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.
The co-ordinator of Independent Bookshop
Week has said this year's IBW is what the Booksellers Association has
"always envisioned", with the event taking on a "creative
life of its own." Meanwhile booksellers said their events had been
"well attended" this year and that IBW 2015 was "the biggest
Meryl Halls, head of membership services for the BA, responsible for
coordinating the week, said the 10th year of the event, which encourages
the public to shop at independent booksellers through events and media
coverage, had been a been a "wonderful spectacle".
More than 40% of boys receiving free school meals lag behind
their peers in terms of language skills by the age of five, according to a
new report from the Read On. Get On. coalition. The Ready to Read report shows that 40% of
"poor" boys (those who receive free school meals) are lacking
crucial language skills such as understanding spoken instructions, asking
"why" questions and grasping complicated words and phrases. Boys
are faring worse than girls, with 27% of poor girls lagging behind their
E L James’ own company Fifty Shades Ltd had a “very
successful” year to the end of September 2014, with a turnover of
£18.1m and profits of £9.8m. However, this was down significantly on the previous
year, when the company generated £43m with a profit of
Octopus has launched four adult colouring-in and dot-to-dot
apps which can be completed on screen using a finger. The Colouring for Mindfulness series, the first digital range
of colouring-in titles, has been developed in collaboration with
developers Papertrell. The apps can be downloaded free from the App Store
(iOS-only), and each offers one drawing for free and others available as
in-app purchases (£1.49 for each collection, or multiple buys
Hachette Children’s Group (HCG) has appointed Katie Price,
former global director of publishing at HIT Entertainment and Mattel, as
licensing director. Price will take up the role at the end of August and will
report directly to c.e.o. Hilary Murray Hill.
Emily Robertson has been appointed as editor for non-fiction
at Viking. Robertson, who was previously at Hodder, will be acquiring
across narrative and illustrated non-fiction at the Penguin General
imprint. She will report to Viking publisher Joel Rickett. Viking said Robertson would help continue the imprint’s
“growth in areas like sport, memoir, culture and personal development”.
Morag O'Brien is joining the Sophie Hicks Agency as foreign
rights director. O’Brien, former foreign rights director at Ed Victor Ltd, will
take on the role on the 1st September. Hicks set up her eponymous agency in 2014
after also leaving Ed Victor. Her authors include Eoin Colfer and Emerald
Fennell. She said: “I have long regarded Morag O'Brien as one of the
very best foreign rights directors in the business and I am thrilled that
she has chosen to join my agency."
The International Baccalaureate (IB) has appointed Robert
Bolick to lead its publishing strategy. The IB, based in the Hague, is a non-profit foundation which
offers educational programmes to schools. Bolick, whose career has included roles in academic, professional,
STM and standards publishing and who has worked for companies including
McGraw-Hill Education, has been appointed as IB’s head of digital
publishing and language services.
Penguin Random House Children’s is this year publishing a
range of new titles in the ‘The Diaries of Dennis the Menace’ series, as
sales reach more than a quarter of a million copies, according to licence
holder DC Thomson. In July, PRH will release The Diaries of Dennis the Menace: Canine Carnage, the
fifth book in the series, written by author Steven Butler, before
the Menace and Gnasher: The Golden Catapult activity book
in the autumn.
City University London has won the annual Oxford University
Press and BPP University Law School national mooting competition 2014-15. The competition is for undergraduate law students and law
conversion students, and the fictitious moot problem for the final was a
criminal division appeal.