Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Latest from The Bookseller

All four members of staff at indie publisher Hesperus have resigned their roles at the company. The company exhibited at the London Book Fair, but staff were absent.
The Bookseller understands all four employees of Hesperus Press, including head of publishing Nikki Griffiths, handed their notices in to the owners several weeks ago, with Griffiths and two others leaving last Friday (17th April) and a fourth employee set to leave at the end of this week.

Mantle has acquired two books by début writer Mary Paulson-Ellis in a “hotly contested auction”.
Publisher Maria Rejt bought UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, to The Other Mrs Walker and one other book from Clare Alexander at Aitken Alexander.
A new non-fiction book club on Claudia Winkleman's weekly BBC Radio 2 "Arts Show" is to launch this autumn, as part of The Reading Agency partnership with the station.
The book club follows on from the Radio 2 Book Club on Simon Mayo's show, and a children's writing competition called 500 Words which ran on Chris Evans' programme. 
The Borough Press has acquired a collection of short stories inspired by Charlotte Brontë, edited by Tracy Chevalier.
Authors contributing stories for the collection, Reader, I Married Him, include Helen Dunmore, Susan Hill and Emma Donoghue. Each will use Brontë's famous line from Jane Eyre as a starting point for an original story.
Katie Espiner, publisher of The Borough Press, signed world rights in the anthology in a deal with Jonny Geller at Curtis Brown.
Scholastic has acquired a royal superhero fantasy adventure series about Prince Alfie, heir to the throne, by TV scriptwriters Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler. 
The publisher acquired world rights to two titles in the series and the first book, Defender of the Realm, will be published in 2016. The sequel will follow in 2017. 
The Federation of European Publishers has launched a petition to promote the importance of copyright.
Michel Laub, one of Granta’s Best of Young Brazilian Novelists, and Thomas Harding, a shortlisted author for the 2013 Costa Book Award, are the first joint winners of the 2015 JQ Wingate Prize.
The winners were announced yesterday evening (20th April) at the Jewish Community Centre London JW3 where both authors received £2,000. Laub won for Diary of the Fall (Harvill Secker) and Harding for Hanns and Rudolf (Windmill Books).
Independent publisher What On Earth Books is marking the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta with a new children’s book, detailing how people have fought for freedom over the centuries.
The Magna Carta Chronicle (p/b, £8.99), written by What on Earth c.e.o. Christopher Lloyd, was funded by the Magna Carta 800th Committee, which is distributing it to all primary schools in the UK.
Little, Brown is to launch Carole Matthews’ new novel The Cake Shop in the Garden by constructing an edible garden in London.
The garden in the book’s title will be recreated in cake in Russell Square this Thursday 23rd April, to coincide with the book’s release (£7.99, paperback).
Little, Brown’s Sphere imprint will work with communications agency Tin Man on the venture.
Catnip has acquired a middle-grade timeslip novel and its prequel by début author Sarah Baker.
Angela’s Ghost is about a 12-year-old orphan Angela who is taken on holiday to France her cold, distant aunt and two horrible cousins. There she meets Julien, a boy from 1898 who is dying of tyhoid.
Catnip editor Liz Bankes acquired the UK and Commonwealth rights to the book, and its prequel Eloise’s Secret, from Bryony Woods of the DKW agency.
Publishers Bloomsbury Children’s and Walker Books both have two titles in the shortlist for this year’s English 4-11 Picture Book Awards.
Walker’s The Story of Buildings, written by Patrick Dillon and illustrated by Stephen Beisty, and Half a Man, by Michael Morpurgo and illustrated by Gemma O’Callaghan, are on the shortlist, along with Bloomsbury’s The Imaginary by A F Harrold and Emily Gravett, and The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell.

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