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.
HarperCollins c.e.o. Charlie Redmayne has told the Scottish
Book Trade conference that Amazon's focus on driving up margins will
be "a particular challenge for publishers this year", but
that major Asian players such as AliBaba and TenCent could be on their
way to disrupt "the great disruptor".
The Quarto Group has acquired Lewes-based publisher Ivy Press
for £1.3m, as well as taking on £200,000 of debt. Quarto subsidiary Quarto Publishing has entered into a
conditional agreement for the purchase of Ivy Press' owner, Lewes Holding
Ltd. The acquisition is conditional based on the approval of the Bank of
Scotland, which has been a lender to the Ivy Press.
Low advances, deep discounting and the problem of author
earnings were on the agenda at a Trade Question Time discussion panel at
the Scottish Book Trade conference in Edinburgh yesterday (24th
February). A return to a limited Net Book Agreement and a cultural change
in publishers' attitudes to their authors is needed to maintain author
incomes, writer Sara Sheridan told delegates.
Campaigns promoting humorous safety tips for children, a book
by astronaut Chris Hadfield and a guide to getting the style and attitude
of Parisian women won big at the Book Marketing Society’s Best Campaign
meeting for the Christmas season. The meeting was held at Simon & Schuster’s offices last
night (24th February) to recognise the best marketing campaigns run between
September and December 2014.
Cookery writer and television presenter Mary Berry will be
Guest of Honour at The London Book Fair (LBF), officially opening the
conference on Tuesday 14th April. Jacks Thomas, director of LBF, said: “What better way to
celebrate LBF’s move to a much-loved and world-renowned new home than to
have this 44th book fair opened by one of Britain’s most esteemed authors;
the Mary Berry brand extends way beyond both books and Britain. It is an
absolute delight and honour to welcome Mary to the book fair. ”
India is a “vibrant market”, Hachette UK c.e.o. Tim Hely
Hutchinson has said on a visit to the country. Talking to theHindu Business Line newspaper, Hely
Hutchinson spoke about the acquisition of cricketer Sachin Tendulkar’s
book, and touched on the dispute between Hachette Book Group in the US and
Amazon. “We trade with Amazon in something like 28 countries in the
world,” he said. “That was an isolated issue in America and none of us
wanted it go on for so long.”
The Book Trade Charity is to give support to publishers to
offer internships at above the minimum wage. The initiative follows on from the "Entry into the Book
Trade" project launched by the charity at the end of 2014, through
which it offers support to candidates coming for interview for a first job
in the industry, to cover costs such as travel, accommodation or perhaps an
Martin Amis, Sarah Waters and Jessie Burton have made the
15-strong longlist for the 2015 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction. The longlist has been released for the first time following a
40% increase in entries this year. Amis is longlisted for his dark love story set in a Nazi
concentration camp, The
Zone of Interest (Jonathan Cape), while Waters is up for her
1920s-set The Paying
Guests (Virago) and Burton for her debut, The Miniaturist
(Picador), the tale of eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman in 1680s Amsterdam.
Granta has signed a debut novel set in the final days of the
Sri Lankan civil war by Anuk Aradpragasam. Editorial director Laura Barber signed UK and Commonwealth
rights, excluding Canada and the Indian subcontinent, from Clare Alexander
at Aitken Alexander. The book, titled The
Story of a Brief Marriage, follows the story of Dinesh, a man
whose life has been reduced to the bare essentials of survival, when he is
approached with an unexpected offer of marriage and opens up to the idea of
loving another person.
Del Rey has acquired three “major” new titles from up and
coming American authors. Ebury fiction publishing director bought British Commonwealth
rights excluding Canada to Find
Me by Laura Van Den Berg from Devon Mazzone at Farrar, Straus
and Giroux. The “impressive” debut is set in a disease-ravaged dystopian
America. Del Rey will publish in £12.99 hardback on 4th June 2015.