Publishing Round-Up: 10th October 2016.

Jackie Kay announces makar’s tour of all the Scottish islands

‘Jackie Kay, the national poet, or makar, used National Poetry Day to announce a Scotland-wide tour that will continue throughout her five-year tenure and be used as the basis for an epic poem reflecting “multi-voiced, multi-tongued Scotland”.

Launching the tour with students at Edinburgh College’s Granton campus, Kay explained that it would be called Ferlie Leed, a Scots expression meaning “wondrous talk”, and will begin with visits to North Uist, Lewis and Shetland.

Describing the journey as “an odyssey”, she said: “I want as makar to get around every single Scottish island and peninsula, just because they often get left out. I want to write a long poem where each island has a stanza. I think stanzas and islands have a lot in common – stanzas have a lot of space around them and islands have the sea.”’

Read more about Kay’s tour here.

Poetry market celebrates National Poetry Day with highest sales ever

‘Annual sales of poetry books are set to surpass £10m for the first time since records began, The Bookseller can reveal on National Poetry Day today (6th October).The poetry market last year enjoyed its highest sales ever, both in volume and in value, selling over a million books at an all-time high of £8.8m in value. Figures from Nielsen BookScan have revealed that this year could see even better revenues, with the category up 15% in value for the year to date at £4.9m compared to £4.2m for the same period in 2015. If sales continue to grow at the same rate, they will exceed £10m by the end of 2016 for the first time since records began.

Donald Futers, Penguin’s editor for poetry, has credited the growing presence of BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) poets as an “important” cultural current behind poetry’s growing audience. “Diversification, experimentation, radicality, craft, and concomitant buzz” are a handful of the factors contributing to the uplift, he said.’

Read more about the sales here.

Faber sales up in ‘outstanding’ year

‘Faber has returned to profitability this year after recording a loss in 2015, helped by a “wide range of titles selling extremely well”.

The results mark the “third best in the company’s history”, Faber said, with turnover up 6.9% in the year ending March 2016, to £17.06m (£15.96m in 2015), “ahead of expectation”, helped by the strong sales of A Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson, The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer and The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro.

At the same time, the operating profit for 2015–16 was £1.09m, up from a loss of £0.44m a year earlier, leading to a profit after tax of £0.70m (up from a £0.49m loss in 2015).

Faber’s fiction list enjoyed a particularly “outstanding” year, the company said, with sales up 13%, and up 46% in the crime genre.’

Read more about Faber’s sales here.

Inaugural BAMB Readers Awards shortlists revealed

‘Anne Enright, Matt Haig and Sarah Crossan are all vying for trophies in the inaugural Books Are My Bag Readers Awards, supported by National Book Tokens.

Altogether 30 authors have been nominated by booksellers across five categories: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Biography & Autobiography, Children’s and Breakthrough Author.

The public will now get to vote for their favourite in each category until 14th November.

In Fiction, recent Booker shortlisted author Anne Enright has been shortlisted for The Green Road (Vintage), competing against Max Porter’s Grief is the Thing with Feathers (Faber), The Loney by Andrew Hurley (John Murray),The Muse by Jessie Burton (Picador), This Must Be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell (Tinder Press)  and The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon (The Borough Press).’

Read about the rest of the categories here.

Sarah Jessica Parker launches publishing imprint

‘Actress Sarah Jessica Parker will next year head up her own publishing imprint at Hogarth Press, according to the New York Times.

Parker’s role at the imprint, titled SJP, will be editorial director and she will help find, edit and publish three to four novels per year.

She told the newspaper: “I have always loved to read for the same reason I love to act, which is that other people’s stories are more interesting to me than my own.” She did not reveal much about what she will be looking for part from “great voices” and “global stories”.’

Read about the imprint here.

Costa Book Awards 2016 judging panel revealed

‘Costa has announced the judging panels for the 2016 Costa Book Awards, which include writers Nicci Gerrard, Justin Cartwright, Mary Loudon, Andrew O’Hagan and Matthew Dennison, poet, author and vlogger Jen Campbell, and author-illustrator, Cressida Cowell.

The Costa Book Awards recognises the “most enjoyable” books across five categories: First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book.

A total of 596 books were entered for this year’s Costa Book Awards. Cowell, Children’s Book Award judge, said this year the category again seemed “incredibly strong”, following Frances Hardinge’s Costa Book of the Year win last year for The Lie Tree.’

Read more about the award here.

Amazon and EU ‘in settlement talks’ over e-book investigation

Amazon Inc and European Union regulators have started settlement discussions over the internet giant’s e-book deals with publishers, according to news reports.

A person familiar with the situation told Bloomberg that Amazon is hoping to settle the matter without incurring a fine. Talks are at an “early stage” and any deal would have to be tested with publishers before it became final, they added.

The commission opened a formal antitrust investigation into Amazon’s e-book distribution and relationship with publishers last year. It was particularly concerned about clauses in its contract that “require publishers to inform Amazon about more favourable or alternative terms offered to Amazon’s competitors and/or offer Amazon similar terms and conditions to its competitors, or through other means ensure that Amazon is offered terms at least as good as those for its competitors”.’

Read more about the settlement here.

Canada will be FBF 2020 guest of honour

‘Canada will be the guest of honour at Frankfurt Book Fair 2020.

This will mark Canada’s first major international project that is supported jointly by English and French-language publishers and authors.

The Frankfurt Book Fair 2020 Committee (CanadaFBF2020), which will be involved in the organisation of the guest of honour, will consist of Canadian book publishers, the Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) and the Association nationale des éditeurs de livres (ANEL). It will be supported by the export associations Livres Canada Books and Québec Edition.

Juergen Boos, director of the Frankfurt Book Fair, said: “There is strong international interest in learning more about Canadian publishers, authors, culture and media. Canada brings to the world stage a strong commitment to its bilingual tradition and embraces the diverse immigrant cultures that contribute to its society. We are pleased that Canada accepts this invitation to showcase its rich literary, cultural and linguistic heritage to global industry representatives.”’

Read more about FBF 2020 here.



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