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.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Latest from The Bookseller including 'Record breaking' sales for Grey on first day & Short story writers lament profile problem
Cornerstone has claimed that the first day sales of ‘Grey’
have been “record-breaking” for an adult paperback in the industry. The latest edition of E L James’ bestselling series – Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told
by Christian went on sale around the world last
Thursday 18th June, just 18 days after the publisher first announced
Penguin Random House has said it is “categorically and
absolutely untrue” that it reported a copy of E L James' novel Grey stolen
as part of a “publicity stunt.” Following a statement from Kent Police that there was “no
evidence… to suggest an offence has been committed”, several articles have
appeared in the national press, implying that Penguin Random House
reported the book had been stolen as part of a publicity stunt to generate
hype for the release on 18th June.
Short stories are gaining ground in the
UK, but authors working within the format are finding it more difficult to
break into the public consciousness than novelists, writers have told The
Awards that cover all forms of fiction such as The Folio Prize, won in 2014
by George Saunders’ short-story collection Tenth of December (Bloomsbury),
have helped the form to gain exposure, but it is still difficult to
flourish as a short story writer, according to author Kirsty Logan
(pictured), who is appearing at this week’s London Short Story Festival.
Pan Macmillan has paid tribute to the American writer James
Salter, who died on Friday (19th June) at the age of 90. Salter's last book, All
That Is, was published to acclaim by Picador last
year. Baggaley described publishing the book "one of the greatest
privileges I've had at Picador."
Two novels from Pushkin Press have made it onto the
Waterstones Summer Book Club collection. The chain retailer has revealed the 10 titles it will champion
by recommending to customers over the summer, with Pushkin Press’ One Night
Markovitch by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen and The Brethren by Robert Merle among
Authors and book reviewers have hit out
at national newspapers for shrinking the amount of editorial space given
over to children’s books, despite huge growth in the market.
In the UK, the children’s sector (including teen and YA titles) is the
fastest-growing area of the market: sales grew 9.1% last year, against an
overall book market decline of 1.3%, according to Nielsen BookScan. The
first part of 2015 has levelled off but is still in growth—up 3.1% to
£89.5m to the period ending 18th April.
The Temporary Bride by Jennifer Klinec (Virago) has been voted
reading groups’ favourite read by a debut author following a poll to
celebrate National Reading Group Day. The Reading Agency and The Booksellers Association revealed on
Saturday (20th June), National Reading Group Day, that Klinec had topped a
UK-wide online poll as the debut reading groups' most wanted to read and
champion this year.
Simon Armitage has been appointed professor of poetry at
Oxford University, after winning 1,221 of the 3,340 votes cast. Armitage, who will hold the position for four years, beat off
competition from Nigerian playwright Wole Soyinka (who came second with 920
votes), A E Stallings, Ian Gregson and Sean Haldane. He replaces Geoffrey
Virago is publishing a collection of
essays from women under 30 explaining why they see themselves as feminists,
I Call Myself a Feminist
(November, £13.99). The book is edited by five women: ex-Virago editor
and literary scout Victoria Pepe; editor and author Rachel Holmes; Amy
Annette, comedy producer and daughter of Virago publisher Lennie Goodings;
Women’s Aid media officer Alice Stride; and artist Martha Mosse, daughter
of novelist Kate Mosse.
Tony Brook and Patricia Finegan founded
Spin in 1992 as a design studio working across physical and digital. Spin’s
projects encompass typography, identities, art direction and moving images,
among other disciplines.