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.
Thursday, July 23, 2015
Latest book news from The Bookseller including Watchman calls time on Grey, debuts at number one in UK
Former HarperCollins managing director Simon Johnson has begun
a new role at Amazon. Amazon confirmed to The
Bookseller Johnson had been recruited as its director of seller
services, beginning earlier this month. Amazon’s seller services is its third party marketplace arm,
which allows businesses or individuals to trade on the Amazon website. The seller services businesses accounts for 44% of products
sold globally on Amazon websites and tens of thousands of UK companies
trade on the platform in the UK, including booksellers.
Maclehose Press has today (22nd July) released the first plot
details for David Lagercrantz’s The
Girl in the Spider’s Web, a continuation of Stieg Larsson’s
bestselling Millennium series. The book has been under a global embargo, and centres on
characters Lisbeth Salander, the hacker who gave the series’ first book its
title – The Girl with
the Dragon Tattoo – and on journalist Mikael Blomkvist.
US novelist E L Doctorow has died at the age of 84. Doctorow, known for works including Ragtime (Penguin
Modern Classics) and The
March (Abacus), passed away yesterday in New York from
complications from lung cancer, his son told the New York Times.
Football manager Sam Allardyce’s autobiography will be
published this autumn by Headline. Non-fiction publishing director Jonathan Taylor bought world
rights to Big Sam: My
Autobiography from Mark Curtis at Select Management. Allardyce spent almost 20 years as a player, and 25 years as a
coach manager. He has managed clubs including Blackpool, Bolton, Newcastle
United and most recently West Ham United. Allardyce’s contract with West Ham United was not renewed at
the end of the 2014/15 football season.
Orion General m.d. Lisa Milton has officially left the
company. Earlier this year, Orion Publishing Group’s parent company
Hachette UK announced major
changes in senior management at the publisher. Orion c.e.o. David Young will retire at the end of the year,
with Little, Brown c.e.o. David Shelley adding Young’s role to his
Culture minister Ed Vaizey will today (22nd July) officially
launch a pilot scheme by BT and Barclays to give free wi-fi to up to 100
libraries and community centres across the country. The pilot scheme will run for two years, and as well as free
wi-fi there will also be hands-on digital support from Barclays Digital
Eagles and BT Digital Friends, who are specially trained and will give free
advice. Vaizey will launch the scheme at Nunhead Library in Southwark,
London, later today.
US educational and trade publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
has reportedly reached a new e-book sales agreement with Amazon. Publishers Lunchreported
that the publisher “looks to be working with a modified form of agency
across their e-book accounts now”, although Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
declined to discuss its retailer terms.
Octopus Publishing Group’s Cassell imprint has commissioned a
book by Instagram “sensation” Unspirational. Commissioning editor Hannah Knowles acquired world English
rights to Texts From
Your Ex from Anna Carmichael at Abner Stein, on behalf of
Foundry Literary + Media.
HarperCollins Children’s Books will publish The Person Controller,
the second children’s book from author and comedian David Baddiel. Illustrated by Jim Field, the book is about Fred and Ellie and
will be published this October. Baddiel said: “If you’ve ever played a video game and thought
‘yeah, it’s fun… but it’d be better if that was actually me, leaping
through space, or building enormous towers in blocks out of the ground, or
beating the entire Real Madrid team to score a goal” - The Person Controller
might be for you’.”
Waterstones will roll out contactless payment across its
estate “shortly” following a successful trial. The company has trialled the payment method – whereby
customers don’t need to ender their debit or credit card pins – recently in
a small number of stores, which proved successful. It will now shortly roll the payment method out to its other
stores across the UK. WH Smith began introducing contactess payment at some of its
travel stores in late 2012.