Who are Scotland’s most successful living authors?
The Scotsman has listed Scotland’s most successful living authors in terms of sales.
- JK Rowling (400m sales)
- Ian Rankin (30m)
- Alexander McCall Smith (20m)
- Val McDermid (10m)
- Irvine Welsh (2m)
- Christopher Brookmyre (2m)
Read more about the list here.
Top 50 Scottish authors on Twitter revealed
‘In an age where to tweet is human and to trend divine, having a significant social media following is generally considered to be a good thing. Now, in advance of Book Week Scotland, the Scottish Book Trust has published a list of Scotland’s 50 most influential novelists on Twitter, so now we all know who can hashtag like a champion.’
1. JK Rowling (@jk_rowling)
2. Limmy (@DaftLimmy)
3. Irvine Welsh (@IrvineWelsh)
4. Ian Rankin (@BeathHigh)
5. Dr Brooke Magnanti (@belledejour_uk)
6. Neil Mackay (@NeilMackay)
7. Mark Millar (@mrmarkmiller)
8. John Niven (@nivenj1)
9. Alan Bissett (@alanbissett)
10. Estelle Maskame (@EstelleMaskame)
Find the full list here.
Waterstones returns to profitability
‘Four years ago, Waterstones was facing oblivion. Declining sales of physical books, together with the relentless growth of Amazon and mismanagement by its former bosses, had led the famous book chain to the brink of bankruptcy.
But in an extraordinary turnaround, Waterstones is set to make its first annual profit since the financial crisis struck. “We have come along way,” says James Daunt, managing director of Waterstones, as he surveys the retailer’s megastore in Piccadilly, central London.
There are, he says, various degrees and qualities of profits, but Waterstones is “delivering a profit that is dealing with dilapidations and isn’t shoving anything under the carpet”.
“We are delivering a really robust and proper profit. This will be the best true and underlying performance for this business for seven to eight years. A genuine, little small piece of black at last.”’
Read more here.
Amazon.co.uk is expanding its Prime same day delivery service across the Midlands, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Milton Keynes.
The service is now available to residents in Birmingham, Bristol, Dudley, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Milton Keynes, Northampton, Walsall and Wolverhampton, with further plans to expand the service to other areas of the UK in 2016.
Read more here.
Costa Book Award shortlist announced
Costa has revealed its shortlists for the 2015 Costa Book Awards, featuring 12 women and eight men, with authors spanning an age range of 27–68 across its five award categories: novel, first novel, biography, poetry and children’s.
This year marks the 44th year of the Book Awards, which attracted 638 entries in total. On this year’s judging panels (three per category) were authors such as Matt Haig, Louise Doughty and Martyn Bedford, poet and children’s author Julia Copus and biographer and broadcaster Penny Junor.
Read the full shortlist here.
Oxford Dictionaries make an emoji their Word of the Year 2015
The emoji commonly known as ‘Face with Tears of Joy’ has been announced as Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year 2015.
Chosen by the Oxford team because it “captures the ethos, mood, and preoccupations” of the year and reflects “the sharp increase in popularity of emoji across the world in 2015,” it beat other shortlisted words including Brexit, on fleek, lumbersexual and ad blocker to win the title.
Read more about the decision here.
BBC launches campaign to get nation reading
The BBC is pushing reading “even higher up the agenda” with a concentrated year-long campaign in 2016 called Get Reading, which aims to “ignite a spark” in the nation and encourage people to read.
The year-long programme is in partnership with the Reading Agency, Book Trust, the National Literacy Trust, the Society of Chief Librarians and the Scottish Library and Information Council.
Director-general of the BBC, Tony Hall, announced Get Reading on 17th November, a campaign that celebrates great authors and their works in order to galvanise the nation into talking about books as well as reading them. Across BBC One, Two and Four, the campaign will recognise the work of well-known authors such as the Brontës and Rudyard Kipling, while Radio 4 will explore the work of figures such as Alex Garland, Toni Morrison and Jeanette Winterson. Its crescendo will be a BBC-hosted ‘Get Reading Weekend’ featuring specially commissioned programmes across BBC TV, Radio and online in November 2016.
Read more about the campaign here.
Bad sex in fiction award 2015
‘The sweat, the groans, the spasming muscles, the licked ears and other bits, the pendulous breasts and other bits; it can only be time for the bad sex prize, established 23 years ago by the Literary Review “to draw attention to poorly written, perfunctory or redundant passages of sexual description in modern fiction, and to discourage them”. There is absolutely no sign that it is succeeding in its noble objective.’
Read about who has been nominated here.
David Almond wins Guardian children’s fiction prize
David Almond has won the Guardian children’s fiction prize with a “fearless” retelling of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice set in north-east England.
Told in lyrical, dreamlike prose, Almond’s A Song for Ella Grey revisits a story that the author said “has pestered me ever since I began to write” – the legend of music-maker Orpheus descending to the underworld to bring his love back to life. Set in contemporary Tyneside, Almond’s version features inseparable best friends and sixth-formers Claire and Ella. Through Claire’s narration, we learn how Orpheus entrances Ella and the terrible tragedy that unfolds as a result.
Read more about the winner here.