Thursday, January 31, 2019

Publishers Lunch

Pieter Swinkels has been promoted to chief content officer at Rakuten Kobo. Additionally, Alan MacNevin has been promoted to chief operating officer; Marianne Hamilton to chief marketing officer; and Dave Anderson to chief strategy officer.

At Macmillan Children's, Carol Ly has been promoted to senior designer and Sophie Erb to associate designer.
Emily Settle has been promoted to associate editor at Feiwel and Friends and Swoon Reads.


The Wife by Meg Wolitzer is the February pick for the PBS NewsHour-New York Times book club.

The Costco Pennie’s Pick for February is
The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald.

The Cut Out Girl by Bart van Es won the overall Costa Book Award, with the judges declaring it, "the hidden gem of the year."

More broadly, we have fully updated our
list of award winners from 2018 -- covering over 40 awards from the US and around the world.


A Barnes & Noble in North Carolina's Jacksonville Mall has reopened after repairing "extensive damage" caused by Hurricane Florence. The renovation also includes some "enhancements," like an expanded toys and games department.

White Fungus to Release 16th Issue


Taiwan-based magazine White Fungus is about to release its 16th issue. The new issue features a 50-page interview with Carolee Schneemann, an epic exploration of the world of animal music, plus Kurt Gottschalk reports on a New York performance of Max Richter’s SLEEP.

Taipei curator Jeph Lo describes witnessing the emergence of noise music in Taiwan’s post–martial law era, alongside a photo essay on political demonstrations held during the island’s transition out of military rule. There is an article about 2018 Turner Prize–nominee Luke Willis Thompson, plus an interview with Dor Guez about the Christian Palestinian Archive. The issue features new performance art from Taiwan, plus a profile of obscure Wellington street artist Ruffo who appears in Chris Kraus’s classic fantastical memoir I Love Dick.

White Fungus was started in 2004 by brothers Ron Hanson and Mark Hanson in Wellington, New Zealand. The first issue was an impromptu protest against the building of a motorway that would cut through the city’s arts district, destroying heritage buildings and forcing artists from their studios. Copies of the first issue were produced on a photocopier, wrapped in Christmas paper and hurled anonymously through the entrances of businesses throughout the city. The name of the publication comes from a can of "white fungus", a commercially produced pulped beverage the Hansons discovered in their local supermarket in Taiwan. In 2009 the Hansons relocated back to Taiwan where they have since been active publishing and directing live art events.

The 16th issue of White Fungus will be hitting shelves world-wide in mid-January via Boutique Magazines. If you would like any further information about White Fungus, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Ron Hanson

hone +886 987 453 364
web www.whitefungus

Headlines from The Bookseller

David Walliams
David Walliams’ next publication, a funny story entitled Fing, "dovetails seamlessly" with his short stories and middle-grade novels, according to his publisher HarperCollins Children’s Books.
The Cut Out Girl
Bart van Es' biography The Cut Out Girl (Fig Tree) has won the £30,000 Costa Book of the Year award.
Heather Morris
Heather Morris’ The Tattooist of Auschwitz (Zaffre) has returned to the UK Official Top 50 number one spot for a third non-consecutive week, selling 15,369 copies through Nielsen BookScan’s Total Consumer Market.
Kate Manning
Bonnier Books UK has hired Kate Manning to the newly created role of group director of sales, marketing and publicity of children’s trade.
Patricia McVeigh
Penguin Random House Ireland’s publicity director Patricia McVeigh will join HarperCollins in Ireland in the same role.
Ken Follett
Pan Macmillan is marking three decades of publishing Ken Follett and his series The Pillars of the Earth by releasing new editions of 17 backlist titles and previously unseen archive material.

Holly Bourne
Hodder editorial director Kimberley Atkins has acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, including Canada, from agent Madeleine Milburn to two more adult novels from Holly Bourne. 
Oligarchy by Scarlett Thomas
Canongate has acquired the new adult novel from Scarlett Thomas, Oligarchy, billed as “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie for the digital age”.
Ali Pantony
Ebury Press editor Katie Seaman has bought world rights from Sarah Hornsley at The Bent Agency in Almost Adults, a “laugh-out-loud debut novel celebrating female friendship” by freelance journalist Ali Pantony. 
Books Are My Bag 2019 tote
Visual artist David Shrigley has designed a limited edition tote, which celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Wellcome Book Prize, and which the artist says shows "a light-hearted representation of the importance of books", in support of the Books Are My Bag (BAMB) campaign.
The Bodley Head
Bodley Head will publish Pulitzer Prize-winner Ian Urbina’s exposé of the criminal world of the high seas in October.
Lightning Books
Eye Books imprint Lightning has acquired world English rights for the print edition of self-published book The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay by Nicola May.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Publishers Lunch

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has "realigned" its sales team. Ed Spade has been promoted to vp, national accounts, trade sales & strategy, co-leading the sales team with Colleen Murphy, vp, special markets, mass market, and product development. As a result, Maire Gorman, svp trade sales, has left the company. Additionally, Christine Sikule has joined HMH in the new role of director of sales analytics. She was previously metadata manager at Penguin Random House.

Connor Guy joins Basic Books as editor on February 4. Most recently, he was associate editor at Metropolitan Books.

In the UK, Amanda Ridout is launching Boldwood Books, publishing commercial fiction. The company expects to publish 20 titles in 2019, and aims to issue 50 titles in 2020. Ridout, who was ceo at Head of Zeus until she left in November 2017, is joined by two former colleagues from that company, with Caroline Ridding as publisher, and Nia Benyon as publishing/sales and marketing director. They are not paying advances initially, promising authors that "your contract will be based on partnership principles and the proceeds of success shared equally."

Also in the UK, Jacaranda has announced their list of 20 black writers they will publish in 2020, supported by £25,000 in donations. Founder Valerie Brandes tells the Guardian, :The importance of this from a publishing perspective cannot be overstated. The commitment to publish 20 black British writers in one year, in terms of sheer visibility for black writing and writers, is unsurpassed in this industry."

Barnes & Noble also announced their Discover Great New Writers finalists, with the winners to be announced at a ceremony on March 6:

Only Killers and Thieves, by Paul Howarth
A Place for Us, by Fatima Farheen Mirza
There There, by Tommy Orange

American Prison, by Shane Bauer
Educated, by Tara Westover
Heavy, by Kiese Laymon

Dare Me, Megan Abbott's novel about the competitive world of high school cheerleading, will become a TV series, co-produced by USA and Netflix. Abbott will be a writer and executive producer along with Gina Fattore (Dawson's Creek, Gilmore Girls). The series is executive produced by Peter Berg and Film 44.

Simon & Schuster will distribute art book publisher David Zwirner Books in North America starting August 1. They have been by Artbook | D.A.P. (Thames & Hudson remains their distributor outside of North America.)

Bertelsmann ceo Thomas Rabe believes the company's new Bertelsmann Content Alliance in Germany "strengthens our position in the competition with the U.S. technology platforms." The initiative is meant to "manage the collaboration among all of the international media, services and education company's content businesses in Germany" -- including Random House Germany, RTL television, Gruner + Jahr magazines, and music company BMG. Gruner + Jahr ceo Julia Jäkel takes the added role of chair of the board of the Bertelsmann Content Alliance.

Italian state honour awarded

Italian New Zealander Alessandra Zecchini receives state honour from Italy

Italian President Sergio Mattarella has awarded Auckland resident Alessandra Zecchini the title of Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia for services to Italian culture and foreign relations.

The state honour — which translates as Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy — is bestowed on Italians and foreigners who have promoted relations between Italy and other countries. It also reflects on the promotion of Italian culture in the world.
 His Excellency Fabrizio Marcelli, Italian Ambassador to New Zealand, awarded the honour yesterday at the annual Festival Italiano street festival in Newmarket, Auckland.

Born in Milan and raised in the province of Modena, Alessandra Zecchini immigrated to New Zealand in 1997 with her Kiwi husband. They settled in Oratia, Auckland, raising two children bilingually and founding publishing company Oratia Media.
Zecchini has been widely active in the Italian community. She is a long-standing committee member and former President of the Società Dante Alighieri di Auckland, and a representative on the Com.It.Es Wellington.
Since 2006 she has been Director of the annual Festival Italiano Auckland, which is the country’s largest Italian cultural event, and among Auckland’s busiest ethnic festivals.

 As a writer and editor Zecchini has produced numerous articles about Italian food, culture and travel; written three recipe books; and helped publish Italian books in New Zealand. She has taught Italian language and culture at the Dante Society for over 20 years.
She has promoted Italian cuisine widely, and founded the Slow Food Auckland chapter, the country’s most active group in the Italian-based food network.
“I am greatly honoured to receive this recognition and thank all the wonderful Italian and New Zealand friends and family who have helped to make it all possible.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Publishers Lunch

Veronica Park has joined Fuse Literary as an associate agent. She was previously literary agent and marketing specialist at Corvisiero Literary Agency.

Alexandra Franklin has been promoted to associate agent at the Vicky Bijur Literary Agency.

Maya Baran has joined Viking Penguin as publicity manager, returning to publishing full-time. Most recently she has assisted Broadside PR and The Countryman Press.

The ALA has named Melinda Gates the honorary chair of National Library Week, starting April 7.

At Porter Square Books in Cambridge, MA, Leila Meglio has joined as events manager. Most recently, she was publicity associate at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Sarah Rettger becomes inventory manager.

Hannah Oliver Depp, managing partner of Upshur Street Books in Washington DC, is buying the store from owner Paul Ruppert and renaming it Loyalty Bookstore. Depp plans to focus on children's books, remodel the interior, and add events.

On Friday, Google rejected Stephen Elliot's "invalid, overly broad, and unduly burdensome" request to provide data that would reveal the creators of the S----y Media Men list, in a letter to his attorneys, filed with the court by Moira Donegan's counsel.
Google's Letter.

Scribd announced that they have surpassed 1 million subscribers worldwide to their digital reading service. That's up from "over 700,000" subscribers in February 2018, when the company returned to mostly unlimited subscriptions (except for pesky "high volume readers"). A year ago, the company said about 50 percent of subscribers were from outside of the US and their current growth plans seemed focused on international markets.

Harper Collins chief digital officer Chantal Restivo-Alessi tells TechCrunch the resumption of unlimited audiobook listening looks to be a strong part of Scribd's growth: "We expected the digital ebook market to be a bigger part of our and their business now, and we have been positively surprised by the uptake in digital audio. We have continued to calibrate our catalog offer in line with the evolution of Scribd's platform and customer base. And we continue to be pleasantly surprised by the depth of exposure that the platform provides to our backlist."

Monday, January 28, 2019

2019 World Book Day Lecture.

The Centre for the Book is delighted to welcome Associate Professor Katherine Bode of the Australian National University to deliver the 2019 World Book Day Lecture. 

The lecture will take place at 5:30 on Thursday, 7 March in Archway 2.

Her topic for this year’s lecture is “Reading beyond the Book.”  She is a lively and engaging presenter who deeply loves her work and will convince you that you should too.  Do join us.

A link to Professor Bode’s outputs and interests:


And as usual, the lecture will be followed by a dinner at the Staff Club. Circa. 7.00 pm. Places are limited, so please get in fast!

I will happily take name of those wishing to attend the dinner. NB: Cost yet to be determined; will let you know asap.


And please spread the word on the lecture to others. This wd be appreciated.



Ps. who will be the prize winners this year!




University of Otago Library

Tel: +64 3 479 8330 | Email:

Te Whare Wānanga o Otāgo - University of Otago




Wednesday, January 23, 2019

NZSA / Auckland Museum Research Grant + Residency – Recipient Announced

NZSA / Auckland Museum Research Grant + Residency – Recipient Announced 

The New Zealand Society of Authors (NZSA) and Auckland War Memorial Museum are delighted to announce the recipient of the NZSA Auckland Museum Research + Residency Grant.

The grant goes to Auckland writer Sarah Ell whose winning proposal will utilise research drawn from the Auckland Museum Library's extensive collections on New Zealand native species.

Sarah will receive a $5,000 grant and one month’s accommodation at The Michael King Writers Centre in Devonport while she undertakes her research. Sarah is a journalist by trade, born and bred on the North Shore, with a BA in History from Massey University. She completed the University of Auckland's Master of Creative Writing course last year and has written for both children and adults. Her tenth book, Ocean, was published in December 2018.

Selection panel convener Rae McGregor said “Sara Ell has an exciting project and we were captured by the Natural Science focus. This ties in well with work the Museum Library is doing with its Biodiversity Heritage Library, where digitising is in process with the aim to share the library’s records relating to the biodiversity with the world.

To quote Adam Moriarty co-selector: 'The synergies between these two projects and our digitisation effort seem to be perfectly aligned'. We were unanimous in agreeing that Sarah should be the recipient of this award."

Now in its seventh year, The NZSA / Auckland Museum Research + Residency Grant is a wonderful opportunity for writers to develop a manuscript thanks to a stipend, guided access to the Auckland Museum’s documentary heritage collections and four weeks accommodation at The Michael King Writers Centre.

Adam Moriarty, Head of Collection Information and Access at Auckland Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira says, “Working in collaboration with the NZSA, Auckland Museum is delighted to provide New Zealand writers access to our Documentary Heritage collection. The research library is a place of inspiration and information contained in our wealth of manuscripts, ephemera, newspapers and periodicals, rare and contemporary books and pamphlets, photographs and more.”

Past award winners have included historical novelists, archaeologists, biographers and recently a scriptwriter/playwright researching the earliest interaction of Pakeha and Māori for public performance.

For further information and for media enquiries: Claire Hill, Programmes + Operations Manager 09 3794801     

The Bookseller

Tony Ross
Tony Ross has yet again topped The Bookseller’s chart of the bestselling children’s illustrators, with his books earning almost twice the total of his closest rival, Axel Scheffler, in 2018.
Penguin Random House Children’s is restructuring its rights team in a move that will see Camilla Borthwick, Joanna Lawrie and Catherine Harrison leave the company.
Renia Spiegel
The diary of a Polish teenager, Renia Spiegel, who was shot dead on the streets by Nazi soldiers weeks after her 18th birthday, has been pre-empted by Ebury’s Clare Bullock after 70 years of lying unread in a drawer.
Indie Bookshop Alliance
The Independent Bookshop Alliance is being relaunched, with Simon Key urging booksellers to come together to decide the future aims of the organisation. 
Bradford libraries are facing up to £2m in cuts, 65% of the budget, over the next two years, as the local council outlines plans to turn existing libraries into “community hubs”. 
Rachel Graves
Macmillan Children’s Books has hired Rachel Graves, currently head of export for the Hachette Children’s Group, as international sales director.

Ajay Chowdhury
Ajay Chowdhury has won Harvill Secker and Bloody Scotland's inaugural competition with Arvon to find a new crime writer from a BAME background for his detective-turned-waiter murder mystery.
Orion Spring
Orion Spring has acquired world rights to four self-help titles by "This Morning" TV therapists Nik and Eva Speakman. 
Gothic Image
The UK’s “first alternative” bookshop, Gothic Image, is shutting its doors this month after 40 years.
Brittney Morris
Hachette Children’s Group has bought the UK rights to Slay by US debut author Brittney Morris, who was inspired to write after watching the Marvel blockbuster "Black Panther".
Society of Authors
Graphic novels, poetry and art history make up some of the Society of Authors’ Translation Prizes shortlists for 2019, with 31 translations from seven languages up for awards.