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.
Barefoot Books is reducing its number of UK titles, closing
its Oxford bookshop and putting a stop to its ambassador programme, the
publisher’s co-founder has confirmed. Tessa Strickland, who is also editor-in-chief, said the
company has decided to focus on its core business, which is “publishing
multi-cultural picture books”. The Oxford studio, which consists of a
bookshop and events space, was “somewhat of a time-consuming distraction”,
The Independent Publishers Guild (IPG) has become a member of
the Publishers Licensing Society (PLS), meaning IPG members will now
have a stronger voice in the area of collective licensing and the
management of rights. The IPG will be the first new member to join the society since
it was established in 1981. It is hoped that having access to the
collective licensing funds is liklely to make a significant difference to
indie publishers' bottom line financial results, The Bookseller understands.
Author Ali Smith has said the Goldsmiths Prize, which is now
in its third year, has encouraged publishers to take risks. The prize, awarded to bold and inventive fiction, was won by
Smith last year for How
to be Both (Hamish Hamilton). Smith said of the prize: “The change it’s made is that
publishers, who never take risks in anything, are taking risks on works
which are much more experimental than they would’ve two years ago. “That to me, is like a miracle. And that’s the Goldsmiths
The chief executive of e-book subscription service Bookmate
has said Oyster was "killed" by publishers who feared the
challenge it posed to their existing e-book business models. Following the announcement earlier this week that rival e-book
subscription service Oyster is
to close next year, Simon Dunlop, c.e.o of Bookmate, added that its
business model was "deeply flawed".
Penguin Random House Ireland is to bring all publicity for
Penguin, Random House and DK publishing in-house, with sales moving to one
integrated team, and Michael McLoughlin appointed as m.d. of the business.
Haynes Publishing Group saw an 11% revenue drop for the 12
months to end May 2015 at £26.1m, down from £29.3m the year before.
Adjusted EBITDA at the car manuals publisher was down 20% to £8.7m (£10.9m
in the year to end May 2014) while operating profit fell 35.5% to to £3.1m
(from £4.8m). Haynes issued a
profit warning last December, citing "soft" trade and tighter
inventory controls from retailers.
The children’s publishing world has only 24 hours left to book
tickets to this year’s Bookseller
children’s conference, which is taking place next Tuesday (29th September). The day, themed around the idea of growing the children’s
market by invention and reinvention, covers four key areas: building
children’s brands, the next stage of print growth, knowing and growing your
IP, and from users to readers.
To celebrate the "historic milestone" of the release
of Wilbur Smith’s 36th novel Golden
Lion Smith and his wife Niso have launched the Wilbur and Niso
Smith Foundation. Golden Lion was released today (24th
September) and is the latest instalment of Smith’s “epic” Courtney series. The Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation is a non-profit
organisation dedicated to “empowering” young writers from across the globe,
“championing” the adventure writing genre and the promotion of literacy.
Quercus Children’s will formerly integrate into the Hachette
Children’s Group 1st January 2016, as Niamh Mulvey leaves the children’s
team to join Quercus' adult department. The children’s division, which already operates from the
Hachette building in London, is led by its publishing director Roisin
Heycock, who recently returned from maternity leave. She will report to
Hilary Murray Hill, Hachette Children’s Group c.e.o.
Jen Campbell, author of Weird
Things Customers Say in Bookshops and The Bookshop Book,
bookseller and YouTuber, has pledged to write 100 poems in 48 hours to
fundraise for the Book Bus, a charity that serves communities in Africa,
Asia and South America with mobile libraries.
A Scarborough-based independent publisher has won nearly
£50,000 grant from the Arts Council England (ACE) Valley Press, which publishers 12 titles a year across poetry,
fiction and non-fiction has been awarded a £49,443 grant in National
Lottery funds from ACE. The publisher was founded in 2011 by English literature
graduate Jamie McGarry with funding from the Prince’s Trust and has around
70 titles in print.
Head of Zeus has acquired rights to a 'major' biography of
King Richard III entitled The
Black Prince. Richard Milbank, publishing director for non-fiction at Head
of Zeus, bought world rights to The
Black Prince by Michael Jones, from Charlie Viney at The Viney
Agency. Jones has written on the battles of Bosworth, Agincourt,
Stalingrad and Leningrad and is co-author, with Philippa Langley, of The
King’s Grave: The Search for Richard III. The Black Prince will be published by Head of
Zeus in September 2016.