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.
ITV daytime chat show Loose Women is today (March 24th)
launching a new book club, with Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train (Doubleday) picked
as the first title. The book club, called Loose Books, will see a different Loose
Women panellist pick a book to read each month, which will be announced on
the show and on the website. A month later there will be a discussion about the book on
air, with viewers invited to send in their thoughts.
Books can be fiction or non-fiction, in any genre, and will range from
classics to new releases.
Copyright, fair contracts for authors, and libraries were
among the points addressed by politicians at a hustings hosted by the
Society of Authors (SoA) and the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS)
last night (24th March). The event saw writers given the opportunity to question Martin
Horwood from the Liberal Democrats, Labour’s Chris Bryant, culture,
communications and creative industries minister Ed Vaizey from the
Conservative Party, and Green Party candidate Hugh Small.
There is "an enormous business to be built in the book
subscription space," similar to that in music and film, but more
titles need to be made available by publishers, Scribd c.e.o. Trip Adler
told the IPA Congress in Bangkok yesterday (24th March). Meanwhile HarperCollins chief digital officer Chantal
Restivo-Alessi told the Congress it was very important for publishers to
participate in new models, saying: "Only then can you sit at the table
and define the business models. If you don't, others will, and it may not
be to the advantage of your authors or content."
A “scratch and sniff” front cover for The Twits and more
details about Jacqueline Wilson’s reworking of What Katy Did Next were some of the
highlights of a Penguin Random House Children’s showcase, held yesterday
(25th March) at Foyles Charing Cross.
The event was the first media presentation from PRH Children’s as a
combined company and m.d. Francesca Dow said that “when two fantastic
publishers come together, the sum of the whole is better than the parts”.
Criticism of the Thai government's crackdown using the
lese majesté law forbidding insults against the monarchy was voiced at the
International Publishers Congress in Bangkok today (25th March). Article 112 of the Thai penal code carries a maximum of seven
years imprisonment for anyone insulting the king, queen or crown prince.
Faber & Faber is to bring forward the paperback
publication of Akhil Sharma’s Family
Life after the book won the Folio Prize for Fiction yesterday
(23rd March). The paperback was originally due to be released on 23rd April,
but Faber will now release the title on 2nd April “to give retailers the
best opportunity to sell copies”, said fiction publisher Hannah Griffiths.
Film director Guillermo del Toro has teamed up with author
Daniel Kraus to write a children’s book. Trollhunters is set in San Barnardino,
California, where a 14-year-old boy called Jim is one of the few
inhabitants to believe the rumours there are trolls in the area. The book will be published in the UK in June this year by Hot
Key Books, who acquired the UK and commonwealth rights in a “hotly
contested” auction. The deal was brokered by Creative Works Group with
Fletcher and Co.. and rights have already sold to 11 translation
Northern Ireland publisher Blackstaff Press said it is “devastated”
to learn its Arts Council funding has been withdrawn and is “absorbing the
shock” of the news. The independent press, which has been running since 1971, said
it found out its funding had been slashed from £82,200 to zero for the
2015-16 year through the Arts Council Northern Ireland (ACNI) website
yesterday (23rd March).
Bloomsbury chief executive Nigel Newton has compared the state
of publishing to the bus teetering half-way off a cliff edge at the end of
the film "The Italian Job", on the opening day of the 30th
International Publishers Congress in Bangkok (today, 24th March). But HarperCollins c.e.o. Brian Murray demurred, saying a
better comparison was to a Formula One racing car, since the industry was
entering a new "golden age".
Orchard Books will this autumn publish a picture book about
the real-life bear that inspired A A Milne’s Winnie the Pooh.
Winnie was a real bear rescued from a train station by Harry Colebourn, a
vetenarian on his way to fight in the First World War. He sent Winnie to
London Zoo, where she inspired Milne to write his beloved children’s book.