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Two more Terry Pratchett novels set for posthumous publication

When Terry Pratchett died last week at the age of 66, he left behind a body of work that includes 40 novels set in his beloved Discworld, alongside a couple dozen further titles. It is a substantial bibliography by any standard, and one that his fans will no doubt take great comfort and pleasure in revisiting over the coming months. Those fans, however, can take further solace in the knowledge that the day when they have no more Pratchett left to read hasn’t arrived just yet: the author completed two final novels that are both likely to see publication this year.

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Bridget Jones tops charts as Christmas shopping continues

Helen Fielding’s third Bridget Jones novel – Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boyhas returned to the top of the UK hardback fiction charts for the first time since its release in October. The long-awaited book, published 14 years after prior instalment The Edge of Reason, spent three weeks at number one following its release, fuelled by Super Thursday first day sales of more than 46,000 copies across all formats. Whilst it hasn’t quite maintained that level of success (if it had, it would currently be nearing the 3,000,000 copies sold mark), presumably the onslaught of the Christmas shopping season has had some part to play in its selling 23,000 copies this past week.

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Wimpy Kid pushes Alex Ferguson down

Alex Ferguson’s record-breaking memoir has had its tenure at the top of the bestseller list ended by the latest entry in Jeff Kinney’s ever popular Wimpy Kid series. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck – Kinney’s eighth book in the series since 2007, having published at the rate of one a year since its inception with an additional title in 2009 – recorded first week sales of 82,999. As noted by The Bookseller, that’s over 10% of its initial print run of 800,000.

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Waterstones wants to hear about ‘The Book That Made Me…’

In its latest attempt at marketing disguised as just a big ‘aren’t books great?’ love-in, Waterstones is asking readers across the country to submit their recollections of ‘The Book That Made Me…‘. Quoth the blurb: ‘Books are powerful things. They can introduce us to new ideas. Give us the courage to do what we couldn’t do before. Even transform our lives completely. The Book That Made Me… is an ongoing collection of stories about lives that have been changed by books.’ Submissions of 100 words or fewer can be made either in store or, naturally, online via this form, which further elaborates upon the basic idea: ‘What has a book made you do? Maybe it was the book that made you travel the world, decide to get married or take up the ukulele.’ So yes, if that sounds like you, you are probably Zooey Deschanel but also Waterstones would like to hear from you.

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Terry Pratchett sets up no doubt whimsical media empire

Widely beloved man with a hat Terry Pratchett has announced the formation of his own fledgling multimedia empire, operating under the name Narrativia. Named for Pratchett’s self-invented goddess of narrative, the Soho-based company will assume responsibility for all things Discworld and beyond in formats other than books, which in the immediate future appears to include assorted TV and film projects: Pratchett himself talks of ‘working closely with the team to develop new stories in areas other than just print and e-books and, of course, seeing my first big screen project come to fruition.’

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Story time for digital publishers

This a guest post from Simon Appleby, who runs Bookswarm, a digital agency specialising in delivering projects for authors, agents and publishers. Simon has 15 years’ experience of scoping, pitching, architecting and delivering digital projects. He has worked for a number of digital agencies, and more recently has worked client-side at Octopus Publishing Group (a division of Hachette UK), where he ran the e-book conversion programme and worked on a number of iPhone and iPad apps. His first course at the Publishing Training Centre runs at the start of October with co-tutor Zelda Rhiando.
 

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin…

Human beings love stories. Narrative is central to how we make sense of the world around us. It explains religions, superstition, myths and legends, and it’s core to our culture. In fact, in one of my favourite popular science books, The Science of Discworld II: The Globe, the authors, Terry Pratchett, Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen, devote themselves to the importance of narrative (or narrativium, as they would have it) to the world, and suggest that instead of Homo Sapiens, a better name for the human species would be Pans Narrans – the Storytelling Ape.

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This week in literary prizes: uh, all of them, apparently

Big week for literary prizewinners, particularly if you’re funny, a woman writing in English and/or a resident of the Commonwealth who’s done an especially good job of evoking a sense of place: the Wodehouse, Orange and Ondaatje prizes have all announced this year’s victors over the past three days. Since no single person won all three, we can therefore surmise that there are no funny British women who write with a keen sense of place, or something equally specious yet rabble rousing. That’s how the internet works, right?

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