Publishing Round-Up: 3rd October 2016.


Roald Dahl gets ‘mair serious’ Scots translation

‘After much deliberation from translator Matthew Fitt, the Oompa-Loompas have become the Heedrum-Hodrums in the latest in a series of Scots translations of Roald Dahl’s books, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Dahl’s classic 1964 children’s story is renamed Chairlie and the Chocolate Works in Fitt’s translation, published to mark the centenary of the author’s birth. Telling the story of Mr Wullie Wonka’s invitation of five children into his chocolate factory – “Has Violet Boakregarde bitten aff mair than she can chaw? Will Mike Teeveeheid finally end up on TV? Will Chairlie go up and oot in Wullie Wonka’s Muckle Gless Lift?” – it follows in the footsteps of Black & White Publishing’s Scots translation of The BFG, renamed The Guid Freendly Giant, which was released earlier this year.’

Read more about the translation here.

Children’s 2016 print book market up 11.7% to date

‘The children’s print book market is on course for an 11.7% increase to a full year value of £394m this year if sales continue at the same pace – making 2016 the biggest year for children’s books for the third year in a row.

The Bookseller’s charts editor Kiera O’Brien delivered the sales data derived from Nielsen BookScan yesterday (27th September) at The Bookseller Children’s Conference in London, whilst also revealing that J K Rowling is on course to become the bestselling author of 2016.

Children’s print sales for 2016 are looking very positive so far, O’Brien said, totaling £209m for the 2016 year to date (34 weeks ending 27th August 2016), up £21.8m compared to the same period in 2015. According to O’Brien, this is 24% of the entire print market and is ahead of adult fiction by £3m. In volume terms, children’s publishing is 33% of the entire print market, meaning one in every three books sold so far this year has been a children’s book.’

Read more about the market here.

London bookshop offers free books for the rest of your life

‘Launched on Friday by independent London bookshop Heywood Hill to mark its 80th anniversary, the Library of a Lifetime award will give its winner “one newly published and hand-picked hardback book per month, for life, delivered anywhere in the world”.

To win, readers must nominate the book that has meant the most to them, with the winner chosen at random in a prize draw. The title must have been published in English, or translated into English, after 1936, the year Heywood Hill was founded. The Mayfair shop, which sells a mix of new, old and antiquarian titles, was founded by George Heywood Hill, with the help of the woman who would become his wife, Anne Gathorne-Hardy, on 3 August 1936.

Karin Scherer, senior Heywood Hill bookseller, said that “for the winner it will be an intellectual adventure of a lifetime … Every reader in the world will want to know about this life-changing prize. Whoever wins the first prize will never have to buy a book again. Instead they can look forward to a lifelong relationship with our bookshop and our booksellers.”’

 Read more about the prize here.

James, Hawkins and Ness join ‘most powerful’ authors list

‘EL James, Paula Hawkins and Patrick Ness have joined for the first time the Hollywood Reporter‘s 25-strong list of “most powerful” authors.

The rankings are determined taking into account “book sales, number of adaptations, projects in development, additional credits and cultural influence”.

The list welcomes 11 new writers since it was last composed in 2014, including Ness, who recently signed up to write three tie-in novels to Doctor Who spin-off “Class” and has a film in the works for his YA novel Chaos Walking; and Hawkins, whose psychological thriller debut The Girl on the Train has this week taken both first and second place in the Official UK Top 50, according to Nielsen BookScan’s Total Consumer Market. Psychological thriller writer Gillian Flynn appeared at number five after the film adaptation of Gone Girl grossed $369.3m, according to the Hollywood Reporter.’

 Read more about the list here.

Translated book sales are up, but Britain is still cut off from foreign literature

‘Look at any bookshop bestseller shelf in the UK and you’ll see translated names everywhere: Elena Ferrante, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Haruki Murakami, Swedish names all over crime fiction. Recent sales figures seem to suggest that the British public has steadily become more open to European and international authors: according to Nielsen, which undertook research for the International Man Booker prize this year, the number of translated books bought in Britain increased by an astounding 96% between 2001 and 2015. Translated fiction sells better, overall, than English literary fiction and made up 7% of all UK fiction sales in 2015.

But when you examine what is translated into English, only 1.5% of all books published in the UK are translations. Compare that to Germany (a bigger book market than the UK), France or Italy, where translated fiction is 12.28%, 15.9% and 19.7% of the respective markets, according to a 2015 study by Literature Across Frontiers.

Its author, Alexandra Büchler argues that the UK sale figures are pulled up by bestsellers. “I don’t think we are getting the picture of piles of translated books not selling, because booksellers are really picky about who ends up on the shelves,” she says. “The independent booksellers who were happier to get translated books are disappearing.” Bestsellers are the exception, she says, and beyond those lucky few, the plight of translated fiction remains pretty grim.’

Read more about translated fiction here.

New Dan Brown novel Origin out next year

‘Dan Brown is publishing a new Robert Langdon thriller entitled Origin in September 2017 with Transworld.

Little has been given away about the plot of the new novel, but the publisher said it would be “in keeping with [Brown’s] trademark style”, featuring codes, science, religion, history, art and architecture. Transworld added that it would thrust Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon “into the dangerous intersection of humankind’s two most enduring questions, and the earth-shaking discovery that will answer them”.

Origin will be published in the UK 26th September 2017, priced £20, by Transworld imprint Bantam Press. Doubleday will release the novel simultaneously in the US and Canada. It will also be available as an e-book and an audiobook from Penguin Random House Audio.’

Read more about the upcoming book here.

George R R MartinGeorge RR Martin and Apple announce interactive Game of Thrones books collaboration

George RR Martin has hailed “an amazing next step in the world of books” as he announced publication of a new digital edition of A Game of Thrones, featuring “a world of additional content” and an extract from the forthcoming sixth novel in his bestselling Song of Ice and Fire series, The Winds of Winter.

A Game of Thrones: Enhanced Edition was released on Thursday on Apple’s iBooks to mark the 20th anniversary of the epic fantasy novel’s first publication. It offers “a world of additional content”, said its publisher HarperCollins, ranging from interactive character maps to detailed annotations, character journeys and timelines, family trees and and audio clips.

It includes an extract from The Winds of Winter. HarperCollins said the excerpt had been briefly published on Martin’s website, but was now available only in the new enhanced editions.’

Read more about the enhanced editions here.

Gardners BooksGardners’ annual revenue up 8.5%

‘Book wholesaler Gardners saw revenue grow 8.5% in the year to the end of February 2016, with profit also up.

The Eastbourne-based business has filed its annual results on Companies House, revealing that overall revenue was up by 8.5% to £206.2m in the year to the end of February 2016, with profit up 56% to £5.7m.

The financial results are an improvement on its last, when turnover was down 9% to £190.0m in the year to the end of February 2015 and profit also down 11% to £3.6m.

The average number of employees at the company has also grown in 2015-16 by 34, now standing at 709.’

Read more about Gardners’ growth here.

Wonder WomanWonder Woman writer confirms superhero is queer

‘Wonder Woman is queer, her writer has confirmed: “I don’t know how much clearer I can make it”.

Greg Rucka, who worked on Wonder Woman for DC Comics throughout the 2000s, returned to DC Comics this year for the new Rebirth series commemorating her 75th year in print.

He told the comic news site Comicosity the character had “obviously” been in love and relationships with other women, as has long been speculated by fans.

Wonder Woman is known as the warrior princess Diana in her homeland of Themyscira, an island populated only by Amazonian women.’

Read more about Wonder Woman here.


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