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.
Retailers have praised the 2015
Man Booker Prize longlist as “excellent” and containing a “rather
lovely mix” of publishers. However literary agent David Godwin has said
the dominance of US writers on the list means people's “worst fears
have come to pass”. The longlist was announced yesterday (29th), and features
established writers alongside debut authors.
The chair of the Leadership for Libraries task force has
promised to look into how better data can be provided on library
numbers and usage, following arguments
on whether the number of children using libraries has gone up or down.
Goldsmiths, University of London is preparing to launch
Goldsmiths Press, a new university press built on digital-first
publishing, and interested in unconventional projects traditionally
excluded by publishers.
Suzie Dooré is to move from Hodder & Stoughton to
HarperCollins, replacing Katie Espiner as publishing director of The
Borough Press. Dooré has been at Hodder & Stoughton for nearly 10
years, publishing literary commercial fiction for both Hodder and its
literary imprint Sceptre. She has worked with authors including Chris
Cleave, Erin Kelly and Tom Rachman. Prior to Hodder she was the head fiction buyer for
Waterstones for three years, and before that an editor and buyer on
QPD, BCA’s literary book club.
Cressida Cowell has said she was “sad” to bring the How to
Train a Dragon series to a close with How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury
(September, Hodder), adding that it was also “very difficult” to tie up
all the ends. In the book, the hero of the series Hiccup Horrendous
Haddock III must battle to defeat Alvin the Treacherous to become king.
Hogarth in the UK and US have pre-empted world rights to
an “astonishing” debut by 2015 Caine Prize winner Namwali Serpell. Poppy Hampson, editorial director at Chatto & Windus
and Hogarth UK, bought world rights to The Old Drift in a “major” joint
acquisition with Alexis Washam, executive editor, Crown and Hogarth US.
Rights were acquired from PJ Mark and Will Francis at Janklow &
HarperCollins UK has teamed up with George R R Martin and
digital product studio Reason to produce a new Game of Thrones app. Released today (30th July), the free app is designed as a
"bridge product" for fans of the TV series who have not yet
read the books. The app asks users where they are in the storyline and
then offers them a spoiler-free selection of over 40 extracts from
across the books, along with maps and introductions from the very first
battle of the series to the infamous "Red Wedding" scenes.
Yellow Kite has acquired a book about divorce by the woman
who coined the phrase “conscious uncoupling”, used by actress Gwyneth
Paltrow to describe her separation from musician Chris Martin. Publisher Liz Gough bought UK and Commonwealth rights to
Katherine Woodward Thomas’s Conscious
Uncoupling from Lance Fitzgerald, v.p. and director of
subsidiary rights at the Crown Publishing Group. Woodward Thomas offers a five-step blueprint for how
people can navigate a breakup with honour and respect.
Amazon is poised to strike a deal with New York’s
Department of Education to create an “e-book marketplace” for 1,800
public schools, according to reports. Capital New York
has reported that the deal, worth $34.5m, will be one of the
department’s "most expensive" contracts and will create the
department’s first unified e-book storefront.
World Book Night is a “catalyst for change”, with many
recipients of books “motivated to change their reading habits by their
interactions with volunteers”, according to research commissioned by
The Reading Agency, which runs the event. The annual event sees individuals and institutions hand
out books to people who do not usually read for pleasure. This year
250,000 books of 20 specially printed World Book Night titles were
Two Mexican book chains have partnered with Kobo to create
a new e-book reading service called Orbile. Kobo will power the e-bookstore for both publisher and retailer
Libreria Porrúa, which has nearly 70 bookstores in Mexico and, chain
Gandhi, which has 30 stores. While the two retailers are competitors in other areas of
business, they have jointly created Orbile, powered by Kobo, to offer a
“unified e-reading service to Mexican readers.”