This year’s longlist for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction has been revealed, the first time in the prize’s history that the longlist has been made public (though, admittedly, that history only stretches back five years, with the first prize awarded in 2010). The field of nominated titles has also been increased, from the usual twelve to fifteen.
This is a guest interview with Deborah Emin. Deborah began Sullivan Street Press as a way to change the publishing paradigm. An advocate also for how we relate to this planet, the press publishes titles on veganism, animal rights as well as on the occupy movement. Follow @SullivanStPress.
1. If we could turn back time, how could the Amazon/publishing relationship have been established differently?
The Quarto Group is the leading global illustrated book publisher and distribution group and is listed on the London Stock Exchange. Quarto employs about 400 people across four distinct but complementary businesses.
SeeBook is a new publishing start-up that enables e-books to be sold in brick-and-mortar stores, given away as gifts or signed by the author. Rosa Sala co-founded the company after years of experiencing challenges within the publishing industry.
Maria: What is SeeBook? Where did the idea come from, and what exactly do you offer?
Rosa: In a nutshell: SeeBooks are physical cards which allow you to download ebooks in multiple formats. They are sold in bookshops.
You there! What week is it? No, silly little Dickensian orphan, Christmas was two months ago, this is BookMachine week. Between Monday 23 and Friday 27 February, BookMachine is running a series of events across the world, with publishing folk gathering in Brighton, London, New York, Barcelona and Oxford to hear from a variety of industry speakers. Topics under discussion include the fate of illustrated books in the age of digital, the problems posed by shrinking retail space, the impact of self-publishing and the effect that social media is having on publishing.
In the latter instance, the medium is the message – on Friday afternoon, City University is sponsoring a BookMachine Twitter chat, ideal for those who can’t make it along to any of the real-world events or suddenly think of the perfect witty retort just as they’re leaving and want to seek retribution. The focus, as at the events, will largely be what digital means for images in publishing. The hashtag to use to take part is #BookMachine, which is where you’ll find the questions under discussion too. It kicks off at 3pm GMT/4pm CET/10am EST. The week’s discussions will then be rounded up here on the site for anyone who can’t even muster the energy to look at Twitter come Friday afternoon.
In what has already been quite the month for new books from authors most thought we’d never hear from again, Random House has revealed that on 28 July it will publish What Pet Should I Get? – a ‘new’ book by Dr. Seuss. The manuscript for the book was rediscovered in 2013 by Seuss’ widow, Audrey Geisel, and his secretary, Claudia Prescott, in a box at his San Diego home, having originally been set aside shortly after his death in 1991. Also present in the box was enough unpublished material to sustain at least two further books.
This is a guest post from Thomas Bohm. Thomas studied graphic communication, and now works for book publishers and businesses, whilst running User design a graphic communication design, illustration and production service. Thomas writes, researches and occasionally publishes. He wrote Punctuation..? (2nd edition, User design, 2012) a fun and fully illustrated book on punctuation. Has won awards from the following competitions: British Book Design and Production Awards, 3×3 Magazine and European Design Awards.
Here are 10 tips for improving book designs, they come from my own practical experience and observations. There are many parts, processes and people involved in the production of a book, decisions are usually not down to one person alone, but a group of people each with their own requirements, understandings and style preferences. Subsequently a successful and open minded editorial/designer/client relationship is essential for good results.
1. Make the gutter as wide as it needs to be
Text in books is often hampered by the arch of the open book and falls into the gutter, which causes text which is hard to read and annoys readers because the text on the inner right side and inner left side bends into the gutter. One reason why this happens, is because the designer has failed to make the gutter wide enough.
This is a guest interview with Tim Pilcher. Tim has spent over 25 years working in comics and publishing at DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint, Comics International, Penguin, Dorling Kindersley and Ilex Press. He is the current chair of the Comic Book Alliance and is the author of over 18 books. He is the editor of Brighton: The Graphic Novel, and the forthcoming, Brighton’s Graphic War. He is currently Humanoids’ UK liaison and has lectured on comics at Trinity College, UCL, Imperial War Museum, ICA and The British Library. Follow @Tim_Pilcher or sign up to BookMachine Brighton on Monday 23rd February.
1. How do you think that comics are going to evolve in the next 3-5 years?
Well, digital comics are constantly evolving and there are more and more online portals setting up. Comixology is the daddy (and now owned by Amazon) but Sequential are a fast-growing company to watch, who provide tons of non-superhero comics online. But I think where comics are really going to evolve is not so much in delivery platforms, but more in the breadth of topics that the medium explores. In Japan non-fiction manga is well-established, but that’s an area that’s just starting to grow with titles like Darryl Cunningham’s Science Tales and Supercrash: How to Hijack the Global Economy. Reportage is another area for growth, thanks to the work of Joe Sacco (Footnotes in Gaza, The Fixer, etc.) I think the comic book “memoir” has become an overcrowded market and I’d like to see more creators actually approaching the graphic novel as a NOVEL, that is contemporary fiction drawn in a sequential manner. The best recent example of this is Glyn Dillon’s The Nao of Brown.
Less than a month ago, Robert Harris used his position as head of the Costa Book of the Year Award judging panel to rail against the lack of airtime given to literature by the BBC’s televisual output. Whilst probably not a direct response to Harris’ particular grievances, it is, however, hard to feel that the Corporation’s newly announced slate of arts programming isn’t delivered in a spirit of recalibration, bringing as it does a poetry season for BBC Four and the latest iteration of the erstwhile Late Review.
This is a guest post from Tom Chalmers, Managing Director at IPR License.
Before Christmas I wrote about some of the issues surrounding books in translation, especially within the English Language markets. I will not go any further into my Hasselhoff effect theory but will many challenges remaining for international publishers to break down these boundaries it was with great interest that I stumbled across a recent article entitled – ‘Why Americans Don’t Read Foreign Fiction’.