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.
Agents, authors and retailers joined Pan Macmillan at a party
last night (23rd July) to celebrate the company’s Publisher of the Year win
earlier this year. The party, held at RIBA in central London, was also attended
by many of Pan Macmillan’s employees. All authors published by the company in 2014 were invited,
with attendees including Lord Jeffrey Archer and Children’s Laureate Chris
Canongate’s non-fiction publishing director Katy Follain is to
leave the company “to pursue new career opportunities within the industry”. The publisher said she “played a key role within the editorial
team”. Among the titles Follain acquired during her time at Canongate
were James Rhodes’ memoir Instrumental,
which was published after a long legal battle, and Alex Bellos’ forthcoming
mathematical colouring book, Snowflake,
A memorial service for Ion Trewin, who died earlier this year
after a battle with cancer, is to be held in the autumn. Trewin, who was literary director of the Booker Prize
away on 8th April. Formerly literary editor of the Times, Trewin then worked at Weidenfeld
& Nicolson as publishing director, managing director and
editor-in-chief until his retirement in 2006.
Bloomsbury revenues grew 13% in the first quarter of the year,
driven by growth in its children’s and education division. For the three months ending 31st May 2015, like-for-like
revenues, excluding the results of Osprey Publishing, which was acquired in
December 2014, revenues were up 5% compared to the same quarter in 2014.
Harper Lee dominated Nielsen BookScan US charts with four
spots in the top 10 and seven in the top 100, led by Go Set a Watchman (Harper)
which recorded the second best first-week sale for an adult hardback since
BookScan US records began, shifting almost three quarter of a million
units. The hardback of Lee’s To
Kill a Mockingbird sequel sold 746,805 copies last week, the
best US opening week for a hardback adult since Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol
(Doubleday) sold almost 1.2 million copies in its first seven days of sale
in September 2009.
Gollancz has acquired an “explosive literary” science fiction
thriller and its follow-up by Arthur C Clarke award winner Tricia Sullivan
[pictured]. Associate publisher Simon Spanton bought world rights to Occupy Me and one
other book from Alex Adsett at Alex Adsett Publishing Services. Sullivan’s “thought-provoking and action-packed” book is a
“quest for the salvation of earth, for the secrets of the universe and for
a sense of self”.
Maura Brickell, dubbed by PR Week as one of its 30 under 30,
has opened a solo PR and communications business. Brickell, previously campaigns director at Riot Communications
and ex-Headline Publishing publicist has announced that her agency, Maura
PR & Communications is open for business.
William Heinemann has acquired a book exploring the
individuals, groups and movements “rejecting the way we live today and
attempting to find an alternative”. Tom Avery bought UK and Commonwealth rights to Radicals by Jamie
Bartlett from Caroline Michel at PFD. In Radicals
the reader is “taken into the strange worlds of the innovators, disrupters,
idealists and extremists who think we can do better, and believe they know
Unpublished books by Julie MacPherson, Justin Nevil and Mark
Smith are on the shortlist for this year’s Kelpies Prize, organised by
Edinburgh-based publisher Floris Books to celebrate new Scottish children’s
Three stories are shortlisted for the 2015 prize: Macpherson’s Drowning in the Mirror
by Julie MacPherson, a teen mystery; Nevil’s
Monsters M.I.A., about a girl who investigates a series of
kidnappings; and Smith’s Slug
Boy Saves the World, in which Slug Boy is the only superhero
left in the world.
Writers’ Centre Norwich (WCN) is to support emerging writers,
translators and literature development professionals through a “major” new
programme after receiving a grant from Arts Council England (ACE). Using the International Showcasing grant, WCN will work in
partnership with the British Council on a two and a half year project to
help people reach international markets and to support literature
organisations in their international working. The International Literature Showcase (ILS) is intended to be
“the leading opportunity to promote UK writing talent overseas”.