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.
Pan Macmillan is to publish the sequel to the late Nelson
Mandela’s autobiography Long
Walk to Freedom (Abacus). An incomplete draft of the new book, which does not yet have a
title and which was started by Mandela before his death last year, is in the archives of the
Nelson Mandela Foundation.
Akhil Sharma’s Family
Life (Faber) has finally gained the recognition it deserves by
winning the Folio Prize, trade figures have told The Bookseller.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the prize said there will be conversations
about the future of its funding this summer. Sharma’s novel, based loosely on real life events in the
author’s life, took 13 years to write and was nine years overdue.
Faber is in consultations with staff over a number of
redundancies at the publisher. The Bookseller understands that the company
is undergoing a restructure, with 14 positions likely to go across both the
sales and editorial departments. Faber confirmed it is currently in a consultation process with
staff and said an announcement would be made later this week, but declined
to give any further details.
The Publishers Association (PA) has sent a rallying cry to the
UK’s European members of parliament urging them that copyright is not in
need of reform. The PA has developed a paper called Publishing and the Digital
Single Market, which it is sending to all UK MEP’s this week, underlining
the value of publishing and arguing that the digital single market is
already a reality and therefore copyright is not in need of reform.
Orion has acquired the debut novel of historian and television
presenter Neil Oliver entitled Master
of Shadows. Jon Wood, managing director Orion Fiction, bought British
Commonwealth (excluding Canada) and European rights from Eugenie Furniss of
Furniss Lawton in the book and a sequel. Master of Shadows is a historical novel set in
the days leading to the Fall of Constantinople. It follows the fortunes of
John Grant, a young Scottish man who possesses skills that make him
invaluable to an emperor facing invasion.
The Borough Press has signed two books from Beth Lewis, a
managing editor at Titan Books. Deputy publishing director Sarah Hodgson signed UK and
Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, for two literary thrillers in a deal
with Euan Thorneycroft at A M Heath. The first book in the deal,
The Wolf Road, is set in a remote land ravaged by an unnamed
disaster, where a young girl is being brought up by a taciturn animal
trapper. When she discovers the dark secret he is hiding, she flees to the
frozen north to find her true parents.
The follow-up to YouTube star Alfie Deyes’ The Pointless Book is
to be released a week earlier than scheduled to coincide with the Easter
holidays. Blink Publishing will release The Pointless Book 2 this Thursday (26th
March) instead of next week to meet “unprecedented demand”, said the
Authors including Lynda La Plante, David Almond and Elif
Shafak, will headline the World Book Night flagship event in London on 23rd
April. The event, which marks the fifth anniversary of World Book
Night, will take place at the Shaw Theatre in central London. Now run by
charity The Reading Agency, it will see authors sharing their reading
journey, the books that have shaped them and those they would like to share
with others. Other figures taking part include Sarah Winman, Elizabeth
Fremantle and Annabel Pitcher.
UK author Alexander Watson has won this year’s
Guggenheim-Lehrman Prize in Military History for his title Ring of Steel: Germany and
Austria-Hungary in World War I (Allen Lane). Watson received the $50,000 (£33,452) annual prize, awarded in
recognition of the best book in the field of military history published in
English during the previous calendar year, at a ceremony at the New-York
Historical Society last night (23rd March).
Ten authors have been named as finalists for the Man Booker
International Prize 2015, representing countries including Hungary,
Guadeloupe, and the Republic of Congo. Each writer is now in the running to win a £60,000 prize, with
the winner announced in a ceremony at the Victoria and Albert Museum in
London on 19th May.
Scholastic US has acquired a minority stake in Make Believe
Ideas (MBI), a UK-based publisher for children aged 0-5, for an undisclosed
sum. The companies will showcase a co-branded series – Early
Learners ages 0-5 – at the Bologna Book Fair next week and a global English
language release is set for autumn 2015. The range incorporates brightly
coloured, interactive books in formats such as lift-the-flap, finger
tracing, sound-enriched, touch-and-feel, and write-and wipe.