Publishing Round-Up: 24th October 2016.

Welsh, Kelman and Fagan shortlisted at 2016 Saltire Society Literary Awards

‘Irvine Welsh, James Kelman and Jenni Fagan have made the 2016 Saltire Society Literary Awards shortlist announced on 20th October at a special event in Edinburgh, alongside emerging talents Chitra Ramaswamy and Martin MacInnes.

The shortlist for the 2016 Saltire Publisher of the Year Award was revealed alongside the shortlist for a new initiative for 2016, the Saltire Emerging Publisher of the Year Award. It shortlisted Scotland’s largest children’s publisher Floris Books after a “stellar year”; Black and White Publishing, praised for their “willingness to take risks and innovate”; Saraband, which “continues to impress with its strong-list building”;  Birlinn for its “consistency, quality of output, and desire to publish the best of Scottish culture”; and National Galleries of Scotland with its “exceptional production values”. Individuals shortlisted are Keara Donnachie, Publicity Officer, (Sandstone Press Limited), Laura Waddell, Marketing Manager, (Freight Books), Robbie Guillory, Assistant Publisher, (Freight Books), Leah McDowell, Design and Production Manager, (Floris Books) and Sha Nazir, Publisher / Art Director, (BHP Comics).’

Read more about the shortlists here.



Sunset Song voted Scotland’s Favourite Book

‘BBC Scotland conducted a public vote throughout most of August 2016 in partnership with The Scottish Book Trust and The Scottish Library and Information Council.

The 30 books on the longlist, comprised only of novels by authors born or based in Scotland, were selected by a panel of judges curated by Scottish Book Trust.

The classic novel Sunset Song, by Lewis Grassic Gibbon, topped the poll as Scotland’s Favourite Book. The top ten are:

  1. Sunset Song by Lewis Grassic Gibbon (Canongate Books)
  2. The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks (Abacus)
  3. Lanark by Alasdair Gray (Canongate Books)
  4. The Thirty Nine Steps by John Buchan (William Collins)
  5. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark (Canongate Books)
  6. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (Bloomsbury)
  7. Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh (Vintage)
  8. Knots & Crosses by Ian Rankin (Orion)
  9. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Penguin Classics)
  10. The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg (Canongate Books)

Read more about the list here.



Irvine Welsh crime novel gets TV deal

Irvine Welsh, the author of Trainspotting, is adapting his novel Crime for television, according to the Guardian.

The 2009 novel, published by Vintage, is about a detective inspector who has fled to Miami following a mental breakdown. In Florida, a coke-fuelled binge brings him into contact with 10-year-old Tianna, a victim of a sex crime, which brings back memories of a harrowing child-sex murder case back in Edinburgh.

The TV adaptation will be produced by Tony Wood, head of Buccaneer Media, and written by Welsh with his screenwriting partner Dean Cavanagh. It will be shot in Florida.

Announcing the news at Mipcom in France, Wood said Welsh is “a true literary buccaneer whose work defines our generation. It’s thrilling to be bringing talent of this calibre to television drama.”’

Read more here.



Pearson sales down 7% after third quarter

‘Pearson sales dropped 7% year-on-year in the first nine months of 2016 as the company’s c.e.o John Fallon again described market conditions as “challenging”.

The results are in line with the company’s half-year results, which also saw a 7% drop.

The fall in revenue was attributed to expected declines in UK and US assessment businesses, as well as “cautious buying patterns” among US college campus bookshops, which it said were managing their own supply chain and inventory “more efficiently”. Fallon referred to it as a “temporary phenomenon” and pointed out there was no fundamental change in the buying behaviour of students or the propensity of professors to adopt its books.’

Read more about the sales here.



2017 Folio Prize to include non-fiction

‘The Folio Prize is planned to return in 2017, with its remit extended to include non-fiction for the first time.Members of the Folio Academy, the international group of writers and critics who support the award, have been told of the change to the prize in an email from new prize director Minna Fry.

Fry told academicians that the 2017 Folio Prize was planned to be “the only major literary prize to reward what is genuinely the best book of the year.”‘

Read more about the prize here.


Marlon James calls for action on diversity instead of just talk

‘Marlon James, the author of the Booker-winning A Brief History of Seven Killings, has said that it’s “time to stop talking” about diversity, arguing that “it’s not for the black person to be more open-minded. It’s for the white person to be less racist.”

In an essay posted on the Literary Hub on Thursday, the Jamaican novelist suggests that “we too often mistake discussing diversity for doing anything constructive about it”, with the same points raised on panels about diversity year after year.

Imagining the outrage that would greet an all-white panel discussion of diversity, James asks: “Why do we need a black person on a panel to talk about inclusion when it’s the white person who needs to figure out how to include?” The fact the books industry is still having diversity panels, he continues, “not only means that we continue to fail, but the false sense of accomplishment in simply having one is deceiving us into thinking that something was tried”.’

Read more about James’ essay here.


Most UK authors’ annual incomes still well below minimum wage, survey shows

‘As publishing prepares for the Christmas rush, with a blizzard of titles due for launch this week on “Super Thursday”, a European commission report has shown that life is less than super for many authors in the UK, with average annual incomes for writers languishing at £12,500.

This figure is just 55% of average earnings in the UK, coming in below the minimum wage for a full-time job at £18,000 and well below the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s minimum income standard of £17,100.

In an industry that is becoming increasingly unequal, those at the bottom of the income distribution continue to struggle. Only half of the 317 UK authors who responded to the survey said writing was their main source of income, with respondents who offered a figure reporting total earnings from their latest book averaging at £7,000.’

Read more about the report here.


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