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#BookMachine Booksylibros – ‘Will we all be meeting face-to-face in 10 years time?’

What do you think? Join us on 9th July from 11am GMT to discuss online during #BookMachine Booksylibros. Sign up here.

 

Maria Cardona

Maria Cardona

“Even though we communicate through email nowadays, the fact that book fairs and events are all year round shows us just how important it still is to meet face-to-face. I believe that even in an online era in the future, when we are even more engaged in a digital way of life – that real events, and gatherings, will gain more power and meaning than ever.”

Maria Cardona Serra, Agent, Pontas Literary & Film Agency

 

 

Sam Missingham

Sam Missingham

I genuinely hope so. With so many online communication channels available, I think we should be using them all more often, certainly. They offer untold opportunities for engaging with our many different audiences. However, I am also a huge fan of meeting people in real life. The book industry is full of fabulous people who are mostly very sociable. Nothing can recreate real interaction and the odd glass of wine.”

Sam Missingham, Head of Events, Harper Collins

 

 

Tom Chalmers

Tom Chalmers

“Books have a subjective value and so require conversation and this will always work well face-to-face – which is why the industry is seen as a personal one – therefore there will always be a place for face-to-face meetings. However, this is no longer restricted to those with the time and financial resources to attend book fairs etc around the world and business no longer needs to be restricted to when those events happen – online platforms completely open up the market for business to be completed. Therefore, online platforms will provide the main current of business with face-to-face events operating on a smaller scale providing centres for closing business.”

Tom Chalmers, Managing Director, IPR License

 

What do you think? Join us on 9th July from 11am GMT to discuss online during #BookMachine Booksylibros. Sign up here.

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New BookMachine London publishing event

London Publishing EventNot long to go until our face-to-face meetings at London publishing events are replaced by virtual meet-ups. Where the familiarity of shaking someone’s hand is replaced by the opening of a Webcam.

This idea is just evolving. In June 2014, HarperCollins hosted its first ever virtual Romance Festival. If you were lucky enough to take part you’ll know that it was attended by several of the biggest authors in the world, as well as a number of industry experts.

Sam Missingham, Head of Events at HarperCollins, who organised the festival is kindly presenting it as a case study at a new London Publishing Event – BookMachine London on 22nd July. It was the first publisher-agnostic virtual event organised by a publisher ever, and we are chuffed that Sam will be joining us to present and answer questions about the London Publishing event.

We would really like to thank Inspired Selection for sponsoring this event. Inspired Selection is a specialist recruitment consultancy dedicated to serving the publishing industry, across all markets, both in traditional print and digital media. The Inspired Selection team will also be attending BookMachine London on 22nd July.

 

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Flagstone unveiled commemorating Scotland’s first published woman

As part of history festival Previously… this past weekend, Professor Germaine Greer unveiled a flagstone in Edinburgh commemorating the life and work of Elizabeth Melville, Lady Culross, the first woman to be published in Scotland. The memorial is inscribed with suitably recalcitrant lines from Melville’s Ane Godlie Dream, her groundbreaking debut work, a narrative poem first printed in 1603: ‘Though tyrants threat, though Lyons rage and rore / Defy them all, and feare not to win out.’ The flagstone lies, appropriately, in the city’s Makars’ Court in the Lawnmarket (‘makar’ being a Scots word meaning poet). Greer previously included Melville in her Kissing the Rod: An Anthology of 17th-Century Women’s Verse.

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Foyles_Banner_main copy

Sleek lines and celestial voices at Foyles

The long-awaited new flagship Foyles store at 107 Charing Cross Road opened to much fanfare last week. Emma Smith went to the launch party to check it out.

White walls, bright lights, airy spaces, sleek lines and celestial voices (in the form of Foyles Festival Chorus choir) greeted the eager throngs of publishing industry guests at the Foyles launch last Monday. This is the bookshop upon whose brand new shoulders lies the hefty weight of bookselling hope.

Awash with those staples of any book event worth its salt – champagne and canapés – there was a great hum of conversation and curiosity at the former Central St. Martin’s site.  Even Nick from The Apprentice was there. People were hungry to see what this bookshop was capable of delivering. Way back in February 2013, I went along to a Foyles workshop to help re-imagine the store – talk of gin palaces and ‘retail theatre’ buzzed around the room. And now it’s come to life.  But without so much gin.

Light from the central atrium filtered down onto company chairman, Christopher Foyle, as he welcomed the crowd.  Brothers William and Gilbert Foyle opened the Charing Cross branch in the 1920s and it has stood as a pillar of London literary life ever since. Christopher likened the developments in independent bookselling to that of the relationship between electric lighting and candles. Despite new technology, the earlier method sells on. Foyles hopes to be that eternal flame; a source of illumination rekindled to serve book buyers and to continue being ‘the greatest bookshop in the world’.

In reality, everyone knows what Foyles is up against  – referred to graciously as something to do with ‘great rivers’ or ‘female warriors in Greek mythology’ – yet you can’t help but admire what they’ve done and what they might become. Staff working overtime to move half a million books just shows the collective goodwill towards this new venture. And with an ambitious star-studded launch festival (guests include Grayson Perry, Hilary Mantel, Jarvis Cocker and Michael Palin to name a few) there are no signs of momentum wavering. It’s a very human kind of warmth which ultimately pervades this shop; the personal knowledge, the heritage and the sheer drive, culture and spirit of Foyles leaves you with a feeling of optimism, albeit a cautious one for now.

Paring back the whizz-bang ideas of the workshop last year, they’ve created a streamlined and realistic cultural hub – keeping books at its heart, of course. Four miles of shelving is definitely enough to get lost in. Branching out from the standard bookseller remit, Foyles have introduced literary tours, built café space, created an exhibition area and have produced a healthy roster of events and talks to reach out to customers. They are really trying to make books come alive and speak to people.

At the launch, Caitlin Moran declared bookshops ‘the sexiest places’ to hang out in. While I’m not sure I totally agree with her hypothesis, I do think that there is something visceral about being in a bookstore; a physical feeling that isn’t experienced in the same way online. They should be places of excitement, exploration, intimacy and inspiration all at once (and maybe also a place to buy that last minute birthday card). Familiarity and nostalgia is one thing to encompass, but shining a light on a new bookselling path is quite another. Foyles have certainly gone at it all cylinders firing, and I, for one, hope that they will remain as a beacon burning bright.

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Shortlist announced for Frank O’Connor short story prize

The Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award – reputedly the world’s richest short story prize, awarding €25,000 annually to the author of the year’s best short story collection – has revealed its six-strong 2014 shortlist. The field is led by A. L. Kennedy and Lorrie Moore, both writers who have found great success with short stories in the past. Their respective titles All the Rage and Bark are joined on the shortlist by Laura van den Berg’s The Isle of Youth, Ben Marcus’ Leaving the Sea and the work of two debuting authors, Phil Klay’s Redeployment and Colin Barrett’s Young Skins. Four of the six authors are American, with Kennedy and Barrett the only representatives of, respectively, Scotland and Ireland.

The prize’s winner will be announced in July after deliberations by a judging panel consisting of novelists and short story writers Manuel Gonzales and Alison MacLeod and poet Matthew Sweeney. MacLeod told The Guardian ‘The stories in these collections moved me, provoked me, and knocked the breath out of me. They take the reader down deep; they bring him or her up short. With every great short story – and they are numerous across these six collections – the world expands. So does life itself. With a powerful collection, one grows bigger by at least several lives.’

The award was established in 2005 by the Munster Literature Centre in Cork as an offshoot of the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Festival, itself named in honour of the famed Irish writer, with its first prize given to Yiyun Li for A Thousand Years of Good Prayers. Since then, it has been awarded to authors including Haruki Murakami, Miranda July, Jhumpa Lahiri, Edna O’Brien and Nathan Englander, with other notable nominees including Joyce Carol Oates, Colm Tóibín and T. C. Boyle. Last year’s winner was David Constantine, for his Tea at the Midland and Other Stories.

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#BookMachine Booksylibros – ‘Will we all be meeting face-to-face in 10 years time?’

With the rise in online rights platforms, and HarperCollins’s recent virtual Romance Festival; the folks at BookMachine are starting to wonder about the future of the face-to-face meetings. The big question is: ‘Will we all be meeting face-to-face in 10 years time?’

On 9th July at 11am GMT, a number of publishers from Spain and the UK will gather on Twitter, using the hashtag #BookMachine to discuss ideas around the next generation of online conferences.

To participate is easy. Simply follow #BookMachine from 11am on the 9th, and join in with the debate, by Tweeting with the hashtag and sharing your thoughts.

The aim is to allow publishing professionals from Spain and the UK to share their knowledge, though do join in if you’re based elsewhere and have thoughts on the matter.

If you’d like to join us on the day, please sign up below:

Eventbrite - #BookMachine Booksylibros

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James Patterson donating £250,000 to British and Irish bookshops

Following a similar act of philanthropy in the US last year, hyperbestseller James Patterson is set to donate £250,000 to independent booksellers across Britain and Ireland in a bid to ensure no children have to live lives without books. Patterson’s pledge coincides with the beginning of Independent Booksellers Week, which starts this coming Saturday. The awards scheme is open to any independent bookshop featuring a dedicated children’s section whose annual turnover is under £1 million. Grants will be awarded ranging from £250 to £5,000 (which, for the maths-impaired, means somewhere between 50 and 1,000 bookshops stand to benefit).

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Quentin Tarantino co-authoring Django/Zorro crossover comic

Comic book publishers Dynamite Entertainment teaming with industry titans DC to publish the work of a writer new to the world of comics might not qualify as particularly huge news under regular circumstances, but most newcomers aren’t Quentin Tarantino and their debut series usually isn’t a sequel to their most recent, massively successful, Oscar-winning film, so in this case, it is in fact particularly huge news. Tarantino is co-plotting a series due to debut later this year that is not only a direct sequel to his 2012 slavery revenge western Django Unchained but also a crossover with another pulpy hero usually found in the more southerly regions of the United States: Zorro.

Django/Zorro will be written by Matt Wagner, famed creator of the series Mage and Grendel, with a plot devised by Wagner and Tarantino, and editorial input from Reginald Hudlin, a producer on Django Unchained whose comic book adaptation of that film earned an Eisner nomination. It is the first time Tarantino has authorised a direct sequel, in any medium, to any of his films (bearing in mind Kill Bill was originally intended as one long film). The Hollywood Reporter has described the series as ‘the least likely way imaginable’ for Tarantino to return to the world of the film, which suggests that The Hollywood Reporter has a severely limited imagination (just sitting here waiting for the licensing deal to come through on my commemorative postage stamp continuation of Jackie Brown).

Tarantino, with characteristic humility, says of the series: ‘I’m very very excited about both this story and the opportunity to work with Matt.  It was reading his Zorro stories that convinced me what a good idea it was to join these two icons together.  And the story idea we came up with is thrilling, and I think will be an exciting new chapter for both characters.

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rotovision

Commissioning Editor at RotoVision [JOB POSTING]

RotoVision produces co-edition books on craft, art, fashion and beauty and we are now looking for a talented and creative Commissioning Editor to join our busy team in Brighton. Visually minded, enthusiastic, well organised and commercially astute, this individual will be responsible for proposing and commissioning new book concepts in line with the commercial balance of our publishing programme.

This is an exciting opportunity to develop a prolific list in a creative environment. RotoVision has high standards of quality and the successful applicant will have their finger on the pulse of current and emerging trends. Demonstrable experience working with illustrated books is essential and an understanding of the co-edition process is ideal. IT skills must include InDesign.

Please email Isheeta.Mustafi@quarto.com with a covering letter, CV, and salary expectations.

Closing date: Monday 30 June

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