Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Bookseller

George Saunders
George Saunders has become the second American author to win the £50,000 Man Booker Prize for his first full-length novel, Lincoln in the Bardo (Bloomsbury). 
George Saunders
Trade figures have given George Saunders' Man Booker win their seal of approval, congratulating the prolific short story writer on his first full length novel.
Canadian audiobook service is launching in the UK today with a catalogue of 70,000 titles.
Amazon Kindle
Amazon and eBay have been accused of profiting from foreign firms trading on its marketplace platform and failing to charge VAT on UK sales, a Public Accounts Committee report has found.
Brian A Napack
Brian A Napack, a former president of Macmillan and currently an advisor at Providence Equity Partners, has been named the new president and c.e.o. at John Wiley.
Dan Brown
Dan Brown’s Origin (Bantam) has once again claimed the UK Official Top 50 number one spot, selling 60,602 copies for £631,480.

McGraw-Hill Education c.e.o. David Levin is leaving the company after three years in the role.
Gizzi Erskine
HarperCollins has signed up TV chef Gizzi Erskine to write a cookbook, Slow, which promotes "quality" over convenience.
Komixx Entertainment Ltd has optioned the worldwide screen rights to “electrifying” YA thriller Captured by Kelly Anne Blount, featured on Wattpad.
Penguin Life
Penguin Life is publishing pregnancy guru Rebecca Shiller’s "empowering" guide, Your No-Guilt Pregnancy Plan, in March 2018.

Publishers Lunch

Today's Meal

Black Dog & Leventhal founder and publisher J.P. Leventhal will leave the company on December 31. The imprint becomes part of Running Press, reporting to vp and publisher Kristin Kiser, effective immediately. Hachette Book Group ceo Michael Pietsch says, "J.P. Leventhal has been a force in publishing, an original, and a splendid collaborator. His genius for bringing visual content into books in new ways has brought joy to millions of readers. It has been a pleasure having him and his team become part of HBG, and we look forward to his DNA living on in the imprint he created."

At Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Jim O’Neill, most recently with Achieve3000, has joined as evp and general manager of core curriculum. Matthew Mugo Fields has joined in the new role of evp and general manager of supplemental curriculum. Previously he was with McGraw-Hill Education. Rose Else-Mitchell has been promoted to evp and chief learning officer and Amy Dunkin has been promoted to svp and chief marketing officer. Alejandro Reyes joins from Laureate Education as svp and chief people officer. Trish Torizzo joins as svp and chief information officer. She previously held IT leadership positions at Charles River Laboratories, National Grid and Boston Scientific. Vicki Boyd has been promoted to evp and general manager, Heinemann.

The Pennsylvania State University Press has acquired ancient Near East and biblical studies publisher Eisenbrauns as a new imprint.

At Macmillan Children's, Melissa Zar has been promoted to senior marketing manager and Johanna Kirby has been promoted to marketing manager.

The Library of Congress is launching a Librarians-in-Residence pilot program to support early career librarians. Up to four applicants will receive six-month paid residencies starting June 2018. Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden says, "The Library of Congress will benefit from their energy and creative thinking, and they will benefit from the hands-on experience of working with the scale and variety of the national collections, side-by-side with top innovators on the Library’s staff."


Consortium will distribute Black, Inc., Fitzcarraldo Editions, Oberon Books, and School of Life starting January 1, 2018

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Lincoln in the Bardo wins 2017 Man Booker Prize

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders is tonight, Tuesday 17 October, named winner of the 2017 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. Lincoln in the Bardo is the first full-length novel from George Saunders, internationally renowned short story writer.

The 58-year-old New York resident, born in Texas, is the second American author to win the prize in its 49-year history. He was in contention for the prize with two British, one British-Pakistani and two American writers.

Lola, Baroness Young, 2017 Chair of judges, comments:

 ‘The form and style of this utterly original novel, reveals a witty, intelligent, and deeply moving narrative. This tale of the haunting and haunted souls in the afterlife of Abraham Lincoln’s young son paradoxically creates a vivid and lively evocation of the characters that populate this other world. Lincoln in the Bardo is both rooted in, and plays with history, and explores the meaning and experience of empathy.’

Lincoln in the Bardo focuses on a single night in the life of Abraham Lincoln: an actual moment in 1862 when the body of his 11-year-old son was laid to rest in a Washington cemetery. Strangely and brilliantly, Saunders activates this graveyard with the spirits of its dead. The Independent described the novel as ‘completely beguiling’, praising Saunders for concocting a ‘narrative like no other: a magical, mystery tour of the bardo – the “intermediate” or transitional state between one’s death and one’s next birth, according to Tibetan Buddhism.’ Meanwhile, the Guardian wrote that, ‘the short story master’s first novel is a tale of great formal daring . . . . [it] stands head and shoulders above most contemporary fiction, showing a writer who is expanding his universe outwards, and who clearly has many more pleasures to offer his readers.’

Saunders told TIME magazine that he didn’t really want to write about Lincoln, ‘but was so captivated by this story I'd heard years ago about him entering his son's crypt. I thought of the book as a way of trying to instil the same reaction I'd had all those years ago.’ 

Lincoln in the Bardo is published by Bloomsbury, making it the third consecutive year the prize has been won by an independent publisher, following Oneworld Publications’ success in 2015 with Marlon James and 2016 with Paul Beatty. Bloomsbury has won the prize three times before, with Howard Jacobson (2010), Margaret Atwood (2000) and Michael Ondaatje (1992).

Saunders’ win comes in the month that 1989 Booker Prize-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro was named as this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature recipient. Ishiguro follows in the footsteps of other Booker Prize-recognised authors who have gone on to win the award including: V. S. Naipaul, Nadine Gordimer, William Golding, J. M. Coetzee and Doris Lessing.

Luke Ellis, CEO of Man Group, comments:

‘We are pleased to congratulate George Saunders, along with each of the shortlisted authors, for his fantastic achievement this year. At Man Group, we are extremely proud to be sponsoring the world’s foremost literary prize and celebrating exceptional literary talent for a fifteenth year. We understand the importance of intellectual capital and creative thought – and indeed, the ability to view the world from different lenses matters more than ever today, in this age of rapid and inexorable change. We also believe that businesses like ours have an important duty to advance progress in education at every level: from prizes like this, which recognise global talent, to the local grassroots initiatives championed by the Booker Prize Foundation and the Man Charitable Trust, which we are honoured to support.’
Lola, Baroness Young was joined on the 2017 judging panel by the literary critic, Lila Azam Zanganeh; the Man Booker Prize shortlisted novelist, Sarah Hall; the artist, Tom Phillips CBE RA; and the travel writer and novelist, Colin Thubron CBE. The judges considered 144 submissions for this year’s prize.

George Saunders’ win was announced by Lola Young at a dinner at London’s Guildhall. He was presented with a trophy from HRH The Duchess of Cornwall and a £50,000 cheque by Luke Ellis, Chief Executive of Man Group. Saunders also receives a designer bound edition of his book and a further £2,500 for being shortlisted.

At the event, which was broadcast live on the BBC News Channel, actors Maxine Peake, Rhashan Stone and Olivia Williams, read extracts from the shortlisted books. All the shortlisted authors attended alongside a number of former winners.

George Saunders will take part in his first official public event as winner at a New Statesman-partnered event at Foyles Charing Cross Road on Thursday 19 October 2017. Tickets can be bought here.

Royal Mail is again issuing a congratulatory postmark featuring the winner’s name, which will be applied to millions of items of stamped mail nationwide on Wednesday 18 October and Friday 20 October 2017. It will say ‘Congratulations to George Saunders, winner of the 2017 Man Booker Prize’.

On winning the Man Booker Prize, an author can expect international recognition, plus a dramatic increase in book sales. In the week following the 2016 winner announcement, sales of The Sellout by Paul Beatty increased by 658%. To date over 360,000 print copies of the Oneworld edition have been sold, and 26 foreign language rights deals have been secured – 19 since his win.

Other recent winners have included Hilary Mantel (2012 and 2009), whose Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies have led to award-winning adaptations on stage and screen, Julian Barnes (2011), whose The Sense of an Ending was released as a film this year, and Marlon James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings (2015), which has been optioned for a TV series by HBO. Further winning novels that have gone on to have second or third lives on stage, screen and radio include Midnight’s Children, Schindler’s Ark (directed by Steven Spielberg as Schindler’s List), The Remains of the Day and The English Patient.

The leading prize for quality fiction in English

First awarded in 1969, the Man Booker Prize is recognised as the leading award for high quality literary fiction written in English. Its list of winners includes many of the giants of the last four decades, from Salman Rushdie to Margaret Atwood, Iris Murdoch to JM Coetzee. The prize has also recognised many authors early in their careers, including Eleanor Catton, Aravind Adiga and Ben Okri.

Man Group, an active investment management firm, has sponsored the prize since 2002.

 The rules of the prize were changed at the end of 2013 to embrace the English language ‘in all its vigour, its vitality, its versatility and its glory’, opening it up to writers beyond the UK and Commonwealth when their novels are published in UK.

To hear the most up-to-date news on this year’s prize, listen to the Man Booker Prize Podcast series, or to learn more about the prize’s history and share your thoughts online, please visit:

 @ManBookerPrize | #FinestFiction |#ManBooker2017


See podcast from the Writer's Festival Director Anne O'Brien -


The Bookseller

Fiona Mozley
Indie booksellers are divided on who they think will take home the Man Booker Prize, with a few backing fellow bookseller Fiona Mozley for her debut Elmet (JM Originals), while others have hinted they are expecting Ali Smith or George Saunders to claim the prize.
Pearson is expecting its full-year operating profit to come in at the top half of its forecast range, it revealed while giving its third quarter trading update. 
Ian Chapman and Carolyn Reidy
Simon & Schuster UK celebrated its 30th anniversary at London's National Gallery, with president and c.e.o. Carolyn Reidy praising the press for transforming from a "tiny" distribution arm into a "world-class" publisher in that time.
Templar Publishing
Illustrated children's book press Templar Publishing has unveiled a new brand identity ahead of its 40th anniversary next year.
Fiona Murphy
Fiona Murphy, currently publicity director at Penguin Random House Ireland, is joining Transworld/Doubleday Ireland from 1st January in the role of editorial director.
Kevin Keegan
Pan Macmillan has acquired Kevin Keegan’s autobiography My Life in Football, set to publish in September 2018.

HarperFiction has bought a “brilliant, dark debut novel” which explores the many identities women “juggle” throughout life from former agent Hannah Begbie, inspired by her son’s cystic fibrosis.
Dark Matter
Debut author Winnie M Li has been voted the winner of the Guardian's Not the Booker Prize for her novel Dark Chapter (Legend Press), based on the true story of her sexual assault.
Kathryn Taussig
Bookouture associate publisher Kathryn Taussig has made her first acquisitions for the publisher: two psychological thrillers from Lucy Dawson, a saga series from debut author Lizzie Page, and two romantic comedies from self-published author Debbie Viggiano.
Jake Williams
Jake Williams, winner of the Business Design Centre’s New Designer of the Year 2017, has signed a three book deal with Pavilion Children's Books.
Amazon is to create 1,200 new jobs with the opening of a fulfilment centre in Bolton in 2018.
Joanna Lumley
David Litchfield’s The Bear and the Piano will be narrated by Joanna Lumley in an “entrancing” film.