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.
Lee Child and Paula Hawkins gave Transworld two fiction number
ones last week, with Child nabbing his 11th top spot on the Official UK Top
50 since records began. Child’s 19th Jack Reacher book, Personal (Bantam), sold 31,994 copies
through Nielsen BookScan’s Total Consumer Market, shifting twice as many
units through the tills as his Transworld stablemate Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train
(Doubleday, 14,541 copies), the second bestselling book overall.
Kobo has said it has “no interest in fighting publishers”,
after signing its first publishing deal with journalist Kevin Donovan for a
book about Canadian radio presenter Jian Gomeshi, who is currently awaiting
trial for sexual assault. The Canadian e-book retailer has signed world English language
rights in print and digital to Jian
Ghomeshi – Secret Life via Donovan’s agents Jesse Finkelstein
and Samantha Haywood of Transatlantic Agency – in the first deal of its
kind for the company.
Penguin Random House’s crime community Dead Good Books has
created six awards to be presented at this year’s Theakstons Old Peculiar
Crime Writing Festival by authors including Lee Child and Val McDermid. Each award has been created in collaboration with the Dead Good
Facebook community and celebrates an element in crime writing.
Phil Carroll, former head of book buying for Sainsbury's, is
joining Pedigree Books Ltd as its interim head of sales. Pedigree Books, sister company to Pedigree Dolls & Toys,
publishes annuals, yearbooks, learning and seasonal activity formats for
children. Carroll will join the company on Monday 4th May and will work
alongside Matthew Reynolds, publishing director at Pedigree. In his new
role, he will be responsible for driving forward Pedigree’s sales team
across all sales channels and ranges.
Quadrille is launching a new series of pocket guides aimed at
"demystifying a wide and eclectic range of subjects". The series is called The Knowledge, and will be published in
hardback form, priced at £10. The books will text-led and feature line
illustrations, aimed at both the gift and self-purchase market. Six launch titles will be published in June, covering red
wine, jazz, the periodic table, opera, whisky and stargazing, with more
titles planned for 2016.
A judge in Texas has ordered $10m be set aside for a potential
payout to a woman who was defrauded out of royalties from the sale of Fifty
Shades of Grey by E L James. The Star-Telegramreported that State District Judge Susan McCoy said
Amanda Hayward, who is from Australia, should put the money into an
investment fund and escrow accounts until a final accounting determines how
much she may owe Jennifer Pedroza, who is from Arlington, Texas.
Tolino, the digital alliance run by German booksellers, has
launched its own self-publishing platform. Tolino Media was created using software developed by publisher
Droemer Knaur for its own self-publishing platform, Neobooks, and is aimed
at rivalling Amazon. Authors using the Tolino Media earn 70% royalties of
the sale price, compared to 35% if they sold their books via Amazon. Books published on Tolino are also distributed to the
alliance’s bookselling partners, which include more than 1,000 online
Authors Louise O’Neill, Naomi Wood, Rowan Coleman and Cathy
Cassidy are among the writers donating items for an auction to raise money
for victims of the Nepal earthquake. The 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit Nepal on Saturday 25th April,
and so far more than 5,000 people have been confirmed dead, with the UN
estimating that 8m people have been affected in some way. Authors for Nepal has been set up by Surrey-based writer,
Julia Williams, who also works as an editor at Harlequin.
Bright Group International, the agency that represents
children’s illustrators such as Benji Davies and Yasmeen Ismail, is opening
an office in the US. The company said Bright USA, which is based in New York, “will
grow exponentially over the next few years as we explore the vast and deep
landscape of the US children’s publishing world”. The US office opened on Monday (27th April) and is run by
managing agent Alli Brydon, a former freelance children’s book editor who
will lead the acquisition of US-based authors and illustrators.
Submissions for The Bookseller’s Autumn Buyer’s Guide will
close this week. Books with a UK publication date between July and December
2015 are eligible for inclusion. The closing date for submissions is 5pm on Friday 1st May.
Amendments and new titles can also be made up to this deadline. Submissions can be made via the Buyer’s Guide website.