Publishing Round-Up: 26th April 2015.

hey booEvent Reminder: Hey, Boo: Harper Lee & ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ screening.
The announcement that Lee’s Go Set A Watchman was going to be released this summer has been the talk of the book world the last few months, so what better time to watch an excellent documentary on Harper Lee and her debut? Come along on April 30th to relax a little with this screening. Full event details.

And for those looking forward to Go Set A Watchman, it’s just been confirmed that Reese Witherspoon will narrate the audio book.

Green Party’s Copyright proposal sparks backlash [X]
The Green Party’s proposal to reduce the length of copyright to a maximum of 14 years has been met with protest, particularly from authors. The UK term is currently life of the author +70 years, and the proposed reduction has split the crowds.

Sarah McIntyre, author and illustrator, said author earnings would suffer. “I’ve already been illustrating longer than 14 years. Fourteen is nothing.” She believes big corporations would benefit, just waiting 14 years before adapting someone’s copyrighted material, therefore avoiding any cost to the creator.

Author Matt Haig took a different view, saying, “To be fair, I’d still vote Green. I’d prefer to save the planet than save some 14-year-old royalties.”

Talking to The Bookseller, a Green Party spokesperson said, “Our manifesto for the next parliament says we would ‘make copyright shorter in length, fair and flexible, and prevent patents applying to software’. We would consult with copyright holders and the general public to establish an appropriate length, but believe copyright terms should be shorter than they are at present in order to reduce restrictions on our shared cultural heritage.

“Though our long-term vision includes a proposed copyright length of 14 years, we have no plans to implement this in the near future.”

What do you think about the shortening of the period of copyright?

radio 2Radio 1 launching non-fiction book club. [X]
Fans of non-fiction rejoice as Claudia Winkleman’s weekly BBC Radio 2 show is launching its book club this autumn. This is the latest book club to be launched by BBC radio following their partnership with The Reading Agency.

Karen Brodie, head of publisher partnerships (The Reading Agency), said: “This new book club is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the most creative and compelling non-fiction. Expanding the successful programme with our BBC and library partners will inspire Radio 2 listeners to discover new and varied writing.”

Host of greats join the Society of Authors [X]
The council of the Society of Authors has a lot of new names to add to its list, as authors including Neil Gaiman, Ian Rankin, Sarah Waters and Malorie Blackman have joined.

Chair of the management committee, Daniel Hahn, says, “The council is made up of distinguished authors who have made a great contribution to the SoA and to our profession, and these seven new members exemplify this perfectly – they are supremely accomplished writers whose work is much loved by their readers all over the world, but they are also committed, passionate advocates for writing and reading and the values that matter to us all.”

The other authors to join are Joanne Harris, Roger McGough and  Anne Sebba.

Campaign-to-Lower-Ebook-VAT-510x252#ThatIsNotABook: Campaign to lower Ebook VAT [X]
A campaign has been launched to raise awareness of the ongoing debate on lowering  European VAT on ebooks. The website encourages people to “tell the European Commission about what is a book and what is not a book” in many ways via the #ThatIsNotABook and #ThatIsABook hashtags. Full information available on their website.

Don’t forget about our host of London Book Fair events, if you missed them:

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