A HYPOTHETICAL CONVERSATION BETWEEN AHMET ZAPPA (PRODUCER, WRITER, SON OF FRANK) AND HIS AGENT:
Last week saw the launch of Bookish in the US – a new, and frankly bloody stunning book discovery/online retailer (or as I call them, a ‘social retailer’). They’ve got a brilliant pitch, a stunning site, and features the rest of us have been discussing for a while that we thought may never come to fruition. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. The golden egg, the holy grail, of online book discovery. An algorithm that recommends you books. Not ‘readers also bought’. Not ‘you might also like’. Something that says ‘what’s a book you have read and loved lately?’ and then picks you a bunch more based on what I can only assume is metadata more detailed than a fractal zoom on a mandelbrot set.
I hope you all brought spare underwear.
Andrew Turner is Vice-Chair of the Society of Young Publishers. He is a graduate of Kingston University’s Publishing MA and works as a Marketing Executive at Nelson Croom, an award-winning E-Learning company. Follow him on Twitter @justandy21.
One of the many, and unexpected, honours which come along with being chair of the Society of Young Publishers (SYP) is a place on the judging panel of the Kim Scott Walwyn Prize, which for me is an even bigger honour as I will be the first ever man to sit on the panel.
Lynette Owen is a leading authority on Copyright. She is Copyright Director at Pearson Education and has a particular interest in establishing licensing business in developing and transitional countries. She’s taught and written widely on these topics. Lynette was awarded an OBE for services to publishing and international trade in 2009. She was also the inaugural recipient of the Kim Scott Walwyn Prize. Here, she reflects on what it was like to receive the award.
Robin Wood is Chairman of Anova Books, one of the UK’s larger independent publishers, which he co-founded in 2005. He is also Chairman of the Independent Publishers Guild (IPG). He is one of our top speakers at BookMachine Unplugged, so we thought we’d find out more:
Following a successful inaugural year that saw victory claimed by Caleb Klaces for his collection Bottled Air, Eyewear Publishing is accepting submissions for the sophomore edition of its Melita Hume Poetry Prize from this Wednesday (13/02). Named for the eponymous collector of books and compiler of poems, the prize awards £1,000 and a publishing deal with Eyewear to the best first full collection of poetry written in English by a poet born in 1978 or later (i.e. no older than 35).
Defenders of lost causes, prepare to fortify the frontlines: Anyone who has previously had cause to deride ‘chick lit’ – whether out of genuine frustration with the genre’s shortcomings or simply out of the same kind of dismissive, unthinking misogyny implied by the term itself – will now be able to dress up their antipathy as sanctimonious concern for female readers, because science.
A study carried out by Melissa J. Kaminski and Robert G. Magee of Virginia Tech university entitled “Does this book make me look fat? The effect of protagonist body weight and body esteem on female readers’ body esteem” suggests that novels featuring characters who obsess over their weight lead to similar concerns in the women who read them. And if a fairly lightweight piece of fluff can do that, just imagine what might happen to those unfortunates looking for an easy read for the beach who end up suckered in by that new Bell Jar cover.
We’ve been tracking with interest the emergence of details on Stephen King’s long-anticipated/dreaded sequel to The Shining, which was revealed last year to go by the title Doctor Sleep, to be due for publication some time this year, to follow the present-day exploits of the now middle-aged Danny Torrance and, most importantly, to feature a prescient cat in some capacity. Now, King has given an interview to Entertainment Weekly that deals largely with the forthcoming book, and he’s saying all the right things about it.
More news of awards, yes, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge the continued astonishing success in that field of Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up the Bodies, which this week followed its history-making Man Booker win with another notable first as Mantel took home the title of 2012 Book of the Year at the Costa Book Awards. Having already made its author the first woman in Booker history to win that prize twice, and earned her a second UK Author of the Year prize at the National Book Awards, the book is now the first ever to win both the Booker and the Costa (formerly the Whitbread). Mantel’s fellow nominees were Kathleen Jamie for The Overhaul, Sally Gardner for Maggot Moon, Francesca Segal for The Innocents and Mary and Bryan Talbot for Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes.
The Man Booker International Prize – the regular Man Booker’s bohemian older brother who spends most of his time gadding around the world, surfacing once every couple of years to say ‘oh yeah, here’s some authors you should really check out, because you probably haven’t heard of any of them’ before once again heading off in search of the perfect poncho – has revealed the finalists for its 2013 award.