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At Halloween Stand Up For Books [EVENT]

This is a guest post from Helen Joanna Youngs. She is currently working for an independent niche genre publisher.   Alongside her day job Helen is also on the Society of Young Publishers committee organising events to promote the industry, and furthermore freelancing as a fabulous marketeer.

 

At Halloween you should stand up for books. Not only has there been some terrific literature that has scared us senseless and sent shivers down our fragile mere mortal spines, but there is more tingling, menacing stuff being created and at Halloween, we should scream and be frightened out of our minds with some good writing.

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Lower Ebook Prices Does Not Equal More Readers

Last week saw the declaration by Amazon that the dissolution of agency pricing in the US was a “big win for customer” and that they look forward to lowering prices on more ebooks in the future. It’s slightly surreal for me to read that lower ebook prices is something anyone would ‘look forward’ to, given how much effort publishers are making (not across the board, but certainly in some places) to ensure the price of ebooks stays at a level that encourages a sense of worth for the format. Testament to Amazon’s place in the market, however, the news was not received badly.

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Johnny Depp Launches Imprint Exactly As You’d Expect

Seemingly confirming that the tyrannical hold of Tim Burton over Johnny Depp works on some kind of Cabinet of Dr. Caligari close-proximity hypnosis basis (Burton’s Frankenweenie, currently in cinemas, is his first film since 2003’s Big Fish not to feature Depp in some capacity), the erstwhile Edward Scissorhands has revealed he is using the time away from his sinister overlord to launch his own publishing imprint with HarperCollins US. Talks are presumably underway on just how much money it would take to 1) retrieve the ashes of Hunter S. Thompson from the atmosphere 2) reconstitute them into some corporeal form that could type, or at least dictate, and 3) lock said ash being into a five book deal.

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Storm in a crap mug: Ewan Morrison wins Not The Booker

Yeah, so Mo Yan won the Nobel, and it’s a big deal because he’s the first Chinese citizen to be made a laureate, and it’s all very exciting, but another, usually far more low-key prize has also seen more than its share of thrills, spills and assorted other rhymes over the past few days: Ewan Morrison’s Tales From The Mall took this year’s Guardian-arranged, self-explanatory Not The Booker Prize but, as is inevitable with the ever-provocative author, took it with no small dose of controversy.

(N.B.: in the interests of full disclosure, I am acquainted with several people involved in the publication of the book, and so am going to try to keep this account as straightforward and impartial as I can, but feel free to argue the ins and outs in the comments. Please, do read the source articles linked to above and below for a full picture of exactly what has transpired over the past couple of days.)

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Nominees for ‘Best of Best’ James Tait Black Prize Announced

Following on the heels of some ostensibly more low-key prize announcements, Britian’s oldest literary award has revealed the shortlist for its ‘best of the best’ award. The James Tait Black Memorial Prize, awarded annually by the University of Edinburgh to the year’s best in the fields of fiction and biography, will celebrate 250 years of the study of literature at the seat of learning by naming the greatest book to have won the prize since its inception in 1919, in a manner similar to the ‘Best of the Booker’ award only with 100% less Salman Rushdie victory guaranteed, so really, everyone’s a winner.

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5 Questions for Ruth Warburton [INTERVIEW]

Ruth WarburtonRuth Warburton is a job-sharing publicity manager for the Vintage imprints Chatto & Windus and Square Peg at Random House. Having won PPC awards for her campaigns, she now mixes her role as a successful publicist with being a young adult author – The Winter Trilogy is published by Hodder Children’s Books. We catch up with Ruth to find out if variety really is the spice of life in publishing…

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(Another) Spotify For Books

Here’s how to alienate a large portion of possible content sources in one go: compare your product to their greatest fear. Perhaps Oyster didn’t call themselves the ‘Spotify for books’ in their pitch to publishers – I wasn’t at Frankfurt – but it’s certainly how they’ve been branded in the aftermath. And it doesn’t, as far as I can see, do them any favours.

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