The initial round of nominees for this year’s Man Booker Prize has been revealed with the unveiling of the 13-strong longlist. Now, for the second year in a row, open to any author writing in English and published in the UK (as opposed to writers from the UK, Ireland, Commonwealth and Zimbabwe alone), the list has a decidedly international bent, featuring a mere three nominees from the UK and five from the USA.
He was chief hack and music editor of webzine Brazen from 2006 to 2010, and hosted Left of the Dial on Subcity Radio from 2008 to 2011.
He can be heard semi-regularly on the podcast of Scottish cultural blog Scots Whay Hae ('20th best website in Scotland!' - The List), and in 2011 founded Seen Your Video, a film and music podcast and blog based in Glasgow. He has a Masters degree in Scottish Literature from the University of Glasgow that will never have any practical application. You are on a hiding to nothing if you follow him on Twitter expecting any kind of hot publishing scoop.
Crime fiction festival Bloody Scotland has revealed the shortlist for its annual book of the year award, recognising excellence in Scottish crime writing. Drawn from a longlist of 55 by an independent panel of readers, the winning author will receive a prize of £1,000 and promotion of their work in Waterstones branches across Scotland.
BookMachine co-founder Laura Summers has been awarded proxime accesserunt (runner-up) at this year’s Young Stationers’ Prize. Judges called her ‘forward-thinking’, ‘innovative’ and possessed of ‘masses of drive’, and said of BookMachine itself: ‘a great idea, and she’s executed it brilliantly’.
Go Set a Watchman – Harper Lee’s unexpected companion piece to her sole previous novel, To Kill a Mockingbird – has sold 1.1 million copies across print and digital in its first six days on release in the US and Canada alone. After going on sale last Tuesday (14/07/2015), the book became the fastest selling title in the history of HarperCollins, with the publisher saying on Monday morning (20/07/2015) that it had gone back to press for a further 1.3 million copies. With an initial run of 2 million, that puts the total number of copies in print at 3.3 million.
Bello – the digital imprint of Pan Macmillan focused on republishing out of print books – is set to release eleven novels for adults by Richmal Crompton, author of the celebrated Just William series of children’s books.
Foyles has announced a series of children’s events taking place across its branches in London and Bristol throughout the school summer holidays, dubbing it the ‘Summer of Fun’. Beloved characters including Where’s Wally?, Shaun the Sheep, Thunderbirds, Maisy, Hugless Douglas and Miffy will make appearances at the bookshop’s Bristol branch and its Charing Cross Road, Stratford, Waterloo and Royal Festival Hall branches in London. There will also be a variety of workshops, theatre and storytelling events in-store, running between 25 July and 30 August.
Paula Hawkins’ novel The Girl on the Train has broken UK sales records this week, claiming its 20th consecutive week atop the hardback fiction bestseller lists. It overtakes Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol, which stayed at number one for 19 weeks following its release in September 2009, to become the longest reigning bestseller since Nielsen BookScan began monitoring sales in 2001. Not only has it stayed at the top of the hardback chart for longer than any other title, it is second only to Brown’s The Da Vinci Code – which stayed at number one in the paperback chart for a jaw-dropping 65 weeks – in most weeks held at the top of any book chart.
As part of its continuing efforts to sign up shoppers to its premium Prime subscription service, Amazon has announced Prime Day, a ‘one day shopping event’ that promises ‘more deals than Black Friday’. Happening across Amazon stores globally on Wednesday 15 July, the event allows new and existing members of Amazon Prime to shop for ‘thousands’ of lightning deals throughout the day, starting on Amazon.co.uk at midnight BST.
Today (2 July) sees the launch of the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook 2016, the latest instalment of the annual directory for writers, designers, illustrators and photographers. Published by Bloomsbury, the book contains 4,500 key industry listings, alongside information on copyright, finance, submitting a manuscript, e-publishing, self-publishing, agents, publishers, prizes and awards. New additions this year include articles on writing historical fiction, writing about food, travel writing, becoming a published poet and electronic publishing.
Doyenne of all romance publishers Mills & Boon has teamed with WHSmith and Kobo for Romance Writing Life, a competition that aims to find new romance authors (have I used the word ‘romance’ enough yet? Romance romance romance). Interested authors should submit a synopsis of no more than 500 words of their unpublished or self-published novel, in any genre of romantic novel (supernatural, historical, comedy etc.), alongside a first chapter of no more than 5,000 words. The winner will receive a print and digital contract with Mills & Boon. Second and third prize will each receive a Kobo Glo HD on which they’ll be able to read the winner’s much better book.