Waterstones and HarperCollins partner for Killer Crime Festival

Starting tomorrow and running into Saturday (13 and 14 March), Waterstones and HarperCollins are partnering for the Killer Crime Festival, billed as the first virtual crime festival, taking place both online and irl, i.e. in Waterstones branches across the county. The festival sees authors, scriptwriters, criminal psychologists, ex-cops and ex-prisoners in conversation in sessions on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and, in a startling innovation that’ll surely amount to nothing, face to face with their audiences.

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Wellcome Book Prize reveals 2015 shortlist

The shortlist has been announced for this year’s Wellcome Book Prize, honouring work – across all genres, including both fiction and non-fiction – that focuses on medicine, health or illness. The prize – presented by London medical museum the Wellcome Collection – was open to any work published in English (including in translation) by a UK publisher throughout 2014, with publishers able to submit for consideration three titles apiece.

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Made in Me

Publishing deal with Macmillan Children’s Books for Made in Me

Macmillan Children’s Books has acquired worldwide publishing rights to launch a brand co-created by author/illustrator Tom Percival and digital media company, Made in Me. The brand is called The Little Legend, and consists of four books set in the fictional world of Tale Town, home of Little Red, Jack (of the beanstalk fame), Princess Rapunzel, and Anansi (the spider of west African legend).

The books will be published in paperback and e-book formats by Macmillan Children’s Books and as an illustrated digital book on Made in Me’s Me Books platform.

The Spell Thief and the second book, The Great Troll Rescue, will be published in both formats in February 2016, further books will follow.

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Bill Bryson’s first travel book in 15 years due this autumn

Today in oh holy hell I shall soon be dead: 2015 marks 15 years – 15 years – since Bill Bryson last published a book of travel writing, that particular book being 2000’s jaunt around Australia, Down Under. In the time since, he has published two volumes of Bryson’s Dictionary (one of Troublesome Words, the other for Writers and Editors), two Short Histories of Nearly Everything, a memoir, a biography of Shakespeare, and three books of history about, variously, icons of England, domestic life and America in the summer of 1927, with his only travel writing a short diary of a trip to Kenya published in aid of CARE International.

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BookMachine Week is underway, Twitter chat on Friday

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.

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Newly discovered Dr. Seuss book to be published in July

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.

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Poetry featured heavily in new BBC arts slate

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.

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