It takes a lot of effort to be a die-hard Belle and Sebastian fan, what with all the myriad side projects and new endeavours undertaken by band members past and present: soundtracks to imaginary musicals followed five years later by an actual musical, tour diaries, collaborations with beings of pure gravel, excellently titled solo albums, stage shows, not to mention the assorted LPs, EPs and singles that make up the band’s core discography. Now, add a couple more items to the pile for completists: founding member Stuart David is set to release two YA novels.
If you’ve been on Twitter at any point since the weekend, chances are that you’ve come across the YouGov profiler, a jolly little plaything/terrifying cross-section of all the privacies we wilfully surrender that allows users to input the name of ‘any brand, person or thing’ then presents them with a picture of a typical fan of said brand, person or thing courtesy of the titular market research firm. It’s by no means exhaustive (apparently there weren’t enough fans of Yo La Tengo to constitute an appropriate sample size, which is of course just how Yo La Tengo fans like it) but it’s certainly an enjoyable way to pass a few minutes
confirming your existing prejudices engaging in some low-level market research. With the profiler’s help, then, BookMachine proudly (?) presents a guide to the demographics you need to pitch to if you want to make it big in publishing [puts feet up on desk, taps out cigar ash].
The Saltire Literary Awards – which recognise the best Scottish books of the year across literature, history, research and poetry, as well as debuting authors and accomplishments in publishing – have named Bob Harris and Charles McKean’s The Scottish Town in the Age of Enlightenment 1740-1820 as their overall book of the year. The Saltire Society draws the Scottish Book of the Year winner from the victors in the aforementioned categories – Harris and McKean also won the Research Book of the Year award.
It’s already been a successful trilogy of books, a successful quartet of films and may yet be a theme park, so it is with a certain weary inevitability that word comes of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games making the transition to the London stage. The production continues the grand book -> film -> stage show tradition of The Phantom of the Opera, but with notably fewer musical numbers (although there’s obviously still time to fix that) and a chandelier being dropped not by a ghoulish denizen of the Parisian underworld but by a child with the express purpose of killing another child for the entertainment of adults, probably.
Lemony Snicket’s popular series of macabre books for young people, A Series of Unfortunate Events, has already seen at least some of its titles adapted into a film (which, if not great, is at least a significant step up from most of Jim Carrey’s other raids on the canon of children’s literature). Whilst said film didn’t quite prove a big enough hit to warrant adaptations of further titles in the series, a decade later Snicket’s work has found a home perhaps better suited to its episodic nature: Netflix.
Let’s try a little experiment here: I’m going to start off a sentence, then keep adding words to it, and see how you react to those words as we go. Ready? Okay.
Everyone loves Tom Hanks, right? Fine actor, seemingly lovely guy, someone who I bet engenders warm feelings of affection in you just from reading his name. With me so far? Alright, let’s keep going.
‘Tom Hanks is writing a book of short stories.’
That might be good, right? I mean, Hanks might have had mixed success with his screenwriting work but he seems like a pretty smart, sensitive guy, and literate too, and he just had a story printed in The New Yorker, so that has to count for something.
“If you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves.” Junot Diaz
Diversity, gender, equality, and inclusion in publishing are topics close to our hearts at Atwood Tate and we have talked about them often on our blog. Diversity in content and diversity in the workforce are inextricably linked.
It is a positive step that we have seen public outcry from authors and publishers recently regarding the lack of diversity in content and we need to keep the momentum and pressure on in order to challenge what is unfortunately the norm in many publishing and media environments. Publishers are taking steps to try to develop a diverse workforce, for example Cat Crossley, Operations Manager at HarperCollins has recently set up a diversity focus group, and Inclusive Minds, in partnership with publishers, the PA, IPG and EQUIP, will be holding an event in early 2015 with the aim “to turn discussions about diversity and inclusion into real action”.
Amazon has launched what it describes as ‘reader powered publishing’ in the form of Kindle Scout, a crowdsourcing initiative to find unpublished authors and, uh, publish them. The hypermegaomnicompany outlines the venture as ‘a place where readers help decide if a book gets published. Selected books will be published by Kindle Press and receive 5-year renewable terms, a $1,500 advance, 50% eBook royalty rate, easy rights reversions and featured Amazon marketing. ‘
A copy of Action Comics #1 – arguably the single most sought after issue in the history of the medium – recently sold at (eBay) auction for $3,207,852, the most money ever paid for a single comic book by a margin of about a million dollars. Its nearest competitor? Another, less pristine copy of Action Comics #1, sold in 2011 for $2,161,000. Only 50 or so unrestored first run copies remain extant, and at those rates, anyone who wants to read the first appearances of Sticky-Mitt Stimson, Scoop Scanlon the Five Star Reporter (perfect name for a reporter between the wars, A+) and some dude named Superman in their original form needs to have some serious capital behind them.
BookMachine Oxford host Charly Salvesen-Ford talks to Beth Cox, freelance editor and consultant specialising in children’s books, and the star of our event on 6th November.
Grab your tickets for BookMachine Oxford here.
1) What is the best part of your job?
The variety. I love the fact that every day is different – one day I can be copy-editing a manuscript, the next delivering training, the next working on a book layout, the next planning an event, the next plotting how to change the face of children’s books with Inclusive Minds co-founder, Alexandra Strick! And that’s a minor snapshot of the range of things my job involves.