Saturday, January 21, 2017

Inauguration Day - The New York Times Book Review

Selman Design
Today is Inauguration Day, and because it's difficult for the publishing industry to respond to immediate headlines with anything other than quickie books, we asked Beverly Gage, a professor of history at Yale University, and Jon Meacham, the Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian and author most recently of "Destiny and Power," to take a long view of the recent election and the incoming administration. Both writers turned to the 1930s in their respective essays. Gage writes about the legacy of Sinclair Lewis's "It Can't Happen Here," while Meacham writes about Edward Dahlberg's "Those Who Perish" and Nathanael West's "A Cool Million," as well as a few later works.
For more recent views of the presidency, we review Michael Tomasky's biography of Bill Clinton and Jonathan Chait's new book, "Audacity: How Barack Obama Defied His Critics and Created a Legacy That Will Prevail."
Prefer to escape into fiction? There are plenty of options this week. Ottessa Moshfegh, author of the acclaimed novel "Eileen" (reviewed on our cover in 2015), has published a collection of short stories, "Homesick for Another World." Lucinda Rosenfeld's new novel satirizes liberal Brooklynites and their pieties about class and race. Plus, André Aciman has a new novel. And Marilyn Stasio's Crime column looks at a debut medical mystery, another thriller with "girl" in the title, and a chilly suspense novel by Randall Silvis.
Please stay in touch and let us know what you think – whether it's about this newsletter, our reviews, our podcast or what you're reading. We read and ponder all of it. I even write back, albeit belatedly. You can email me at
Pamela Paul
Editor of The New York Times Book Review

News from the Sydney Writers Festival

This week, we have two new podcasts up on our podcast channel. First up, Samanth Subramanian, Emma Sky and Peter Frankopan discuss what makes some people turn from radical to fanatical in this all-too-relevant roundtable on the untold history of extremism; and then Australian author Don Watson shares his enduring love of Gabriel García Márquez in conversation with Delia Falconer. 
On the blog, we recommend Max Porter's blackly humorous Grief is the Thing with Feathers and revisit Randolph Stow'sTourmaline, a haunting novel set against the backdrop of the Western Australian desert.

Two emerging writers win trans-Tasman mentorship with publisher

NZSA / Hachette Mentor program recipients announced

The New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc) and Hachette Australia are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017 NZSA / Hachette Mentor Program.

For the second year in a row the depth of New Zealand writing talent impressed Hachette Australia so much it was decided that not one but two writers should be given the opportunity to work on a new draft of their manuscript under Hachette Australia's guidance.

Congratulations to Heidi North-Bailey (pictured at right) and Linda Bennett (pictured at left) who will both be mentored during 2017, receiving constructive critique of their manuscript from an Hachette editor. The resulting manuscripts may be considered by Hachette for publication within 6 months of the writers delivering their new drafts.

Heidi North-Bailey's poetry, essays and short fiction have featured in New Zealand and international journals. In 2016, Heidi was selected as the New Zealand fellow on the Shanghai Writer’s Program where she joined joined nine other writers from around the world for two months in Shanghai. The manuscript selected for the Hachette mentorship is her first novel.

Linda Bennett is a registered nurse who holds a Graduate Diploma in Creative Writing from Whitireia and a Masters in Creative Writing from Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters. Linda is based in Wellington, where she works part time as a palliative care nurse while continuing to develop her skills as a writer of contemporary fiction.

Hachette Australia had a challenge choosing between the 41 applications. Publisher Sophie Hamley commented “With so many wonderful entries it took me some time to choose these two writers – the long list started at about twenty entries, and crafting a shortlist was difficult when there was such a depth of talent and range of stories.”

Six manuscripts, authored by Linda Bennett, Patricia Donovan, Heidi North-Bailey, Andrew Stiggers, and Rebecca Wixon were shortlisted and when it came to the crunch Hachette decided to extend the mentorship to two of these shortlisted authors.

This program is proudly presented by Hachette Australia in partnership with The New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc.)

Author Who Turns Classics Into Children’s Books Is Sued

Fredrik Colting, a Swedish author who was sued by J. D. Salinger’s estate several years ago for publishing an unauthorized sequel to “The Catcher in the Rye,” has once again been sued for repurposing an iconic work by a dead writer.

This time, he is facing a legal complaint from four literary estates, representing a pantheon of influential 20th-century novelists.
The estates of Arthur C. Clarke, Jack Kerouac, Truman Capote and Ernest Hemingway, with the publishing houses Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster, have filed a copyright lawsuit against Mr. Colting and his partner, Melissa Medina, for releasing illustrated children’s books based on those authors’ works.   MORE

Is The Non-Profit Bookstore The Answer To Bookselling?

“The answer may lie with niche-filling shops like Pittsburgh’s new City of Asylum Books, part of a nascent multipurpose cultural center on the city’s North Side called Alphabet City Center. Alphabet City is a consolidated space recently acquired by City of Asylum, a nonprofit arts organization providing sanctuary and forums of expression for exiled writers of all genres from other countries, introducing many unsung voices to the Pittsburgh public through literary community events.”

Trade News with Publishers Lunch

Nielsen has sold the BookScan service in the US only, along with the related services that comprise Nielsen Book in the US (including PubTrack Digital and the Books & Consumers surveys) to NPD Group, based in Port Washington, Long Island, for undisclosed terms. Those services will comprise the new NPD Book practice group, adding to the company's data services for over 20 industries.

Nielsen Book worldwide svp and managing director Jonathan Stolper will serve as president of NPD Book, and the new owner has offered employment to all of the US-based commercial Nielsen Book employees. As part of the sale, Nielsen will continue to provide operational support for the acquired services during a transition period in which the parties say "there will be no change of service."

At least for now, Nielsen continues to own and operate Nielsen BookScan and the related product lines in the UK (where the group also serves as the national ISBN registration agency) and 8 other countries around the world.

Meanwhile, our own related service, PM Bookscan, will also continue as usual, offering Bookscan data to literary agents, authors and other qualified independent book publishing professionals.

Bloomsbury announced that chairman Anthony Salz will step down from his position and exit the board at the annual meeting in July, with a successor to be named later. As of March 1, managing director of IOP Publishing Steven Hall will join the company's board and, as part of a regular rotation policy, Faber chief executive Stephen Page will leave the board after three years of service.

Doubleday Children's has acquired an unfinished fairy tale by Mark Twain that author Philip Stead and illustrator Erin Stead have expanded into a 152-page illustrated "storybook for all ages." They will publish THE PURLOINING OF PRINCE OLEOMARGARINE on September 26 in an announced 250,000-copy first printing. The book is based on sixteen pages of handwritten notes by Twain, recorded after he told his daughters a story one night in 1879 while the family was staying in Paris. The notes were spotted by Twain scholar John Bird while conducting research at the Mark Twain Papers & Project at the University of California at Berkeley.

In other children's book announcements, Candlewick Press will publish two-time Newbery Award winner Kate DiCamillo's first picture book in almost 10 years, LA LA LA: A Story of Hope, illustrated by Jaime Kim, on the same day in September as the Twain adaptation. The "nearly wordless" book will "follow a lonely young girl as she journeys from one fantastical world to another, sharing her unique song in a poignant quest for friendship and connection."

The Roundup with PW

Reported Trump Spending Cuts Would Kill NEH, NEA
In an effort to shrink federal bureaucracy by cutting spending, President-elect Donald Trump and his administration reportedly intend to eliminate the National Endowments for the Humanities and the Arts. more »

PRH, S&S Sue Moppet Books’ KinderGuides for Infringement
Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster have joined with the estates of four prominent authors to file a lawsuit against Moppet Books, charging that their publication of KinderGuides is copyright infringement. Moppet maintains their works of such classics as 'The Old Man and the Sea' are study guides. more »

Trump's Biographers Speak Up: On the eve of the inauguration, Trump’s biographers ponder his refusal to bend his ego to his new office.

The 2017 Edgar Award Finalists: On the 208th anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday, the Mystery Writers of America announced this year's Edgar finalists.

A Rediscovered Mark Twain Fairy Tale: More than a century after Twain dreamed it up, “Oleomargarine” has taken on a strange new afterlife.

More Trouble for Tate Publishing: Lightning Source sued Tate Publishing for $1.8 million this week, according to court documents.

Writers Respond: On the eve of the inauguration, PEN Center USA asked writers and journalists to share short essays of strength, hope, reflection, and resistance.

Latest news from The Bookseller

Pan Macmillan
With eye-popping growth of 26.8% in 2016, Pan Macmillan usurped the Indie Alliance and staked its claim as a ‘Big Four’ publisher.
It was another year of digital contraction for the UK’s biggest publishers, who experienced a second consecutive year of declining e-book volumes in 2016.
Audible and Apple have agreed to end their exclusivity agreement for audiobooks following a European Commission (EC) probe.
Toby Jones
Toby Jones has left his role as Simon & Schuster’s group marketing and publicity director after 18 months.
Breakfast at Tiffany's KinderGuide
A Swedish writer is being sued for infringing copyright after making children’s versions of novels such as Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Sheila O'Reilly
Sheila O’Reilly is to join Village Books in Dulwich, south London, as its events manager, just months after departing its local rival, fellow indie Dulwich Books.

Ruth Davidson
Hodder & Stoughton has commissioned Scottish Conservative Party leader Ruth Davidson to write a book about the life lessons learned by the world’s most powerful women.
Damian Horner
Damian Horner is leaving his position as brand development director at Hachette UK to join Real Vision, a video-on-demand platform for finance, as their global chief creative officer.
Steven Hall
Steven Hall, m.d. of science publisher IOP Publishing, is to join the Bloomsbury board as a non-executive director, replacing Faber m.d. Stephen Page, who stands down after three years.
Jeff Brazier
Hodder has acquired a practical guide to grief by life coach and TV personality Jeff Brazier.
Author Nick Hornby has received an Honorary Doctorate from Kingston University in recognition of his contribution to "literature and reading pleasure".
Kingston University

Trump's Biographers Psychoanalyze The President-Elect

Jan 19 New York News Daily

Because cows apparently eat red Skittles, check out today's end-of-day links: new Arcade Fire, Kandinsky dorm room lawsuit, Bush's letter to Obama revealed, Trump's biographers, Paul Ryan workout photo conspiracy, and tiny creatures. Don't forget to follow Gothamist on Twitter, Instagram,

Off the Shelf - 12 Books to Read at the Start of a New Administration

By Erica Nelson    |   Friday, January 20, 2017
As we envision the future of our country, we’re seeking out brilliant and diverse voices to help us understand the challenges that we face—to understand what problems need solving, and what we can do to help make peoples’ lives better. These 12 books show just a sliver of American experiences and history, but they are resources that we as citizens—and our newly elected leaders—can turn to. They help us to understand how we’ve gotten to where we are today and grasp the consequences of how decisions made today will shape our future. READ MORE

Friday, January 20, 2017

Off the Shelf

By Kerry Fiallo    |   Thursday, January 19, 2017
With the days getting shorter and the nights getting longer, winter is the perfect time to sit by the fire and lose yourself in a deliciously long book. From epic fantasy to searing romance, these 13 books are some of our extra-long favorites to enjoy while waiting for spring! READ MORE

Latest News from The Bookseller including Rowling, Donaldson and James enter Nielsen 'Bestseller Hall of Fame'

J K Rowling
Authors including J K Rowling, E L James and Julia Donaldson have made Nielsen Book’s first Bestseller Hall of Fame, as their titles are amongst those which reached platinum sales records.
John Fallon
Pearson's c.e.o. John Fallon has been forced to defend his position after admitting the company "got it wrong" last year, resulting in revisions to its 2017 forecast and dividend, and the withdrawal of its ambitious £800m profit target for 2018.
Irish flag
Irish bookselling and literary organisations have protested the passing of a new national library tender for books, 60% of which has been awarded to suppliers outside the country.
Academic Book Week 2017
The late art critic John Berger's Ways of Seeing (Penguin Modern Classics), first published in 1972, Edward Said’s 1978 study Orientalism (also Penguin Modern Classics) and Germaine Greer’s 1970 feminist study The Female Eunuch (Harper Perennial Modern Classics) are among the list of the 20 “academic books that shaped modern Britain” unveiled for Academic Book Week next week.   
Former Gollancz associate publisher Simon Spanton is joining crowd-funding company Unbound as it moves into genre publishing.
Claire Evans
Pan Macmillan is strengthening its fiction communications team with two senior appointments, separating out commercial fiction and brands from literature and partnerships.

Claire Douglas
Michael Joseph has acquired two new thrillers by Claire Douglas for six figures in what is also the first deal for Juliet Mushens at her new agency CaskieMushens.
Katie Clapham
Over 50 booksellers from as far away as Cumbria gathered in London last night for the launch of The Booksellers Network.
Pearson plans to launch its own print rental program for courseware and reduce e-book rental prices by up to 50% as it bids to accelerate its shift to digital.
Exclusive Books
Exclusive Books has struck a deal to direct its customers to the Kobo website to buy e-books.
Quantum 2017
Steve Bohme, research director at Nielsen Book Research UK and Sophie Corcut from retail trends consultancy GDR Creative Intelligence will keynote this year’s Quantum Conference at London Book Fair (LBF).