As the leaves fall from the trees, autumn descends and the turn of the seasons rolls relentlessly onward, it’s nice to be reminded that some things are, indeed, constant and unchanging, such as the neverending news cycle about the forthcoming film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey, which still hasn’t been made even though it feels like we’ve been writing about it since some time before the Boer War.
In a coup that bests the makers of any films based on his work to date, Twickenham based indie Honest Publishing have somehow managed to coerce wild man of Northampton, author of Watchmen, V For Vendetta and Lost Girls, and surprisingly non-member of Grinderman Alan Moore into promotional duties for their latest release.
The first Christmas trees are starting to spring horridly in corners of supermarkets everywhere; turkeys all over the world are being fattened for the kill; pubs are instructing everyone to book their office parties NOW to avoid disappointment; there’s a chill in the air and it’s raining in earnest; and mince pies have gone on sale. Yes, Christmas approaches, and with this festive season so, too, to we begin to see the race for top biography (celeb memoir) in the publishing charts. Start your engines…
If you have yet to reclaim your jaw from its position on the floor after last week’s totally unhyped revelation that JK Rowling had a new book coming out, maybe don’t bother making the effort for now – at least, not until you’ve heard that The Casual Vacancy racked up the highest first week UK sales of any book published since Dan Brown’s 2009 effort The Lost Symbol (whose 550,946 copies sold in its first week I’m sure are all still with their original owners).
Widely beloved man with a hat Terry Pratchett has announced the formation of his own fledgling multimedia empire, operating under the name Narrativia. Named for Pratchett’s self-invented goddess of narrative, the Soho-based company will assume responsibility for all things Discworld and beyond in formats other than books, which in the immediate future appears to include assorted TV and film projects: Pratchett himself talks of ‘working closely with the team to develop new stories in areas other than just print and e-books and, of course, seeing my first big screen project come to fruition.’
The Publishing Training Centre and Marketability are working together to promote training.
Preliminary step towards takeover? Absolutely not, says the PTC’s Peter McKay and Marketability’s Rachel Maund, who are cheerfully adamant that recent announcement is a pragmatic response to falling training budgets and recognition that it makes more sense to collaborate than it does to compete. Lottie Chase, Marketing Executive interviews the two about the new partnership.
‘I don’t get up in the morning and say: Am I inspired? …No, I’m not. I won’t work. ‘cos, God, how often would I ever work, you know?’
These words were spoken last week by one of the world’s most prolific authors, J.K. Rowling, and summed up quite nicely something I think many people want to forget about literature: books are a business; writing is work. Our explosive amnesia surrounding the b-word was highlighted again after reading the incredible reaction to news that Penguin US decided to sue a few authors after the books they were paid to write were not written.
In news that has gone so far from the definition of ‘news’ that it has circled back round upon itself to become newsworthy again, today sees the publication of JK Rowling’s first post-Harry Potter novel, the adult-orientated The Casual Vacancy. I know, it caught me utterly unawares too. Take a minute to regain your composure and lift your jaw off the floor, why don’t you.
Little, Brown is the company currently looking at its logo on the spine of the book, then looking at the rest of the publishing world, then looking at the Harry Potter series’ sales figures, then looking back at the rest of the publishing world and pointing and laughing.
In a piece of news that we somehow missed in the whirlwind of prescient cats and Philip Roth-baiting that has been the past fortnight, none other than Kevin Costner has landed a deal with Simon & Schuster imprint Atria Books, and not for a cash-grab memoir either. Costner will ‘produce and develop’ the illustrated, serialised adventure novel The Explorers Guild, about the titular ‘clandestine group of adventurers who seek out the places where light gives way to shadow, and reason is usurped by myth’, so I dunno, maybe it does contain elements of memoir after all.
As has been promised/threatened for some time now, the distressingly prolific Stephen King has made official his plans to release Doctor Sleep, a sequel to his much-loved The Shining, some time next year. A page for the new novel has gone live on King’s website, complete with plot synopsis that you should avoid if you want to go in unspoiled, either in terms of what’s going to happen or in terms of what has already happened that has made you love The Shining so much to begin with.