Thursday, August 20, 2015

Latest from The Bookseller

David Walliams
Education secretary Nicky Morgan and author David Walliams have launched a government drive to get more children reading. 
Writing in the Telegraph, the pair said improving children’s literacy should be a “national mission”.
Lesley Pearse
Lesley Pearse has notched up her second Official Top 50 number one, displacing E L James.
The paperback edition of Without a Trace (Penguin) sold 15,960 copies (worth £64,667) last week through Nielsen BookScan’s Total Consumer Market as Grey (Arrow) dropped to third place. The hardback edition of the title has sold 17,266 units since it was released in May.
Edinburgh International Book Festival’s two bookshops sold more than 10,000 books in the first two days of the event – a record for the festival.
The two bookshops are owned and managed by the festival itself.
Top sellers on 15th and 16th August were The Shed that Fed a Million Children by Magnus Macfarlane-Barrow (William Collins), How to be Both by Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton) and Julian Clary’s first children’s book, The Bolds (Andersen Press), illustrated by David Roberts.
Katie Espiner will begin her role as m.d. of Orion next month, it has been confirmed.
Espiner, who is currently at HarperCollins’ imprint The Borough Press, was announced as the new m.d. of Orion earlier this year as part of a shake-up of senior management at the Hachette UK company. She will begin at Orion on 21st September.
Verlagsgruppe Random House
German publishers are speedily bidding goodbye to Adobe DRM (Digital Rights Management) on their e-books. What started as a trickle earlier this year has now become an unstoppable torrent with Random House Germany the latest (and largest) of the major publishing groups to exit hard-DRM.
Citing an ever growing consensus in the industry for its decision, Munich-based Verlagsgruppe Random House will make all its digital books available with soft digital watermarking from October 1st.
Southampton City Council has approved plans to shut five libraries in the area unless community groups come forward to run them.
The authority made the decision at a cabinet meeting last night (18th August), reported the Daily Echo.
The council will stop running Cobbett Road, Burgess Road, Millbrook, Thornhill and Weston libraries next April.
Southampton will also close its mobile library as part of the bid to save £286,000.

Author A L Kennedy has said there should never be a female Doctor in “Doctor Who”, and that instead another role that is “iconic, wonderful and marvellous” should be created.
The writer, who appeared at the Edinburgh International Book Festival yesterday (18th August), published a “Doctor Who” novel, The Drosten’s Curse (BBC Books), last month.
She told festival goers that she would be surprised if the Doctor changed gender.
Keeley Hawes will star in a TV adaptation of the late Gerald Durrell’s trilogy of Corfu memoirs.
“The Durrells” will be written by screenwriter Simon Nye and produced by Sid Gentle Films Ltd, and based on the books My Family and Other Animals, Birds, Beasts and Relatives, and The Garden of the Gods, first published in the 1950, 1960s and 1970s, and reissued in a single volume by Penguin in 2006. My Family and Other Animals has also been published in a separate edition by Puffin.
Julie Crisp has signed debut American author A S Moser to her literary agency.
Crisp, formerly senior commissioning editor at Pan Macmillan’s Tor imprint, set up her own business earlier this year after leaving the company.
Moser’s At Close of Day explores the lengths that society will go to in order to find a cure for humanity’s greatest threat – death – and what some will do to keep that secret for themselves.
Frankfurt Book Fair 2015
Frankfurt Book Fair has hired Amy Webster as its new associate partner of Rights and Licenses.
Her role will be to support the partnership between the book fair and IPR License after FBF announced it had made a significant investment in the global rights and licensing trading platform in May this year. 
Webster joins the book fair from Edinburgh TV Festival, where she was head of new business. Previously, Webster coordinated the market focus programme at London Book Fair for six years. 
Christian Wolmar
Head of Zeus is set to release a collection of re-published classic railway writing curated by railway historian Christian Wolmar [pictured], called Wolmar’s Railway Library. 
The selected titles will span two centuries of railway history and will be published in e-book and as high quality print editions in Wolmar Library livery, quarter bound and with contemporary illustrated covers. Customers will be able to pledge for the entire collection or for individual volumes via the Unbound crowdfunding platform.
Square Peg is to publish the true story of a young Yazidi girl’s capture by and escape from ISIS.
Rowan Yapp, editorial director, won UK and Commonwealth rights at auction from Barbara J Zitwer of Barbara J Zitwer Agency and Christine Proske of Ariadne-Buch to The Girl Who Beat ISIS: Farida’s Story, by Farida Abbas, co-written with Dr Andrea-Claudia Hoffmann.
In August 2014, Abbas was 18 when her village in the mountains of northern Iraq was attacked by ISIS terrorists. The jihadists murdered the men and boys, before taking the girls prisoner.

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