The shortlists for this year’s Saltire Literary Awards – widely held to be among the most prestigious literary prizes in Scotland – were revealed this past weekend as part of the annual Wigtown Book Festival, with women leading the field for the Literary Book of the Year. Five of that category’s six nominees are female: A L Kennedy (All the Rage), Anne Donovan (Gone Are the Leaves), Sally Magnusson (Where Memories Go), Rona Munro (The James Plays) and Booker nominee Ali Smith (How to Be Good), with the lone man Martin MacIntyre (Cala Bendita ‘S aBheannachdan).
Ahead of this year’s National Poetry Day (happening this Thursday, 2 October), the Forward Arts Foundation has awarded its annual prizes for poetry. Regarded, in terms of its ability to make writers’ reputations, as the Booker of the poetry world, the £10,000 Forward Prize for Best Collection went to Kei Miller’s The Cartographer Tries to Map A Way to Zion, in which a mapmaker ‘is gradually compelled to recognise – even to envy – a wholly different understanding of place, as he tries to map his way to the rastaman’s eternal city of Zion.’
This is a guest post from John Pettigrew, CEO of FutureProofs.
At Futureproofs we’ve spent the past year creating a solution to a problem that most editors and proofreaders recognise. Handling book proofs on paper works very nicely, but it’s a bit slow and cumbersome, it’s often hard to read, and it’s surprisingly expensive. Many companies have moved to PDF proofing to save money, but the available tools are laughably poorly designed for this job and make the process take longer. The reason for this, of course, is that they weren’t designed for this job at all but just for basic annotation!
So, at the Frankfurt Book Fair on 8 October, we’re launching Futureproofs. This is our solution to these problems, designed by editors for editors. We hope that it will help publishing teams create quality books more cheaply and quickly. A browser-based platform, it addresses the problems I mentioned above by providing three key advantages over the current options.
This week sees the launch of Advance Editions, a platform for crowdsourced editing allowing readers early access to soon-to-be-published books in the hope that they’ll spot any previously missed errors – factual, linguistic or otherwise – or be able to provide any other suggestions on how to improve. The idea is that, having already been professionally edited, books will be uploaded to the site for three months ahead of their official release, with the site’s users able to download either the first half for free or the complete book for a 60% discount on the RRP. Readers can then suggest changes through the site for the authors to make prior to final publication.
In this essay, BookMachine contributor, Glasgow native and holder of two hitherto useless degrees in Scottish Literature Chris Ward attempts to explain some of the factors behind the overwhelmingly positive show of support for independence from the Scottish literary community.
This is a guest post from Toby Hopkins, Senior Account Manager at Getty Images (sponsor of next month’s BookMachine London).
“Does Getty Images have a social media strategy?” Sam Missingham asked me after one of her tour de force appearances at BookMachine or a similar event. Myself being new to Getty Images at the time, I couldn’t answer. So I talked to a woman who could. Jen Stanley, based in London, is a member of the global Getty Images social media team.
Early next year Faber will reissue several titles from throughout its 85 year history as part of its new Modern Classics line. Focusing on work that is at least 25 years old, be it fiction, non-fiction, drama or poetry, the paperbacks will contain supplementary material including readers’ notes, introductions and reproductions of articles of note from the Faber archives, and will be adorned in their own livery designed by Faber art director Donna Payne. The initial line-up of ten will be published in April 2015, joined by six more in June.
In what’s turning out to be quite the week for internet-based publishing innovations, Amazon has brought its Kindle Unlimited service to British shores. The subscription service, billed as a literary equivalent to Netflix and Spotify, allows users unlimited access (as the name implies) to over 650,000 Kindle books and an extensive library of Audible audiobooks for £7.99 a month (at current exchange rates nearly £2 more, incidentally, than the $9.99 a month charged by the American service, which launched earlier this summer). Amazon is offering a free 30 day trial of the service to all those who sign up.
More and more, interview via web or video conferencing is becoming commonplace for publishing managers to screen applicants for positions their companies have openings for. Most of the interviews take place, using video, as some candidates may be coming from diverse locations. This is quite usual now as many publishing houses continue to expand their businesses globally, allowing them to also look at candidates from diverse locations outside of their country.
This is a guest post from Sarah Juckes, who is the Communications Manager for CompletelyNovel.com. She works with partners and authors to create exciting opportunities for writers in and around publishing. For more information on CompletelyNovel, take their tour.
Local publishers, editors, designers, eBook specialists and PR experts are invited to join writers for an informal evening of networking and pop-up talks. Posted around the room will be a series of stands representing one part of the publishing process. Local experts will get the opportunity to speak about what they know best to authors who are looking to find out more about what publishing entails.