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.
Old fashioned publishing skills are still "as relevant
and vital as ever" in the children's market, even though children are
increasingly discovering books through digital and new media brands, Egmont
UK's m.d. Cally Poplak (pictured) has told The Bookseller Children's
Conference. Poplak said Egmont's strategy was driven by "what
children love to read and what their parents are prepared to buy". Research done by the publisher with Nielsen has also found
that parents "really value reading".
Publishers are more content about how the book business is
weathering the digital transition than authors, early results of the FutureBook Digital
Census have found. The
Digital Census, the annual tracker of the book business’ digital
evolution, was launched
two weeks ago and so far more than 400 respondents have completed the
WH Smith has revealed a list of 100 "best paperbacks of
all time" as voted for by its customers. The chain retailer asked customers to vote for their favourite
paperback through social media, with “thousands” getting involved. WHS said that Harper Lee’s To
Kill a Mockingbird topped the list, with J R R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and
Jane Austen’s Pride and
Prejudice following closely behind.
Laurence King Publishing will tomorrow (30th September) launch
a children’s list of illustrated non-fiction and activity books. The list launches with Pierre
the Maze Detective: The Search for the Stolen Maze Stone (h/b,
£14.95), which is an illustrated book of mazes for children aged eight and
over. Created by Hiro Kamigaki and IC4Design, the book features 15
full-spreads of illustrated mazes and is out now.
Horatio Clare’s Down
to the Sea in Ships (Chatto & Windus) was announced
as the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year yesterday (28th September)
at an event at London’s National Liberal Club. Meanwhile Bill Bryson
(pictured) was revealed as the winner of the inaugural Outstanding
Contribution to Travel Writing prize. Down to the Sea in Ships is an account of the
"ordinary" men that place their lives in
"extraordinary" danger on container ships on the high seas.
A new pint-sized independent bookshop has opened in Stockton. Drake – The Bookshop opened on 22nd September and is run by
Richard Drake and his partner Melanie Greenwood. It occupies a space of
only 3x4sqm as a small start-up in the Enterprise Arcade, a
140-year-old building in the heart of Stockton. It stocks 600 titles across fiction, crime, young adult and
children’s books, as well as a range of dyslexia-friendly titles.
Pronoun, a new self-publishing platform backed by venture
capitalist firms, has launched. Formed in May, the platform brings together the
"technology, data, and expertise" developed by multimedia
publishing platform, Vook; data and analytics platform, Booklr; and
short-form e-book publisher, Byliner.
Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell has said the party
has “aggressive” plans to make corporations such as Amazon, Google
Starbucks and Vodafone pay their “fair share of taxes”. In his first speech as shadow chancellor at the Labour
Conference taking place in Brighton this week, McDonnell outlined plans to
cut the deficit by targeting corporate tax avoidance and increasing taxes
on the rich.
Salman Rushdie will discuss the significance of freedom of
expression for authors and the book industry in his keynote address at the
Frankfurt Book Fair this year. A spokesperson for the Frankfurt Book Fair said: “The
publication of polemic literature and its consequences affect not just
authors but the entire publishing industry. That’s why freedom of
expression and boundaries are the key topics at this year’s book fair.”
Grandpa’s Great Escape (HarperCollins Children’s
Books) has become David Walliams’ third straight book to hit the UK Official
Number One in its first week of sale, while also earning its author his 50th