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.
This year we are witnessing the maturation of the e-book
market. Digital sales growth has, of course, been one of the book trade’s
overriding stories of the past few years. The dizzying boom and
triple-digit growth of the e-book market abated in 2014, but there was
still robust growth: in The
Bookseller’s year-end review in January we showed that e-book
volume sales for the Big Five groups rose 15.3%.
Penguin and Random House should complete their integration
over the next 12 months, joint parent Pearson said today, with Pearson c.e.o
John Fallon indicating that he was not planning an early sale if it's 47%
holding in that business in the wake of its disposal of the Financial Times. Meanwhile, Pearson has reported group sales were up 1% to
£2.2bn, while losses before tax increased to £115m in the last six months.
The Man Booker Prize has launched a new podcast, hosted by
"Radio 2 Book Club" producer Joe Haddow. The podcast will focus on the prize’s tagline – Fiction at its
Finest – and “looks at the very best from the world of books”. There will be seven fortnightly episodes going out on alternate
Friday mornings from today (24th July).
Jo De Guia, owner of Victoria Park Books in Hackney, is
closing her physical bookshop and will instead supply books at live events. The bookseller is going to sell books at events through Story
Habit, a new initiative launched in partnership with LandSky, the
organisers of the Town Hall Tales festival.
De Guia, who owns her bookshop's building in Hackney, said the retail
business had become “too overhead heavy to keep as a physical shop when it
could be creating income”.
Gloria Steinem’s first book for 20 years will be published by
Oneworld this autumn. Publisher Juliet Mabey bought UK and Commonwealth rights,
excluding Australia, New Zealand and Canada, to My Life on the Road from Denise Cronin at
Penguin Random House US. Steinem, co-founder of “Ms." magazine, tells a “story she
has never told before” in her new book. Oneworld said the book is a “funny, moving, and profound
account of her lifelong journey, listening to people and creating change”.
Quadrille has acquired an illustrated memoir by
singer-songwriter John Newman. Editor Romilly Morgan bought world rights to Revolve, which is
Newman’s debut, from literary agent Clare Hulton. Revolve is a first-person account of Newman’s
life and the process of recording his second album, also called
“Revolve". The book will be released in October 2015 to coincide with
the release of the album.
Authors, booksellers and publishers have praised this year’s
Young Adult Literature Convention (YALC), organised by Book Trust,
highlighting the “buzzing” atmosphere. Now in its second year, YALC took place over three days last
week (17th–19th July) at London Olympia. Events included author signings,
panel talks, agent events and workshops. Several children’s
publishers—including Penguin Random House Children’s, Hot Key Books, Walker
Books, David Fickling and Little Tiger—had stands at the event.
A drag queen took up residency in Goldsboro Books window last
night (23rd July) for the launch of Life’s
a Drag by Janie Millman. Passers-by to the London bookshop in Cecil Court looked
transfixed to see the eye-catching CookieMonStar [pictured] in the
Goldsboro shop window to mark the release of the title, published by Accent
Booksellers will get “quicker and wider access” to book proofs
from across the publishing industry through a partnership with the
Booksellers Association and NetGalley. UK booksellers will get access to digital proofs from over 50
publishers – including Bonnier, Hachette, HarperCollins, Penguin Random
House and Pan Macmillan in the new deal. By entering their BA member ID to their NetGalley profiles,
booksellers will receive a prominent BA logo badge that will allow
publishers to identify them as BA members, and so approve requests quickly.
The authors who protested against Charlie Hebdo winning a PEN America award
would not have supported the publication of The Satanic Verses if it was released
today, author Salman Rushdie told L’Express magazine.
Picador has acquired a “memoir of reinvention” by Camas Davis,
who learnt to become a butcher after her personal and professional life
crumbled. Editor Sophie Jonathan bought UK and Commonwealth rights in Killing It from Cullen
Stanley at Janklow & Nesbit acting on behalf of Emma Parry. In Killing
It Davis recounts how she travelled to France to learn to
become a butcher, staying with a farming family and learning, at the hands
of four charismatic brothers from Gascony, how they breed, rear, slaughter,
butcher and sell all their meat.