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.
Author Kamila Shamsie is “right to draw attention” to gender
inequality in publishing, but her suggestion of a year in which only books
by women are published has been greeted with mixed views by the trade. Writing in the latest issue of The Bookseller,
Shamsie [pictured] said 2018 – the 100th anniversary of women getting the
vote – should be a year in which the UK only published new titles by women.
The Palgrave Macmillan imprint based in the UK will continue
unchanged, the company has announced, despite the Palgrave imprint in the
US is being closed. Last week St Martin’s Press in the US announced it would
be retiring the Palgrave imprint, a boutique imprint that publishes 45-50
original titles per year. The imprint has been specifically for Palgrave
Macmillan’s trade non-fiction list for serious non-fiction, aimed at a
Publishers should “be braver, be too brave” when it comes to
taking on new writing if they want to become more diverse, poet and writer
Salena Godden told the Stoke Newington Literary Festival. Godden was joined on yesterday’s (7th June) panel, focussing
on diversity in the industry, by writer Courttia Newland, children’s
publisher Sarah Odedina, and Crystal Mahey-Morgan, from Zed Books. Godden said publishers needed to “think about the fact that
you’re making books for the next 100 years, not just for now”.
Libraries minister Ed Vaizey will review the decision to close
four libraries in Harrow, after being challenged on the subject in the
Houses of Parliament. Vaizey has said he would review the council's plans, "as
I do with every authority that seeks to close libraries".
Ever since Bloomsbury announced in 2013 that it was going to
publish illustrated editions of all seven of J K Rowling’s Harry Potter
novels, award- winning illustrator Jim Kay has been working flat out to
bring the Harry Potter world to life. Kay, a self-confessed control freak, said illustrating the
first book was an “extraordinarily difficult” task: “It was not so much the
act of doing it but the pressure. Every time I sat in front of a blank
piece of paper I felt hand-shaking pressure!”
David Nicholls’ Us
(Hodder & Stoughton), which was longlisted for last year’s Man Booker Prize, is
being adapted into a drama for the BBC. The novel is being adapted by Drama Republic, who recently
produced “The Honourable Woman” for BBC2, according to Broadcast.
Blink Publishing has moved the release of Kellie Maloney’s
biography forward by more than a month, as the spotlight is on “the issue
of transgender” now. Frankly Kellie: Becoming A Woman In A Man’s World tells
Kellie’s story, from being born a boy named Frank who went on to become a
boxing promoter to revealing in 2014 that she was undergoing gender
The Society of Authors (SoA) has launched a Writers as Carers
Group to coincide with National Carers Week, which begins today (8th June). The group will help writers with caring responsibilities to
carry on writing. Members will be able to share trips and advice, as well as
share and discuss their writing in a private, online environment. The group was founded by author Jim Green, who is a carer for
Templar Publishing will welcome more readers through its
museum doors this autumn with the release of Historium, the second title in its
Welcome to the Museum series. Following on from last year’s acclaimed Animalium (Big Picture
Press), which explores 160 animal specimens, Historium (September) features a vast
collection of objects from ancient civilisations. Written by Jo Nelson and
illustrated by Richard Wilkinson, it is part of a wider move by BPP to
expand its Welcome to the Museum brand.
Only 25% of young fathers aged between 15 and 24 in the UK
read to their child every day, according to BookTrust. The charity released data today (8th June) from a survey of
2,415 parents, taken between January and March this year, that showed young
mothers of the same age are much more likely share books with their
children, with 61% saying they read with them every day. Taking all ages into account, data from 2014 showed that 50%
more mothers read with their child at 0-11 months, and a quarter more
mothers read with their five-year-olds compared to fathers.
Neil MacInnes has been announced as the president-elect of the
Society of Chief Librarians (SCL), taking over the post in June 2016. MacInnes is the head of libraries, information and archives at
Manchetser City Council, a position he has held since 2010.