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2014 Guardian First Book Award goes to Colin Barrett

Having already won the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award earlier this year, Colin Barrett can now add another notch to his trophy cabinet after being presented with the Guardian First Book Award for his debut collection of short stories, Young Skins. The book takes this year’s prize ahead of Age of Ambition by Evan Osnos, Do No Harm by Henry Marsh, The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane and Things to Make and Break by May-Lan Tan. Barrett joins an illustrious roster of previous winners, including Zadie Smith, Chris Ware and Yiyun Li.

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Publishing Training Courses

Publishing Training Courses in Oxford

This is a guest post from Donna Hutchinson. Donna is a recent graduate of Oxford Brookes’ MA Digital Publishing course.  Since finishing the course, she has been working freelance for a number of projects including taking the lead on the social media marketing for the OPG’s publishing training courses.

Oxfordshire Publishing Group dinners are the place to be. They attract publishers from the largest publishers; OUP, T&F, Pearson; whilst including a healthy mix of CEOs of SMEs and freelancers. Plenty of food and wine gets consumed – and most importantly (for me!) they have resulted in the development of a new series of Publishing Training Courses.

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2014 British Book Design and Production Awards presented

the sick rose

This year’s British Book Design and Production Awards – supported by the the British Printing Industries Federation and, as the name suggests, paying as much attention to the form as the content of nominated books – were awarded last week, with the big winners publishers Thames & Hudson, who took home three awards: Book of the Year and Exhibition Catalogues for Richard Barnett’s compendium of medical illustrations The Sick Rose [pictured above] and Primary, Secondary & Tertiary Education for OKIDO’s What’s Inside?

Judges said of The Sick Rose: ‘this beautifully crafted book held the judges’ attention and provoked our imagination like no other this year.’

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Belle and Sebastian co-founder Stuart David writing YA novels

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.

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Tahira Rahemtulla

An exciting contest for writers [INTERVIEW]

This is an interview with Tahira Rahemtulla, a senior editor at Unambiguous Edit. Tahira is hosting a writing contest, That’s Write!, as a lead of Unambiguous Edit, in collaboration with TLAC Printing and Publishing, BookMachine, and Wildfire Studio.

1. Tell us a little bit about Unambiguous Edit. Is it a book editing company?

Unambiguous Edit is an online editing service; we used to focus just on books, but our clients were so pleased with the quality of edits and service, we had a lot of demand for other editing services. So now we offer editing for all documents.

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Saltire Book of the Year announced

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.

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The Hunger Games coming to the stage because sure, why not

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.

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Netflix to produce Lemony Snicket series

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.

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Tom Hanks inspired by typewriters to write book of short stories

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.

‘Tom Hanks.’

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.

Tom Hanks is writing a book of short stories about typewriters.’

That’s… what?

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Amazon launches ‘reader powered publishing’ with Kindle Scout

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.

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