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.
Thursday, August 27, 2015
Latest book news from The Bookseller - Children's book sales up 23% over summer
Children’s book sales increased 23% over the summer holidays,
with a strong demand for titles for all ages. Sales of children’s print books in the UK grew to 5.5 million
for the six-week period 28th June – 15th August, a 23% rise from the
previous six weeks (10th May- 27th June), according to Nielsen BookScan. Cat Anderson, children’s specialist at the Edinburgh Bookshop,
said she sold books to a lot of children buying titles for family holidays.
The timing of the Edinburgh Festival also contributed to a spike in sales
for the shop.
HarperCollins has appointed Ananth Padmanabhan
[pictured] as the new c.e.o. of HarperCollins India, and announced the
formation of a new board for the business. Padmanabhan joins from Penguin Random House India, where he
was senior v.p. of sales. PRH has appointed Nandan Jha as its new v.p. of
product and sales in India, to replace him.
China’s One Belt, One Road initiative, the burgeoning online
reading phenomenon and the “fierce competition” among Chinese top
publishers were just some of the topics discussed at two conferences in
this week’s build-up to the Beijing International Book Fair (BIBF).
James Patterson has jumped to the top of the UK Top 50 chart
this week with 14th Deadly
Sin (Arrow)—his 21st individual title to reach the
summit since Nielsen BookScan’s records began. However, Swedish author
Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin has scored a surprise hit with his picture
book The Rabbit Who
Wants to Fall Asleep, coming in at second position – the first
book produced on Amazon’s CreateSpace platform to make the Official UK Top
The Book Trade Charity (BTBS) and The Matthew Hodder
Charitable Trust (MHCT) are to merge to form one organisation carrying the
BTBS name. The merger will mean BTBS can now expand its education grants,
alongside continuing its welfare support work. BTBS, under chief executive David Hicks, will take over the
administration and back-office function of MHCT, which has no staff. MHCT has gifted its assets to BTBS, which is creating the
Matthew Hodder Fund, from which four educational grant schemes will be
Paula Hawkins’ The
Girl on the Train (Transworld) is Amazon.co.uk’s biggest
selling e-book of 2015 so far, the retailer has revealed. The list of top 20 e-books of the year is dominated by female
authors, with E L James’ Fifty Shades of Grey companion novel, Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as told
by Christian (Cornerstone) in second place. Head of Zeus has two books in the top 20, with Nadine Dorries’
Hide Her Name
(Head of Zeus) in ninth and The
Throwaway Children by Diney Costeloe (Head of Zeus) in 13th.
Transworld has brought forward the release date of The Joy of Tax by
Richard Murphy – the creator of ‘Corbynomics’ – and is exploring plans to
launch the book at the Labour Party Conference next month. Murphy [pictured] is a chartered accountant and is the author
of Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn’s economic policy. The Joy of Tax, bought by Transworld
publishing director Doug Young in September last year, was originally due
to be released on 19th November, but Transworld has brought forward the release
to 1st October.
Channel 4 is set to broadcast a 30-minute animation based on
Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury’s bestselling picture book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. The channel’s chief executive officer Jay Hunt and head of
drama Piers Wenger commissioined the programme, striking a deal with Walker
Productions’ Helen McAleer and Julia Posen, both of whom will act as
executive producers on the show. The show will be produced by Lupus Films,
who made the TV show 'The Snowman and The Snowdog', and directed by Joanna
Harrison and Robin Shaw.
Swedish literary agency Salomonsson has signed Carl-Johan
Forssén Ehrlin, the author of the chart-topping self-published picture book
The Rabbit Who Wants to
Fall Asleep. The book, which Ehrlin created to help parents lull their
children to sleep, is currently
the second biggest-selling title in Nielsen Bookscan’s UK Top 50,
coming behind only James Patterson’s Invisible
Publishing Scotland has launched a new fund to encourage
international publishers to translate work by Scottish writers. The fund, which will be officially launched today (25th
August) at Edinburgh International Book Festival, is being run by
Publishing Scotland on behalf of Creative Scotland. The funding, offered in the form of a grant, is to support
publishers based outside the UK in buying rights from Scottish and UK
publishers and agents by offering assistance with the cost of translation
of Scottish writers.
Hodder & Stoughton will publish a new book by explorer
Levison Wood, to accompany a television series. Wood’s Walking
the Himalayas sees him explore five countries along the
mountain range. Wood will present a Channel 4 series about his journey in
spring 2016. Hodder and Little, Brown US acquired world rights, including
translation and serial through Jo Cantello of Wolfsong Media.
Social e-reading subscription platform Bookmate has expanded
into Indonesia, partnering with telecommunications network Indosat to bring
mobile reading to Indonesian customers. The companies aim to launch a mass market mobile reading
service under the brand Bookmate-Cipika Books. Ahead of the launch, Bookmate has signed deals with “leading”
Indonesian publishers to bring 4,000 titles in Bahasa in addition to its
library of 250,000 English language titles.