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.
The Bookseller can exclusively reveal the
first image of Foyles’ new Birmingham store as the countdown to its opening
begins in earnest [below]. The second of the company’s shops to open outside London, the
4,300 sq ft Foyles Birmingham will be a “model store for the future”,
according to c.e.o. Paul Currie. It will open in just over three weeks’ time (24th September)
when the new Grand Central Birmingham Station opens to the public.
Faber saw a drop in turnover for the year ending March 2015,
with a significant increase in its operating loss from the previous 12
months. The publisher’s turnover was £15.9m, down 1.8% from £16.2m the
year before. Faber made an operating loss of £813,000, up from £5,000 in
the 12 months to March 2014. The operating loss including a “substantial
one-off restructuring cost”, said the firm’s business review in its
directors’ report and financial statements.
Quercus is to publish a book by Eastenders’ actor Danny Dyer. The World According to Danny Dyer: Life Lessons from the East
End will see Dyer tackling questions including 'where have all
the old school boozers gone?', 'are there such things as ghosts?', and 'am
I middle class?’. Editorial director Jane Sturrock bought world rights from Paul
Stevens at Independent Talent.
B2B content company Globe Business Media Group has sold its
portfolio of law books to a management-led team for an undisclosed sum. The buyers of the division, Globe Law and Business, are a
consortium led by Jim Smith, a publisher who spent a number of years on the
board of Lexus Nexus. Sian O’Neill, the m.d. of Globe Law and Business and
founder of the list, is also part of the team. All existing staff will
transfer to the new company and O’Neill will maintain her role as m.d.
Robin Stevens’ children’s detective series Murder Most
Unladylike has been optioned for television and film by independent
production company Pilot Media. Pilot Media optioned the rights from Emily Hayward Whitlock,
head of book to film at The Artists’ Partnership, who was acting on behalf
of Stevens’ literary agent, Gemma Cooper at The Bent Agency.
Chris Riddell and Macmillan Children’s Books are raising money
for Book Trust with a new Doodle-a-Day
diary, featuring 366 pages of ideas to encourage doodling (one for each day
of the year and another for leap years). Riddell’s Doodle-a-Day, due for
publication on 22nd October (£9.99), is an “interactive diary” of things to
draw, colour or doodle. Twenty pence from the sale of each book will be
donated to the charity.
A collection of poetry inspired by the left wing Labour
leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn has achieved 5,000 downloads in its
first week. Altogether 20 poets including Michael Rosen, Pascale Petit,
Nicholas Murray and Ian Pindar have submitted 20 poems for the free
e-book Poets for
Corbyn, which was published by online magazine Berfrois on
August 19th, and produced by the publication's editor Russell
The summer of 2015 has been generally a cheerful one for the
UK domestic publishing market, with strong consumer publishing including,
but extending well beyond, Harper Lee, E L James and adult colouring books.
However, with over 40% of UK publishers’ sales generated by exports, there
have also been some looming storm clouds.
The Bear Who Went Boo!, about a cheeky polar
bear cub, will be David Walliams’ next picture book, published by
HarperCollins later this year.
Children’s publisher Ann-Janine Murtagh said the book, which will be
released 5th November in time for Christmas, is a “deliciously funny new
tale” that will be a “big hit” with Walliams’ younger fans.
The book will be illustrated by his long-time collaborator Tony Ross, whose
“joyful illustrations are the perfect partner – full of his inimitable
mischief and fun”, said Murtagh.
As the summer holiday draws to a close, the autumn rush
begins, marked this week with the release of a number of big books. Among them was the late Sir Terry Pratchett's last novel, The Shepherd's Crown
(Doubleday Children's), and we've got pictures from the midnight opening
held at Waterstones Piccadilly to mark the launch of the book. We've also got pictures of Hanya Yanagihara at her event at
Foyles for the Man Booker Prize-longlisted A Little Life (Picador), and you can see
the special guest who visited The
Bookseller offices this week.
Verso London is to send books to the makeshift library created
at the Calais migrant camp known as the 'Jungle'. Jungle Books, set up by British teacher Mary Jones, has been
appealing for books to add to the library in the native languages of the
migrants, refugees and asylum seekers there.
Paris staff in the Fnac cultural products chain are up in arms
over Sunday trading plans following recent legislation adopted by
parliament to boost the economy. The two unions concerned—Confédération Générale du Travail
(CGT) and SUD—allege that six of the seven Fnac stores in Paris should be
excluded from the newly defined international tourist zones that permit
shops to open on Sundays. Only the Champs Elysées outlet qualifies, the
unions said in a joint statement. The criteria defining the zones are international appeal, and
crowds of big-spending foreign tourists.