Beattie's Book Blog - unofficial homepage of the New Zealand book community
Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Nielsen BookScan is the international sales data
monitoring and analysis service for the English-language book industry
worldwide. The service tracks general retail book sales within New Zealand
on a weekly basis from the retailers below. In addition to New Zealand,
data is available for the UK, Ireland, Australia, South Africa, Italy,
Spain, India, Brazil and Mexico.
THE NZ RETAILER PANEL
LS Travel Retail
Paper Plus Group
Fishpond (Added Q3 2017)
Kmart (Added Q3 2017)
The Book Depository (Added Q3 2017)
A weighted sample of independent general bookstores
NZ MARKET SUMMARY
NB: Growth figures are
not based on a like-for-like BookScan New Zealand panel due to the
expansion in Q3 2017
The Same Same but
Different writers festival offers something for everyone when it returns for
the third time on 9-10 February 2018 at AUT’s central city campus.
celebrates Aotearoa New Zealand’s LGBTQI+ writing talent as part of Auckland
The two-day February programme highlights
the breadth of LGBTQI+ writing talent including New Zealand’s brightest young
talent such as Cole Meyers and Courtney Sina Meredith to 88- year old theatre
writer Renée. This year’s international guest is Australian trans man Quinn
Eades, an acclaimed academic, author and poet.
The festival opens
on Friday evening, 9 February with the gala session ‘Great Moments’. The
line-up of festival founder Peter Wells, Hera Lindsay Bird, Marilyn Waring,
Chris Tse, Anton Blank and Mani Bruce Mitchell will pitch their lively,
controversial and intense stories of great moments.
Saturday 10 February range from Pasifika writers, theatre writers (including Snapchat-dude
Tom Sainsbury and Madeline Sami), an intersex documentary discussion to an
academic panel themed ‘queering the academy’.
In the closing gala
on Saturday evening, ‘It Gets Better’ with Jo Drayton, Courtney Sina Meredith,
Cole Meyers, Sam Orchard and Gina Cole, will tell stories of the winding roads
we walk to be ourselves.
The festival also includes two free
events, the ‘Poetry Speakeasy’ at Ley’s Institute Library Ponsonby on Wednesday
7February, and a ‘Queer Zine Workshop’ at the Auckland Central
Library on Friday 9February.
"Sadly, I grew up in something of a bookstore
desert. When you grow up poor and marginalized spatially, that is often the
case. There weren't bookstores of any kind anywhere near our neighborhood. I
had to ride a bus over an hour to reach a Waldenbooks (back when there were
Waldenbooks). It wasn't until I was older and had a car that things changed. I
found the Montclair Book Center, among other places, a bookstore I
still visit regularly.
"But to speak strictly as a writer, I wouldn't be where I
am if not for independent bookstores. My first book, Drown, stayed alive, and
in turn kept my career alive, because independent booksellers continued to put
the book in people's hands long after everyone else had forgotten it. For 11
years, I had no other book and yet indie booksellers kept their faith in me. To
them, I owe very much. I'll definitely be in a lot of indie bookstores on this
tour, as many as will have me."
Proving to us that we can indeed have
nice things in 2018, Barack Obama recently released his list of favorite
books (and songs) of the past year. A semi-annual tradition from his time
in office (and here at Off the Shelf), the bestselling author and
former leader of the free world created the collection to “reflect on the
works that resonated with me and lift up authors and artists from around
the world.” This year’s picks range from transportive historical tales
and contemporary fiction to big biographies and blistering social
commentary—so get reading!
We’re taking you behind the scenes to
meet the members of our incredible team, one-on-one. First up is Allison
Tyler! A founding member, Allison is instrumental in the day-to-day
operations at Off the Shelf. She believes a good book and a cup of tea
help cure what ails you. In addition to writing some of our favorite
lists and reviews, Allison is also the voice of our Twitter account. But
after four wonderful years together, Allison is setting off on a new
adventure, swapping books for birds.
At Folio Literary
management, both Emily van Beek
and Steve Troha have
been made partners, joining Claudia Cross, Scott Hoffman and Jeff Kleinman.
At Workman, Traci Todd will
join as director of children's publishing, and Sara Corbett will become the new art
director of children's publishing, both starting January 29. Todd was most
recently editorial director of Appleseed and Abrams' children's licensed
publishing. Corbett was most recently associate art director for Penguin
Workshop. They take over following the great and terrible departure
of Daniel Nayeri, Nathalie Le Du, and Colleen AF Venable in October to start a
new imprint at Macmillan Children's.
At Sourcebooks, Valerie
Pierce has been promoted to senior marketing manager.
Hachette UK head of digital George
Walkley was promoted to the new, broader role of digital and
development director, reporting to deputy ceo Richard Kitson. He will
"oversee digital supply chain, drive digital initiatives on behalf of the
group and provide support, infrastructure, advice and expertise to allow
publishers to publish digital content effectively."
The Milo Chronicles
A modest update, that's about the little details rather than big case
developments. The court has published
a transcript from a December conference among attorneys for Milo
Yiannopoulos and Simon & Schuster, and Judge Barry Ostrager.
In one point, Judge Ostrager resists the plaintiff's effort for extensive
discovery across the personal cellphones of 20 or more Simon & Schuster
employees unless they pay for it. S&S has a "bring your own device
environment" rather than issuing company phones, which means they do not control
or have access to work-related texts and other communications on those devices.
(Just as people learned from the Apple case to not email anything you wouldn't
want to see exposed in court documents, the same is true now for text
The more minor detail, in which the judge also limits the plaintiff's ability
to demand wide discovery of communications among a broad set of senior CBS
executives, is Yiannopoulos's contention that "CBS people at the highest
level of CBS were involved and consulted and participated in the termination of
my client's publishing contract." (That includes ceo Leslie Moonves, and
svp of communications Gil Schwartz. The publisher's attorney says, "The
decision to terminate this contract was made by the chief executive of Simon
& Schuster. Understandably, this was a huge thing at the time and she was
reporting up to others and there were communications with CBS as you would in
any corporation where you have a duty to report up. All those communications,
whether to or from, have been produced
Jason Rekulak has resigned as publisher of Quirk
Books after 18 years with the company, effective immediately, to pursue his
writing career and other creative projects. There will be a transition period
through March, and the company "will explore a new relationship with
Rekulak" thereafter. Quirk president Brett Cohen will take on the role and
responsibilities of publisher as well, and the company will search for an
editorial director. Owner and ceo of the parent company David Borgenicht notes,
"with 17 years at Quirk Books, Brett is a seasoned publishing professional
who has a deep understanding of our business as well as of our publishing and
In other personnel news, Sarah Stein has been promoted to senior editor at
At Vintage/Anchor, Angie
Venezia has been promoted to assistant director of publicity.
In addition, Jessica
Deitcher and Laura
Chamberlain both move up to marketing manager.
has been promoted to managing editor, Knopf Children's. Taking over his former
position of associate managing editor for The Princeton Review imprint is Amanda Yee. She was
an assistant managing editor at NYU Press.
At Tor/Forge/Tor Teen/Starscape, Theresa
DeLucci has been promoted to associate director of marketing
and Alexis Saarela
has been promoted to associate director of publicity.
currently executive publicity & marketing director for TarcherPerigee will
join Houghton Mifflin as marketing director, lifestyle & culinary, later
has been promoted to assistant manager of production for Random House
In Canada, Kelvin Kong
left The Rights Factory, where he was an agent and rights manager, to launch K2 Literary.
In author news, Hillbilly
Elegy author JD
CNN (for which he is a contributor) that he is seriously considering
challenging Sherrod Brown for his Senate seat in Ohio in the 2018 election.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is said to have spoken with Vance about
the possibility recently.
will consolidate their adult UK imprints Aurum Press, Frances Lincoln, and
Quintessence into a single imprint, White
Lion Publishing. All books will begin publishing under the
White Lion brand starting September 2018. The line will be led by group
Dunn, the publisher of Frances Lincoln, "has decided to
use this opportunity to seek a new challenge and will leave Quarto."
Green said, "Since the summer, we have been conducting a full review of
our UK-based trade imprints in the context of a challenging market. We're
inspired by the bold move of launching a new, single imprint which will feed on
our 40 years' experience while breaking down silos and embracing new ways of
communicating with our target readers. White Lion Publishing will be a
revolution in how we conceive, commission, make, market and sell books at
The School of Life
Press, based on writer and philosopher Alain de Botton's
organization The School of Life, launches in February. Consortium will
distribute the line in the US and Canada. The books will collect know-how of
The School of Life in a series of practical titles.
Indie bookshops are kicking off 2018 with confidence after the
majority reported sales rises over the Christmas period, but some have
urged publishers to take more risks and work harder to build authors into
brands this year.
Foyles’ sales were marginally up in value terms in December,
despite the mini-chain being hit by a drop in footfall, which it said was a
result of adverse weather and roadworks outside its flagship branch on
Charing Cross Road in London.
London-based Iranian e-publisher Azadeh Parsapour
and missing Hong Kong bookseller Gui Minhai have been shortlisted for
the 2018 Prix Voltaire, which rewards "exemplary courage in
upholding the freedom to publish and in enabling others to exercise their
right to freedom of expression".