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.
A “slower, more complicated and insidious disruption” of the
publishing industry is emerging, a report from research and advisory firm
Enders Analysis had said, and it is “extremely dangerous” to see the e-book
transition as the key disruptive force to the trade. Consumer book subscriptions have not taken off, mobile
consumption is reducing the amount of time people spend reading, and
publishers need to “innovate vigorously”, the report found.
Taylor & Francis's parent company Informa has acquired
independent humanities and social sciences publisher Ashgate Publishing for
£20m. Ashgate, based in Farnham in Surrey, has over 14,000 titles.
Informa said: "Its experienced team and strong brands will be highly
complementary to our other major HSS [humanities and social sciences]
brand, Routledge, the world's largest English language publisher of
academic content in HSS disciplines."
If Pearson aims to concentrate on its global education
business then it is “only a matter of when not if” it will sell its stake
in Penguin Random House, as the date Pearson is permitted to sell its PRH
A new independent bookshop has opened in the rural Lancashire
town of Garstang by former secondary school teacher Sally-Anne Fraser. Skippy in the Well has opened on 3 Oak Grove on Garstang’s
high street, restoring a bookshop to the town once more after its last one
closed several years ago.
Harper Lee has held the Official Top 50 number one spot for a
second consecutive week, with
Go Set A Watchman (Heinemann) selling 57,612 copies, worth
£632,690, through Nielsen BookScan’s Total Consumer Market.
David Walliams’ next children’s book, due to be published by
HarperCollins Children’s Books in September, will be titled Grandpa’s Great Escape.
In the book, which will once again be illustrated by Tony Ross, Grandpa
becomes muddled in old age and believes he is still a fighter pilot in
World War Two. When he is sent to an old people’s home he is convinced it
is a prisoner of war camp and plans an escape with his grandson Jack.
Structural disruption and all things digital were woven into
discussions at the Yale Publishing Course, which took place in New Haven
last week (19th-24th July). Two dozen faculty and 68 mid-career
professionals from 22 countries were on hand. Yet in the words of keynoter
Craig Mod, it was the importance of giving oneself “permission to
think,” and a reassertion of the primacy of books as objects able to
inspire “delight,” that best captured the zeitgeist of the week.
Alexander Litvinenko’s only book Blowing Up Russia has been put on a list
of “extremist materials” in Russia and banned, according to its English
language publisher Gibson Square Books. The Russian fugitive officer of the FSB secret service died in
November 2006 after meeting with two former agents and drinking tea laced
with a lethal dose of radioactive polonium. He was allegedly poisoned on the command of the Russian state
after making direct allegations against President Vladimir Putin.
Simon & Schuster has acquired an “empowering” book by
anti-FGM campaigner Hibo Wardere [pictured]. S&S commissioning editor Abigail Bergstrom acquired UK and
Commonwealth rights to the book entitled Cut:
FGM in Britain Today from Robyn Drury at Diane Banks
Usborne has acquired a YA historical novel, entitled The One Who Knows My Name,
by Vanessa Curtis.
The book, told through the first-person voice of fifteen-year-old Inge, is
about the Nazi’s Lebensborn programme, under which Polish children were
stolen from their families to be brought up in the Aryan ideal.
Walker Books will in 2017 publish The City of Secret Rivers, the first book
in a London-set children’s adventure trilogy by US writer Jacob Sager
The City of Secret
Rivers is about Hyacinth Hayward who, recently arrived in
London from America, accidentally unleashes the power of a secret river
running through the city. To stop a second Great Fire, she must find a
magically charged drop of water from the sewer system.