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.
Bricks-and-mortar booksellers have a “fantastic opportunity to
seize the moment”, with year-to-date print sales up for the first time in
eight years. Figures from Nielsen Bookscan show sales of print books for
the first 36 weeks of 2015 are up by 4.6% (worth £739.5m) when compared to
the same period in 2014, the first time the print market has seen
year-on-year growth at this stage of the calendar year since 2007.
The Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books has crowned
its first ever female solo winner in Gaia Vince for her close-up look at
pressing ecological issues facing the planet. Vince’s Adventures
in the Anthropocene (Chatto & Windus) was given the £25,000
science prize at a ceremony hosted by Professor Brian Cox OBE, at a
ceremony tonight (24th September), fending off competition from five other
The Roald Dahl Estate is gearing up to celebrate the
children’s author’s centenary next year with a range of publishing,
licensing, broadcast and events projects planned. The estate hopes to
double the number of children who read his stories worldwide. Managing director of the estate Luke Kelly said Roald Dahl 100
was a massive project encompassing 60 publishers worldwide and “hundreds,
if not thousands” of partners involved in events, licensing, merchandise
and broadcast projects.
CILIP members have voted "overwhelmingly" in favour
of actively opposing the ‘amateurisation’
of the public library service in England at an a.g.m in London yesterday
(24th September). CILIP member Andy Richardson had previously proposed a motion
calling on CILIP to oppose the "amateurisation" of the public
library service caused by the library buildings and contents being run by
the local community with little or no funding for professional or paid
Hay Festival has appointed Caroline Michel, c.e.o. of literary
and talent agency Peters Fraser + Dunlop, as its new board chair. She
succeeds Revel Guest. Michel will take on her new role at October’s board meeting
when Lord Terence Burns, chair of Santander, Channel 4 and The Royal
Academy of Music, becomes vice-chair of the festival.
Scholastic Corp said the first quarter of 2016 was in line
with expectations, with sales increasing slightly (0.4%) compared the same
period of 2015. International sales fell due to unfavourable foreign
exchange rates. For the period ending 31st August 2015, revenues were to
$191.2m (£125.6m), compared to $190.5m (£125.1m) one year previously.
Operating profit declined 8.4% to $79.5m (£52.2m) from $86.8m (£57m) – a
drop of 8.4%.
The judges for the Costa Book Awards have been announced, and
include authors Matt Haig, Louise Doughty and Julia Copus. The shortlists for the five categories that make up the awards
– First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry, and Children’s – will be announced
on 17th November, with the winners announced on 4th January 2016. The five category winners will then compete for the overall
Costa Book of the Year award, which will be announced on 26th January 2016.
Blink Publishing has acquired a new cookbook from Big Brother
2010 winner Josie Gibson and an astrology colouring book from media
personality Russell Grant. Clare Tillyer, acquisitions director at Blink, bought World
English rights to Popular:
Love Food by Gibson and Russell
Grant's Art of Astrology - Discover Your Inner Self Through Colour.