Tuesday, March 31, 2009


The Digital Publishing Forum is a BPANZ initiative sponsored by Copyright Licensing and driven by Mr.Digital Publishing NZ himself, publisher Martin Taylor (pic right below), Addenda Publishing.

Today, Tuesday 31 March, in Auckland the Forum held the first of three one day seminars on digital publishing. Tomorrow the second will be held in Wellington and on Thursday the third will be held in Christchurch.

A diverse bunch of more than 100 turned up to the Hyatt Regency Hotel for the first seminar which proved to be an interesting, stimulating and challenging day. There were people from the book publishing world – editors, marketers, publicists, sales people – magazine publishers, web designers, authors, librarians and software creators and if they were like me they would have gone home at the end of the day pleased they had been there perhaps feeling a tad daunted and challenged but impressed and pleased at the air of co-operation prevailing among those present.
The speakers included the aforementioned Martin Taylor, Adrian Keane, MD of Pearson NZ, Neale Pitches, CEO/Publisher of South Pacific Press, Andrew Crisp of InfoGrid Pacific, Kathy Sheat of Copyright Licensing and by way of dvd four NZ publishing CEO’s – Tony Fisk of Harper Collins, Kevin Chapman of Hachette, Margaret Thompson of Penguin, and Karen ferns of Random House.
For me though the star was Martin Taylor.
He started proceedings with an entertaining, informative and accessible presentation he named The Rise and Fall and Rise of eBooks. It was a consummate performance and got the day off on exactly the right note.
Adrian Keane gave us A Glimpse at the Global Strategies of Major Educational Publisher, the four CEO’s gave us the same sort of glimpse but on trade publishing rather than educational, (I thought Tony Fisk’s contribution was especially valuable), then Andrew Crisp talked about the Production and Distribution of Digital Content.

During a working lunch, broken up into eight groups, we examined key issues from the morning sessions followed by an open forum with much participation and many question ably chaired by Martin Taylor.

The organizers of this series of seminars will be heartened by the turnout, participation and reaction to this first day. The co-operation between publishers was especially noticeable and gives one optimism for the next big thing in the book publishing world – the eBook and digital publishing.
If you are in Wellington or Christchurch and have an interest in digital publishing then be sure to attend.
To Tweet or Not to Tweet: Twitter Basics for Publishers and Authors
Promoting books in 140 characters or less
by Charlotte Abbott -- Publishers Weekly, 3/30/2009

By now, you may have heard that Twitter's 6.1 million unique monthly visitors make it the third most popular social network, compared to Facebook's 78.5 million users and MySpace's 65.7 million users, according to Quantcast.
But as more authors, publishers, booksellers, retailers and book reviewers log on to use Twitter as a promotional and professional tool, there's also plenty of skepticism.
Is it worth the time commitment involved? What benefits have industry users found?

To answer these questions, PW attended last month's O'Reilly's Tools of Change conference, talked with early adopters and plunged directly into the Twitter experience (follow PW at www.twitter.com/publisherswkly).

How Twitter Works
Twitter basics are simple. A tweet is a message of no more than 140 characters, often composed with a bit of shorthand and the help of Web URL-shrinking programs.
A retweet (or RT) is when you repeat someone else's tweet to your followers. Followers are those who see your tweets. You can follow anyone, and anyone can follow you, unless you choose to lock your account and approve your followers. But following someone isn't the same as being friends—the person you're following won't see your tweets unless you address them directly or they have chosen to follow you.
The number of followers you have is a measure of success, “but quality counts, too,” cautions Kelly Leonard, Hachette's director of online marketing. “Some bloggers have exponential influence when they retweet your messages.”

The biggest mistake corporate users make on Twitter is using it as a one-way megaphone for their marketing messages. Practiced users say it's better to build two-way communication by following those who follow you. “Twitter is like a bank account: you have to put in more deposits than withdrawals,” explains Leonard. “A post about my author appearing on The Today Show is a withdrawal, because it's not 100% for the community. Deposits are about direct engagement with your audience and providing valuable information that's retweeted.”

Why Users Like Twitter
Power users like Kelly Leonard and Richard Nash, marketing and editorial consultant and former editorial director of Soft Skull/Counterpoint, cite five key benefits of Twitter:
Info filtering: Twitter is a fast way to find out what people who share your interests are thinking, reading and blogging about, 24/7.

Targeted networking: It's easy to find smart, likeminded people and jump into a conversation; some of Twitter's biggest names will answer back, too.
Direct engagement: What better way to explore reader attitudes and feedback, and to spot new trends, than by talking directly with your customers?
Amplification: Retweeted messages are a powerful way to drive Web traffic.
Opt in or out: You can tweet as much as you want or lurk without comment, though consistent tweeting and audience engagement are key to attracting and keeping followers.
But even enthusiasts admit that it takes two to three weeks to gain confidence with Twitter, and several months to achieve proficiency. That's partly because of the 140-character message limit, and partly because it takes some observation to learn what makes for a good tweet.
Read the full piece at PW online.
Stephanie Meyer Phenomenon Propels Hachette Books
by Jim Milliot -- Publishers Weekly, 3/30/2009

In discussing the first-half performance of Hachette Book Group earlier this year, CEO David Young said 2008 would be remembered as the year of Stephenie Meyer, a prediction that indeed came true.

With Meyer's books selling a total of 29.7 million copies last year, HBG's sales jumped 26%, to well over $600 million. “It's been wonderful to be part of a true phenomenon,” Young said, adding that momentum for Meyer's titles continues as her audience expands beyond the teenage girls and young adults who were her first fans. The Twilight Saga Journals, a series featuring quotes from the Twilight books and artwork, is coming in September, and the film of New Moon is due at Thanksgiving.
Beyond Meyer, Young said there was underlying strength across all divisions. The Shack, published in cooperation with Windblown Media, is nearing six million copies sold, while James Patterson continues to be HBG's “rock,” contributing hardcover, paperback, audio and children bestsellers, Young said.

HBG's investments in digitizing its titles began to pay off in 2008, with e-book sales jumping to $4.7 million. Young said sales for the format remain strong and could top $10 million in 2009.
While that would represent about 2% of revenue, in some imprints, such as Orbit, e-book sales could constitute 5%to 10% of sales, Young said. HBG continues to digitize all frontlist titles that are appropriate for the e-book format and by the end of the year should have all suitable backlist works digitized as well. HBG also generated $1 million in print-on-demand sales last year, largely through Young's call to “eradicate” out-of-stock-indefinitely titles.
HBG had about 6,000 OSI titles, and Young formed a team to either declare them out-of-print or to move them to the POD program. “We want to extend the useful life of our books,” Young said.
JK Rowling leads fight against free books site Scribd
Harry Potter author is among writers shocked to discover their books available as free downloads
Alison Flood guardian.co.uk, Monday 30 March 2009

JK Rowling. Photograph: Murdo Macleod

The publishers of bestselling authors JK Rowling, Aravind Adiga and Ken Follett have been shocked by the news that their authors' latest books are available to read for free on a US website. Internet users can not only read free copies of The Tales of Beedle the Bard, The White Tiger and World Without End at Scribd.com, but also download the text onto their computers to edit as they see fit.
Neil Blair, Rowling's lawyer, said the Harry Potter downloads were "unauthorised and unlawful" and that the website had been asked to take them down. "We are aware of this and we've asked them to take them off," he said. "They are quite helpful and they act immediately, but they won't police it themselves."
The San Francisco-headquartered company was set up in March 2007 and claims to have more than 50 million readers a month, with more than 50,000 new documents uploaded by users every day. The Obama campaign used it to publish policy documents, and the site has recently signed a deal with some US publishers to post books and extracts with permission.

Tammy Nam, Scribd vice president for marketing, said that its policy was to "immediately remove copyrighted material when we receive notices from copyright holders", but that it had received no take down notice from Rowling's lawyers. "Our community is generally very good at policing itself and let us know when they come across copyrighted works or other inappropriate material," she added, saying that Scribd also has a copyright management system which contains "tens of thousands of works that have been entered or flagged as copyrighted - so that if anyone tried to upload anything in that system, they're immediately denied".
Rowling's novels aren't the only ones to be available from Scribd. A quick search throws up novels from Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan, Jeffrey Archer, Ken Follett, Philippa Gregory, and JRR Tolkien.
"We are monitoring this and are concerned about it," said Mark Le Fanu, general secretary of the Society of Authors. "Internet piracy is increasing," he continued, advising authors to monitor sites such as Scribd.
The bestselling science fiction author Christopher Priest is one author who has already been in touch with Scribd over a copy of his 1981 novel, The Affirmation, though he suggests "99% of writers aren't aware it's going on".
"Scribd.com were very courteous and immediately took it down, but since then it's gone up again," he said. "It's very annoying … I'm a writer and I write for a living, I don't want to have to do this."
According to Priest the threat to copyright extends beyond the loss of a few sales. In a letter to writers' magazine The Author he suggested that the threat is "not going to go away and it becomes a greater threat with every passing week ... Pretending it doesn't matter is not in my view an option," he continued. "A few downloads here or there are not going to make a measurable difference to book sales, but treating the text as something that is available to be used or adapted in some unspecified way is a different matter."
Adiga's publisher, Toby Mundy at Atlantic Books, said that Adiga's publishers around the world would be taking action. "We're in the copyright business," he said. "We can't be complacent about this."
Priest agreed. "The music industry has been practically ruined by this. The film industry is fighting hard and it's got lots of money. The book industry is the poorest of the lot – we are vulnerable."
The above is further to my report from The Times earlier today.

Join Us: The First Annual Millions Walking Tour of NYC Indie Book Stores.
One of the supreme pleasures of reading is the way adventures begun on the page - or on the screen - take on a life of their own.

Since posting our revised and expanded "Walking Tour of New York's Independent Bookstores" last week, we've been overwhelmed by great feedback.
Now, the siren call of an afternoon of leisurely urban hiking having proven too enticing to resist, we've decided to make our hypothetical tour a reality. This May, we're going to convene the First Annual Millions Walking Tour of New York's Independent Book Stores. Notwithstanding the tough environment facing indies, we'll get a chance to celebrate some of New York's best, to explore what keeps them vital - and to hang out with fellow readers.
The details:
Time and date
: Saturday, May 2nd, 11am (rain date Sunday May 3rd, 11am).
While our online tour features 11 stops, for our first attempt in person, we've decided to shorten it to a more manageable six stops (and an approximate total distance of 4.5 miles).
At 11am, we'll meet at Three Lives (154 West 10th Street at Waverly Place) -(pic left from a couple of Christmases ago).

From there we'll venture to Housing Works Used Book Cafe (126 Crosby St. between Prince and Houston), where we'll try to snag some sort of coffee and snack special for those who like to nosh while they browse.
Then it's around the corner to McNally Jackson (52 Prince St. between Mulberry and Lafayette). pic right.
Then a few blocks to Bluestockings (172 Allen Street between Stanton and Rivington)
The next leg, taking us over the bridge to Brooklyn and to BookCourt (163 Court St. between Pacific and Dean) will be by far the longest (about 3 miles).
And we'll wrap things up at Freebird Books & Goods (123 Columbia St. between Kane & Degraw), which will host a little backyard party with beer and refreshments.
With about a half hour at each stop, we anticipate that the whole tour will take three or four hours. We hope that you will join us. Anyone can just show up and come along, but if you RSVP to mailto:themillionsbookstoretour@gmail.com?Subject=RSVP, we'll be able to alert you if we need to postpone due to weather.

The whole thing is going to be informal - no tour bus, no red umbrella - and if you want to try to catch up with us partway through, you are welcome to, but the only way to be sure to be with the group is to show up at Three Lives at 11am.
Garth and Max will be leading the jaunt and we'll likely be joined by one or two other Millions regulars. Please join us! If all goes well, perhaps we'll reassemble in 2010 for another tour, focusing on the uptown venues we'll be neglecting this time around.
How The Bookman would love to be there for this walking tour. It includes two of my favourite New York bookstores, Three Lives and McNally Jackson. Honorary Kiwi Cheryl Sucher (and occasional reviewer for the Sunday Star Times & NZ Listener) is at McNally Jackson and visiting NZ'ers can always be assured of a warm welcome. I'll keep this itinerary and the next time I have the great fortune to be in NY I'll do the tour myself.
Anthony Hopkins to play Ernest Hemingway?
The bell tolls for Andy Garcia
By Steven Zeitchik writing in The Hollywood Reporter

Hannibal Lecter as Big Papa? Anthony Hopkins is loosely attached to "Hemingway & Fuentes," an indie project about the iconic writer that will be written and directed by Andy Garcia.Garcia, who also will produce via his CineSon Entertainment banner, is co-penning the script with Hilary Hemingway, a screenwriter and author and the niece of Ernest Hemingway.

The movie will revolve around the relationship between Hemingway and his longtime fishing-boat captain Gregorio Fuentes. Annette Bening also could come aboard the project, Garcia said, in the role of Hemingway's wife and widow Mary Welsh.

Instead of functioning as a biopic, "Hemingway & Fuentes" will take the form of a historical drama, centering on the final, troubled chapter in Hemingway's dramatic life.
The writer spent roughly the last decade of his life in the fishing towns of Cojimar, Cuba, and Ketchum, Idaho, a period for which the author is artistically best known for penning "The Old Man and the Sea," the novella about a Cuban fisherman that won him a Pulitzer Prize in 1953.
Garcia said he hopes to explore the psyche of Hemingway, the dynamic with Fuentes and the relationship both had with fishing. "I'm a Hemingway nut and also an avid fisherman, and the reality of the relationship between Hemingway and his captain is compelling to me," he said. Garcia, who said the project is in its nascent stages, aims to star as Fuentes.
Read the full story at The Hollywood Reporter.
Submissions Open for New Zealand’s Richest Non-Fiction Award

A literary biography about one of New Zealand’s most important writers - CK Stead - (pic left) will be published this year thanks to a $35,000 CLL Writer’s Award.
Biographer and academic, Judith Dell Panny received the award in 2006 enabling her to write the book.

Applications are now open for other writers to benefit from this award for non-fiction works.
Applicants have until 15 July to submit proposals to the 2009 CLL Writers’ Awards; there will be two prizes of $35,000 awarded this year. Entry forms are available on-line at www.copyright.co.nz.

In addition to the Stead biography, a further two books will be published this year by CLL Award recipients: Zone of the Marvellous, which examines the place of the Antipodes in Western imagination by critically acclaimed writer Martin Edmond and No Fretful Sleeper - A Life of Bill Pearson by leading English literature academic, Paul Millar.

The Awards - among the highest monetary prizes for works of non-fiction available in New Zealand - have been running since 2002.

The CLL Writers’ Award selection panel convenor, Jenny Jones, says it is truly exciting to see so many works of robust scholarship and importance published by CLL Award recipients.
We are now seeing the fruits of the awards – outstanding books that reveal the richness of our heritage.’

The awards are financed from copyright licensing revenue received by CLL from New Zealand institutions on behalf of authors and publishers. They enable New Zealand writers to devote time to specific non-fiction projects.
CLL chief executive Kathy Sheat says one of the main roles of copyright is to provide an incentive for creation and innovation.
These books are funded from copyright licensing revenue. At the awards’ heart then is the knowledge that everyone contributing to a copyright licence has not only acted within the law, but also invested in the next generation of New Zealand writers.’

A further two research grants of $3,500 each will also be awarded in conjunction with the NZ Society of Authors.
CLL is also the proud sponsor of the Copyright Licensing Intellectual Property Law Award.


FOCUS – clearly a better read

Bestselling authors and top publishers back campaign to get Large Print books on the high street

Do you struggle to read small print books? Do you have a friend or relative who loves to read but has given up?
Many people would struggle to read the top sentence of this release. Many people struggle to read their favourite books simply because this ‘standard’ font size is too small. FOCUS, a new campaign to make popular and bestselling books available in Large Print is set to change all that.

Launching on 2 April, a list of 53 great reads appealing to a wide audience will be available in Large Print in bookshops nationwide, including 7 new ‘lead’ titles from bestselling authors Clive Cussler, Nicholas Drayson, Len Goodman, Cathy Kelly, Karin Slaughter, Barbara Taylor Bradford and Barbara Vine.

The books will look exactly the same on the shelf as their standard font counterparts so there is no need for readers to feel embarrassed or different when making a purchase. The cover and content is exactly the same; it is only the font that is larger – 16 point rather than the standard 10 point.

Barbara Taylor Bradford, whose novel Being Elizabeth is one of the lead titles in the campaign, comments;
I am very pleased and honoured to be part of such a fantastic initiative to get Large Print books available on the high street. I welcome a scheme which allows everybody, regardless of age or 20-20 vision, the same access to a wider variety of literature.”

FOCUS is leading the way to demonstrate that there is a market for people who want to buy books printed in a larger font size.’ The campaign is designed to encourage readers who are frustrated to be struggling with standard font size and to cater for life-long readers who are experiencing sight difficulties due to age.

Karin Slaughter, whose novel, Fractured, is being published in Large Print, comments;

Books present an opportunity to enter into a new world or see people in a different light - it's a way to travel the world or the universe without ever leaving your home. Reading is a gift that should not be denied anyone and books should be in Large Print if that helps more people enjoy their pastime.”

All the books are published in a trade paperback format and are priced £12.99 when the standard trade edition is in paperback or £16.99 when the standard trade edition is in hardback.

The seven lead titles are:

Corsair by Clive Cussler (Penguin)
A Guide to Birds of East Africa by Nicholas Drayson (Penguin)
Better Late Than Never by Len Goodman (Random House)
Once in a Lifetime by Cathy Kelly (HarperCollins)
Fractured by Karin Slaughter (Random House)
Being Elizabeth by Barbara Taylor Bradford (HarperCollins)
The Birthday Present by Barbara Vine (Penguin)

FOCUS was initiated and funded by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and the Publishers Licensing Society (PLS). The books are published by RNIB in association with BBC Audiobooks, Penguin, Random House and HarperCollins.
Albom delivers a new book
March 29, 2009, Detroit Free Press

Have a Little Faith: A True Story of a Last Request," Mitch Albom's first nonfiction book since 1997's "Tuesdays with Morrie," has been turned in to publisher Hyperion and is set for release Sept. 22.

The best-selling author, award-winning Free Press columnist, radio host and all-around media personality told Names & Faces his latest literary journey took eight years to complete and couldn't be coming out at a more appropriate time.
"I didn't think it would take this long, but when I first started to write it, everyone was doing pretty good. But this year, we've had it so tough in Detroit it's just perfect timing for a book about how people have come to faith," Albom says.

Albom explains there are three central characters: One is an inner-city pastor who was a criminal in Detroit before turning his life around and taking over a church that helps homeless people. The second character is a 90-year-old rabbi from the suburbs of New Jersey. The third is Albom himself.
"I'm sort of the connection between the two -- black and white, suburb and city, Christian and Jewish," Albom says. "It all started with the question: How does a nonreligious person like me do a eulogy?"
Half of the new book, Albom says, is set in Detroit. And, the author assures, this is a book that isn't meant to be preachy.
"Faith is a pretty universal thing -- and the needs of one are pretty similar to the needs of others.
"It's not a how-to book; it's not a lecturing book,"
Albom says. "It's not a book that tells you that you have to believe in this or that. ... It's a story."

Fans looking to get a look at "Faith" excerpts or those interested in all things Mitch should visit the writer's revamped Web site: http://www.mitchalbom.com/.
It includes video clips and every Free Press column -- ever (!). It also provides an online community for people interested in exploring subjects like faith.
In Berlin, Authors Find Their Voice

Left - The Literaturhaus in Charlottenburg. Mark Simon pic for NYT.

By NICHOLAS KULISH writing in The New York Times
Published: March 29, 2009

ON one of those long December nights in Berlin that make the days feel like no more than mere intermissions, the steady drizzle and slippery cobblestones should have kept anyone even entertaining the notion of stepping outside into such misery at home under a blanket. Yet there they were, a crowd of young people in sneakers and hoodies, over 100 strong to watch the group known as Chaussee der Enthusiasten, or Avenue of the Enthusiasts, give their weekly reading from their latest works.

Some of the pieces were carefully crafted vignettes, others handwritten, free-associating riffs on the day’s headlines, daredevil feats of literature without a net. Two of the young men, Jochen Schmidt and Stephan Zeisig, bantered on stage like an East Berlin version of “A Prairie Home Companion,” concluding every sentence with “wahr?” which means “true,” and is the capstone of most thoughts expressed in Berliner dialect and a challenge rather than a question, you know?

They talked about trying to seem “oppositionell” when they were just coming of age in the days before the Wall fell, not out of conviction but because they had heard that female Stasi agents slept with regime opponents to get at their secrets. The crowd laughed.

“Oh, come on,” heckled a fellow writer and Enthusiast, Kirsten Fuchs, as she waited for her turn. “Last week you were talking about having a crush on your Pioneer leader,” referring to East Germany’s indoctrinating version of a scout leader. The crowd howled. The reading continued.
Just another night out in Berlin.

Full story at NYT


Read the story in The Wall Street Journal.
Authors fight free books site Scribd for ‘pirating’ their work
Bestselling novels are reproduced without publishers’ permission

Reporting by Dan Sabbagh, Media Editor, The Times

Publishers and agents representing the authors J. K. Rowling and Ken Follett were battling last night to get free copies of their novels removed from a Californian website that claims to be the most popular literary site in the world.
Scribd.com attracts 55 million visitors a month, many drawn by the chance to download versions of books by popular authors that have been uploaded on to the website without the consent of the writer or publisher.

A search of Scribd by The Times yesterday found copies of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Ken Follett’s most recent novel World without End among many bestselling titles, raising fears that the piracy affecting the music industry may have spread to books.
When presented with a list of links to various Harry Potter books, Neil Blair, J. K. Rowling’s lawyer at the Christopher Little literary agency, said that Scribd did not have permission “and what you have identified are infringing listings which we were aware of and actioning”.

Ken Follett’s publisher, Macmillan, was unware that World without End had been uploaded on to the Scribd website for more than five months, and had been read more than 500 times there. Macmillan said it was “now looking into this”.
Also on the site were copies of titles by Nick Hornby and John Grisham, uploaded seemingly without permission. These books can be downloaded to a home computer or an electronic books reader, and then printed out.
Read the full report at The Times online.

Monday, March 30, 2009


You’ve Read the Headlines. Now, Quick, Read the Book.
By MOTOKO RICH, writing in The New York Times, March 29, 2009
For those who want instant information, there is no shortage of outlets, from cable news to Twitter posts. For the long view, it was said, try a book.

But as the metabolism of the culture has sped up in the digital age, pockets of the publishing industry are prodding themselves out of their Paleolithic ways and joining the rush, with more books on current events coming out faster than ever before.

For generations the publishing industry has worked on a fairly standard schedule, taking nine months to a year after an author delivered a manuscript to put finished books in stores. Now, enabled in part by e-book technology and fueled by a convergence of spectacularly dramatic news events, publishers are hitting the fast-forward button.
In December the FT Press released an e-book edition of “Barack, Inc: Winning Business Lessons of the Obama Campaign” a month after the authors delivered a manuscript. Last month Free Press, a unit of Simon & Schuster, published an e-book version of “Dumb Money: How Our Greatest Financial Minds Bankrupted the Nation” just three weeks after Daniel Gross, a writer for Newsweek magazine, completed the book.
And as the financial crisis was deepening last March, George Soros submitted a manuscript to the publisher PublicAffairs. Ten days later the e-book of “The New Paradigm for Financial Markets” went on sale.

“People can’t wait a year to get timely information on critical subjects,” said Amy Neidlinger, associate publisher of FT Press. “Especially today it’s dated 10 minutes after you’ve just received the first installation.”
Of course many publishers and authors suggest that taking time to produce a reflective work is what books are about, and that they should not succumb to the pressures of the 24-hour news cycle.
Read the full story - NYT


Hi Graham
Last Easter was born 'The Communion of the Easter Bun-Rabbit' when Dinah Priestley brought her five-legged bun rabbit to the malt and whisky gathering I held.

There tongues loosened by this combo revealed that three cousins, myself, Dinah from the paternal side and Audrey Patchett from the maternal side, all had learned to bake bread and buns from an early age.
In recognition of this and indeed in gratitude for your excellent coverage of the launch of the Bun Rabbit book, I send the long-awaited and much requested Dinah recipe for the hot cross bun rabbit. Of course, the maker has to shape the bun rabbit out of it. Here is the recipe as received recently:

Hi David,
God I can't remember what I do to make those buns but it’s probably something like this

1) Into 300 mls warm water put 4 tsp sugar and 4 tsp granulated yeast.
Stir and leave to rise for 15 mins.
2) Take a large bowl and combine in it with 4 cups flour

2 Tbsp milk powder
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 and half tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 and half tsp ginger
1 tsp mixed spice.
8 oz of currants and raisins
75 grams of mixed peel

3) Melt 60 grams butter
Add a beaten egg to this and then add the yeast mixture.
Pour this liquid into the dry ingredients bowl.

4) Knead for 10 minutes. Then rise the dough for 1 and half hours with a
gladwrap covering. Keep in warmish place.

5) Knock down and knead again for one minute. Make into rolls or fanciful creature. Allow to rise on tray for 10 minutes.

6) Cook in hot oven 220C for 15 minutes. Glaze while still hot with 1 tbsp water, 1 tbsp Honey, 1 tbsp Golden Syrup boiled together. Apply with brush while buns still hot.

Hope that is helpful
D.your cuzzie bro x
Chronicle of Higher Education - issue dated March 27, 2009
Publishers Face Pressure From Libraries to Freeze Prices and Cut Deals

LET'S MAKE A DEAL (MAYBE): The publishers' hall at the recent Association of College and Research Libraries conference, held in Seattle in mid-March, was a study in give-and-take: how much publishers such as Elsevier and Oxford University Press will give in this lousy economy, and how much budget-strapped librarians can take.

Libraries are some of the biggest customers for academic and commercial publishers. Salespeople from some bigger vendors — in the supersize category of Ebsco, Elsevier, and ProQuest — did not want to speak on the record, but did say they had heard sob stories from customers. "They're worried," a representative for one of the larger commercial publishers said. "People are hoping publishers are going to freeze our pricing next year."
Will they? That's not the sort of thing publishers shout from the rooftops. At the conference, a wait-and-see attitude prevailed.

At the Oxford booth, David A. Price, an accounts manager for network and consortia sales, talked about uncertain times as his colleagues handed out free dictionaries. He handles online-only products like Oxford Scholarship Online.

A price increase of about 5 percent a year has been the industry standard, according to Mr. Price, but Oxford has not yet announced its fee structures for 2009-10. "We're waiting for pricing decisions to be made," he said. "The question is, Do you raise prices in a year like this?"
Now more than ever, publishers feel they must walk a fine line. "We want to make sure we're not undervaluing our product, but we don't want to be seen as harsh," Mr. Price explained. "We're trying to be mindful of tough times."

He has heard from colleagues in the business that some publishers are likely to hold prices flat in response to the economic downturn, or even lower their prices. Mr. Price expects this summer to be "a very telling time," because that's when the press processes a lot of its online subscriptions. For now, Oxford tries to deal with financially pinched customers case by case. "If somebody comes to me and says, 'This is my situation,' sure, we'll try to accommodate them," Mr. Price said.
Link here for the complete story.


The multi-talented, (and delightful), artist/book illustrator/author, Fifi Colson has a cold so to advise her blog followers she posted this rhyming verse:

The Cold War
This really can't be happening,
I don't believe it's true,
Yet all the signs are looming
Yes…I've got the bloody 'flu.

I thought it was a hangover,
From the wine I drank last night,
Alcohol can make you sick,
And I'm pretty crook all right.

My muscles ache from head to toe,
My throat is lined with sand,
The pounding brain inside my head,
Sure needs a helping hand.

I'm reaching for the garlic now;
I don't go much for drugs,
Orange juice and propolis,
Will fight off winter bugs.

But just in case they don't work fast,
I'll slip in Panadol,
Coldrex, Coldral, Benadryl,
And two Orthoxicol.

Having covered all my bases,
I think I'll now retire,
From work, the kids, my husband too,
And quietly expire!
McConaughey takes 'Lincoln' case
Actor to star in Lakeshore's legal thriller

By TATIANA SIEGEL writing in Variety.

Matthew McConaughey is taking on the case of "The Lincoln Lawyer" for Lakeshore Entertainment.
The "Fool's Gold" thesp is attached to star in the legal thriller that centers on low-level criminal defense attorney Mickey Haller who finds himself representing a wealthy client with ties to a previous murder case Haller handled.

Project is based on a Michael Connolly best-seller that was published in 2005 by Little, Brown.
Lakeshore snapped up bigscreen rights to the tome six months before "Lincoln Lawyer" hit shelves in what was dubbed a seven-figure deal.
Stone Village Pictures' Scott Steindorff is producing "Lincoln Lawyer" alongside Lakeshore principals Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi.
McConaughey, who most recently played a supporting role in the laffer "Tropic Thunder," will next be seen opposite Jennifer Garner in the romantic comedy "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past."
Sales boost for Orange longlist
Philip Stone and Katie Allen writing in The Bookseller
Sales of the Orange longlist titles have received a slight boost in the first week since the announcement of the 20-strong list last Wednesday (18th March).
According to Nielsen Book­Scan, combined sales of the longlist, which includes Marilynne Robinson's Home (Virago) and Toni Morrison's A Mercy (Chatto), increased by 38%.
However, the total sales equalled only 865 copies last week—although sales are likely to have been impacted by the fact that many of the longlist have not yet had a full week in stores.

Curtis Sittenfeld's American Wife (Doubleday) sold 147 copies last week, Bernadine Evaristo's Blonde Roots (Hamish Hamilton) sold 139, while Gaynor Arnold's Girl in a Blue Dress (Tindal Street) sold 108.
Less well-known titles received the biggest uplift, although with limited sales, with Samantha Hunt's The Invention of Everything Else (Harvill Secker) jumping 700% from one copy sold to eight, and Gina Ochsner's The Russian Dreambook of Colour and Flight (Portobello) jumping 666.7% from three to 23 copies sold week on week.

Last year's winner, The Road Home by Rose Tremain (Chatto), sold just 62 copies in the week the Orange longlist was first announced but has since gone on to sell 236,304 copies across all editions to date.


The Bookman has visited theree of them, I'd like to do a tour of the others!
Thanks to Penny Scown for bringing this site to my attention.

Herald on Sunday books editor Nicky Pellegrino tells the story behind her new book The Italian Wedding.

It seemed like a genius plan. Having written two novels while working full time as a magazine journalist I was feeling a bit low on energy and ideas. So instead of racking my brains for a plot for book three, I decided to get my English mother to write down the story of how she met my Italian father back in 1959.

It’s the romantic and daring tale of how she hitched from Liverpool to Rome with two friends and ended up coming home with a husband. I had visions of my mother producing 30,000 words or so that I would flesh out into a fabulous novel. Cheating a bit, yes, but genius all the same.

Unfortunately it didn’t quite work out like that. My mother’s reminiscences filled only a couple of pages - barely enough for a short story. It was a long time ago, she insisted, and that was all she could remember.

But by then I was in love with the idea of writing a novel about discovering who your parents really are – not just the people who nurtured and raised you but had crazy adventures, wild passions and deep disappointments.

So I tried to remember the stories I’d been told when I was growing up. Of course, back then I was a dreamy child who only half-listened to anything that was said to me. And I didn’t much like being half Italian. It singled me out from the other kids, I had a different name, ate different food. When my father tried to talk to me in Italian I stuck my fingers in my ears and cried. And when his friends came round to our little bungalow to play cards and argue in loud voices I steered well clear.

There were summers we went to Italy but we never visited the places they photograph for postcards. My father comes from a town called Giugliano in Campania. It’s not far from Naples, but well off the tourist trail and our holidays there involved an awful lot of sitting round in dusty yards or hot kitchens listening to adults yabber in Italian.

Although I was officially half-Italian, I never felt like one of them. I didn’t speak the language fluently enough to hold a proper conversation. And I was a shy child. My extrovert brother Vince had the confidence to barrel up to a bunch of strange kids and join their football game while mainly what I did was sit around and observe people.

I saw the way they lived life bigger than we tended to. They shouted more, talked with their hands, let their passions get the better of them. And it was very clear to me that I had much more freedom than my female cousins. They left school young, helped out at home and then were expected to marry and have children. Their lives revolved round the kitchen and the family.
When I started writing fiction the memories of those summers in Italy came back to me and laced themselves through my first two novels, Delicious and The Gypsy Tearoom. But for my third book I needed fresh ideas and new memories. And all I had were those couple of pages of my mother had typed up for me.

As another writer once said to me, if you don’t live then you have nothing to write about. And as luck would have it real life intruded on my writing. To pay the bills I took a part-time job – this time editing a bridal magazine, NZ Weddings. As I styled fashion shoots and researched articles I became fascinated by everything from the designing of glorious frocks to the ribbons on the wedding favours that match a detail in the invitation...

Writing a novel is a bit like cooking something special. Ideas have to marinate for a while and then you layer flavours until the balance is right. From my sudden interest in weddings Pieta Martinelli, bridal designer, was born. Like me she was half Italian and also, just like me, she didn’t know enough about her parents. But when Pieta and her mother start spending time together while they bead her sister’s wedding dress she begins to uncover the secrets that have made her family what it is.

The Italian Wedding is set mostly between Rome and London and includes a few old family recipes I’ve stolen from my father. But in the end my parent’s history only provided the soffritto for book, the base that gives it its flavour. The story stretched way beyond that and became something else altogether ….So much for my genius plan!

The Italian Wedding is in bookshops this week and author Nicky Pellegrino will be appearing at the following events:

AUCKLAND – Wednesday April 1
Books & Bubbles with Nicky Pellegrino in conjunction with Takapuna Paper Plus
6.30pm at Takapuna Paper Plus, 20 Hurstmere Road
Tickets $10 with proceeds to Cure Kids. RSVP to Vanessa.kerr@paperplus.co.nz by Friday March 27

HAMILTON – Thursday April 2
Indulge yourself with Nicky Pellegrino in conjunction with Poppies Queenwood
6pm at Zinc Cafe, Queenwood Village, Herbert Rd, Hamilton
Free entry, canapés provided and cash bar available. RSVP to Poppies Queenwood 07 855 2222

CROMWELL– Sunday April 5
Brunch with Nicky Pellegrino in conjunction with Paper Plus Cromwell
11am at Northburn Station.
Tickets $25 includes lunch and entertainment, on sale 9am March 20 at Cromwell, Alexander and Queenstown Paper Plus stores.

WELLINGTON – Monday April 6
Meet Nicky Pellegrino in conjunction with NZ Institute of Management & Dymocks Wellington
5.15pm at NZIM, Level 7, Lumley House, 3 – 11 Hunter St, Wellington
Tickets $16 + gst non-members / $22 + gst members. RSVP to Susan, 04 495 8296

AUCKLAND – Wednesday April 8
An Italian Wedding Lunch in conjunction with Dymocks Smales Farm
Tickets are $20 and include a boxed lunch with punch or glass of wine, tea and coffee all catered by Columbus Cafe, along with two hours free parking. There will be prizes for the best wedding outfit and all guests will go in the draw to win a selection of books. Reservations essential, contact Dymocks Smales Farm 912 6850 or smalesfarm@dymocks.co.nz

The Italian Wedding is published by Orion, http://www.hachette.co.nz/ . NZ$38.99
Nicky's story on writing The Italian Wedding first appeared in the Hearld on Sunday yesterday and is reproduced here with their permission.

Storylines Notable Books List 2009
(for books published in 2008)

The Storylines Notable Books List was established in 2000 to reflect the wide-ranging achievements of New Zealand authors and illustrators. It allows for the inclusion of anthologies and works by New Zealand writers and illustrators published internationally.

The Storylines Notable Books List is selected by a panel made up from the Storylines community, of current children’s literature professionals. These include past and present members of the Storylines management committee, all of whom have a wealth of experience and knowledge in the field of children’s literature and many have served as judges for the New Zealand Post Book Awards (and its previous incarnations) and the LIANZA children’s book awards.
The panel meets regularly throughout the year to discuss recently published books and the following have been selected as notable, from New Zealand children’s books published in 2008.

Storylines Notable Picture Books 2009
Herbert, the Brave Sea Dog by Robyn Belton (Craig Potton Publishing)
The Apple by Ben Brown, illustrated by Tracy Duncan (Puffin)
Kei te Pehea Koe?: How Do You Feel? by Tracy Duncan (Puffin)
Every Second Friday by Kiri Lightfoot, illustrated by Ben Galbraith (Hodder Children's Books)
Piggity-Wiggity Jiggity Jig by Diana Neild, illustrated by Philip Webb (Scholastic)
The Seven Stars of Matariki by Toni Rolleston-Cummins, illustrated by Nikki Slade-Robinson (Huia)
Roadworks by Sally Sutton, illustrated by Brian Lovelock (Walker Books)
The Were-Nana (Not a Bedtime Story) by Melinda Szymanik, illustrated by Sarah Nelisiwe Anderson (Scholastic)

Special Mentions:
The judging panel would like to make special mention of Bubble Trouble by Margaret Mahy, illustrated by Polly Dunbar (Frances Lincoln Children's Books). Margaret's poem has been in print for many years and therefore not eligible for inclusion in the list. However the panel considers Bubble Trouble to be a treasure for New Zealand children.

The judging panel would like to make special mention of Jack by Mike and Esther Fitzpatrick, illustrated by Bruce Madden (JacksBooks). For a self-published book, the design and production values are worthy of special mention.

Storylines Notable Junior Fiction 2009
Five (and a Bit) Days in the Life of Ozzie Kingsford by Val Bird, illustrated by Rebecca Cundy (Random House)
Night Hunting by Deborah Burnside, illustrated by Jeff Fowler (Puffin)
Big Fish, Little Fish by Melanie Drewery (Raupo)
Payback by Michelle Kelly (Scholastic)
Old Drumble by Jack Lasenby (HarperCollins)
Thornspell by Helen Lowe (Alfred A. Knopf)
Land of Promise: The Diary of William Donahue, Gravesend to Wellington, 1839-40 [My Story] by Lorraine Orman (Scholastic)
Why I Hate School” by Michael Fatarsky by Kris Stanhope (Scholastic)
Freaky Fish written by Feana Tu'akoi, illustrated by Eleanor Meecham [Kiwi Bites] (Puffin)

Storylines Notable Young Adult Fiction 2009

Juno of Taris by Fleur Beale (Random House)
The 10 PM Question by Kate De Goldi (Longacre Press)
The Tomorrow Code by Brian Falkner (Walker Books)
Scorched Bone by Vince Ford [Chronicles of Stone, Book 1] (Scholastic)
Gool by Maurice Gee (Puffin Books)
Shadow of the Mountain by Anna Mackenzie (Longacre Press)

Storylines Notable Non-Fiction 2009

Piano Rock: A 1950s Childhood by Gavin Bishop (Random House)
High-tech Legs of Everest by Mark Inglis with Sarah Ell
(Random House)
Let's Get Art: Children Look at Contemporary New Zealand Art by Brad Irwin, illustrated by John Ward Knox (Random House)
Juicy Writing: Inspiration and Techniques for Young Writers by Brigid Lowry (Allen and Unwin)
Atoms, Dinosaurs & DNA: 68 Great New Zealand Scientists by Veronika Meduna & Rebecca Priestley (Random House)
Back and Beyond: New Zealand Painting for the Young and Curious by Gregory O'Brien (Auckland University Press)
Learn to Skateboard with Luka - Ko te Akonga ki te Papa Retireti I te Taha o Luka by Lee and Errol Petra, translation by Tokikapu Peta (Raupo)
How to Make a Piupiu by Leilani Rickard (Raupo)


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Linda Olsson came across this site and sent it on to me. Interesting.............

Storylines children’s book awards
presented at Christchurch gathering

Four national children’s book awards were presented at the Storylines Children’s Literature Charitable Trust of New Zealand annual Margaret Mahy Day. The gathering was held for the first time outside of Auckland, in Christchurch yesterday.

The Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal for a distinguished contribution to New Zealand children’s literature was presented by Margaret Mahy to natural history writer Andrew Crowe,(pic left), from Coromandel. He is the first non-fiction writer and 19th winner of this top national award.
Two Storylines awards enable publication, in association with Scholastic New Zealand, by new writers.

The Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon Award for an unpublished novel for children entitled Hollie Chips goes to Anna Gowan, from Auckland, for publication in March 2009. A former Otago University student, Anna works in television and has attended John Marsden’s writing workshops in Victoria, Australia.
The Storylines Joy Cowley Award for a picture book text was presented to June Peka, a Christchurch freelance writer, retired civil servant and grandmother of four, with publication in late 2010.
The third award is the Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award for a Much-loved Book, given in memory of the popular children’s author who died in 1997. The award requires a book to have been in print for more than five years and to have not previously won an award. This year’s winner is the classic young adult novel I am not Esther by Wellington writer Fleur Beale.

Storylines and Scholastic launched the winner of the Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon Award for 2008, Salt River by Elizabeth Hegarty.
Eternal exile of Milan Kundera
The famed author's life has mirrored that of his most famous emigre character
writes Geordie Williamson March 28, 2009
Article from: The Australian

FOR those of a certain generation, the sight of a Milan Kundera paperback can provoke a jolt of involuntary memory every bit as effective as Proust's madeleine.

Milan Kundera by Eric Lobbecke

Faber & Faber's black-and-white editions of his novels and stories were once the obligatory intellectual furniture of a thousand student bookshelves.

Titles such as Life is Elsewhere, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting and The Unbearable Lightness of Being promised a kind of metaphysical bawdy, mixing high seriousness and low humour, and subverting traditional realism with elements of the surreal.
But these fictions were always more than Iron Curtain exotica.

Kundera's talent, though unevenly applied throughout his career, has always been impressive in essence and deeply original. His method has been to graft abstract philosophical ideas with fictional invention to create narrative cyborgs: intellectually speculative, formally experimental, intermittently essayistic, yet warm-blooded, grounded in human experience. His characters are not mere automatons, programmed with pure theory and set to shuffling: they are sophisticated neural networks that grow through those dilemmas of love, history, nation and politics the author obliges them to confront.

Few, for example, have read and fewer understand German philosopher Martin Heidegger when he writes about truth and untruth, and their relation to human freedom (me included). But everyone can appreciate Sabina, the embodiment of his ideas in The Unbearable Lightness of Being.

Sabina is one of the four central characters of Kundera's best-known and most successfully realised fiction. She escapes from communist Czechoslovakia to the West, only to be ground down by what Janet Malcolm, in her review of the novel, called a perpetual struggle against theunbearable banality of her situation as an emigre artist.
Read the full piece at The Australian.
Eyes on the prizes as best books do battle
Marc McEvoyMarch writing in the Sydney Morning Herald

On the shortlist … Steve Toltz, the author of A Fraction Of The Whole .

FIRST-TIME author Steve Toltz has joined a host of renowned authors on the shortlist for the Christina Stead Prize for fiction in the NSW Premier's Literary Awards.
His novel A Fraction Of The Whole, a funny and philosophical story about an eccentric family, is up against Helen Garner's The Spare Room, Kate Grenville's The Lieutenant, Julia Leigh's Disquiet, Joan London's The Good Parents and Tim Winton's Breath.

Toltz's book was longlisted earlier this month for the national fiction prize, the Miles Franklin.
The Premier's nominees, announced in Sydney yesterday by Nathan Rees, include 62 authors and translators in categories such as fiction, nonfiction, poetry, young people and children's literature, play- and script-writing.
Several writers have been shortlisted in more than one category including Chloe Hooper, whose book The Tall Man, about the death of an indigenous man in police custody on Palm Island, was nominated for the nonfiction prize as well as the Gleebooks Prize. Tohby Riddle has been nominated twice in the children's literature category for The Word Spy and Nobody Owns The Moon.

To mark the 30th anniversary of the awards, Mr Rees announced a new prize, a People's Choice Award, in which the public can vote on the website www.pla.nsw.gov.au for one of the six books listed for the $40,000 fiction prize.
Total prizemoney is $320,000, making them the richest literary awards in Australia.
This year's awards attracted 642 entries and the winners will be announced on May 18 at the Art Gallery of NSW.

They were started in 1979 by the then premier Neville Wran. The first winner in the fiction category was David Malouf for his novel An Imaginary Life.
Malouf told the Herald yesterday it was a great honour to win. "But equally important was the recognition," he said. "There weren't many prizes for writing around then and my book wasn't going to win the Miles Franklin because it wasn't about Australia ostensibly."

Mr Rees said the awards honoured Australian writers, poets and social commentators and the People's Choice Award would give readers a say.
"I know only too well the unique pleasure that can be gained from a much-loved book and I hope this prize will encourage others to read the books on the shortlist and cast a vote. And I am very proud to say that here in Australia we have some of the finest writers in the world across all genres."
Mr Rees said he had read The Spare Room along with Garner's first novel Monkey Grip and her controversial nonfiction book The First Stone.
People's Choice voting is restricted to NSW residents and ends at midnight on May 11.

To Die For
What happens when the prince falls for a pill-popping Hollywood starlet and takes her to Sandringham?

To mark Glyndebourne's 75th anniversary, Kate Atkinson brings the story of La Traviata into the 21st century, while Posy Simmonds celebrates the festival in a new set of drawings
Kate Atkinson
The Guardian, Saturday 28 March 2009

Illustration by Posy Simmonds from her series Midsummer Night at Glyndebourne
"Opera does not threaten us. Fiction does." Frederick R Karl, A Reader's Guide to the Development of the English Novel in the 18th Century

Midsummer Nights
Edited by Jeanette Winterson
A collection of stories inspired by opera ,
There was this old English actress called Phoebe Something-Or-Other. Hart-Williams? Hill-West? Skylar never could remember (not that she tried very hard). Phoebe Something-Or-Other was huge, like a big old toad and, on set, in between takes, she sat in a corner and did some kind of sewing. ("Cross-stitch. You should try it, sweetie.") It didn't matter who you were, star of the movie or a faceless runner, you were "sweetie" to her. It got on Skylar's nerves. It was so British. She was tired of everything British, especially the weather.

They were in the make-up trailer, five in the morning in the middle of nowhere. (Kent? Somethingshire?) Wherever it was, it was green and dripping with water. Every day on location they had to stop for rain, most days they never even got started. They were shooting an outdoor scene where Skylar had to ride a horse down a hill towards a big old house. She had to cry as she rode. Then she had to jump off the horse and run towards Phoebe (who was playing her grandmother), standing on the steps of the house.

They weren't allowed inside the house.
Skylar would have liked to have seen inside the house. Skylar's tears should be, according to the director, "a mixture of joy and relief, tinged with sadness and regret for what might have been". All that and on a horse! What did he think she was? ("An actress, sweetie?")

The script called for the horse to gallop but they'd compromised on a kind of trot because horses made Skylar want to pee her pants. They were so damn big! Skylar was barely five foot two and way under a hundred pounds. Of course, she looked gigantic on screen but Mom had been helping Skylar keep the pounds off ever since she won the Augusta Sweet Pea Pageant when she was knee-high to a gnat's heel.
They refused to dope the horse so she had to fill herself with Xanax and be hitched up by the horse wrangler and the chief stunt guy. Over and over, because of the rain, because of the petrified expression on Skylar's face. Plus, she had to do the whole thing side-saddle in a dress the size of a Big Top. It was a costume drama, an 18th-century thing, about thwarted passion, from some novel that had won a prize. The Girl Who Went Astray - which was a real dumb title in Skylar's opinion. The crew called it The Girl With Big Tits. Some people had no manners. They were big, it was true, they'd been paid for with the money from a Dr Pepper ad she did when she was 16. She was 22 now. She hoped that if she ever got to be as old as Phoebe someone would shoot her.
Read the full story at The Guardian online.