Thursday, January 29, 2015

IAN DRAPER (NOT A EULOGY) - Kevin Chapman pays tribute

 Ian Draper leaves Whitcoulls for the second time at the end of January, and because he has been largely behind the scenes to many publishers for the last few years I suspect that it is possible he leaves without knowing how important he has been.

It is a fair bet that without Ian’s intervention the Normans may well not have bought Whitcoulls, and fought to save this iconic New Zealand business. And Ian has fought hard as well, making unpopular (in the book industry) decisions to diversify the product in the front-of-store in order to keep stores solvent when book sales tumbled. Ian has a passion for this business, and he has been very focussed on saving what was a sick company when it came back into NZ hands.

Ian started at Whitcoulls in 1995, and was promoted through to MD in 2001 and then MD of the Angus & Robertson Whitcoulls Group in 2005. Wanting to come home from Melbourne he left in 2008 before ARW became RedGroup and settled down to time off and his other businesses, importing caravans and moving houses

Thankfully he became engaged again when RedGroup went into Administration and he helped the Normans buy the NZ business, which he has run since 2011.

Ian has massive support among his staff, and deserves the appreciation of our industry. He would not say he was a big reader (!) but he is a supporter of books as part of Whitcoulls. I have always found him a decent, kind and fair man, even when I accused him of “industry vandalism” for leaving Bookscan. Ian just said that he had made the decision that was necessary for his business, and we were all entitled to our opinion, and never used it against me in any way.

We are funny about Whitcoulls in this industry. We seem to feel an ownership of it, and that it has a responsibility to fulfil our own wishes for the business. Ian (along with the Normans and his team) has shepherded it through tough times and enabled us to keep 60 plus bookstores still operating. I think we all owe him a substantial vote of thanks.

Kevin Chapman


A provocative series of panel sessions, interviews and events involving top New Zealand authors and writers will set the scene for the Writers and Ideas programme at the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival.

Saturday 14 sees the first writers panel with ‘Madmen: Steve Braunias and Aimie Cronin with Toby Manhire’, a session of some of the country’s top non-fiction writers discussing ‘truthiness’ in journalism with Braunias’ best-selling book on the 2014 election as the catalyst. On Sunday, Toby Manhire returns to talk about writing for laughs with uber talented Hamilton local, Joshua Drummond and Jesse Mulligan.

We’re delighted to have such a strong line-up of non-fiction writers who represent the best of New Zealand’s political commentators, satirists and cultural observers,’ says Festival Director, Becks Chambers.

The Down the Rabbit Hole series is a new aspect of the Ideas programme. The series of four free sessions are half-hour interviews with artists from the wider HGAF programme, including Karen Barbour (Whenua-Land), Regan Taylor (SolOthello) and Roesy (Irish singer-songwriter) and held in the newly opened Tudor Garden. ‘These sessions are an opportunity to learn a little more about the artistry behind the entertainment – we’ll learn how things were made and the inspirations behind them, as well as a more about the artists. Everyone will be asked what essential item they’d take with them down Alice’s rabbit hole…’ says programmer, Claire Mabey.

University of Waikato Writer in Residence Mandy Hager (Tom’s Story, Singing Home the Whale) will be joining Catherine Chidgey (In a Fishbone Church) and Stephen Stratford in a discussion about their latest fictional endeavours in a session on Sunday 15 February (tickets, $15).

Of the ideas programme, The Great Debate is a hotly anticipated event (Friday 20 Feb, free admission) involving: Professor Iain White (Professor of Environmental Planning, University of Waikato), Dr Mike Scarsbrook (Project Leader, Upper Waikato Sustainable Milk Project, DairyNZ), Wiremu Puke (Ngāti Wairere, independent environmental services professional) and Don Coles (North Waikato Federated Farmers Chairman, Federated Farmers). They will be arguing the moot, ‘New Zealand’s expectations of water quality are too high’. Waikato Regional Council chair Paula Southgate will introduce the debate.

The full programme is at and available in hard copy from Browsers Quality Secondhand Bookshop (sponsors of the 2015 Writers programme), Hamilton Gardens and Hamilton iSites.

Get tickets at, Hamilton iSites and iTicket outlets nationwide.

Latest News The Bookseller

Helen Macdonald's H is for Hawk (Jonathan Cape), winner of last year's Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction, has won the £30,000 Costa Book of the Year Award.
The book's triumph was announced last night (Tuesday 27th January) at a ceremony in central London, at which novelist Robert Harris, chair of the prize judges, also launched an outspoken attack on the BBC for its lack of TV books coverage.
After three weeks of sales declines, the print book market has bounced back, with sales up 3.5% week-on-week and tills ringing in £23.2m across 2.9m book sales.
In the seven days ending 24th January, sales jumped 3.5% with book buyers spending just over £794,000 more last week than they did the previous week (w/e 17th January) and £1.2m more than they did in the same week last year.
Incoming Foyles c.e.o. Paul Currie has told The Bookseller his new role is "oozing with opportunity", with "much more work to be done."   
Currie, a former Hamleys c.o.o. and Molton Brown retail executive, said he is ready to grow the Foyles business to “realise the potential of its brand” and, especially, to continue the work already started by his predecessor in turning Foyles into a truly experiential retailer.
Police have raided Amazon’s headquarters in Tokyo following complaints about the wide availability of child pornography on its website.
In a statement to The Bookseller, Amazon said it is co-operating fully with the police. “We don’t permit illegal items on our site, and we have systems and processes designed to prevent and remove illegal items from being listed,” an Amazon spokesperson said.
Glen Moreno is preparing to step down from his role as chairman of Pearson after a decade, according to Sky News.
Sources told the broadcaster that Pearson's nominations committee had enlisted JCA Group, a City headhunting firm, to oversee the process of recruiting Moreno's successor.
The sequel to late author Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy will go on sale in the UK in August.
The book, which is entitled That Which Does Not Kill in Swedish, was penned by David Lagercrantz and will go on sale in at least 35 countries, said Swedish publisher Norstedts.
A spokesperson for Larsson’s UK publisher Quercus said it will publish the book on the 27th August with a different title. No proofs or early copies will be released.

Clays is to become the sole supplier of monochrome books to Penguin Random House.
The printer, which also revealed that it aims to double the amount of books its produces digitally, has been a long-term supplier to both Penguin Books and Random House, and will take on a contract with Penguin Random House once its current contracts elsewhere have expired.
Vintage Classics is to release a 150th anniversary gift edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, with a cover and introduction by designer Dame Vivienne Westwood.
The special edition of Lewis Carroll’s classic will also include end papers by the fashion designer, as well as Through The Looking Glass and the original Tenniel illustrations.
Westwood's Red Label Autumn-Winter 2011/12 catwalk show was inspired by Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
Caitlin Moran is to go on a second live tour to promote her novel How to Build a Girl (Ebury Press).
Moran’s How to Build a Girl 2: Oh my God! I Thought of Some More Things I Want to Say tour will promote the paperback release of the book.
The tour will visit Glasgow on 13th April, Manchester on 14th April, London on 15th April and Cardiff on 16th April, and tickets go on sale today (28th January).
Radical publisher Zed Books is to publish extracts from Yanis Varoufakis' The Global Minotaur as a free e-book tomorrow (28th January), after the author's appointment as finance minister of Greece.
Varoufakis has been given the post by new prime minister Alexis Tsipras, following the electoral triumph of anti-austerity party Syriza. The finance minister will have the role of negotiating on the country's debt mountain.

The Roundup with PW

Oyster Adds Harry Potter
The e-book subscription service has teamed with J.K. Rowling's Pottermore to make the Harry Potter e-book available to Oyster subscribers. Now Oyster users can access the seven Harry Potter e-books, as well as the Hogwarts Library, the three additional books Rowling wrote about the Harry Potter world. more »

Harlequin, Professional Bull Riders Partner on New Line
Harlequin has joined forces with the Professional Bull Riders to publish four novels within the new Harlequin series line, Harlequin Pro Bull Riders, that feature PBR bull riders on the covers. more »
Diana Gabaldon, Poisoned Pen Launch Writers' Program
The author of the Outlander series has partnered with her local bookstore, 26-year-old Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, Ariz., to create a writer-in-residence program. more »
Four Questions for...Rose Flemming
In 2005 the former editor of the Danish newspaper 'Jyllands-Posten' oversaw the publication of cartoons featuring the prophet Muhammed. We spoke to Flemming about that incident, which led to death threats for the paper's staffers and riots in the Middle East, as well as terrorism, and free speech. more »

iBooks Bestsellers: ‘American Sniper’ Still Leads
The enhanced e-book of Chris Kyle’s 'American Sniper' held firm at the top of Apple’s bestseller list for the week ended January 26. Paula Hawkins’s debut thriller, 'The Girl on the Train,' which has been making waves since its January 13 release, pushed up one spot from last week to #2. 

Kobo Takes Over Blinkbox Books
Tesco, the U.K. retail giant and parent company of e-book retailer Blinkbox Books, has reached an agreement that will keep the digital operation in business. more » »

Mastriano Wins 2015 William E. Colby Award
Biographer Colonel Douglas V. Mastriano has won the $5,000 2015 William E. Colby Award for his book, 'Alvin York: A New Biography of the Hero of the Argonne' (University Press of Kentucky). »

Crowdfunding a 'Charlie Hebdo' Book: English PEN and the Professional Cartoonists' Organization have joined forces to create a new publication entitled 'Draw The Line Here,' a tribute to the 'Charlie Hebdo' victims and a celebration of free speech.

Is Being a Writer a Job or a Calling?: Benjamin Moser and Dana Stevens discuss whether being a writer is just a job or a loftier ambition, at the 'New York Times.'

'Wild' Takes New Path: Reese Witherspoon has a virtual reality demonstration, in character as Cheryl Strayed, that's drawing big crowds at the Sundance Film Festival.

Macdonald Wins 2014 Costa Book Award: 'H is for Hawk,' which explores grief, love, and nature won its author Helen Macdonald the literary prize.

Taunton President Steps Down: Taunton Press President Tim Rahr announced to the company last week that he's leaving the company and that longtime industry executive Dan McCarthy is taking over as interim CEO.

10 Short Stories to Help You Survive a Blizzard

10 Short Stories to Help You Survive a Blizzard

By on

No matter where you are — New York City, a desert island, China — a blizzard may attack at any moment. So let’s say that your basic needs are met: you have shelter, heat, food, water, etc. What else do you need to help you beat the blizz? Just one thing: gratefulness. From death in the snow to murder-suicide, from heartbreaking revelations to frozen children, these blizzard tales will make you exceedingly thankful that you’re trapped in the comfort of your own home. … Read More

Snowpocalypse No(w): Post-Blizzard Update

Shelf Awareness

Depending upon where your bookshop is located in the Northeast, yesterday's Snowpocalypse was either a hit or a miss. Here's a sampling from some of the booksellers who checked in on social media before, during and after the "weather event":

RiverRun Bookstore, Portsmouth, N.H.: "This. And snacks. Ready for the blizzard!!"

Eight Cousins Books, Falmouth, Mass.: "Yup. It's snowing."

Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, Vineyard Haven, Mass., shared wintry visuals while announcing: "Due to the bans on travel and parking, Bunch of Grapes will be CLOSED tomorrow. Stay safe and warm!"

Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, New York City: "Benefits of coming to HWBC today: get a free coffee/tea with purchase of a book, enjoy some great pop tunes, also it's not your apartment." 

Market Block Books, Troy, N.Y.: "Don't go downtown right now... it's 4 p.m. and we're not there. See you tomorrow. xox."

St. Mark's Bookshop, New York City: "The upside of the 'blizzard that wasn't' is we're open for business! Normal hours, open tonight to 11 p.m. Come find yourself a snow-day read."

The weather put some booksellers in a poetic mood:

Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, Vt.: "The Manchester store has closed for the day because of the weather. We leave you with a haiku from one of our ex-employees. Emilia Burditt":

A Haiku of Regret
We are closed today
The weather has made it so
Please come again, friend

Diane's Books of Greenwich, Conn., was closed yesterday, but shared Mary Oliver's poem "First Snow."

Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, Mass.: "Today we woke up to a revolution of snow, its white flag waving over everything... 'Snow Day' by Billy Collins:

Even bookseller friends outside the region sent messages of support:

Tattered Cover, Denver, Colo.: "Stay safe, lovely readers of New England & New York!"

BBC Book Coverage Is 'An Absolute Disgrace', Says Robert Harris

Book2BookTuesday 27 Jan 2015 

The BBC's lack of books coverage is "an absolute disgrace", according to Robert Harris, the best-selling author and chairman of the Costa Book Awards judging panel.
Announcing Helen Macdonald's memoir, H is for Hawk, as the £30,000 Costa Book of the Year, Harris used his speech to criticise the corporation.


Sequel to Stieg Larsson's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy set for 35 countries

Publishers say That Which Does Not Kill, completed by David Lagercrantz after his fellow Swede’s death, could rival global impact of Da Vinci Code

noomi rapace lisbeth salander girl with the dragon tattoo
Stieg Larsson’s heroine Lisbeth Salander, as played by Noomi Rapace in the film version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Photograph: Knut Koivisto
A sequel to late Swedish author Stieg Larsson’s bestselling Millennium crime trilogy will go on sale in at least 35 countries from August, the book’s publishers said on Tuesday.
That Which Does Not Kill was completed in November by David Lagercrantz, known for co-authoring Swedish football star Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s autobiography. He stands in for Larsson, who died of a heart attack in 2004 aged 50.
The book will continue the story of the troubled but resourceful heroine Lisbeth Salander first made famous in Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

But the author remained tight-lipped about the meaning of the title or what direction the action-packed political thriller – 500 pages long in Swedish – will take.
“What I wanted to make use of in the book was the vast mythology that Stieg Larsson left behind, the world he created,” Lagercrantz told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper, adding that he remained loyal to Larsson’s writing style which weaved criticism of social and political issues with criminal intrigue.
“Lisbeth Salander’s not just any superhero. She’s not only great because of her talents but also because of her context and background.”

At the time of his death Stieg Larsson reportedly had plans to write at least another seven novels.
His publishers Nordstedts compared the planned release on 27 August of the book in many of the 35 countries which have signed a publishing deal to the global splash made by Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code in 2003.
Nordstedts said the first three books in the Lisbeth Salander series have sold in the region of 80m copies worldwide since the first book, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, went on sale in 2005.

UK's Whitefox Serves Publishing By Curating Freelancers

UK Publishing:

Publishers have a growing need for trusted outsourcing and greater access to curated networks of the talented people, says John Bond of Whitefox.
Ebook Statistics:

Marcello Vena's recent survey of the Italian book market estimates Italian ebook sales nearing €60 million and potential growth of 30-40% in 2015.

When it comes to titling fiction why is there such a preference for the word "girl" over "woman"?
Save the Date:

Join us on March 26 in New York City for this event, where Publishing Technology will present research on how Millennials discover and consume content.

Special pricing available through January 31st. Register today!

Knopf Has US Version of Authorized Stieg Larsson Millennium Sequel

Publishers Lunch

David Lagercrantz's authorized sequel to the late Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy has been due for publication in August 2015 since it was first announced in late 2013 -- and this week the originating publisher Norstedts in Sweden confirmed simultaneous release of the book, WHAT DOESN'T KILL US, in at least 35 countries this summer.

What had been unclear was whether Knopf would continue as publisher of the series in North America, since they were under license from MacLehose Press in the UK -- a unit of Quercus, which was sold to Hachette UK shortly after the new book was announced.

But Knopf confirms to PL they will continue as the publisher with the new book, publishing the 500-page volume on August 27 along with the release in other countries. Their edition will carry a different title -- as was the case with the first and third Larsson books -- and for now, they only promise that "it's going to have at least one four-letter word." (Since there is not a final title, there is also not a jacket, though Peter Mendelsund will design Knopf's cover again.)

Sonny Mehta says, "We are thrilled to be publishing a new GIRL book, and to have such an accomplished writer helming the project. David Lagercrantz's familiarity and understanding of Stieg's work as a journalist, coupled with his appreciation for Stieg's work as a novelist, make him the perfect candidate to continue writing the Millennium series. I know millions of American readers will welcome the chance to reacquaint themselves with Lisbeth and Mikael, two of the most iconic protagonists in contemporary fiction, when they return later this year." While the new book features the primary recurring characters, it also "introduces some new characters, including several high profile Americans (one a security manager from the NSA) and a Swedish professor of computer science from Silicon Valley."

Speaking for the Stieg Larsson estate, Joakim and Erland Larsson (Stieg's brother and father) commented: "By letting David Lagercrantz write his own Millennium novel we keep the characters and the universe Stieg Larsson created alive. This new work hews closely to the first three Millennium novels and is faithful to those characters; it is wholly new and contemporary – the perfect way for readers to resume their acquaintance with Lisbeth and Mikael." There is no update, however, on additional books in the series. Larsson left behind an uncompleted manuscript for a fifth volume, and he conceived of the line as a 10-book series. The Larssons
and Stieg's partner Eva Gabrielsson have consistently said they would not publish that surviving manuscript. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Helen Macdonald wins 2014 Costa book award for ‘haunting’ H is for Hawk

‘Scalpel-like prose’ of book exploring grief, love and nature hailed by Costa book award panel members in £30,000 win 

British author Helen Macdonald

H is for Hawk tells of how Macdonald was so overcome by grief following the death of her father, that she decided to train the most untrainable of raptors, the goshawk. Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images
A book which explores grief, love and nature – as well as just how you train a goshawk you’ve bought for £800 – won its author Helen Macdonald a second leading literary prize.
H is for Hawk was named the £30,000 winner of the 2014 Costa book prize, adding to the Samuel Johnson prize for non-fiction that it won in November.
The writer Robert Harris, who chaired this year’s judges, said it was a book that haunted several members of the panel and was one they would never forget.
“Everybody agreed it was wonderful, muscular, precise, scalpel-like prose. It was a very clever and accomplished piece of writing that wove everything together.
“There are some books that win prizes because they demand it and then the public don’t quite get it. This is a book I think which everyone will like.”
Macdonald’s book has been hailed a triumph by almost every critic who has written about it.
Helen Macdonald (left) poses with other Costa book award nominees, Ali Smith, Emma Healey, Jonathan Edwards and Kate Saunders.
Helen Macdonald (left) poses with other Costa book award nominees, Ali Smith, Emma Healey, Jonathan Edwards and Kate Saunders. Photograph: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images
It tells of how the Cambridge historian, illustrator and naturalist was so overcome by grief after the death of her father that she went almost mad and decided to train the most untameable of raptors, the goshawk.
Weaved into the book is a biography of TH White, who also tried to train a goshawk more than 60 years before her.
Harris said it was at the back of judges’ minds that it had already won a big literary prize but “it’s very hard to say: ‘OK, this has had its place in the sun’”.
The Costa is different to other prizes in that it pits individual category winners against each other. So the best novel goes up against the best biography, best poetry, best debut and best children’s book.


New Zealand is set to take centre-stage in Taipei as the designated Guest of Honour at the Taipei International Book Exhibition, February 11-16. The honour will see 22 New Zealand authors, including Eleanor Catton, Witi Ihimaera and Joy Cowley, travel to Taipei for the event.

As part of New Zealand’s presence in Taipei, White Fungus has been commissioned to produce a New Zealand issue of our new sister bilingual (Chinese and English) publication the Subconscious Restaurant.

The new publication will be released with a big sound art event at Huashan Creative Park on February 14 (Valentine’s Day). Three New Zealand artists – Campbell Kneale, Greg Malcolm and Jeff Henderson – will perform alongside Taiwan artists Wang Fujui, Noise Steve and Sonic Deadhorse. For more info about the event and publication visit here.

This project is kindly supported by the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office Taipei.

Festival fave Demolition of the Century returns home to Circa - stage adaptation of Sarkies’ novel

Performed by Duncan Sarkies and Joe Blossom
Produced by Show Pony
Circa Theatre, Jan 31 – Feb 21 2015
1 Taranaki St, Wellington
$35 Full / $28 Conc / $20 Under 25s & Industry / $12 children. Family pass (2 adults, 2 children) $80
Bookings: 04 801 7992,

Fresh from performances in the New Zealand Festival, Auckland Writers Festival, Tauranga Arts Festival and Nelson Arts Festival, Demolition of the Century sees author/performer Duncan Sarkies (Two Little Boys/Scarfies/Flight of the Conchords) stage a humorous and sometimes heartbreaking look at families, memories and the fragility of the human mind. Sarkies is accompanied by acclaimed musician Joe Blossom (aka Sean O’Brien), performing a soundtrack that is both haunting and invigorating.

Meet Tom Spotswood, an insurance investigator who has lost his socks, his suitcase, his career, his ex-wife and, most importantly, his son, Frank. He is being followed by Robert Valentine, the mysterious owner of the horse with no sperm; Alastair Shook and his van of guards; and Spud, a demolition man who is using his wrecking ball to bring down the most beautiful movie theatre in town, The Century. To find his son, Tom will have to come to terms with his past – a past he ran away from. But first, he will have to find those socks.

“It’s so good to be able to bring the show home to Wellington for an extended season,” says Sarkies. “The reception we’ve had around New Zealand has been fantastic and we’re now also seeing interest for the show abroad too, which is very exciting.”

Demolition of the Century is an atmospheric stage adaptation of Sarkies’ own novel, which was written while often listening to Joe Blossom music. The performance is an exciting hybrid of theatre, musical performance and spoken word. Inhabiting the characters he created, raconteur Sarkies brings an animated and expressive voice to his writing style, showing its subtle and understated humour. Critically acclaimed composer O’Brien has produced two solo albums under the pseudonym Joe Blossom and collaborated in numerous bands. His work has been featured in NZ films Shopping and How To Meet Girls From a Distance.
“The very successful and hugely entertaining transition of Demolition from book to stage is achieved through a series of brilliant vignettes, delivered in an inspired cabaret-style reading by the multi-talented Sarkies, and outstanding musician Joe Blossom (aka Sean O’Brien)… Demolition is a fast-paced, darkly captivating cabaret-comedy, which leaves us fully entertained and tantalizingly close to solving a puzzle.”
                                                                                                                                                     –Bay of Plenty Times

“[The show is] a highly entertaining hour of animated readings and music.”
                                                                                                                                                     –Dominion Post