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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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From scarcity to ubiquity: digitisation in photography

This is a guest post from Rebecca Swift, Director of Creative Planning at iStock (speaker at BookMachine London this Thursday)

Last year Facebook revealed that users uploaded 350 million images every day. The 2014 Internet Trends report from analyst Mary Meeker published in May states that internet users are sharing 1.8 billion images every day (thanks to the visually based apps such as Instagram, Snapchat and WhatsApp as well as Facebook.)

These numbers were unfathomable even 5 years ago and it was only 15 years ago that digitization of imagery was really starting to take off.

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Jake McGraw

5 Questions for Jake McGraw from Refinery29 [INTERVIEW]

Host of November’s BookMachine NYC, Bree Weber, talks to speaker on the night Jake McGraw, Director of Operations at Refinery29.

Grab your tickets for BookMachine NYC here.

1. Can you give us a bit of background – who are you and how you came to join the R29 family?

After receiving my computer science degree in 2006, I was attracted to the world of internet-based startups to have an outsized impact in a small company. I have worked as a full-stack software engineer for a variety (from 2 to 200 employees) of New York based companies across many different business verticals. In 2013, I transitioned to management; I now direct multiple teams, focusing on technology strategy and defensibility.

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Sue

Creative Entrepreneurship in Oxford [COURSE]

In January 2014, sixteen publishers joined the ‘Publishing Fusion Workshop’ in Oxford. They had understood that to futureproof a career in publishing these days requires a multitude of skills: digital, creative and entrepreneurial. After three days of lectures and seminars by tutors from the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies together with some of the most innovative and inspirational professionals in the industry, almost all the participants said the course was the most exciting they had ever been on. More significantly, having been divided into groups to work on born digital projects, the outputs were so stunning that one project resulted in a contract from RandomHouse!

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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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CL copy

Diversity, gender, equality, and inclusion in publishing

This is a guest post from Claire Louise Kemp, Consultant at Atwood Tate (sponsor of BookMachine Oxford on November 6).

“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”.

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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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