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.
Dan Franklin is to step away from his divisional
responsibilities at Penguin Random House’s Vintage, but will remain
publishing director at Jonathan Cape. Meanwhile Rachel Cugnoni, publishing director of the paperback
imprint, has been promoted to a new cross-divisional role as publishing
director for Vintage. She will continue with her role at the paperback
imprint in addition to the new job.
Carole Tonkinson’s new non-fiction imprint at Pan Macmillan is
to be called Bluebird, with the tagline “books for life”. Tonkinson joined
Pan Macmillan from HarperCollins in autumn 2014, and has already signed
a number of books for her inspirational lifestyle imprint, which
specialises in parenting, inspirational memoir, wellness and
self-realisation, including cookery, business books and self-help. Bluebird will publish 24 books a year, split between UK
authors and buy-ins from the US.
Six Egmont employees will lose their jobs at the end of the
month following the closure of the US office, the company has confirmed. The company also said it will publish its spring 2015 list and
books will continue to be available via Random House, but it did not say
what would happen to authors signed to Egmont USA moving forward. Egmont announced yesterday
(21st January) that it will close its office in America at the end of the
month because it has failed to find a buyer for the business.
Sonny Mehta has paid tribute to former colleague Simon Master
[pictured], who died suddenly last week, with Mehta telling The Bookseller he felt
“extremely privileged to have known him”. Master died on Friday (16th
January) while on holiday, at the age of 70. He was formerly deputy group chairman of Random House, and had
also worked at Pan, where he was editorial director, publishing director
and m.d. in the 1970s and 1980s.
Several publishers are this week launching digital children’s
products at the BETT show, including a new Telling the Time app from
Bloomsbury and an interactive website from Dorling Kindersley (DK).
The digital education show, which is taking place at the Excel centre in
London from the 21st-24th January, is expected to host 30,000 visitors over
two days. More than 700 companies are exhibiting, including DK, whose www.dkfindout.com website – an
encyclopedia for children - went live yesterday (21st January).
Alma Books has hit a milestone of £1m in annual turnover. The independent publisher, founded in 2005, saw sales increase
28.8% to around £1m in the year to the end of December 2014. Sales were boosted by two prominent film tie-ins and the Alma
adult Classics range, which is now 42% of the business, while Alma Books
generated 58% of sales. E-books by contrast are a relatively small part of
Alma’s business and account for 6.5% of total sales. Net profit was around
Kobo’s president and chief content officer Michael Tamblyn has
said he is “surprised” that Canada's Competition Bureau has asked Kobo
along with Indigo Books and Music to hand over more records to help its
investigation into anti-competitive e-book pricing.
More than 22,000 authors will be receiving a total of just
over £6m from library loans made from July 2013 to June 2014. Public lending rate, or PLR, is the money paid to authors when
their books are borrowed from public libraries. Currently the rate only covers
printed books. Statements telling authors how much money they will receive
for the 2013/14 period are being sent out this week, and money will be paid
John Murray has acquired a first book by Laszlo Bock, head of
people operations at Google, titled Work
Rules!. Publisher Georgina Laycock bought UK and Commonwealth rights
from Hachette US. Work Rules! is said to explore why,
according to LinkedIn, Google is the most sought after place to work on the
planet, receiving over 2,500,000 unique applications for jobs every year.
A Japanese publisher is set to publish a book containing the
Charlie Hebdo cartoons, including those of the Prophet Muhammad, with the
aim of providing readers “with food for thought.” The Japanese Times has
reported that Tokyo-based publisher Daisan Shokan will publish the 64-page
title on 10th February, currently titled Isuramu
Fushi Ka, Heito Ka, which can be translated as Satire on Islam or Hate?
Tate Publishing has appointed Jacky Klein to the role of
executive editor, where she will take control of Tate’s book publishing
programme. In the new role, Klein will be responsible for Tate’s
exhibition catalogues, exhibition-related books, standalone art books and
German literary publisher Suhrkamp Verlag has completed a
reorganisation it started almost two years ago, with a “stable financial
and legal framework” for the publishing house now in place. As part of the changes, Ulla Unseld-Berkéwicz, chairman of the
board of Suhrkamp, will withdraw from “daily business within the next few
months”. She will then sit on the supervisory board of Suhrkamp. Dr
Jonathan Landgrebe will take over as publisher, and as chairman of the