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.
Bloomsbury Publishing's sales grew 13% in the first half of
the year, boosted by a particularly strong performance from the children’s
and educational department. For the six months ending 31st August 2015, turnover totalled
£52.7m, 13% higher than £46.6m for the same period in 2014. Adjusted profit before taxation increased 11.8% to £1.9m,
although profit before taxation was £0.3m, compared to £0.5m in 2014.
Hachette has restructured its international sales
department to provide “greater focus” to each of its key international
markets. The changes follow Ben
Wright's appointment as Hachette's group international sales director
in August from his position as director of digital sales and channel
development for Penguin Random House.
Audible is offering its customers exclusive Rastamouse audio programmes,
after signing a deal with licence holders The Rastamouse Company. The Amazon-owned company now has ‘Da Big Carnival’, a
60-minute adventure story featuring Rastamouse, Scratcy and Zoomer that is
free to download, amongst its offerings.
Nielsen is to partner with Germany's largest market research
institute GfK (Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung, Society for Consumer
Research) for "targeted" future co-operation within the book
sector. Industry information from Nielsen on the US and UK markets,
including on bestsellers, hot topics and successful authors in different
genres, will be integrated into the GfK databases in a collaboration
intended to help customers identify multinational trends.
Curtis Brown has bought a 50% stake in
fellow agency Conville & Walsh.
Conville & Walsh will retain its name and operating independence, with
Curtis Brown chief executives Jonny Geller and Ben Hall joining its board.
The smaller agency will move into Curtis Brown's Haymarket offices in
The two will share resources and combine areas of expertise, plus author
services such as Conville & Walsh's speaker's bureau Hire Intelligence
and Curtis Brown Creative's writing courses.
Usborne has acquired two middle-grade novels by Lara
Williamson and will publish the first, The
Boy Who Was Ace, in autumn 2016. The Boy Who Was Ace is about an adopted boy
called Adam Butters, whose birth name was Ace. One day he decides to find
his birth mother, although when things don’t go to plan, his adoptive
family has to pick up the pieces. Usborne secured the English language rights from Madeleine
Milburn of the Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV and Film Agency.
Scottish author and musician Colin MacIntyre has won
the 2015 Edinburgh International Book Festival’s First Book Award
for his debut novel The
Letters of Ivor Punch (Weidenfeld & Nicolson). The First Book Award encourages the book festival audience to
discover the "wealth" of debut fiction featured in the festival
programme each year and vote for their favourite.