Publishing Round-Up: 26th October 2015.

Saltire Society Literary Awards 2015 shortlists revealed

Kate Atkinson, Michel Faber and Irvine Welsh feature on the shortlists for the 2015 Saltire Literary Awards, with two new awards introduced this year: The Fiction Book of the Year and Non-Fiction Book of the Year.

The shortlists for all six awards were announced on Thursday  22nd October at events hosted simultaneously in Edinburgh and London. The announcements were given at the Edinburgh West End branch of Waterstones by performance poets Rally and Broad, and at the London Piccadilly Branch of Waterstones by National Poet for Scotland, Liz Lochhead.

Check out the full shortlists on The Bookseller and book tickets to the awards ceremony in Edinburgh on November 26th on the Saltire Society website.


Award winning YA author James Dawson reveals he is to become a transgender woman

Popular Young Adult author James Dawson, whose books include Hollow Pike, Cruel Summer and All of the Above, is becoming a transgender woman.

In a statement made on Saturday 24th October, the author, who was the winner of the 2014 Queen of Teen Award (a title voted for by young readers),  said that his journey towards becoming a woman had begun “about 18 months ago”. He asked that people refer to him as “he” for now, but indicated that he would be choosing a new name at some point in the future.

For James’ full statement see the Independent article and a more extensive interview on Buzzfeed.


Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 13.11.21JK Rowling announces Harry Potter play is eighth story in series

The new Harry Potter play, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”, to open in the West End next year, will “start where the seventh book left off, and is the eighth story in the series”, according to the official J K Rowling Facebook page.

A synopsis, posted on 23rd October on Pottermore, says: “It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

“While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.”

Read more here.


Patterson grant funds Mainsteet road trip

Scottish independent bookshop The Mainstreet Trading Company has revealed how it has spent the grant money it received from author James Patterson: it has bought and renovated a van, transforming it into a mobile bookshop.

The project was already in its early stages when Rosamund de la Hey, owner and founder of the shop, applied for the grant in the second round of Patterson’s funding. To date the author has awarded a total of £500,000 to UK and Irish independent booksellers. Mainstreet, which is located in St Boswells, received a contribution of £2,500.

Read more about the project here.


Academic Book Week: November 9th – 16th

Academic booksellers and presses are gearing up for the inaugural Academic Book Week with a raft of fresh events unveiled for the occasion.

The week, backed by the Publishers Association, the Booksellers Association and the British Library among others, is taking place for the first time during 9th-16th November.

Public voting has opened up for readers to choose the most infuential academic book of all time, after a shortlist of 20 titles was released containing academic books which had “changed the world.” The list includes A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking, A Vindication of the Rights of Women by Mary Wollstonecraft and Nineteen Eighty-Fourby George Orwell, among others.

Read more about the week here.


William Shatner to launch comic imprint

William Shatner has signed an agreement with LNL Partners to launch his very own comic imprint called Shatner Singularity.

Through this venture, Shatner (pictured,via) will publish his own original works and a new graphic novel by Stan Lee. The full inaugural list will be announced during a panel at Comikaze Expo.

Read more here.


Disney to launch UK subscription service

Walt Disney will next month launch an app-based subscription service in the UK, offering books as well as films, TV and music, for £9.99 per month.

According to the Financial Times, the service, entitled DisneyLife, will stream 1,000s of Disney Channel TV shows and hundreds of books, albums and films. All the books streamed on the service will be published by Disney Publishing Worldwide, the company has confirmed.

Read more here.


Kibworth Bookshop wins Vintage Independent of the Year 2015

The Bookshop, Kibworth in Leicester has been judged the Vintage Independent Bookshop of the Year 2015. The award was announced at the 2016 Vintage Showcase and Independent Booksellers’ Conference held at the Penguin Random House Strand office on Monday October 19th.

The £1,000 award was presented to the shop’s manager, Debbie James, by author Jeanette Winterson.

Read more here.


‘Waterproof and dustproof’ Nook released in the US 

Barnes & Noble has released a new Nook e-reader in the US, which is “waterproof and dustproof.”

The US bookseller said the Nook GlowLight Plus is the company’s first waterproof and dustproof device for “worry free reading anywhere – including the bath and the beach.”

It is unclear whether the e-reader will be sold in the UK, but the device is available in B&N stores across the country and from the retailer’s website for $129.99.

Read more here.


$50 Fire tablet number 1 bestselling item on Amazon.com

Amazon c.e.o. Jeff Bezos said the $50 Fire tablet had been the number one bestselling product on Amazon.com since its launch, which took place earlier this month, and that the company was “building millions more than we’d already planned” on the strength of the customer responses.

This comes with news that Amazon saw a 23% rise in sales in the third quarter (ending September 30th) to $25.4bn ($20.6bn in third quarter 2014).  Net income stood at $79m in the third quarter, compared to a loss of $437m in the same period in 2014.

Read more here.


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