Saturday, March 28, 2015

Latest News from The Bookseller

Kate Mosse is to leave Orion, which published her bestselling Languedoc trilogy, to join Pan Macmillan’s Mantle imprint.
The author, who is also co-founder of the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, will write a new trilogy for Mantle, the first volume of which will be released in spring 2018.
Publisher Maria Rejt, who has known Mosse for 30 years, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to the three books from Mark Lucas at LAW.
Children’s titles make up the rump of books nominated for The Bookseller’s inaugural Book of the Year, to be presented at The Bookseller Industry Awards at the Park Lane Hilton on 11th May.
The first of its kind, the award recognises the publishing as well as the books, with both author and publisher as recipients. 
Faber has confirmed that eight jobs will be lost from the company following a restructure.
The Bookseller reported earlier in the week that the publisher was in consultation with staff over a number of roles.
Chief executive Stephen Page said the net loss of eight roles was a result of a "particularly challenging" market in the UK for some parts of the company's publishing.
Rob Biddulph was today (26th March) announced as the overall winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, as well as the best illustrated book category.
Biddulph, who is also the art director of the Observer magazine, won the prize for Blown Away (HarperCollins Children’s Books), about a penguin’s perilous trip from the Antarctic to the jungle and back.
Blown Away is only the second picture book to win the overall Waterstones children’s prize in its 10 year-history.
Self-published title Strangers Have the Best Candy has won the Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year.
In the closest vote since the prize was opened to public voting in 2000, Margaret Meps Schulte's travelogue won with 26.1% of the vote, just ahead of Diana Rajchel's Divorcing a Real Witch: For Pagans and the People who Used to Love Them with 25.1% of the vote.
V&A Publishing has made five people redundant as part of a drive to have a “greater focus on digital output”.
Among the people who have left are Mark Eastment, publishing director, two editors, a production controller and a rights manager, but the museum said “all those functions will be retained in the new structure”.
The five staff members were part of V&A Publishing, which sits within the Victoria and Albert Museum’s commercial and digital development department, which operates under the trading name of V&A Enterprises Ltd.
Former Costa and Booker winners from Vintage have made it onto the Independent Booksellers Week (IBW) Awards shortlist for 2015. 
H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald (Vintage) and The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan (Vintage) have been picked as two of the shortlisted books on the adult category of the IBW book award.
Lawyer Laurel Remington has won this year’s Times Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition for unpublished writers.
Remington took the prize, winning a royalty advance of £10,000 and a contract with Chicken House, for her book The Secret Cooking Club for Girls.
The story is aimed at readers aged 8-12 and is about a girl who discovers an escape from the embarrassing revelations of her 'blogger-mum' through baking.
Scholastic Inc said revenues increased 2% in the third quarter to $382.1m (£257.6m), although overall sales were offset by “reduced local currency revenues” in the UK and Canada.
For the period ending 28th February, operating income rose 2.6% to $35.2m (£23.7m) and operating costs were up, growing 2.3% to $417.3m (£281.4m).
“We continued our positive trajectory of profitable year-over-year sales growth in the third quarter, which is typically a lower revenue quarter for the company,” said chairman, president and c.e.o. Richard Robinson.
Amazon is investigating beginning trials of its drone delivery service in the UK, it has been reported.
Sam Taylor-Johnson will not return to direct the sequels to the "Fifty Shades of Grey" film.
Taylor-Johnson reportedly clashed with Fifty Shades of Grey author E L James on set a number of times during filming of the first book, after James was given “creative controls…that were unprecedented for a first-time author”, reported Deadline.
John Murray has acquired a biography of renowned criminal barrister Jeremy Hutchinson, written by barrister and author Thomas Grant QC.
Hutchinson, who is turning 100 this year, was instrumental in many high-profile cases such as the trials of Lady Chatterley's Lover and Fanny Hill to the sex and spying scandals which contributed to Harold Macmillan's resignation in 1963. He also defended figures including double agent George Blake, Christine Keeler, Great Train robber Charlie Wilson and drug dealer Howard Marks.

The Roundup with PW

Book on Einstein's Theory a Surprise Hit: In Italy, 'Seven Brief Lessons in Physics,' by physicist Carlo Rovelli, took many by surprise recently when it became the highest selling book for two straight months.

Amazon's Noncompetes: The Verge has obtained Amazon's "strict and far-reaching noncompete agreements."

Boycotting 'Game of Thrones': Salon's Laura Miller on why she's quitting the HBO series next year, and it's not because of the book spoilers.

Publishing House Closes, Donates Books: Little Bahalia Publishing owner Stacey Williams-Ng donated thousands of books to children after making the hard decision to close her company.

Rob Biddulph Wins Waterstones Prize: 'Blown Away,' a tale of a misplaced penguin, took home the 2015 Waterstones children’s book prize.

Millennials Prefer Print Books and Bookstores, Survey Finds

Shelf Awareness

A Publishing Technology survey of 1000 millennials in the U.S. found that 79% of consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 read a print book in the last year, while 46% had read an e-book on a tablet and only 31% had read an e-book on a dedicated e-reader. Millennials also reported reading e-books on phones (36%) and computers (37%).Millennials prefer to acquire print books from physical bookstores: 52% of respondents said they preferred to buy from chain bookstores, while 45% said they preferred used bookstores, and 53% said they preferred to check out books from libraries. 
Only 40% of respondents, meanwhile, said they preferred online retailers. And when it came to purchasing e-books, 57% preferred to use an app. 42% would rather buy directly on their devices, and 22% wanted to use subscription services.

Word-of-mouth recommendations are still important, even for millennials: 45% of respondents said they learn about new books offline. By comparison, 34% and 32% said that they heard about new books mostly on social media and website browsing, respectively. Only 25% said that they discovered new books while browsing libraries and bookstores. 54% of millennials also recommend books and discuss books offline, and only 20% and 18% discuss books on social media and in online communities, respectively.

Full survey results can be found here from Publishing Technology.

Revealed: new Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone cover

The cover for the first fully illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone has been revealed. What do you think?

The first fully illustrated edition of JK Rowling’s original Harry Potter novel will be in bookshops on 6 October 2015. The publishers have shared the front cover of the new book - what do you think?
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone illustrated edition by JK Rowling, illustrated by Jim Kay.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone illustrated edition by JK Rowling, illustrated by Jim Kay.
All the artwork, not just the cover, for the Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Illustrated Edition has been created by Jim Kay, who won the Kate Greenaway medal in 2012 for his illustrations in A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (read about how Patrick and Jim created that book and look at a gallery of Jim’s illustrations). The front cover image shows Harry Potter beside the Hogwarts Express.

Back in December 2013 Jim Kay told us how he would tackle the illustrations and described the feeling of “an implosion of brain-freezing terror” he had when he was chosen as the new Harry Potter artist. 

'Amazon's Dominance Is Causing Problems'

Shelf Awareness

"I do have a concern that Amazon's dominance is causing problems. We estimate Kindle has a 95% market share of e-book sales in the U.K. and this is having a damaging effect.... Consider the struggles of Barnes & Noble and the Nook platform, the problems of the established Txtr in Germany, and the decision here of Tesco to pull out of Blinkbox Books.... I think publishing can come in for quite a bit of stick but we've done a lot to embrace technology."

--Tim Walker, president of the Booksellers Association, speaking on a panel about publishing and technology during the Nielsen BookInsights conference Wednesday

The Chocolate Promise by Josephine Moon

The Chocolate Promise
Josephine Moon
Allen & Unwin - $36.99

From the bestselling author of The Tea Chest comes an enticing and beautiful story featuring a real-life fairy godmother who must learn to find her own magic.

Christmas Livingstone has formulated ten top rules for happiness by which she tries very hard to live. Nurturing the senses every day, doing what you love and sharing joy with others are some of the rules, but the most important rule is number one absolutely no romantic relationships!
Christmas’ life is peaceful and comforting. Creating her enchantingly seductive shop, The Chocolate Apothecary, and exploring the uses of chocolate makes her happy, her friends surround her, and her secret life brings and shares the joy. She doesn’t need a handsome botanist ace who knows everything about cacao to walk into her life. One who has the nicest if the most interfering grandmother (who is also Book Club Captain at Green Hills Aged Care Facility), a gorgeous rescue dog, and who needs her help to write a book. She really doesn’t need any of that at all. Or does she?
The Chocolate Promise is a glorious novel featuring a strong, creative woman who is about to find out how far a list of rules will take her in life. Including an enticing tangle of freshly picked herbs, pots of flowers and delicious chocolate scenting the background, Josephine Moon’s follow-up to The Tea Chest is simply irresistible.

Josephine Moon writes about creative women making their mark on the world. She describes her stories as ‘books like brownies’: indulgent, comforting, a treat for the senses, but filling, and with chunky nuts to chew on. Her first novel, The Tea Chest became an international success when it was published in 2014. Josephine lives with her husband, their son and their extraordinary large and diverse animal family on an acreage on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.  

Taylor Swift’s grammar marked down incorrectly

The Princeton Review has sniffed at the (misheard) lyrics of the pop star’s song Fifteen. But its ‘correction’ is more than five centuries out of date

Taylor Swift.
Number one in the grammar charts ... Taylor Swift. Photograph: Lucas Jackson/Reuters
One of the reliable pleasures of observing modern arguments over language is the schadenfreude of seeing the self-appointed prescriptive grammarians get things embarrassingly wrong. So it has turned out again, with the culprit this time being the Princeton Review (which helps US students prepare for college admission tests), and the people’s champion being none other than pop empress Taylor Swift.

In a Princeton test paper, a section headed “Grammar in Real Life” told students: “Pop lyrics are a great source of bad grammar. See if you can find the error in each of the following.” Taylor Swift’s song Fifteen was then cited as containing the line “Somebody tells you they love you, you got to believe ’em.” A fan posted her sad reaction online: “I was just having an amazing time studying for the SAT and now I feel attacked.” Then Swift herself responded on Tumblr: “Not the right lyrics at all pssshhhh. You had one job, test people. One job.”

The Road to Lilyfields

Looking at the recent success of Danielle Hawkins and Holly Ford (#5 and #10 in Nielsen Bookscan Overall Bestsellers' Chart for 2014)
it seems we really do like to read New Zealand contemporary fiction and if there is a rural theme then we are even happier.
This trend has also been growing in Australia with The Australian recently reporting:

‘…in an increasingly globalised culture, what is fuelling the popularity of these distinctively antipodean stories?
…the genre’s strong sales reflect an appetite for more and more stories set on the land, whether it’s a story of a city girl going out
and finding a new life, or rural characters living their lives…there’s something incredibly relatable for those Australians who live
out in the country, and there’s something quite aspirational or escapist for city dwellers who love the fantasy of going out and
getting closer to nature and living on the land. There’s a romance to that idea, quite apart from the love stories within the books

This wonderful new novel ticks all the boxes, it is well written, a great story, set in New Zealand and has characters that you will fall in love with from the first page – and a couple you may not like quite so much – but it will engage you and hold your attention
until the final page unfolds – and that’s all we ask of a good book.

Take the road to Lilyfields –  you won’t regret it.

Bantam - $30.00

Picture Book Wins 2015 Waterstones Children's Book Prize

Book2Book Friday 27 Mar 2015

Blown Away, a picture book by Rob Biddulph, has won the 2015 Waterstones Children's Book Prize, it has been announced. Biddulph, the art director at the Observer magazine, will be taking home £5,000 prize money for his debut.



Press Release

Book of the Year shortlist


www­ - Ten titles have been nominated for The Bookseller’s inaugural Book of the Year, which recognises the publishing as well as the books, to be presented at The Bookseller Industry Awards at the Park L...

Translating conflict into art

A month-long creative event that focuses on translating conflict into art, not war, will begin at Victoria University of Wellington’s Kelburn campus on 30 March.

Entrenchments 2015 is one of a number of initiatives the University is taking to contribute to the centenary of World War I. Billed as a creative conversation, the event features the Canadian illustrator Julian Peters and the Wellington-based illustrator and writer, Sarah Laing. It is an initiative of the University’s Wai-te-ata Press and the New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation, in partnership with the Canadian High Commission.

Wai-te-ata Press Printer and Reader in Book History, Dr Sydney Shep, says the two illustrators will respond to World War I diaries, letters and poetry, as well as to contemporary works by Poet Laureate Vincent O’Sullivan, and authors Witi Ihimaera and Patricia Grace.

Entrenchments 2015 aims to promote cultural understanding and global peace,” says Dr Shep. “Prejudice, antagonism, territorial disputes and war often result from a profound lack of understanding and respect for differences in language, traditions, religion, faith and politics.”

A variety of activities will be held during the month. One will be Daily Despatches–visual interpretations of the daily tweets @LTCOLMalone of the late Lt. Col. William G Malone, Commanding Officer of the Wellington Battalion at Gallipoli. These interpretations will be publicly sketched on large glass panels. Images of the sketches will be tweeted using the hashtag #joinjulian.

Another activity will be workshops for students to translate the famous World War I poem by Canadian John McCrae, In Flanders Fields.

A paper roll pre-printed with this poem in English and Māori–billed as the world’s longest zine and called Zines of Peace–will be displayed at various locations on campus for students to record their responses.

The month will culminate on 28 April with an exhibition and launch of the creations, with illustrators and authors in attendance.

For more information contact Chris Wilson on 04-463 9498, 021 0525 300 or

Torture and Surveillance of the Gods: A Brilliant New Translation of ‘Prometheus Bound’

“Few Gods or monsters in the teeming world of Greek mythology have ignited the Western imagination like Prometheus,” Joel Agee writes in the introduction to his new translation of Prometheus Bound. It’s true. For Nietzsche, Agee points out, the Titan who brought fire from the gods to humans was the model artist. 
For the Shelleys, Prometheus was either a revolutionary figure (Prometheus Unbound) or a symbol of scientific hubris (Frankenstein). Even Beethoven weirdly positioned Napoleon as a Promethean figure, evidently forgetting that the titan raged against the tyranny of Zeus. … Read More

Friday, March 27, 2015

Living in Paradox – a history of urban design across kainga, towns and cities in New Zealand by Garth Falconer

 How can we develop better urban environments for New Zealanders? Is it a straightforward matter of better planning and applying more resources? Do we have to settle for second best? What of the lessons learnt from those who have come before us?

This most handsome and superbly produced landmark book examines the contradictions that form the design of New Zealand’s urban landscape. It analyses many of the various trials and pitfalls of the past, and paints an exciting picture of the way things could be in New Zealand’s towns and cities.

Over 500 pages long and eight years in the making, Living in Paradox is an engaging and accessible book written by leading urban design practitioner Garth Falconer, who is known for public and private developments spanning the country, including Auckland Plan (the city’s blueprint), the newly completed centre of Hamilton and the new, rural destination of Matakana.

Falconer says he wrote the book out of dire need for substance and design to inform the huge and unprecedented investment going into our urban areas.

“There are alternatives to accepting soaring house prices, congested traffic, a bland and illegible urban landscape, growing gaps between different peoples, and complicated urban planning regulations,” says Falconer.

He suggests that there is assistance in dealing with urban issues by developing a better understanding of natural systems and processes, employing a tradition of informed and aspirational thinking, working actively to incorporate an inclusive culture, making a project of focused identity building, together with broad collaboration across all sectors and a commitment to creative resourceful action.

On Christchurch: “there are real concerns on how long the rebuild is taking and the non inclusive process. Design needs to be the driving factor in the rebuild, not short term concerns over expenditure.”

On sustainability: “Green and clean urban New Zealand is largely a marketing ploy not a reality – it currently works for our second biggest income producer (tourism) but we shy away from taking action in urban environments – where present comfort overrides long term responsibility.”

On our relationship with the land: “Though New Zealand has one of the world’s most complex and dynamic physical environments, we continue to use clumsy and expensive ways of retaining our foothold.
Our appreciation of natural scenery - which is the basis of our cherished tourism industry - has diverted our attention away from better understanding the country’s inherent dynamics and to design for their changes.”

On Auckland: “In the future the urban phenomena known as Auckland will extend from Whangarei to Hamilton and it will help to have good road and rail links.
“There is no silver bullet to solve all of Auckland’s issues. The answers lie in providing more options, more flexibility and more room for the future decisions. Solely limiting land supply and trying to shoehorn people into apartments is poor design.”

Living in Paradox explores the dynamic and intriguing story of this young, vigorous and intriguingly complex country. It is an optimistic, far-reaching book which documents the rich history of earlier visions, analyses many of the various trials and pitfalls of the past, and paints an engaging picture of the way things could be in New Zealand’s towns and cities. As New Zealanders’ are a highly urbanised population this book provides a very relevant and much needed discussion.
About the author:
Garth Falconer is a practising landscape architect and urban designer based in Auckland. Born in the small town of Gore at the bottom of the South Island, he joined the drift north at age ten, moving to Hamilton. Rather than choosing regular career-orientated tertiary studies, he first gained a BA in geography and sociology at Auckland University before by chance happening upon landscape architecture.

Completing post-graduate landscape architecture at Lincoln outside Christchurch and faced with few job prospects, he worked in San Francisco for Peter Walker and Martha Schwartz, then in 1988 formed Isthmus Group along with three other graduates in a converted garage in Auckland. It grew to be a leading practice nationwide. In 2003 Garth took a sabbatical, completing a Masters in Urban Design at Oxford Brookes University in the UK.

Looking for more challenges, Garth left Isthmus in 2008 to form a smaller practice, Reset Urban Design, based in central Auckland, which is involved in a widening range of stimulating projects and initiatives around the country. Garth is known for his design leadership of collaborative multi- disciplinary teams creating strong public-realm projects from large scale to the delivery of detailed built projects.

Be sure to read Chris Barton's thoughtful review of this new title in the April issue of METRO magazine. There are seven pages of book reviews in this issue.

Living in Paradox by Garth Falconer  |  Mary Egan Publishing  | published 18 March 2015  |  512 pages, flexi-bound  |  rrp.$75

Bookshops and Community, by Matt Bialostocki

from BooksellersNZ

I have recently returned from the USA. I was there to attend a six-day booksellers conference (Wi10) gathering 550 independent booksellers, 90 writers and 50 publishers in Asheville, North Carolina. One of the first events of this conference was an Asheville indie retail crawl.

Why? Because the organisers understood that an indie bookshop, no matter how strong, clever, open, kind or well-read they are, can’t make a community by themselves. I thought a lot about community while at this conference, and what follows are a few observations about the place of bookshops in the community.

Read on for Matt's thoughts on the purpose of a bookshop within community, sticking to priorities, getting great staff, dealing with controversy, and more.  

Australia & New Zealand Festival of Literature & Arts

Australia & New Zealand Festival 2015


The best way to enjoy the Festival

Are you planning on coming to the Festival for a day or whole the weekend? If so, consider buying a day or weekend pass. It'll give you access to all our performances, screenings, discussions and reading events from just £35 per day, or £60 for the weekend. All passes and tickets for individual events are available from our telephone box office on 020 7692 8780.

We have a range of great benefits for Festival Members, Guardians, Patrons and Benefactors including priority booking, VIP seating, discounts on tickets and passes and event-naming privileges. Find out more here or email

Take a look at some more events freshly added to our line up. War horses, literary lights, dazzling poetry and alternative worlds: the full programme is yours to explore

The Waler:
Australia's Great War Horse

Using archival footage, re-enactment and contemporary interviews we join an epic journey from the Outback across the Indian Ocean, to the pyramids, Damascus and Gallipoli.

Through Michael Shanahan and his steed ‘Bill the Bastard’ and Guy Haydon on ‘Midnight’ we come to appreciate the the sacrifices made during the First World War and hear why these horses never came home.
11:30am–1:15pm, Sunday 31st May
£10 (£5) | More info...
Robert Adamson, Mooney Creek, NSW

Some Here Among Us:
The Journalist and the Fiction Writer

Peter Walker (NZ), acclaimed author and renowned former foreign editor at the Independent on Sunday discusses his work and the interplay between journalism and fiction.
1pm–2pm, Saturday 30th May
£10 / £8 (£7) 
More info...
Image taken from the cover of The Best 100 Poems of Gwen Harwood (Penguin Australia, 2014)

Remembered Music: Celebrating Gwen Harwood

Gwen Harwood (1920-95), one of Australia’s pre-eminent twentieth century poets, is admired for her dazzling, sensuous musicality and uncompromising critical intelligence. She continues to find new readers at home and here in the UK.

To mark the twentieth anniversary of Harwood’s death we gather to celebrate her enduring legacy.

A.C. Grayling discusses the singular pleasures of Harwood’s poetry with The Australian’s poetry editor, Jaya Savige and others.

6.30pm–7.30pm, Friday 29th May
£10 / £8 (£7) | More info...

Alternative Worlds

We explore fantasy writing from New Zealand with two of the country’s most exciting writers.
Elizabeth Knox (NZ) is the author of ten novels, including the critically acclaimed and award-winning The Vintner's Luck and most recently The Dreamhunter DuetMortal FireWake.

Janina Matthewson (NZ) is the author of the critically acclaimed Of Things Gone Astray.
12pm–1pm, Sunday 31st May
£10/ £8 (£7) 
More info...


Amnesia and Other Stories:
Peter Carey in conversation with Hermione Lee

Carey and Lee consider how Australia forfeited democracy, the concept of privacy as an inalienable right, and 'writing Australia' from New York.

A joint event with The Royal Society of Literature and Intelligent Life

7pm–8.30pm, Tuesday 19th May
Bloomsbury Theatre
£10 / £8 (£7 conc.) More info...