson in 15 yearsBill Bryson’s first travel book in 15 years will be published by Transworld in autumn. The Road to Little Dribbling: More Notes from a Small Island will be a new journey around Britain by the writer. The book was announced today (26th February) at the Penguin Random House sales conference.
Tony Harrison wins David Cohen PrizePoet and playwright Tony Harrison has been awarded the £40,000 David Cohen Prize for literature, honouring his career. The prize was presented last night (26th February) at a ceremony at the British Library. Harrison, now 77, said in his acceptance speech that the award was an "enormous encouragement" even as he approached his eighth decade.